New restaurant to take MP Conservatory space
Though we don't yet have the details, we do know that the space on 43rd Avenue E. vacated by Madison Park Conservatory in February will soon be the site of a new restaurant. Owners Maria and Ricky Eng, doing business as Eng Seattle Restaurants, Inc., applied earlier this month for a liquor license for the site. Ricky Eng confirms that while the name is yet to be determined, the restaurant will definitely be a full-service, sit-down affair. We'll give you the full scoop when we have it.
Founder moves on but pizzeria still going strong
Tom Siegal, who created The Independent Pizzeria in 2010 and who has been the mainstay pizza maker ever since, moved to Providence, Rhode Island earlier this summer. His wife was admitted to the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design--and Tom, quite naturally, decided to relocate to the East Coast to be with her while she's in school.
While Tom is maintaining his ownership of our neighborhood pizza joint, Joe Heffernan and the rest of The Independent Pizza crew are carrying on the four-year tradition of making excellent Neapolitan pizza in Madison Park. National foodie website Epicurious tapped The Indpendent as having one of the 10 Top Pizzas in the U.S. last year.
Former Mad Pizza space undergoing refurbishment
Construction of a new interior, along with some exterior refurbishment, is underway at the old Mad Pizza location on E. Madison St. So it looks like what's rumored to be an Asian eatery is going to be part of Madison Park's future. What's apparently not in our future, however, is a taco stand at the location of the old Best Buds flower shop on E. Blaine. Nothing much happening there since the notice was taken out of the window months ago. Both sites have been vacant since last year.
Ann Marie elects to stay
Although Ann Marie Lingerie announced during Spring that it was giving up its "bricks and mortar" in the neighborhood and migrating to an exclusively on-line business, apparently the moving-out sale and the interest generated from the publicity resulted in a re-thinking of that business strategy. Manager Felicia Klabo reported to us earlier this month that the shop is staying in place. The efforts to increase Ann Marie's on-line presence continues unabated, however.
HomeStreet almost ready to enter banking scene
It's taken a long, long time to get to this point, but the new Madison Park HomeStreet Bank branch seems to be nearing completion, with an anticipated late August/early September opening date. The one-time Tully's site, which was vacated in October 2012, has been under such an extensive repair program that it could almost be argued that the result is a new building. The original structure is over one hundred years old and has served host to many different businesses along the way, but never a bank. What's happening to this space is part of a trend, however, of Madison Park becoming a banking hub. HomeStreet, when open, will be Bank Branch Number Five.