Issaquah Starbucks is only suburban store to offer beer, wine

October 18, 2011

Libations from Oregon and Washington breweries and vineyards command attention from the counter at Starbucks, as unmistakable as the coffee mugs and roasted beans elsewhere in the store.

Rick Hartwigsen (left), from Dallas, and Lauren Forsythe, of Kirkland, drink wine at Starbucks in the Meadows Shopping Center on Northwest Gilman Boulevard. By Greg Farrar

The redesigned and renovated Starbucks at the Meadows complex along Northwest Gilman Boulevard represents the latest step in a bold experiment to expand menu offerings — and the bottom line — by offering beer and wine alongside cappuccinos and lattes.

The store is among a handful in the United States — and the only Starbucks outside of Seattle and Portland, Ore. — to offer beer and wine. If the experiment in a suburban market is successful, the concept could expand to other cities.

The store started offering alcohol in afternoons and evenings late last month, after a monthslong project to remake the space.

The changes start at the menu and continue throughout the store. The salvaged floor from a high school gymnasium is repurposed as a tabletop. The most prominent art piece is salmon-inspired, and neutral tones dominate.

Other touches nod to changes in customer behavior. The store includes more electrical outlets than before to accommodate customers’ laptop computers and other gadgets.

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Magazine ranks bad home remodeling ideas

October 18, 2011

Every year Remodeling magazine gives its list of the worst ideas for remaking your home especially in light of resale value. Many people think large-scale remodels or additions will increase their property’s value. The magazine says that’s not always the case.

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Sounders assist at Lake Sammamish State Park

August 30, 2011

Players join Mountains to Sound Greenway restoration project

Servando Carrasco (left), Seattle Sounders FC midfielder, and Tor Bell, restoration program manager, use loppers to remove blackberry bushes Aug. 29 while joining other volunteers during a Mountains to Sound Greenway habitat restoration project beside Issaquah Creek at Lake Sammamish State Park. By Greg Farrar

Seattle Sounders FC fans often hold blue-and-green scarves aloft to show support for the team at CenturyLink Field.

Fans offered the same ardent support Aug. 29 for the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust at Lake Sammamish State Park. The restoration team greeted Sounders forward David Estrada and midfielder Servando Carrasco as volunteers pulled invasive plants.

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Leaders call for upgrading outmoded criminal filing system

July 5, 2011

King County Council members last month introduced legislation to upgrade criminal justice technology, including the outdated mainframe computer used by the King County Prosecutor’s Office.

“What do buying lattes at Starbucks, the Apple Macintosh, ‘The Cosby Show’ and the data system used by the prosecutor’s pffice all have in common? They were all introduced in 1984,” Councilman Bob Ferguson, chairman of the council’s Law, Justice, Health and Human Services Committee, said in a news release. “We heard in committee about the importance of updating PROMIS, which will have a positive impact on our entire criminal justice system and help us do more with less.”

The county budget required cuts in the criminal justice system in order to close a $60 million shortfall. In the budget, the council set aside a $1.5 million criminal justice reserve.

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Swedish Medical Center teams settle in as opening nears

June 14, 2011

Employees juggle deliveries, orientations as highlands hospital readies for debut

Technicians prepare medical equipment for the hospital’s July 14 opening. By Aaron Blank

The gurneys and greeting cards, mammography machines and mannequins, scalpels and Starbucks cups arrive in a seemingly endless caravan.

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Starbucks to offer beer and wine at Issaquah location

June 7, 2011

Starbucks plans to offer a different kind of jolt to Issaquah customers soon.

The bustling Starbucks at the Meadows complex along Northwest Gilman Boulevard is in line to become the only store other than Seattle and Portland, Ore., so far to offer beer and wine.

The coffee colossus filed for a liquor license last month as Starbucks prepares to renovate the Issaquah location in late summer. The project is due to start in early August and should be completed in late September.

Plans call for the location to remain open during construction, although some seating might be unavailable for stretches during the remodel.

The overhaul marks Starbucks’ inaugural attempt to offer alcohol options and additional menu offerings in a suburban setting. Imagine charcuterie and a cheese plate — savory snacks to accompany the craft beers and regional wines Starbucks plans to offer.

The customer base and buzzing traffic at the Issaquah store offer the Seattle-based company a chance to test a concept honed at Emerald City locations.

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Starbucks to offer beer and wine at Issaquah location

June 3, 2011

NEW — 11 a.m. June 3, 2011

Starbucks plans to offer a different kind of jolt to Issaquah customers soon.

The bustling Starbucks at the Meadows complex along Northwest Gilman Boulevard is in line to become the only store beyond Seattle and Portland, Ore., so far to offer beer and wine.

The coffee colossus filed for a liquor license last month as Starbucks prepares to renovate the Issaquah location in late summer. The project is due to start in early August and should be completed in late September.

Plans call for the location to remain open during construction, although some seating might be unavailable for stretches during the remodel.

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Facing fake bullets and real scars

April 19, 2011

Issaquah Police Department joins shooting exercise in Snoqualmie

The shooter fired on the victims and policemen fired on him.

A shooting simulation at Snoqualmie Middle School March 31 involved members of the Coalition of Small Police Agencies. By Sebastian Moraga

Then, they strolled one room over and reviewed it all while sipping Starbucks.

Another shooter fired twice. Police broke into his hideaway and unloaded on him.

Then, the shooter thanked the officers. They told him to give his family their best regards.

It may look like fun and games at times, but the Coalition of Small Police Agencies’ active shooter training is serious business.

Officers from 14 police departments trained at Snoqualmie Middle School March 28-31 for public-place shootings.

The setting was realistic: shots ringing out, victims screaming and police officers in full gear breaking into rooms like in the movies.

Firearms weighed the same, looked the same and felt the same as the real thing. They even loaded and disassembled the same way.

Instead of bullets, the weapons carried Simunitions, nonlethal wax bullets filled with dyed laundry detergent.

Instructors allowed no other weapons — like Tasers or batons — besides the Simunition-loaded guns and rifles. They frisked everyone entering the school — twice.

Officers received one loaded weapon and one magazine of Simunitions.

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Swedish Medical Center campus nears completion

April 12, 2011

The north wall of the Swedish Medical Center campus in the Issaquah Highlands is close to completion. By Greg Farrar

Campus serves as economic engine in highlands

Starbucks is coming to the Issaquah Highlands.

Only, rather than opening a shop on a street corner, the coffee giant is setting up inside the Swedish Medical Center.

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Starbucks chief Howard Schultz greets fans, heckler in Issaquah

April 12, 2011

Howard Schultz (left), Starbucks CEO, meets a young reader of 'Onward,' Matthew Snodgrass, 7, and his mother Mary, of Renton, as Schultz signs books April 8 at Costco. By Greg Farrar

Starbucks chief Howard Schultz and a disgruntled Seattle Sonics fan came face to face in Issaquah last week, as the coffee company president and CEO — and former basketball team owner — inscribed books at Costco.

The heckler cursed at Schultz and shouted, “You betrayed the whole city of Seattle!” before Costco employees and a police officer whisked the man out of the store during the otherwise-quiet event. Schultz smiled and signed “Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul” — a bestselling account of Starbucks’ turnaround — for other patrons.

Schultz, a former Sonics owner, sold the team to Oklahoma City investors in 2006. Feelings about the decision remain raw among some Seattle-area basketball fans.

Costco employees and off-duty Issaquah police officers steered people in Sonics regalia away from the signing table. Overall, about 200 people turned out for the early afternoon appearance.

“Sonicsgate” producer Adam Brown showed up in a Sonics ball cap and filmed the book signing on a handheld camera, before security intervened.

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