Summer cocktails

July 14, 2015

Local bartenders share their favorite, refreshing concoctions for when the weather heats up

Mother Nature has already given us a taste of the warm summer months ahead. Functioning under the glaring gaze of the sun requires constant hydration.

However, whether trying to cool off by lying around the pool or ducking into the air-conditioned confines of the neighborhood watering hole, whetting your whistle sometimes begs to be kicked up a notch for the adult palate.

As the weather heats up, many establishments offer cocktails that are both fresh and refreshing. We asked bartenders from three of Issaquah’s restaurants to share two of their favorite concoctions that are easy to create at home. Read more

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Issaquah Highlands retail lineup adds coffee, liquor

February 7, 2013

NEW — 4 p.m. Feb. 7, 2013

The latest announced tenants for the long-planned Issaquah Highlands retail center, Grand Ridge Plaza, offer shoppers a chance to catch a buzz — spirits at BevMo! and coffee at Starbucks.

The recent additions to the $70 million highlands project add recognizable names alongside the Regal Cinemas multiplex, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Marshalls and HomeGoods, and Safeway.

The project developer, Regency Centers, estimated for offerings to open starting in the summer and fall. Expect the movie theater and some restaurants to open initially.

BevMo! — a chain based in Concord, Calif. — intends to expand to Issaquah after opening outposts in Bellevue and elsewhere in the Puget Sound region after the state privatized liquor sales in June 2012.

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Community invited to celebrate diversity at Highlands Day

June 19, 2012

Cultural diversity is the theme of this year’s Highlands Day, hosted by the Issaquah Highlands Council.

The annual event that marks the summer kickoff traditionally boasts an American theme. But this year, the council plans to celebrate the great diversity found in the Issaquah community, according to Christy Garrard, special events planner for the council.

“We’re partnering with the Issaquah Arts Commission, Swedish hospital and several other title sponsors to bring a four-hour outdoor festival that highlights different ethnicities and cultures,” she said.

This year’s celebration will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 23. The event takes place in the heart of the Issaquah Highlands at Blakely Hall and Village Green Park. The event is open to the entire community, not just those from the Issaquah Highlands. Read more

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Issaquah Rotary Club’s Grape Escape grows in popularity

February 28, 2012

A vintner discusses his product with visitors to one of the previous Issaquah Rotary Grape Escape fundraisers. Contributed

Six years ago, the Rotary Club of Issaquah offered its first Grape Escape event. For four years, the event took place at one of the smaller venues in the local Hilton Garden Inn, said Rotarian and event chairman Scott McKorkle.

The event was conceived as a wine tasting. But the first events, while popular, featured only a handful of local wineries, maybe five or six, according to Lesley Austin, a Rotarian who has long been involved with the Grape Escape event.

How things change. Both McKorkle and Austin said the Rotary has put a major push behind Grape Escape, greatly expanding the offerings and tying it in with the Taste Our Town campaign featuring local restaurants, many of which will be represented at Grape Escape.

Proceeds from the evening will go to support the Rotary Club’s several charitable undertakings, most notably scholarships offered to students at Issaquah, Liberty and Tiger Mountain Community high schools.

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Highlands Day to celebrate Swedish/Issaquah

July 5, 2011

On its 10th anniversary, the Issaquah Highlands Council will host its annual Highlands Day on July 9, in conjunction with the grand opening celebration of Issaquah’s new Swedish Medical Center campus.

“This year will be the biggest Highlands Day ever,” said, Christy Garrard special events planner for the council. “We’re expecting over 10,000 people during the seven-hour event.”

This year, Highlands Day will carry a healthy living theme and will take place on the site of the new hospital.

More than 50 booths will represent sports, fitness and nutrition experts, local businesses and local nonprofit agencies. The booths will offer free carnival games and crafts, free samples and free answers to fitness and sports-related questions.

“Over 20 booths are just fitness professionals and nutrition experts.” Garrard said.

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Highlands Brownie troop organizes pajama drive

May 3, 2011

Issaquah Highlands Brownie Troop 41151, a group of third-grade girls from Grand Ridge Elementary School, is organizing a pajama drive to collect new and gently used pajamas.

The girls from Brownie Troop 41151 hold up pajamas they’re donating to the pajama drive they are holding in Issaquah in May. By Shanna Petersen

All collections will be donated to Eastside Baby Corner, an Issaquah-based nonprofit organization that distributes supplies for children, from birth to age 12, through a network of community partners throughout the area.

The Brownies thought of the idea for the drive last fall, when they were filling gift bags for homeless and low-income children at Eastside Baby Corner. The girls noticed there was a shortage of pajamas for at-risk children, and they decided they would address the problem with a community drive.

“I think they could relate to it because they were girls their own age,” troop leader Kim Foster said. “Everybody wants warm pajamas and cute pajamas.”

The troop asked that people donate pajamas sizes newborn to 14. The following businesses will have donation boxes during the month of May: Agave Cocina; Alice’s Beauty Salon; Allstate Insurance; Ben and Jerry’s; Blakely Hall; Caffe Ladro; Highlands Dentistry; Issaquah Highlands Chiropractic; Kumon; Le Chic Pet; Occhio! Vision Care – Issaquah and Sammamish locations; Ricenroll; Sorella Salon & Spa; Zeeks Pizza; Lakeside Montessori and Highlands Cleaners.

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Diners can sample bargains during restaurant month

March 8, 2011

Eateries encourage diners to sample special offers and menu items during Issaquah Restaurant Month.

The inaugural dine-out event kicked off March 1, as more than 20 restaurants rolled out discounts and other treats for diners. Organizers said the monthlong celebration is meant to attract attention to local restaurants, and encourage residents to try fresh flavors.

The participating restaurants include longtime establishments and newcomers. Diners interested in checking out Issaquah restaurants during the event can nosh on barbecue and pizza one day, and nachos and lo mein the next.

“Each restaurant will offer a lunch and/or dinner prix fixe menu that represents the best of what that restaurant has to offer,” Diane Symms, Lombardi’s Italian Restaurants president and CEO, said in a release. “This is not a discount but rather an offer of quality and value for the community.”

Issaquah Restaurant Month is similar to events staged in Seattle and other major cities nationwide. The year-old Issaquah Restaurant Coalition, a trade group, coordinated and promoted the celebration.

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Margaritas, merriment abound at Agave Cocina & Tequilas

November 17, 2009

The times, tough. The cupboard, bare. In all of the ways the Great Recession has taken a toll — on budgets and belt-tightening — the crimp on posh noshing stings the most. Read more

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Issaquah Highlands to get movie theater; grocery store next

August 25, 2009

Theater giant Regal Entertainment Group will operate a long-planned movie theater in the Issaquah Highlands — and officials with highlands developer Port Blakely Communities said they hope the theater announcement is the first sign of a turnaround after a series of disappointing delays. Read more

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Port Blakely announces deal for Issaquah Highlands movie theater

August 18, 2009

NEW — 9:25 a.m. Aug. 18, 2009

Issaquah Highlands developer Port Blakely Communities announced today that Regal Entertainment Group will operate a long-planned movie theater in the highlands.

Port Blakely executives said Regal signed a lease for the proposed theater. The theater would feature 14 screens, stadium seating and digital projection and sound. Plans call for a 64,000-square-foot venue called Regal Cinemas Issaquah Highlands Stadium 14. Target opening date: May 2011.

“Issaquah Highlands’ commercial district is expanding on both the retail and commercial fronts and we look forward to welcoming Regal’s new state-of-the-art theater,” Port Blakely President Alan Boeker said in a news release.

The theatre would be built as part of The High Streets retail development at Park Drive and High Street, and 10th Avenue and Highlands Drive.

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