What's New in Pioneer Square in 2017?

Seattle's Pioneer Square has undergone rapid change since the financial crisis and the last few years have continued that trend.  The neighborhood has managed to shake its seedy reputation with all but the most sheltered Seattleites, while managing to hold on to the grit and history that set it apart in a city conquered by cranes and blue glass.  A number of scrappy independent retailers, restaurateurs, and entrepreneurs have opened alongside neighborhood mainstays like The Central, J&M, Tats, and Il Terrazzo Carmine.  Throughout the fall and early winter of 2016, there were a number of exciting announcements, new arrivals, and updates to the neighborhood.


What's New?


Upstream Music Festival Announced

Billionaire Paul Allen, apparently no longer entertained by owning sports teams, museums, and yachts, has decided to bring live music to Pioneer Square in May of 2017.   The Upstream Summit and Festival seeks to showcase and mentor up and coming musicians from the northwest and elsewhere. 

Rendering of the Upstream main stage on the north steps of Century Link Field.

Rendering of the Upstream main stage on the north steps of Century Link Field.

The lineup has yet to be announced, but the team behind artist procurement is formidable, including curators from the local music scene like Meli Darby, Possi, Subpop, and The Showbox.  Stages will be a mix of ticketed-only private shows in bars and restaurants, and public shows in parks, and the north steps of Century Link Field will be transformed into a main stage for headlining acts.  The festival will also include a music industry summit where "artists, influencers, industry experts, creative collaborators and audiences will gather at WaMu Theater to dive into the shifting seas of the new music economy."

Upstream Music Fest and Summit - May 11-13, 2017.



Welcome Division Road Menswear

Menswear store Division Road joins Velouria in the growing high-end Pioneer Square fashion scene.   It's not easy opening up a menswear store in a city where people think Under Armour shirts and toe shoes are appropriate business attire, but the team at Division Road hopes to tap into the well dressed minority, and convert some of the rest.  The store carries shirts, denim, outerwear, shoes and boots, manufactured by heritage brands in North America, Europe and Japan.    

A rack of Oxfords, vests and denim at Division Road's store on 1st Ave South in Seattle.

A rack of Oxfords, vests and denim at Division Road's store on 1st Ave South in Seattle.

The clothes you'll find at Division Road are beautiful yet expensive, especially if you're used to shopping at national chains, but the company promotes a buy-once approach to sustainability.  That is, buy one quality handmade piece that will last a lifetime, rather than many cheaper versions that will wear out after a couple uses.

The store is located at 536 1st Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98104 and their products are also available online at DivisionRoadInc.com


Copal Replaces Bar Sajor


A photo posted by Copal (@vivacopal) on

Matt Dillon's Bar Sajor opened on the southwest corner of Occidental Square to much fanfare in 2013.  This summer, Dillon decided to pull the plug on that concept, disappointing many in the neighborhood.   But to the relief of many this fall, Copal, a new restaurant co-owned by Dillon, opened in the space.  The designers kept much of the charm of Bar Sajor while adding some Latin American flair.  The wood fired oven and grill are still there, but the menu features spicier fare - meats, vegetables, tacos, and of course cocktails.


Welcome Back Beast Mode

Everyone's favorite retired Seahawk has opened a Seattle retail location for his clothing line, Beast Mode.  

Beast Mode hoodies, hats, shirts, chocolates and onesies for the kiddies are available at the Seattle location, just west of Century Link Field at 558 1st Avenue South Seattle, WA 98104 .  

 'member these?  



The Sovereign Is Now Serving Underground Cocktails

The Sovereign quietly opened on 1st and Washington this fall, bringing Art Deco flair and garden-level drinking to the neighborhood.  Though it's subterranean, the bar brings a blast of warmth, light and color, perfect for these short, wet days.  The Sovereign offers specialty cocktails, beer and wine, happy hour and food.  Try the deviled eggs and a Haole!


Weyerhaeuser Global HQ Opens in Pioneer Square

And finally, local timber giant Weyerhaeuser has opened the doors to its new global headquarters on the east side of Occidental Park.  Eight hundred employees are making the move north from the old Federal Way campus, which will increase the foot traffic at neighborhood business significantly during the work week, especially at lunch and coffee hours.

Architecture critics seem to like the building so far, and frequent users of the park are glad that construction noise has finally ceased.  Some respected local food and drink tenants will be opening on the ground floor of the building, including a Public House concept by Cherry Street Coffee that will feature sandwiches, soups, Persian food, wine, beer, and espresso.  We should have official announcements and opening dates by early 2017.

Other notable openings and moves:

  • Manu's Tacos hole-in-the-wall taco shop is open at 2nd Ave S & S Main Street. Manu's will also be serving tacos downstairs to Flatstick Pub. 
  • Ebbets Field Flannels has moved....across the street from their old store.  Check out their new store at 108 S Jackson Street.