Perambulation of the oenophiles

February 4, 2014

Downtown wine walk returns for third season

One of the Downtown Issaquah Association’s main goals is getting more people to enjoy activities in the downtown corridor.

The association hit upon an idea that has grown in popularity and returns for its third season Feb. 7 — the Wine Walk Series.

By Greg Farrar Wine steward Troy Etley (left) pours a Columbia Valley merlot from Lodmell Cellars for local Issaquah resident Dan Menser in 2012, as visitors on Front Street enjoyed wine tastings, snacks and live music during the Downtown Issaquah Association’s inaugural Wine Walk. The annual event is now in its third year.

By Greg Farrar
Wine steward Troy Etley (left) pours a Columbia Valley merlot from Lodmell Cellars for local Issaquah resident Dan Menser in 2012, as visitors on Front Street enjoyed wine tastings, snacks and live music during the Downtown Issaquah Association’s inaugural Wine Walk. The annual event is now in its third year.

The formula takes equal parts wine tastings, arts and crafts demonstrations and live music and blends them together for an adults-only crowd. DIA Executive Director Karen Donovan said the combination has proven to be a success, filling a need in a section of the calendar left neglected in the past.

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2012-13 Business Directory

August 6, 2012

Open publication – Free publishing

Cash mob shoppers needed to purchase school supplies

July 24, 2012

The Issaquah Chamber of Commerce is directing its next cash mob efforts to help needy students within the Issaquah School District acquire school supplies.

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ArtWalk returns to downtown Issaquah on July 6

July 3, 2012

The Downtown Issaquah Association’s next ArtWalk is from 5-8 p.m. July 6.

Stroll the various businesses that host local and regional artists, including Artists in Action at the artEAST Artist Alley, and a wood carver at the historic Shell Station. ArtWalk venues include artbyfire, Centennial Park, Confetti Cupcake, Christian Science Reading Room, Eastside Audiology, Experience Tea, Fischer Meats, Hailstone Feed Store, Illuminate, Issaquah Valley Senior Center, Issaquah Library, Mills Music, Museo Art Academy, Opus Bank and Thrive.

Scattered along the walking route are musical acts, including Acoustic Couti, Sold Only As Curio and the Kaleidoscope School of Music.

Event maps will be available in front of the library, 10 W. Sunset Way, and the historic Shell station, 232 Front St. N.

To accommodate the ArtWalk, Northwest Alder Place will be closed from First Place Northwest to Front Street from noon to 10 p.m.

Learn more at

Next Issaquah cash mob to descend on Fischer Meats

June 19, 2012

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce leaders have asked merchants and shoppers to prepare for another cash mob.

The event is planned to occur at Fischer Meats, 85 Front St. N., at 4 p.m. June 21, as part of National Small Business Week.

In a cash mob, a group of people descends on a business to buy, buy, buy. The destination is revealed through social media services. Then, the mob pops up at the business to browse and shop.

The organizers — Young Issaquah Professionals, or YIPPIES, 20- and 30-something business leaders in the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce — modeled the cash mob on similar events in other locales.

Learn more about the cash mobs at and

Organizers said most participants spend about $20 apiece, but any amount is acceptable.

The inaugural cash mob in Issaquah unfolded last month at Gilman Village merchant Lucky You. Mobbers purchased almost $3,000 in merchandise. The next cash mob occurred at Sisters Antiques.

120 years of Issaquah

April 24, 2012

Click on the image to view the full-size timeline.


  • Issaquah is founded as Gilman. The city is named for railroad baron Daniel Hunt Gilman.


  • The postmaster called for mail sent to Gilman to be addressed to Olney, Wash., to avoid confusion between Gilman and Gilmer, another city in the state.


  • Townsfolk start calling the frontier town Issaquah, or “the sound of water birds” in the language of the American Indians native to the region.


  • State lawmakers approve official name change from Gilman to Issaquah.


  • Wilbur W. Sylvester founds the Bank of Issaquah in a clapboard building.

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Stores say no more ‘pink slime’ in meat cases

April 3, 2012

Questions about ground beef fly more often across the counter at Fischer Meats since the issue of “lean finely textured beef” — more recognizable by the headline-grabbing nickname “pink slime” — captured the media zeitgeist late last month.

“I’ve probably had a half a dozen people that have mentioned it and said, ‘We’ll never buy ground beef in the grocery store again because of that,” owner Chris Chiechi said April 2. “We have been selling a little more ground beef in the last month. I wouldn’t call it a huge impact.”

Fischer Meats does not use the additive.

The product is made from beef trimmings treated in ammonium hydroxide to eliminate pathogens. The additive is used in ground beef and beef-based products.

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George Fischer, former co-owner of Fischer Meats, dies at age 82

April 3, 2012

George Fischer visits Fischer Meats as a guest of honor to help his former business celebrate its 100th anniversary during an open house celebration Nov. 21, 2010. Contributed

George Fischer, 82, best known for decades of tending the counter at Fischer Meats on Issaquah’s Front Street, died March 26 at the Aegis of Issaquah assisted living facility.

Advertised as one of Issaquah’s oldest businesses, Fischer Meats celebrated its 100th birthday in 2010. George and brother Nick took over the business from their father in the 1950s. They sold the shop to current owners Chris and Jacque Chiechi in 1981. Chris Chiechi said George Fischer stayed with the shop and helped run the meat counter for about another 15 years.

“He was a big man, but he had a very kind heart,” Chiechi said.

The original Fischer Meats was started by his grandfather and sat outside of downtown, said Geoff Fischer, one of George’s two sons. Geoff said the store quickly relocated to its current spot on Front Street. For a time, the family also owned a slaughterhouse in the area.

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Longtime Issaquah chef Lynn Rehn rolls out food truck

March 27, 2012

Lynn Rehn stands beside her My Chef Lynn food truck, advertising its ‘fast, fresh, fabulous’ sliders, soups and salads, featuring items from Issaquah businesses Fischer Meats and Boehm’s Candies. By Greg Farrar

Lynn Rehn is poised to turn the phrase “fast food” inside out.

The popular caterer and longtime local chef is ready to roll out a food truck to serve sliders, chili and a side of sass. Double D Clam Chowder, anyone?

The mobile operation for Rehn’s My Chef Lynn outfit is the latest endeavor for the former Sweet Addition head chef. Rehn plans to join the food trucks each summer Saturday at the Issaquah Farmers Market. The truck could also stop at the Fremont Sunday Street Market.

The idea for a food truck started to coalesce after Rehn and husband Tony, general manager at Evergreen Ford in Issaquah, caught episodes of “The Great Food Truck Race” — a Food Network cross-country competition among mobile kitchens.

“I looked at Tony and said, ‘That would be a cool gig,’” Rehn recalled.

(“The Great Food Truck Race” debuted in August 2010 at about the same time the national fervor for food trucks accelerated into gear.)

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Experience life in Issaquah 100 years ago — outhouses, saloons and all

February 21, 2012

Forget the buttoned-up suburb, circa 2012, to envision Issaquah from a century ago.

Issaquah in 1912 included more saloons than churches. The coalmines and logging camps attracted a tough-as-nails crowd. The era required a little more steel in the backbone.

Townsfolk eked out a hardscrabble life, but still managed to loosen up at the Stockholm Hotel & Saloon or Clark’s Place. In homes, simple conveniences — indoor plumbing, for instance — ranked as unheard-of luxuries.

Imagine a typical day from 1912.

The chill February air is a bracing alarm, almost as difficult to ignore as the crowing rooster outside.

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