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.


  • Music Works 2017 Gala and Benefit Auction

    by Events Intern | Mar 03, 2017

    You Are Invited!

    Music Works 2017 Gala and Benefit Auction
    Saturday, March 11th, 2017, 6:00 pm
    Bellevue Hilton

    Attend a fabulous evening in support of
    Music Works Northwest and accessible music education and music therapy programs!

    We've got some amazing auction items to bid on, including a Norwegian Northern Lights cruise, signed Seahawks footballs, a trip to Disneyland, theater tickets, and so much more!

    Tickets are only $100 per person, and include dinner, dancing, music performances and a silent and live auction. Purchase your tickets online today at Brown Paper Tickets! 

    Or purchase your tickets in person at 

    Music Works Northwest
    1331 118th Ave SE, Suite 400
    Bellevue, WA 98005

    Can't attend? Click here to donate to Music Works Northwest.
    Thanks to the Seattle Jaycees for sponsoring this year's Auction!


    • Events


  • Headliners announced for the 2017 Bellevue Jazz & Blues Festival!

    by Events Intern | Feb 21, 2017

    The five-day festival will showcase more than 40 performances of local jazz, blues talent

    BELLEVUE, Wash. (February 21, 2017) — From May 31 to June 4, the Bellevue Downtown Association (BDA) will bring together top national and regional talent for the 10th Annual Bellevue Jazz & Blues Festival. Featured artists, jazz and blues vocalist Catherine Russell and American blues and reggae artists The Corey Harris Band, will perform at the Meydenbauer Center Theatre while local artists play at multiple Downtown Bellevue venues. Local dance band Radio Raheem kicks off the festival at Bake’s Place on Wednesday, May 31, with The Rumba Kings on Thursday, June 1. Tickets for Meydenbauer Center Theatre performances go on sale March 23 and will be available at www.BellevueDowntown.com via Brown Paper Tickets.

    Bellevue Jazz & Blues Festival Featured Artists

    Catherine Russell

    7:30 p.m. Friday, June 2 | Meydenbauer Center Theatre | $30 (Students $15)

    Catherine Russell is a one of a kind musician and vocalist. She has toured the world and performed or recorded with David Bowie, Paul Simon, Cyndi Lauper and many others. Her voice is full blown femininity incarnate, radiating interpretive power to jazz and blues standards from the 1920’s as well as the music of today. Russell’s album Harlem On My Mind was nominated for a 2017 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album.

    The Corey Harris Band

    7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 3 | Meydenbauer Center Theatre | $30 (Students $15)

    Corey Harris is a guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and band leader who has carved out his own niche in blues. He has recorded many old songs of the blues tradition while also creating an original vision of the blues by adding influences from reggae, soul, rock and West African music. With one foot in tradition and the other in contemporary experimentation, Harris is a truly unique voice in contemporary music.

    Radio Raheem

    8:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 31 | Bake’s Place | $20 – Reservations at bakesplacebellevue.com

     The Seattle-based band, formed in 2011, has been garnering accolades for their mixture of Funk, Soul & Rock and their ability to inspire requisite dancing and general happiness. The band is fronted by Josephine Howell, a mainstay of Seattle’s jazz, soul and gospel community with help from her daughter Chyee. Radio Raheem is a captivating performance and one of the Northwest’s great live bands.

    The Rumba Kings

    8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 1 | Bake’s Place | $15 – Reservations at bakesplacebellevue.com

    In the spring of 2013, producer/bassist Johnny Bacolas, guitarist George Stevens and guitarist Teddy Adams began forming an original group with the vision of writing and recording beautiful Mediterranean-inspired music. Their style is romantic, soulful, and passionate, delivered with energy and emotion with Flamenco, Spanish, Greek and Italian flavor. A live performance by The Rumba Kings is an experience not forgotten.


    Established in 2008, the festival is a cultural and community event that attracts national artists, showcases regional talent and draws diverse audiences. Headlining artists were selected in collaboration with John Gilbreath, executive director of Earshot Jazz. Past featured artists include Branford Marsalis, Booker T. Jones, Shemekia Copeland, Poncho Sanchez, Dianne Reeves, Bill Frisell, Charles Lloyd, Terence Blanchard, Hubert Laws, Mingus Big Band, Spanish Harlem Orchestra and Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra. The event was renamed the Bellevue Jazz & Blues Festival in 2015.

    The festival is produced by the Bellevue Downtown Association, a non-profit membership organization with a mission to strengthen the economic and cultural vitality of Downtown Bellevue. The 2017 Bellevue Jazz & Blues Festival sponsors are the City of Bellevue, Microsoft, Washington Federal, Bellevue Arts Museum, KNKX 88.5 FM, The Bellevue Reporter, 425 Magazine and Gravity Creative.

    More information about the Bellevue Jazz & Blues Festival can be found at www.BellevueDowntown.com


    • Events


  • Couldn't attend the 43rd Annual Celebration? Check out the recap!

    by Events Intern | Feb 08, 2017

    The Bellevue Downtown Association’s 43rd Annual Celebration took place Thursday, February 2nd at Meydenbauer Center. Over 400 guests gathered and celebrated Downtown’s thriving business, civic and residential environment. Downtown Bellevue continues to expand its stronghold with projects like the Lincoln Square expansion adding 1.5 million square feet of mixed-use development downtown. The city also keeps adding new clientele with the addition of REI, Amazon and even light rail coming to town. BDA membership is more diverse, dynamic and dedicated to growing up, growing out and growing within. The BDA embraces a regional view – including Downtown’s vital role in relationship with our neighboring cities. Bellevue’s best days are still ahead of us. Keynote speaker Amy Lynch engaged the audience in a lively discussion about generational intelligence and what it means to be a generational intelligent city.

    The BDA recognized two recent extraordinary achievements in Downtown Bellevue. Our Place Making Award recipients shape the quality and character of our city and further define the Downtown experience for this generation and many to come. They help to tell our story as a community. 

    Boys & Girls Clubs of BellevueBoys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue recently opened its completely rebuilt 27,000 square foot Main Clubhouse, featuring a wide-open, brightly lit space with a new gym, amazing game room, tech lab, education center, and preschool – all to better engage, serve and inspire kids of all ages for decades to come. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue have served the Downtown community in this present location since the 1940s. Located right across 100th Ave NE from the Downtown Park, the new Jim and Sally A. Nordstrom Main Clubhouse is one of three recent expansions in Bellevue, including the new Fieldhouse in Hidden Valley Sports Park and a new teen campus in Lake Hills.

    KidsQuest Children's Museum KidsQuest Children’s Museum has delighted the young and young at heart for many years. Their former home at Factoria Mall was a prime destination for families who yearned for a creative place to engage their kids. And more kids, and more kids, and soon the search was on a larger space in the heart of the city. A wise person once said a great downtown must have a great children’s museum. Well we do now. KidsQuest found their new home by revitalizing the building that once housed the beloved Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art, on the corner of 108th & NE 12th, near the Bellevue Library. KidsQuest invites and encourages interaction and communication, important to acceptance, self-esteem, healthy brains and a greater understanding of themselves and a broader view of the world around them. Or – if that’s too much – it’s simply a great place to hang out and burn off some energy.

    The Bellevue Downtown Association is grateful for the generous support of our sponsors:

    Presenting Sponsors:

    Davis Wright Tremaine LLP & Group Health

    Corporate Sponsors:

    The Bellevue Collection, The Boeing Company, Clark Nuber PS, Microsoft, Puget Sound Energy, Seattle Children’s, The Spring District, Sweeney Conrad, P.S., T-Mobile

    Supporting Sponsors:

    Bank of America, Baylis Architects, DCI Engineers, GLY Construction, Overlake Medical Center, Parker, Smith & Feek, Sterling Realty Organization

    Newspaper Sponsor:

    Bellevue Reporter

    Event Production Sponsor:

    RyanWenzel Events

    To view more pictures from the 43rd Annual Celebration, please visit out Facebook page!


    • Events


  • Join us at the Bellevue Downtown Association's 43rd Annual Celebration!

    by Events Intern | Feb 01, 2017

    The BDA invites you to celebrate the growth and evolution of a great place. The event will be highlighted by a keynote presentation from Generations Expert and Author Amy Lynch.

    About the Speaker
    Entrepreneur and author Amy Lynch has built businesses, managed them and sold them. Along the way, she has managed - and been managed by - four very different generations. She brings that hard-won experience along with been-there Boomer humor to her keynotes, teaching audiences to Lead, Market and Innovate with Generational Intelligence. 

    Amy has spoken to 100s of groups from MTV and Reynolds to Boeing, Cisco and the staff of the U.S. Senate. She has been quoted in The Washington PostUSA TodayBoston GlobeHuffington PostEntrepreneur magazine, and NBC Evening News, among others.

    Thursday, February 2, 2017
    5:30 p.m. - Social hour
    6:45 p.m. - Dinner and program

    Meydenbauer Center
    11100 Northeast Sixth Street 
    Bellevue, WA 98004 

    Register today!


    • Events


  • Santa Claus is coming to town! Where to get photos taken with Santa

    by Althea Achem | Dec 08, 2016
    Christmas is 18 days away and while his elves are hard at work, Santa is taking a break to visit the children in Downtown Bellevue.

    Take an 'Elfie' with Santa at The Shopes at The Bravern, December 14 – 24. From noon until 6:00 p.m., Wednesdays through Sundays, Santa will be hanging out near the concierge area in Microsoft Tower Two. The week before Christmas he will be extending his visit to all week long!
    You can also bring your furry friends to The Shops at The Bravern on Sunday, December 11th, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. for Pawsome Pet Photos with SantaOur pets are family too, so it's only fitting they get a chance to take pictures with Santa as well! 
    Every day from now until Christmas, you can visit Santa's Workshop at Bellevue Square. Hours range from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.. Check ​HERE for hours.
    Visit Santa at Nordstroms' Santa Lane at Bellevue Square. He has taken special considerations to make sure every child can feel special this Christmas. You can call to find out the hours for their Diversity Days (featuring an African-American Santa, Asian-American Santa and a Santa that knows American Sign Language). He can also meet in a separate room for large groups or children with special needs. Call or visit their website for more information.

    After visiting Santa, get a taste of the North Pole by visiting the Magic Season Ice Arena in Ashwood Park, next to Bellevue Library or frolic in the nightly snow fall at 7 p.m. at  Snowflake Lane on Bellevue Way. Enjoy music, characters, and glittering lights while making unforgettable memories. 
    Santa Stock Image