John John's Game Room closed at 1351 E. Olive Way in November. An application by The Bakeree to open a retail store in this building appears likely to be rejected due to city separation rules for retail pot shops.
John John's Game Room closed at 1351 E. Olive Way in November. An application by The Bakeree to open a retail store in this building appears likely to be rejected due to city separation rules for retail pot shops.

More options for marijuana consumers are coming to Capitol Hill, but East Olive Way isn’t big enough for how many are being proposed.

The Capitol Hill Times previously reported on the three permit applications with the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board to site retail marijuana shops along East Olive Way.

The Bakeree was the last to apply for a permit (Nov. 14) and it does not appear likely that the city will allow it due to a 1,000-foot buffer required between retail marijuana businesses. 

“Under current rules, two cannabis shops may be within 1,000 feet of each other, or even right next to each other,” wrote Julie Moore, Seattle Department of Finance and Administrative Services communications director in an email to the Capitol Hill Times on Dec. 6. “But if a third one comes along, it must be 1,000 feet away from the other two.”

The Bakeree had plans to expand to Capitol Hill after hitting renovation hurdles in Lake City. It has operated in Georgetown since 2010. Operator Ryan Campbell told CHT in mid-November he was hopeful he could argue East Olive Way is big enough to accommodate all three shops. Campbell has not returned multiple calls and messages sent by CHT on Dec. 6.

Plans had been for The Bakeree to be sited at 1351 E. Olive Way, which had included John John’s Game Room, Pie Bar and Lustre Communications. John John’s Game Room closed in November, and a For Lease sign is now up in the window.

The 1351 and 1359 E. Olive Way parcels were purchased by Fifth Avenue LLC for $4.26 million on Sept. 22.

According to Moore, none of the retail applicants have been notified by the city of their acceptance, nor has a written objection been sent to WSLCB.

“Additionally, we understand that the WSLCB will be measuring to determine that the third location (CPC Two LLC, 1351 E Olive Way) is an appropriate distance from an auxiliary building of the Northwest Academy school,” Moore’s email states.

The first to apply for a retail license on East Olive Way was John Davis with the Northwest Patient Resource Center, who is seeking to open a medically endorsed shop at 1411 E. Olive Way; that application was received on Oct. 20. Records show Uncle Ike’s owner Ian Eisenberg purchased that property for more than $2 million in early October. Eisenberg has twice declined to comment.

Funke 1411 is currently a two-story office building, and Eisenberg has since applied with the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections to make a $70,000 alteration and change of use to retail; Mark Travers Architect is handling the design.

SDCI in late November determined the project is a substantial alteration and is requiring Eisenberg to submit a seismic report for the building, according to city documents.

Eisenberg has Uncle Ike’s locations in Capitol Hill, the Central District and White Center. Uncle Ike’s is not a Capitol Hill Times advertiser.

The Reef, which operates a retail shop in Bremerton, applied for a change of location, apparently taking over a license originally issued to District 420 in Georgetown, with plans to occupy the Amante Pizza & Pasta building at 1525 E. Olive Way.

Property owner Denny Hillclimb LLC received an $800,000 promissory note from Northwest Bank back in June as part of a subordination lease on 1525 E. Olive Way, according to King County records. This agreement was also signed by tenant and Amante owner George Kozhuharov, who is reportedly looking for a new location for the restaurant.

The Capitol Hill Times is working with Denny Hillclimb LLC to gather more information, and this article will be updated if and when that happens.