Here’s a list of the retail open in selected parts of the midtown retail district in downtown Seattle. I inventoried Westlake Mall, Pacific Place, Pine Street between 9th and 3rd Avenues, and the emptiest part of 3rd Avenue between Olive Way and Union Street. I also did a less-extensive look at Pike Street, and did Pine Street between 3rd and 1st from memory. I see these retail establishments every day, but others who don’t go downtown as much may be less familiar with what’s currently open. I’m also hoping that this will help people support downtown businesses during this difficult period.

Westlake Center

Asean Streat (1st Floor): A new section with several southeast Asian restaurants. Bani Tea, Cool Coco (coconut ice cream), Mimi (crepes), Crawfish Chef, Burgis Street (Chinese), Phanny Pho, Rolling Wok, Hi Fry, Zaab El. The tables were busy midafternoon. None of the restaurants take cash.

Bite on Pine (2nd Floor): Sushi Burrito, Xi’An Noodles, Zuba, Soupwich, Cali Burger. I’m not sure if Matcha is still open.

3rd Floor: Renovated monorail station. Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th (replacing former food court).

2nd Floor: Zara. One escalator was closed.

1st Floor: Zara, Custom World (custom T-shirts), 1 toy store, 1 jewelry, 1 variety, Pressed Juicery.

Pacific Place

4th Floor: AMC movie theater, Johnny Rockets, Thai Ginger, Pike Place Chowder, Din Tai Fung (Chinese). 4 empty storefronts.

3rd Floor: 2 art galleries (one specializing in women’s culture), The Handmade Showroom, 2 clothing stores, Hai Dilao Hot Pot. 4 empty.

2nd Floor: Tiffany & Co, 1 women’s accessories store, 1 perfume & stuff. 9 empty.

1st Floor: 5 clothing stores, 1 perfume, 1 variety. 7 empty storefronts.

Basement: AT&T, Midnight Cookie Co, 1 clothing store. 2 empty storefronts (one being the large Barnes & Noble space). The empty storefronts on all floors tend to be concentrated on the east and south sides.

Pine Street

9th Avenue: Convention Center expansion (under construction), Paramount Theater, The Carlisle Room, Dough Zone (Chinese).

8th Avenue: Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Paramount Hotel with cafe, Caffe Ladro, Chan Seattle (Korean).

7th Avenue: Club Monaco (clothes), Hotel Theodore (Roosevelt) with Rider restaurant, Cafe Yumm. 1 empty storefront (Timbuk2).

6th Avenue: Nordstrom with E-Bar, Pandora (jewelry), Seattle Eye (optometrist), Seattle Sun Co (sunglasses), Eileen Fisher, Pho Saigon (on 6th). 1 empty storefront (Forever 21).

5th Avenue: All Saints (clothing).

Westlake Park: Food trucks, Sephora, Arc’teryx, Bof A. 5 empty storefronts.

Century Square: Yard House, Van’s, Dr Martens. 2 empty storefronts (Abercrombie & Fitch).

Ex-Macy’s: Uniqlo (clothing), Victrola (coffee & tea).

2nd and 1st Avenues: Pike Place Market is full of open shops and thick with shoppers and tourists. BECU, H-Mart (Korean supermarket). The other shops around 1st and 2nd are mostly tourist-oriented.

Third Avenue

Pine Street: Victrola (in Macy’s building), McDonald’s, Money Tree, 2 tobacconists, Metro (cell phones). 5 empty storefronts.

Pike Street: Piroshky Piroshky (just reopened), Pho 25 (has good pho broth), Myano (spa), Chipotle), Walgreen’s, Ross. 6 empty storefronts.

Union Street: Subway, Gelatiamo, Post Office, Benaroya Hall. 8 empty storefronts (Wild Ginger).

Pike Street

The emptiness continues east on Pike Street from around 3rd to 6th. I didn’t inventory the open businesses on Pike.

Happy shopping!

This is a semi-open thread on downtown Seattle. Other topics belong in the open thread article after this one. [Ed: Changed comment scope.]

19 Replies to “Downtown Retail Inventory”

  1. The Wild Ginger on 3rd & Union is still in business, it’s just closed a few days a week. On the other hand, The Metropolitan Grill is open seven days a week, but no longer open for lunch. Lola, up until recently, used to be closed a few days a week, but in a promising sign, is now seven days a week again.

  2. A month or so ago, in a different forum, I used the website “Dave’s Redistricting” to participate in a discussion of downtown neighborhoods and relative liveliness. In doing so, I made this map.

    I’ll likely ruffle some features with my chosen boundaries between downtown neighborhoods, but the point was to delineate the major established neighborhoods (e.g. Belltown, SLU, PSQ, etc.) and consider how actual residential density (as of 2020) relates to the apparent “liveliness” of that area. The website is neat because you can generate statistics about the “districts” you plot out – particularly population demographics.

    On the map, population is presented as randomized dots within census blocks, which is largely constrained to actual city blocks. So, on a general block-by-block basis, you can see variation in residential density in the relative density of dots on each block.

    For example, I consider Belltown to be quite lively; sure enough, there is a fairly dense residential population there to support it. I work in the CBD have to walk a few blocks to even get close to a worthwhile bar for after-work drinks, and that seems to be largely due to a near total lack of residents at its core. Finally, it seems well known that PSQ isn’t super lively but also isn’t totally dead, and sure enough, there’s a middling density of residents there.

    I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to propose that in our “post-commuter” world, the correlation between retail density and residential density is actually causation – while many folks are somewhat often willing to travel across the city (be it via bike, bus, or car) to spend money, most folks will happily default to going to their local shops and restaurants – if those places exist.

    The office-dominated CBD is facing a tenancy crisis as businesses reconsider how much space they’re willing to pay for when it’s time to renew the lease. If the landlords of the CBD are interested in recovering that rental income, maybe they should start more seriously considering piecemeal commercial-to-residential conversions.

    Frankly, without residents and with only half of its former commuters, there is no “saving” the CBD. Meanwhile, Capitol Hill, Ballard, the U-District, the CID, and other dense neighborhoods will continue to soak up the retail dollars that Seattleites are happy to spend in bustling retail cores near their homes.

    [Ed: Corrected map link.]

    1. That matches my perception of the deadest part of downtown: the office-only area between Union Street and Yesler Way. There’s little for non-office workers to go to, and most restaurants close by 3pm so they’re unavailable evenings or weekends. And now that work-from-home has hit offices the hardest, it raises the question of whether the offices will be as empty as the sidewalks. The Downtown Seattle Association is a coalition of business leaders; it should be working on this, but we haven’t heard a peep on how it intends to revitalize or reimagine the retail district or office district. We’ve heard of how it wants to reduce the lanes on 3rd and restructure north-south bus service, but that doesn’t address these issues.

      1. Most people aren’t aware of everything the DSA does. A lot of people mistakenly assume it’s the City of Seattle performing certain services downtown, when it’s actually the DSA. Like, if you asked a life-long Seattle resident who manages Westlake Park, they’d probably say the City. Nope. It’s the DSA.

      2. Quick sidenote: there’s a sliver of activity at 1st & University. Defintely outside of the retail core but not quite in the “office zone” of 2nd/3rd Ave suoth of Union. It’s the Diller Room. They’ve managed to weather COVID and still attract both tourists and locals.

    2. Sounds about right. The interesting thing is that it has been moving towards “liveliness” for a long time now. Not too long ago, there would have been very little in downtown that would appear that way. Much of downtown simply closed after 5:00 PM.

      The pandemic has simply pushed the city in the direction it was moving anyway. It just needs to get there sooner. That being said, from a tax standpoint, there has traditionally been great value in office buildings. Thus a place like Belltown or South Lake Union (high employment and population density) is probably the best of both worlds.

    3. I guess I’m somewhat entertained by the description of parts of downtown Seattle as “dead” because it seems to have plenty of pedestrian traffic to me.

      Of course, I can remember doing a walking tour of downtown Portland public art around 1987, using a map and artist statement guide the city printed. On a Saturday, I think I maybe say 5 other people wandering around in the non-retail area. MAX had been open about a year, none of the residential areas in the downtown area existed yet, Riverplace was a square mile pile of used tires, Pearl District was a BN freight yard, and some developer had taken a gamble on several ancient downtown office buildings and was demolishing them to make Pioneer Place shopping mall.

      I can only think that anyone declaring downtown Seattle as being “dead” has never been to a place that actually has a dead downtown. The only place I’ve been in the Puget Sound area with a “dead” vibe is the office district in downtown Everett, on a weekday.

  3. Closed Banana Republic in old Coliseum Theater building, where, BTW, on a recent trip thru the area, I saw a guy with his pants down taking a dump on the sidewalk.
    About 3:00 on a week day afternoon.

      1. The Grand Illusion is tiny and low budget. The Cinerama is large and would have a lot of maintenance costs. Part of the cost is for the Cinerama projection system and large screen. Only a few movies in the mid 20th century were filmed in Cinerama, so it’s a lot of infrastructure just for them. I wonder if they could share the Northwest Film Forum’s theater, or if the arts district there on 12th could find a space for them.

  4. I always buy my jeans from Old Navy. So last week I took off work early and hopped the D-Line downtown. When I got to 5th & Pine, everything was boarded up. I thought maybe they imposed some security measure to protect their windows but nope – Old Navy shut its doors for good.

    Looks like I’ll have to shop online for jeans. Trekking down to Southcenter or up to Alderwood is a bit too much of a hassle.

    1. Online shopping has thrown the entire non-convenience retail industry into freefall — affecting retail viability from small towns to suburbs to urban centers. Many chains have closed a significant percentage of stores. Experts say many more malls will close in the next year or two. In retail, it’s all about making a profit and rent is the biggest cost after inventory and labor. I think it’s obvious that store closures come from fading profits.

    2. And I’ve seen other changes in the past few days since I did the survey. Piroshky Piroshky has the order window ready but twice when I tried it it wasn’t open, once in the late afternoon and once Sunday. It may have limited hours but there’s no sign saying what the hours are. Still, a newspaper article said it’s opening around now.

      Subway on 3rd is also boarded up. I got a sandwich there in the past few weeks so this may be recent. But I ate at Chipotle yesterday, and at Pho 25 last week. There were one or two other openings or closings I’ve seen in the past few days but I don’t remember exactly what or where.

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