Stone Way, the unofficial boundary between Wallingford and Fremont, is losing two of its most popular institutions: Stone Way Cafe and Hashtag Cannabis. Half the block will be bulldozed to make way for a five-story office building, leaving these businesses looking for a new home nearby.
Details about when they’ll have to close and where they’ll end up are still fuzzy, but both Stone Way Cafe and Hashtag said they will continue serving the Wallingford/Fremont community in some capacity. It’s likely they’ll stay in their current location at least through the end of the summer—but after that, all bets are off. Hashtag co-owner Logan Bowers is currently running for Seattle City Council in District 3 as a housing and zoning wonk. Maybe that knowledge will come in handy.
Christine Cohen, Hashtag’s director of marketing and community outreach, said they were working closely with their landlord to secure space in another one of her buildings. Both Hashtag and Stone Way Cafe have first dibs on the street-level retail spaces of the new office building, but neither think that’s a realistic option.
“Finding a different space is much more appealing to us, because then we wouldn’t have to close down,” Cohen said. “We’re going to be here as long as we possibly can. It means a lot to know that our customers want us to stick around.”
And they do. Well, we do.
Since moving to Wallingford last fall, Stone Way Cafe has been my home away from home. It’s essentially my office. I’m literally writing this from Stone Way Cafe right now because I fucking love this place.
It’s not just me, Stone Way Cafe was listed as one The Stranger’s favorite coffee shops last year. It has some of the best food in Wallingford, hosts a regular lineup of local artists, and is a popular event space for businesses like Hashtag Cannabis to throw parties.
Hashtag Cannabis is a Stone Way landmark in its own right. Former Stranger writer Ana Sofia Knauf called it “arguably the best recreational cannabis shop north of the Ship Canal.”
Part of the charm comes from the spacious, industrial buildings they inherited. The back wall of SWC is fashioned out of original exposed wood paneling and showcases a mural dedicated to the state of Washington.
“Yes, it is quite unfortunate to see yet another beloved Seattle building come down to make way for shiny new office buildings,” Stone Way Cafe manager Sandra Hadhoud said in an e-mail. “But hey, hopefully in 100 years, all these buildings will be loved by those future generations. *shrug* [sic]”
John Schwartz, a local real estate developer, is planning to build a modern, energy-efficient office building for a single company to occupy, much like the running company Brooks’ headquarters and flagship store just one block south. He was not available for comment, but according to the Puget Sound Business Journal, Schwartz plans to begin demolition by the end of 2019.
If you show up either of these places today, you would never suspect there’s an expiration date looming over the entire block. SeaOcean Book Berth, the marine-focused bookstore in between Stone Way Cafe and Hashtag, is also slated for demolition and has already started its moving sale. Stone Way as we know it only has a couple of months left!