Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

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June 24, 2011 at 10:20am

Bobble Tiki, "Demo Daze," and Union Jack Amps ...

Rafael Tranquilino and his Union Jack Amps "Black Jack RT." PHOTO COURTESY: Jimmy Rombold at NerdGod Photography

THREE QUESTIONS WITH AN ISLAND-THEMED SOUVENIR >>>

Warning: this week Bobble TIki is not writing about a musical "show," per se. In fact, he's not even really sure what "per se" means.

Rather, he's writing about an event - a musical event, yes - but not your standard three bands on a bill and a couple (too many) whiskey sours.

Sunday at Stonegate Pizza on South Tacoma Way, Union Jack Amps and Riggio Custom Guitars - both local endeavors - will be holding an event going by the billing "Demo Daze."

You know it's serious because they used "Daze" instead of "Days." Plus, it's only one day, so "days" wouldn't have worked anyway. Plus, Z's just look crazy exciting you know ...

But Bobble TIki digresses. Demo Daze at Stonegate Pizza will be your chance - whether you're a serious player or just a bedroom six-string tinkerer - to see some of the more exciting, hyper-local gear currently offered.

When it comes to Union Jack Amps, you don't have to be paying very close attention to see they're making a mark. The list of bands and musicians now part of what the man behind Union Jack Amps, Derek Springer, calls the "Union Jack Family" is long and impressive. And folks aren't just using the amps to be nice; these throwbacks seriously deliver.

Bobble Tiki caught up with Springer this week to talk about just how he got into the amp business, and what people can expect out of Demo Daze ...

To read Bobble Tiki's full column click here.

[Stonegate Pizza, Demo Daze, Sunday, June 26, 3:30 p.m., free, 5421 S. Tacoma Way, Tacoma, 253.473.2255]

Filed under: Music, Business, Tacoma,

May 25, 2011 at 5:16pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: Finding the good stuff

ONLINE CHATTER >>>

Today's comment comes from Jessica in response to this week's "Person, Place or Thing" column by Steph DeRosa on Sixth Avenue's Feeling Smitten - a store that sells cupcakes for your bath.

Jessica writes,

I drive by this place almost everyday, and figured it was yet ANOTHER cupcake shop in the neighborhood. Glad to hear it ain't. I may actually go in now. Thanks for the article it saves me from having to wander town looking for gud stuf.

May 24, 2011 at 3:58pm

PERSON, PLACE or THING with Steph DeRosa: Bath Cupcakes from Feeling Smitten on Sixth Avenue

 

This week ...

Thing: Faux cupcakes

Where: Feeling Smitten

Serving: Ice cream cones

And: Cupcakes

They look: Delicious!

They taste: Awful

Soft & Warm: No

Gooey & Sweet: Not at all

Taste disappointment: 100%

Skin softness & relaxation: 100%

To read this week's full column click here.

[Feeling Smitten, 2503 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, feelingsmitten.com]

May 23, 2011 at 1:54pm

Lots of buzz about new tastes coming to Sixth Avenue

The folks at O'Malley's hope to have Medi's open by mid-June.

TASTY STRETCH >>>

A few storefronts on Sixth Avenue currently have that Christmas gift look going. Though wrapped up tight, there are definite signs of life in three well-known spots.

Medi's, which the Weekly Volcano wrote about in the spring, is a family-friendly Italian fare (read: pizza) casual dining establishment brought to you by the folks at O'Malley's. Word on the street is Medi's will be open by mid-June. Think about Medi's as the younger, prettier sister of the rocker chick you play pool with.

Diagonally across the street, the lights may have gone out at Beyond the Bridge Cafe (RIP), but the spot will not be dark long. In late July or August, Marrow will reportedly open - a joint venture Top of Tacoma owners Jaime Kay and Jason Jones, and Kyle Wnuk, currently slinging stellar eats at DOA down the Ave. The Tacoma Weekly and News Tribune have already helped get word out. The whiskey bar/gastro pub will offer small plates of exotic sounding culinary creations with beer, wine and liquor.

Meanwhile, and as you've probably heard by now, Buck Naked Donuts has claimed the long vacant spot on the corner across from Gateway to India (2603 Sixth Ave. - think Herban Café). 

An upstairs resident of the building says Buck Naked should open within the next month - but that's nothing we've verified with owners. Since we first heard rumblings of a Voodoo Donuts-style establishment popping up in this location months and months ago, we'll feel comfortable providing an exact opening date for Buck Naked when we actually have a Buck Naked donut in our mouth. Of course, with the opening of Buck Naked Donuts, a 5 - 10 pound weight gain is predicted for Tacomans this summer. 

Filed under: Business, Food & Drink, Tacoma,

May 19, 2011 at 1:07pm

Spaceworks space issue

“MEYOUUS&THEM”: A Spacework Tacoma installation by Rachel Hibbard. Photo by Ron Swarner

LOCAL PROPERTY OWNERS HAVING SECOND THOUGHTS >>>

A handful of local artists are suddenly out of luck as property owners in downtown Tacoma have announced they will stop participating in a program that provided artists with free studio and gallery space.

You've likely already seen some of the fruits of the program known as Spaceworks Tacoma - an arrangement between downtown property owners and the City of Tacoma that puts would-be career creatives into perpetually vacant retail spaces. As told, artists get help building their business and a space to show their work, and property owners don't have to try to lease storefronts in a ghost town. Best case scenario, participating artists grow into thriving businesses and begin paying for the space. Worst case, the downtown retail environment doesn't look so pathetic all the time.

But as commercial real estate markets start to pick up again, empty space also sends the message that storefronts are available for lease. Commercial broker Dominic Accetturo says his clients decided to cancel their agreement with one artist because of concerns that a prospective paying client might drive by and think the space is already leased because it's full of artists. In this case, the space is in Tacoma's historic Provident Building, owned by LinMar Properties, a San Diego-based investment group.

To read Paul Schrag's full article click here.

Filed under: Arts, Business, Community, Tacoma,

May 18, 2011 at 3:09pm

Today in Grooming: Supernova Barbershop

ST. HELENS MOST ROCK N ROLL SHAVE >>>

Why would you pay $25 for a shave when you can do it yourself? It's a luxury.  It's a manly way to be pampered. It's grooming nostalgia in the best way possible. Why buy clothes when you can stitch them yourself? Or why pay for food when you can farm yourself? 

Because there are talented people available who are artists at what they do.

Last July the Supernova Barbershop somewhat inconspicuously opened at 632 St. Helens Avenue, an offshoot of the original Supernova Hair and Tattoo on Division Street. Initially, the Supernova/Satellite partnership of Donny Hales (drummer for the band Zeke), wife Jana Lencioni-Hales and Pat Brown were not looking to expand to another location, but through a series of unexpected events the Supernova Barbershop materialized.

"It went so easily. We had it in two weeks," Hales explains excitedly. "When things go A, B, C without any struggle, it was meant to be."

To read the Joshua Swainston's full article click here.

[Supernova Barbershop, 632 St Helens, Tacoma, Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays by appointment, 253.572.9977]

Filed under: Business, Music, Tacoma,

April 11, 2011 at 4:06pm

Mello and Boe: “Just what Tacoma needs, another parking lot”

DISAPPOINTMENT: Ryan Mello and David Boe look on as the hole gets filled.

Four months ago the Tacoma City Council voted 6-3 to build a surface parking lot at the vacant property on the corner of Pacific Avenue and 12th Avenue. The parking lot is being constructed at the request of DaVita Inc. with the help of state grants from Governor Christine Gregoire originally intended to help keep Russell Investments in Tacoma. The site, formerly Sauro's Cleanerama, is unique because of its prime location and also because it is dug out, sitting nearly 25 feet underground - a feature that might have been appealing to developers despite the site's history as an unintentional toxic dump for perchloroethylene, a dry cleaning chemical found there in dangerous levels until a joint effort between Tacoma and the Washington State Department of Ecology to clean up the mess. Last week construction crews began filling the enormous hole with dirt. Once the hole is filled, the surface parking lot will be installed.

Throughout the process of approving the parking lot project councilmen Ryan Mello and David Boe have been vocal in their opposition of the plan and what they perceive as a lack of economic and urban design foresight by fellow council members and City Manager Eric Anderson. As crews worked to fill the hole Friday the two men stopped by to marvel at what they see as a travesty and a blown opportunity.

"Here we have a site that has alley access that's right off the 705 exit, (with) an entrance onto 705 a half block away, a light rail station a block away, a convention center and a hotel," observes Boe. "This place is screaming out for development. This is an urban design crime."

To read the full interview by Zach Powers, click here.

Filed under: Business, Tacoma, Politics,

March 31, 2011 at 12:17pm

PERSON, PLACE or THING with Steph DeRosa: Tacoma Pride at Amocat Café

AMOCAT CAFE: Lots of Tacoma on sale

This week ...

Thing: Tacoma Pride

Where: AMOCAT Cafe

Obvious: AMOCAT = TACOMA

Sells: Coffee and local goodies

Run by: Morgan Alexander

Morgan Alexander is: A community zealot

He's also: A Real estate agent and guru of local projects

To read the full article, click here.

March 30, 2011 at 4:49pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: Lithium Love love

ONLINE CHATTER >>>

Today’s comment comes from Jeff Sloane in regard to yesterday’s post on Lithium Love buttons, a homegrown Tacoma phenomena.

Sloane writes,

I have them all over my frig. I put a bunch on a couple of little jackets for my little nephews and now they are too cool to hang with me. All becouse of those buttons.

Filed under: Comment of the Day, Business, Arts,

March 29, 2011 at 4:26pm

Lithium Love: A button extravaganza

Lithium Love

AS SEEN AROUND TOWN >>>

If you are between the ages of 25 and 50 with a punk rock or indie sensibility, somewhere you have a dozen one-inch buttons.  They may be hanging from the leather jacket you had when you played bass in a band.  They may be in an old shoebox along with ticket stubs and a pair of black-rimmed buddy holly glasses.  A Tacoma small business is taking advantage of this button market in a big way.

Two years ago Rochelle Wells was working at a print shop making CD covers, band posters and buttons.  The medium was correct but the execution did not give her the control and creativity she needed - so Wells and a friend went in together on a one-inch button maker.  Today, you can see her Lithium Love buttons all over T-town.

To read the full story, click here.

Filed under: Arts, Music, Business, Tacoma,

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