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 emma@bellevuedowntown.org


  • Eddie Bauer flagship store open in Bellevue Square

    by Althea Achem | Sep 20, 2016

    Bellevue Square is home to the first Ice Box!


    The new Eddie Bauer flagship store is open in Bellevue Square and offers a unique shopping experience.

    The newly redesigned and relocated flagship store features the EB Ice Box. The Ice Box allows customers to test outerwear in below freezing conditions with wind-like simulations. The Ice Box is set around 14 to 20 degrees and has the potential to go to -20 degrees! 

    IMG_3134 IMG_3127

    Michael Harris, the store manager said they wanted to create a more interactive and fun experience for shoppers. The Ice Box has also been a great opportunity to give customers a glimpse of Eddie Bauer’s heritage. In the 1950’s Eddie Bauer used Seattle storage lockers to conduct similar research, employees camped in the storage locker for a night to test the apparel and camping gear. Eddie Bauer customers can now conduct their own test in a matter of minutes.

    The new 4,200 square foot store has combined concrete, metals and reclaimed wood for an updated and modern look. The store showcases a vast selection of products that highlight elements of Eddie Bauer; Lifestyle, Mountain Sports, Travel, Training and Hiking. 

    IMG_3122 IMG_3128


    Monday-Saturday: 9:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.
    Sunday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

    Where to find them:
    1033 Bellevue Square Suite 118
    On the first floor near the West entrance.

    For more information, check out www.eddiebauer.com


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  • Organizations feeding those in need and how you can be involved

    by Althea Achem | Sep 16, 2016
    caring for the community photo
    ​Hopelink volunteer stocking produce. Photo (c) Gordon Wang.

    For many people, planning dinner is more complicated than restaurant reservations or grocery store trips. Thousands of Bellevue community members do not know where their next meal will come from. In 2015, Hopelink — a nonprofit serving those in need —served nearly 6,000 individuals at their Bellevue Foodbank and Emergency Services Center.

    “Many people say how they never thought they’d personally be in need,” says Kris Betker, of Hopelink. “It’s amazing how quickly life can change. You can lose your job, become sick or just become unable to make ends meet.” 

    Learn about organizations feeding our neighbors in need and how you can help.


    Hopelink’s Bellevue location is its second largest of five Puget Sound locations.Clients include all ages with a particular emphasis on school-aged children during summer months. According to Betker, nearly 20% of Bellevue children qualify for free or reduced lunch and breakfast. During school breaks, this leaves many kids hungry. Hopelink accepts donations with a particular need for nonperishable foods such as peanut butter and canned goods, which stores are less likely to donate. Hope-Link.org.

    Hopelink's 21st Reaching Out Luncheon  
    Keynote by Mario Batali
    Monday, October 24 | The Meydenbauer Center 
    For more information and to register visit Hope-Link.org

    Bellevue LifeSpring

    Founded in 1911, LifeSpring has served Bellevue for 105 years. Their Emergency Food and Basic Needs Pantry delivers groceries directly to households. All donations are welcome, but contact LifeSpring if you’re interested in focused help. LifeSpring endeavors to serve all food needs from cultural to dietary, allergies and more. They also sponsor the Breaktime-Mealtime program serving children boxed breakfasts and lunches during school breaks. During the 2015–2016 school year 128,000 meals were provided. For $25, a child is fed for a week. To learn more about Adopt-a-Box, visit BellevueLifeSpring.org.

    Bellevue LifeSpring's Uncork the Night 
    A celebration of wine and giving benefiting the Breaktime-Mealtime™ Program
    Saturday, October 8 | Hyatt Regency Bellevue
    For more information and to purchase tickets visit BellevueLifeSpring.org.

    Bellevue Farmers Market

    Recipients enjoy a variety of fresh-from-the-farm products. The Thursday market averages over 40 vendors representing farmers, bakers, egg producers and more. Donation crates overflow with lettuce, eggplant, tomatoes, raspberries, peaches, bread, jam and more. The total food donated since the program’s inception exceeds 66,000 pounds. “Especially operating in Bellevue, there are misconceptions that it’s a well-to-do area and everyone can afford food. There are many people in need and everyone deserves access to good food,” says Natalie Evans, market manager. A new program was introduced in 2016. The community is now encouraged to donate food via public bins at the farmers market. BellevueFarmersMarket.org.

    Seastar Restaurant and John Howie Steak

    Chef John Howie is passionate about eradicating hunger. For 14 years, Howie, his family, friends and a volunteer staff host 400-500 individuals for an elegant Thanksgiving meal at Seastar at no charge to guests. He partners with community organizations such as Bellevue LifeSpring, Hopelink, YMCA and more to extend invitations to those in need. He also leads the Kick Hunger Challenge for Food Lifeline. In partnership with the Seattle Seahawks, he raises money for local food banks. In addition to fundraising dinners and auctions, individuals can visit his restaurants for periodic cocktail and food promotions with proceeds benefiting the cause. For updates and details, visit JohnHowieSteak.com or SeastarRestaurant.com.

    Homeward Pet Adoption Center

    Families lacking food often extends to hungry pets. “The food banks we work with estimate that 90% of the families utilizing their services have pets,” says Terri Inglis, executive director, Homeward Pet. “They’re also struggling to feed their furry friends and will often feed their pets before themselves.” In 2015, Homeward Pet donated upwards of 50,000 pounds of pet food to Puget Sound food banks. Needs include dry kibble, canned food and even kitty litter. Even half-used, opened bags of dry food are welcome — donate rather than discard food if your pet changes tastes, diet or develops allergies. For donation locations and further details, visit HomewardPet.org.
    This article was written by Deanna Duff and is featured in the Bellevue Downtown Magazine. You can read the full magazine HERE!



  • Bellevue Magic Season Ice Arena Announces Temporary Home for 2016-2017 Season

    by Althea Achem | Sep 13, 2016

    Bellevue Magic Season Ice Arena presented by Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card and Mileage Plan celebrates 20th season

    The Bellevue Downtown Association (BDA), in partnership with the City of Bellevue, today announced Downtown’s Ashwood Park as the temporary home for the 2016-2017 Magic Season Ice Arena. 

    Bellevue Downtown Park has served as the home of the ice arena for the past 19 years. Due to construction of the “Complete the Circle” project and Inspiration Playground, the south and south west quadrants of Downtown Park will not be accessible until summer 2017. 

    “We see Ashwood Park as a perfect temporary home and thank the city for providing the venue to us,” said Patrick Bannon, BDA President. “The open green space next to the Bellevue Library is easily accessed by foot or transit and has several public parking options nearby. The temporary location insures that ice arena patrons remain close to all of the wonderful Magic Season events taking place in Downtown Bellevue.” 

    The Bellevue Library will provide ice arena patrons complimentary access to their parking structure during public hours of the rink. 

    The BDA and the city received feedback from Ashwood Park area residents at a community meeting in August and received unanimous support regarding the region’s largest covered, open-air ice rink visited by more than 30,000 skaters over the holidays.

    “We are proud to be celebrating our 20th season and are honored to have holiday ice skaters come back year-after-year,” Bannon said. “We look forward to continuing to make memories and plan to return to Bellevue Downtown Park next year.” 

    Bellevue Magic Season Ice Arena presented by Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card and Mileage Plan 
    Nov. 25, 2016 – Jan. 8, 2017 

    The Bellevue Magic Season Ice Arena celebrates its 20th year presenting the region’s largest open-air holiday ice skating experience. The festive venue offers shelter for all-weather skating and concessions. For more information ​click HERE.

    • Temporary Home for 2016-2017 Season - Ashwood park, 10820 NE 10th Street, Downtown Bellevue
    • Celebrating 20th Season
    • $12 admission (includes skate rental), 8-year-olds and under $9 (includes skate rental)
    • Special events including free lessons, discount days, stroller skating and family skate days
    The Bellevue Magic Season Ice Arena presented by Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card and Mileage Plan is a special event of the Bellevue Magic Season and is produced by the Bellevue Downtown Association. The BDA is a non-profit membership organization charged with leading the evolution of Downtown Bellevue as the economic and cultural heart of the Eastside. 

    Bellevue Magic Season is the Eastside’s leading collection of holiday events featuring seven festive weeks of brilliant lights, glistening ice and spectacular performances in Downtown Bellevue. The community celebration is a partnership between the Bellevue Downtown Association, City of Bellevue, The Bellevue Collection and The Theatre at Meydenbauer Center, along with many other supporting community organizations and downtown businesses.

    MagicSeason2016-Map A



  • Whole Foods Opens 365 Bellevue in Bellevue Square Mall

    by Althea Achem | Sep 12, 2016

    Doors open September 14, 2016 at 9 a.m.

    The first 100 people in line can receive a gift card anywhere between $5 - 365!

    The first 365 people in line receive a free reusable Better Bags! 

    The smaller format offers Whole Foods’ brands at a lower cost and is focused to provide more convenience for shoppers. It has all the essentials for a typical grocery trip. From local organic produce to wine and spirits from all across the world, 365 is the new one-stop shop of the Downtown Bellevue.


    Some new features to look forward to:

    Awesome Deli Section - This section has ready to eat food to choose from and includes a quick order station where you can personalize your own burrito, pizzas and hot dogs. 


    Wild Ginger -The Asian Fusion Restaurant will be partnering with 365 as a featured local kitchen where you can take out or eat inside their casual dining area. 


    Membership Rewards Program -The rewards program is free to sign up and will offer perks such as weekly coupons, everyday discounts off of selected products and punch cards where you can buy 10 of a particular product and get 1 one free.


    Location: South end of Bellevue Square Mall (where JCPenney used to be)

    Hours: 9 a.m. - 11 p.m., seven days a week  

    Parking: Available in the South lot on NE 4th and 102nd

    By foot, bike or hoverboard: Walking distance from the transit center

    For more information get connected to ​365 Bellevue!


    The Bellevue location is the third 365 to open nationwide. Whole Foods plans to open 11 more stores throughout the states in the next year. 


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  • Meet Urbanite, Jesse Canedo

    by Althea Achem | Sep 12, 2016

    Fall-Urbanite-Home-Page-215x215 By Geri Massengale

    Ask Jesse Canedo what he does for a living and he’ll tell you he is a “business advocate supporting everyone from first time business owners to global companies.” Canedo moved from Texas a little over a year ago after landing his job at the City of Bellevue. He had never been to the Pacific Northwest, but the region seemed to fit his love for the outdoors, and he says Downtown is the perfect urban setting for his lifestyle. Canedo spoke to us about what he loves about Downtown and his hopes for the city.

    What do you love most about being the City’s Economic Development Manager? The thing I love about my job is the breadth of people I get to interact with. There’s this incredible amount of energy here and it’s great to be a resource to these new businesses and tap into that energy.

    Why did you choose to live in Downtown Bellevue?
    I love urban neighborhoods and I wanted to be in Downtown Bellevue to be a user of the product that I’m marketing and selling. It’s close to work—I’m lucky in my professional career that my commute has always been less than 15 minutes long. Today, I have a leisurely 10 minute walk to the office.
    What  makes  Downtown  Bellevue unique?
    The energy here is constantly changing and growing. There’s still this half-finished canvas and untapped opportunity to create new experiences and traditions in Downtown Bellevue.

    What are your hopes for the city?
    Bellevue’s already on a great trajectory and a lot of the things I’m hoping for are already coming true. But I’d like to see the city truly embrace its place as a video game development hub. Maybe even have a video game museum.

    What would you like to see more of?
    I know the transportation department is working on this, but I’d like to see more bike infrastructure. I’m a casual bike rider and so it would be nice to do that around Downtown Bellevue more.

    Ideal weekend?
    I’m a huge coffee guy so on Saturdays I drink coffee and catch up on reading. I probably caffeinate on a Saturday enough for the whole week ahead. I really like the coffee and the set up at Honor Coffee.

    Favorite Happy Hour?
    Daniel’s Broiler or El Guacho.

    Favorite Event?
    The Bellevue Arts Fair weekend was really awesome. It’s huge! I took my family there when they were visiting. My mom loves art.

    Canedo is looking forward to seeing Downtown grow into its potential and he’s eager to work with new businesses. If you’re an aspiring business owner, he encourages you to get in touch via email at jcanedo@bellevuewa.gov or on LinkedIn.
    The Urbanite is featured in the Bellevue Downtown Magazine. You can read the full magazine HERE!

    Be our next Urbanite! Do you live and work in Downtown Bellevue? Email althea@bellevuedowntown.org and tell us your place of residence, employer and Downtown Bellevue story. The Urbanite is featured online and in our Bellevue Downtown Magazine.