Bellevue Downtown Blog

The Bellevue Downtown Blog is your source for everything happening in Downtown Bellevue from happy hours to events, business tips and community highlights! Want to be featured? Ask about membership with the Bellevue Downtown Association! Contact ​kellie@bellevuedowntown.org.


  • Bellevue Mayor and Deputy Mayor to deliver state of the city update

    by Geri Massengale | Apr 01, 2016

    3.30.16_State of the City_FB Promo Graphic_BDA Purple

    The community is invited to join Mayor John Stokes and Deputy Mayor John Chelminiak for breakfast Tuesday, April 26, 2016, at the Meydenbauer Center as they look back on the past year’s accomplishments and ahead to goals and priorities for 2016. Bellevue continues to evolve with new development on the horizon, investment in transportation and a focus on livability. This presentation is part of the monthly Bellevue Downtown Association Breakfast Series.

    When:              7:30 – 9 a.m., Tuesday, April 26, 2016

    Where:             Meydenbauer Center, 11100 NE 6th St, Bellevue, WA 98004

    Cost:                $30 for BDA members/students, $40 for non-members

    Register:          http://www.bellevuedowntown.org/events/registration

    Note to Editors: “Coffee only” registration available for journalists covering the event.





    • city of bellevue
    • bda breakfast
    • john chelminiak
    • john stokes
    • deputy mayor
    • mayor
  • Discovering Downtown: Cypress Lounge & Wine Bar

    by Geri Massengale | Mar 31, 2016

    Downtown Bellevue is bustling with many things to see and experience. In particular the dining scene is filled with an array of offerings no matter your craving. ​This week we're highlighting the award-winning Cypress Lounge & Wine Bar at the Westin Hotel. We got to take a closer look at what Cypress is about.

    Cypress Lounge & Wine Bar Bellevue

    Located at the main floor lobby of The Westin Bellevue, Cypress Lounge & Wine Bar has its doors wide open waiting to welcome anyone and everyone—whether you’re traveling, working or a resident in the area. Step inside to a beautiful, relaxed dining setting with a full bar, fireplace, patio, cushioned seats and natural accents for interior fixtures, a nod to the local and fresh theme to their menu.

    Westin BellevueAndrea Norton, Hotel Manager of The Westin Bellevue, says what makes Cypress unique is its strictly local wine and beer menu. “We consider ourselves quite fortunate to live in an area that is rich with locally crafted beer, wine and spirits,” she says. Cypress is serious about their wine selection and was even honored with the 2015 Independent Restaurant of the Year award from the Washington State Wine Awards. On the cocktail side, they’re experimenting with “Crafted at Westin,” a fresh selection of expertly mixed cocktails infused with natural ingredients and local flavors. Some favorites include The Bellevue, The South Side and the NW Press.

    Cypress Lounge & Wine BarThe food menu is small, but packs a punch she says. Even so, one is bound to find something delicious in the menu comprised of contemporary American cuisine, also made from local, seasonal ingredients. Try their carefully curated board of cheese and charcuterie, cured meats, cheese, and pickled vegetables all from local vendors and seasonal fresh fruit. Cypress offers a range of dishes from tuna tartare to smoked beef brisket sliders. 

    Cypress Lounge & Wine Bar BellevueOne thing you might not expect in Downtown Bellevue are venues with live music, but in fact Downtown has a rich history of offering a cultural experience through music. One example being the Bellevue Jazz & Blues Festival. Cypress Wine Bar & Lounge is one more place in Bellevue to experience live music. They typically book local contemporary jazz artists. “Our desire is to create an experience that blends the local flavor of wines and spirits with the zest of new, undiscovered artists,” says Norton. They have live music every Friday night. 

    Cypress Lounge & Wine Bar is open daily from 4:30 to 11 p.m. with happy hour from 4:30 to 7 p.m. every day. The restaurant regularly holds special events and dinners that you can find on their event calendar. Find out more about Cypress and check out the photos below!  

    Cypress Lounge & Wine Bar Bellevue
    Cypress Lounge & Wine Bar Bellevue
    Cypress Lounge & Wine Bar Bellevue



  • Going car-free in Downtown Bellevue

    by Geri Massengale | Mar 28, 2016

    BDA Communications Manager Geri Massengale lives and works in Downtown Bellevue. She recently went car-free and is still getting around Downtown and beyond. Read on to hear about her experience and how you can get $50 of riding credit from BDA Member, Lyft.


    I live and work in Downtown Bellevue and have access to several modes of transportation. The Bellevue Transit Center is walking distance from my place and there are two bus lines even closer that send me to Seattle or east to Factoria and Crossroads. I also live less than two miles from I-405 and I-90 so it’s a short drive to major cities on the Eastside if I choose to drive. For times I don’t want to drive or need to finish the last leg of my trip, I downloaded the ridesharing mobile app, Lyft. I recently decided to travel “car-free” for a week, which left me to rely on the two other methods of getting around. If I’m traveling within the Downtown core, I typically walk but here are some ways I combined transit and Lyft to travel to and from Downtown Bellevue.

    BuspicbellevuetoseattleDinner out with friends

    It was my friend’s birthday and she planned to have her party at a restaurant in Fremont. I decided to take the bus for this trip. The Sound Transit 550 was a straight shot to Seattle and then the King County Metro bus route 40 took me up to the spot. Since it was later in the evening I ordered a Lyft to get me back to Bellevue safe and sound. This saved me the hassle of looking for parking in Fremont!

    Getting to a meeting in Seattle

    I have a meeting in Seattle once a month and I typically take the 30 minute bus ride over. But when I’m in a time crunch, I order a Lyft and it typically arrives within five minutes of ordering it. The trip time is shorter than taking the bus and the cost beats taking time to look for parking and paying for it in Downtown Seattle.

    Lyft_PressKit_02Returning to Downtown Bellevue after a day with Family

    My family lives up north but occasionally visits me. This past weekend we spent a day in Kirkland. Since I don’t have a car they picked me up and we carpooled to Kirkland. As our day came to an end I decided to order a Lyft to get back home since it was a short trip and so that my family didn’t have to do more driving in addition to the long drive they had ahead going back up north.

    Grocery shopping

    This will be a funny story and maybe some other residents in Downtown can relate. Having no car, I walked to the nearest grocery store and shopped for food for the week. But I bought more than I could carry back because I forgot that I didn’t have a car to take it all back in. I called Lyft and my driver arrived and even helped me with my groceries. I wouldn’t recommend always doing this (I just need to plan better) but it’s nice knowing Lyft is there whenever I need them.


    In the week that I have been car-free, I learned that I actually don’t need a car at all to do the things I regularly do. All it takes is learning what options are out there and how it can work for you. I felt comfortable using transit and was surprised to see where and when I could use Lyft.

    If you haven’t used Lyft, I’d encourage you to look into how it can work for you. If you’re going out and don’t want to drive, need to finish the last leg of your commute or need to make a quick trip without using your own car, Lyft can get you there and back. If you want to try Lyft, Bellevue Downtown readers can get a $50 credit if they are new passengers. If you’re interested in learning more about transit or alternative modes of traveling in Bellevue, visit Choose Your Way Bellevue.


    • Promotions


    • Downtown Bellevue
    • transportation
    • transit
    • promotion
    • lyft
    • car-free
    • bda member
  • One year since pledging to be greener

    by Geri Massengale | Mar 24, 2016


    Do what’s best for your business and the environment! March 24 marks the day the Bellevue Downtown Association took the Refresh Recycling Pledge. We acted on our pledge by:

    1. Reviewing what we currently collect
    2. Educating our employees about everything they can recycle in our office with signage, reminders and training
    3. Checking recycling containers inside and outside the building
    4. Determining whether we needed to purchase recycled-content products where possible
    5. Checking with custodial staff to confirm the recycling collection plan
    6. Collecting and recycling food waste, batteries and compact fluorescent lights

    It’s simple and we worked with a great team! Join us in Refreshing Your Recycling.  The City-sponsored Refresh Recycling Program provides no-cost, on-site assistance to help you maximize your resource conservation efforts.  You can see a list of participating businesses, including the BDA, here.

    Maybe you just want to boost your in-office recycling by adding signage, or having a speaker at your staff meeting.  Or perhaps you want to add food waste collection in your lunch room as a way to minimize the garbage your business generates.  You might not know what to do with fluorescent twirly bulbs or batteries.  The City of Bellevue’s Resource Conservation staff is available to help.  They can provide signs and stickers, help you find recycling outlets for tricky items, and often they can provide a few containers to help you along your way. 

    And remember, the more you recycle, the less you fill your garbage dumpster, and the lower your garbage costs remain.

    To arrange a free, on-site assessment, contact Refresh Recycling at 425-452-6932, or recycle@bellevuewa.gov

    And if you think you are already doing a great job, why not get some well-deserved recognition.  Check out the Refresh Recycling Pledge requirements here, fill out the application and begin letting the world know about your hard work. 




    • bellevue
    • pledge
    • refresh
    • recycling
    • city of bellevue
  • Celebrate the 20th Annual Active Senior Fair this Saturday

    by Geri Massengale | Mar 10, 2016

    BDA Members Áegis of Bellevue and Overlake Medical Center will be hosting the 20th Annual Active Senior Fair, a daylong event featuring entertainment, mini-health seminars and workshops. The fair will be held 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 12, at Westminster Chapel of Bellevue (13646 NE 24th Street, Bellevue | click for map).

    The free event is open to all seniors who are encouraged to take advantage of a variety of free health screenings. Entertainment, soup and sandwich buffet (offered for purchase) and Eastside businesses and organizations are also highlights of the fair. The entire day is geared to the active senior.

    Learn more about the fair the schedule of events and entertainment. 


    • Events


    • free
    • event
    • seniors
    • aegis of bellevue
    • bda member
    • overlake medical center