The happiest hour

What’s better after a long day at work than a light bite and a delicious drink with friends? Fortunately Pike Place Market offers plenty of options for hungry and thirsty crafters to unwind after a long day at our booths.

I love to do happy hour at the Market with my crafts line co-workers and it’s a great central location to get together with non-Market friends too.

Here are a few of my personal favorite happy hour spots in the Market:

1. Maximilien
On a bright, hot summer day it’s hard to beat the big deck at this little slice of France that has been transported to the southwest corner of the Market. Tucked down an unimpressive looking corridor just past where they throw the fish, Maximilien feels a million miles from the hustle and bustle of the Market.

The deck is adorned with large umbrellas and boasts a stunning view of Elliot Bay. And when a French-accented waiter takes your order it’s impossible to resist the frites and fromages, washed down with their special French martini. The happy hour menu offers an impressive selection of French dishes, including escargots, and Absinthe is on the drinks list. Magnifique!

2. Il Bistro
If Maximilien is my go-to happy hour on bright days, Il Bistro is a top choice in the grayer months. The dark and cozy bar is a welcoming haven. Go down the narrow staircase opposite where they throw the fish at 5pm and you’ll generally find a small crowd waiting for the doors to open. If I’m lucky I’ll snag the table with the cushioned bench, but the friendly staff are always happy to push a couple of tables together to accommodate a larger group.

In the best tradition of happy hour, the menu offers superb value (the restaurant is one of the best in town). Start with a crostini, follow with the goat cheese ravioli, and share a couple of the delicate pizzas with your table. Drink a delicious glass of Primitivo and that’s an excellent and inexpensive dinner. It almost makes me want fall to come sooner.

3. Chan
A new kid on the happy hour roster is Chan, which offers Korean food with a Western bent. Tucked away in the courtyard of the Inn at the Market, it’s easy to miss this charming restaurant. But once welcomed by the smiling staff you’re sure to return.

Nibble on the kimchi sampler and and follow up with the sliders, which elicit cries of “more please!” Be sure to try the distinctly Korean cocktails, such as the Kor Royale or the Sojito – delicious.

Other favorite places for happy hour in the Market include Cafe Campagne (the small lamb sliders are to die for), the Virginia Inn (their smoked wild salmon is melt-in-the-mouth sublime) and the Zig Zag Cafe (famous for its superb cocktails).

Happy hour plans always make the work day better. If you have some favorite happy hour spots at the Market please comment and tell us about them. Until 5pm then, cheers!

Emma Roscoe, Red Delicious Bags

Fashion at the market

As a new writer for this blog I will introduce myself to you.  I am Kim and I sell my fashion line, Im Strang, on the craftline at Pike Place market.  I am a knitter, using manual vintage knitting machines mostly, and sell a mixture of socks and accessories to a full line of sweaters, tops and dresses.


You may have seen my seamed back socks waving in the air on my quite obvious, many questions asked about, sock mannaquin legs.  That’s how people remember my booth.  Upside down legs.  They prompt more bad jokes and Christmas story references than I ever thought possible but hey, they are eye catching and draw attention to my table!


There are a good few of us selling accessories and garments at the market.  The eco friendly, upcycling designers reconstruct old cashmere sweaters and t-shirts into totally new garments.  The fiber minded of us weaving, spinning, knitting and crocheting.  Each of our four feet booths offer handmade, high end fashion for many different tastes and styles.  It’s boutique shopping straight from the artist.  Just look for the legs and come say hi.

– Kim Strang

Im Strang


ImageWalk through the Pike Place Market and notice the theater that permeates its Arcades; the fish monger in his sloshing boots and heavy apron, the busker signing, the waiter rushing by – a bag of ice dripping at his side and the craftspeople calling out numbers at morning roll call. Now notice the backdrop in which it all takes place; the painted walls, the tiled floors, the ornate columns, the red cobblestones and the lights throughout the Market. No wonder so many people fall in love with the Market.

ImageAs a tour guide I get to share stories about the people who helped create it. On rare occasions, like today, I get to give tours to direct descendants of the people I talk about. Today I am giving a tour to the Goodwin family, relatives of the first owners of the Pike Place Market whose spirits are still sensed in the Market; in the daily operations and design.

The Market opened on August 17, 1907 and quickly expanded thanks to the Goodwin Real Estate Company. They owned the land surrounding the area. The Goodwin brothers, Frank, Ervin and John, became the majority stake holders in the Market. They built the Arcades to shelter the farmers. They expanded the Market in all directions and built the Lower Levels. Frank Goodwin shared the same day of birth as the Market. He was born August 17, 1865.

“In 1907, Seattle Councilman Thomas Revelle organized local farmers to sell fresh produce out of the backs of their wagons on Pike Street. As commonly happens in Seattle, it rained. The farmers petitioned for shelter, but the city had no funds. Frank was on hand for opening day and saw the crowds. He drew a sketch for a shed to extend from the Leland Hotel north on company property along the west bank of the bluff. After consultation with his brothers, he refined the plan, dividing the area into seventy-six stalls.  By November 30, 1907, the building was complete, every stall rented.”

His nephew, Arthur Goodwin, is credited as designing the interior of the Market. He was the son of a Shakespearian actor from New York City. The columns, ornate walkways, and thousands of lights in the original Arcade (south of the Pig) are all credited to Arthur Goodwin.

“His presence is everywhere in the Pike Place Market. The brightly-colored flowers that today poke from boxes above the main arcade were his idea. The cozy arrangement of stalls with their orderly cornucopias of edibles was his work. Even having troubadours to serenade patrons was his concept. But as the market nears its 75th anniversary, little is remembered of this merchandising pioneer who made Pike Place what it is today. His name was Arthur E. Goodwin, and from 1925 to 1933 he owned the collage of stalls that today is one of Seattle’s top tourist attractions.” Elizabeth Rhodes, Seattle Times, 1982

I met Kerry Serl, a descendant of Frank Goodwin, in 2007 at the Market’s 100 year anniversary. We have remained friends since. This is the third tour I have given her family. What has drawn us together is our mutual love of history. In the time I have know her she has been archiving films that Arthur Goodwin made. She has been going through letters that Frank wrote and discovering countless articles about her family, like the one posted here written in 1910.

The Pike Place Market has gone through a lot of change in 105 years of operation. There are no more share holders today. It is a national historic district and functions more like a small city, governed by a Council. However the personalities are just as vibrant. Frank Goodwin was known for his thick black hair and moustache. Arthur wore a top hat to work and danced through the Arcades. It’s easy to imagine their spirits still in the Pike Place Market. Certainly their determination in making the Market a success remains.

– Mercedes Carrabba, Market Ghost Tours & Espresso, 1499 Post Alley in the Pike Place Market.

The Goodwin influence..

We’ll take a hundred please

These art tiles were just an idea of ours until one day while sitting at my booth on the corner…

Setting up our business on my favorite corner of the market brings me an abundance of content for blog postings, stories to tell friends and family. Musings for myself and yes, opportunities. I am set up there first and foremost to sell our art work. There is a living to be made. A mortgage to be paid.

Several months ago a Hindu family – mom, dad and daughter, stopped by for a look and a chat. Their attention turned to the Om (aum) art tile. I let them know that we were working on a new design for another Hindu based art tile. It would still have an Om in the center but in a circle surrounding it there would be a mantra in Sanskrit – the Gayatri Mantra. This news was met with delight. They told me that the daughter was to be married in August and that they were looking for a gift to give to each person attending the wedding. They left with one of the Om pieces and our information. I went home and told Jeff. And we thought – “Wouldn’t that be nice.”

We don’t make our pieces in any great quantity. Each one really is made by hand. We sit in front of a bucket and mix the polymer plaster powder and water to the proper consistency – no scales are used. It’s just done by feel and 18 years of experience. The molds, usually 5 or 6 at a time of several designs, are laid out and prepared. The plaster mixture is poured into them. We wait. As polymer plaster hardens, it heats up. Chemistry. When they are hardened and still very warm, we pop them from the mold. Sand lightly around the edges and put them on the finishing table. Cups of color have been prepared based on what designs are being done and brushes lined up. We apply the finishes. Because the tiles are warm, the water based colors are drawn into each piece. It’s a layering process for some parts of the tile, a carefully brushed on color on just the right areas of others. Every layer and brushed on line has a certain time allowed to make sure that we can move on to the next. Timers? No. Just instinct. Timing is based on the humidity and temperature of the air in our studio. Once they have cooled they can no longer accept the color and we could lose the piece. We can only make a handful of pieces at a time. Crazy? Yes. But it works.

Afternoon Kat,
We are excited to let you know that we would like to move forward with your art for our wedding. At this point it will be for 100 units and we look forward to be discussing more of the details with you. Special note, packaging, etc. Do you have an updated sketch?

So – when we received an email several days after my encounter with the family at the market we were elated. And then reality – “Kat – we don’t even have the design completed”. “Jeff – they want 100 of them. In 6 weeks.” Well then. First we sorted out pricing and delivery time and got to work.

We figured on 9 weeks. Finish the design, art work, make the original, mold it, then make 5 molds, cure the molds, mold, wax, label and package. All while maintaining our inventory for our booth at Pike Place Market and web orders. Nothing that we do can be done in phases. Everything is start to finish – on each tile.

I am sharing this, my final tile design. Please do not copy or use this for any purpose other than to envision what the final tile will look like. It is not to be reprinted or reformatted to any other use. I have not watermarked it but trust that you will not use it for any other purpose.

The color finish will be red, gold and tan, just like the Om that you
received at Pike Place Market.

Her response? “Beautiful !” And off we went. They were a joy to make but we were very glad on the final day that the very last piece was carefully packed up. Her parents met me at the market with a cousin to help carry. Her mother looked a bit harried.”How are you doing?” I asked. “I think that I’ll not sleep again until after this wedding.” She still has a week to go. I hope she’s had some rest.

We promised to put a personal label on the back of her tiles. This is the translation of the Gayatri Mantra that her parents sent to us for those labels.:

Oh God the Giver of Life, remover of pains and sorrows,
bestower of happiness and creator of the universe. Thee art
most luminous, pure, and adorable, we meditate upon thee.
May you inspire and guide our intellect in the right direction.

May we continue to be inspired. Sitting on our corner of the universe.

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There are many versions of the Gayatri Mantra. This is my favorite. A Hindu woman told me that if you say it 11 times each morning that your mind will be clear and joyful.

Kat Allen
Symbols in Art