Off The Press

October 1, 2013

By Kathleen R. Merrill

Grand Ridge Plaza is on the grow

Grand Ridge Plaza in the Issaquah Highlands is growing, and growing and growing after years of stops and starts, and false starts and stops.

If you watched it grow in the past months, you could hardly believe all the workers could get done in a short period. You’d go up there on a Monday and there would be a wooden shell of a building, and then go back on Thursday and it would be nearly done. It was a sight to behold.

If you haven’t been there in a while, you are in for a shock on your next visit. It’s like a huge outdoor mall has sprouted and spread. I don’t know if it’s what the highlands residents bargained for or wanted, but it’s shiny and new, and pretty awesome in my opinion.

I can hardly wait for Ulta Beauty to open. And The RAM brewery is open today. If it wasn’t a deadline Monday, I would be there for sure. The Regal Cinemas is on my short list of places to get to soon. Other coming business are a Safeway store and gas station, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Marshalls.

Last week, I was a judge at a cocktail contest at BevMo!, which opened the next day. Unfortunately, only two of the four competitors showed up. Still, a good time was had by all at the invitation-only event.

Daniel Postlewait, of the Pom Bar in Redmond, won a $200 gift card to BevMo! and the “Party Pleaser” award for the best tailgating cocktail, which was judged by all of the people in attendance.

His competitor Michael Watts, of the Low Bar in Vancouver, Wash., won the main prize of the night, a $500 gift card to BevMo! and a trophy from Bacardi, for the best fall-inspired cocktail.

I have to confess that I have judged everything under the sun in my decades with newspapers — pies, ice cream, cakes, children in costumes, pets in costumes, decorations, all types of animals, fair foods, chocolates, the list could probably take up this whole column.

But I was unprepared for this contest. It seems simple, right? Go there, ingest cocktails, proclaim your favorite. It wasn’t that easy. Ethan Chung, of 425 magazine, suggested we make a point system. Nina Milligan, of The Highlands Council, added a category to that, and we were off and running.

Both cocktails were delicious, but I had a clear favorite. However, I was outvoted. I guess the scotch got to my fellow judges.

Make it a point to head to the highlands, and the stores at Grand Ridge Plaza. You’ll be glad you did.

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