If you’ve ever wandered down Bellevue’s Fairfield Avenue and thought, “This neighborhood could be really cool one day,” then you may have a future in fortune telling.
Bellevue’s tree-lined streets, award-winning historic preservation society and proximity to urban attractions set a sturdy stage for the thriving community. Nestled near downtown, the Levee, and the Party Source—which will soon house the area’s first bourbon distillery—Bellevue’s growing list of events includes outdoor concerts, family-friendly festivals and Shop Bellevue, which takes place the first Friday of each month.
Similarly popular, the city’s 11th annual Art in the Park is now seeking artists and craftspeople to exhibit and sell their wares at the eclectic celebration Sat., Sept. 8 at the Bellevue Beach Park. (Apply
online or contact Jody Robinson
??Bellevue buzz attracted Circa, 400 Fairfield, set to open soon. “Behind the brown-paper-covered the windows they are busy at work creating a very hip vintage shop featuring furniture to clothing,” says Robinson, Bellevue assistant city administrator.
The shop joins nationally noted Virgil’s Café and the Avenue Brew coffee shop in a lineup of independent businesses breathing fresh life into a historic neighborhood that has been home to opera houses, boot makers, saloons, hotels, confection shops and more in its nearly 150-year history.
And since no transition from unsung treasure to trendy hotspot is complete without a healthy living/environmentally friendly angle, Bellevue boasts several. Last year, Soapbox told you about B-List owner Ben Haggerty’s interesting take on taking out bar trash.
This month, Robinson notes the geothermal and eco-friendly construction undertaken by Mackey Advisors in their new 601 Fairfield location, calling the renovation “transformative.”
Such individual efforts are bolstered by a bona fide farmers’ market, which sets up shop in the Party Source parking lot every Wednesday and Saturday, plus a brand-spanking-new community garden. Located between the 400 blocks of Foote and Ward Avenues, the urban gardening spot, nicknamed “Blossom Alley,” offers a welcome natural refuge for residents.
“We’re fortunate to have a great collection of locally owned, independent businesses [that contribute] far more than national chains,” Robinson says. “There are so many things people are doing and can do, from sensitively rehabbing historic buildings, volunteering, participating in events, sharing our story and thinking big while understanding our community character is essential.”
By Hannah Purnell
Follow Hannah on Twitter.