Guest Post by Don Blakeney
Billed as a contemporary lifestyle clothing boutique, Deli comes to Pioneer Square amongst a wave of new extraordinary retailers. Located on Yesler at the southern end of Western, Deli sneaks under the radar for travelers taking in the sites or visitors catching the Underground Tour.
Embracing the historic “more than meets the eye” nature of the neighborhood, Deli is a cutting edge men’s clothing store that has been set up to look like a historic deli; along the lines of something one might have seen 60 years ago in the neighborhood. Drawing on his interest in fashion and his experience with his family’s deli business in Sea-Tac, owner Max Heigh has set up what looks like a functional deli–using refrigerator cases and baking racks to display everything in his store from sweaters, to bow ties.
A long time fan of the neighborhood, when asked why he chose this location for his business, Max said “I wanted to be in a place that is Seattle–and that’s Pioneer Square. I wanted to attract people to the area and wanted to offer them something different.”
Deli has been doing just that–since they opened in May, they have thrown a number of launch events to celebrate the introduction of new lines and partnerships with local artists who have designed a line of t-shirts called the DELI Artists Series. Most recently, they have taken this concept to the next level and have opened a pop-up shop in what they are calling the “Freezer“–a hidden space in the back of their store, separated by a plastic curtain and adorned with meat hooks (to hang merchandise of course) and beef/pork wallpaper.
This week they launched a new line for B:Son designer Brandon Scott, exclusively in the “Freezer” (click here to see pictures). In the rest of Deli, you can find local designers, as well as fashions from LA and New York.
Deli and the Freezer are not the only double takes that have come into the neighborhood recently.
Gems is a stylish shoe store on Western that recently decided to try something similar. Last fall the store tucked itself away behind a brightly-colored pop-up candy shop. Newcomers are initially lured in by the confectionery-inspired red w/ white walls and large bins of colorful candy, and for returning customers, it continues to be a fun quirk.
However, it is not until they spend a few moments inside, that they realize there is more to the store than just sweets. A large portion of the back wall moves to reveal the hidden shoe store. Owner John Mooney says he wanted to try something new and engage people’s imagination. He says some people come in and enjoy the experience without ever realizing there is a shoe store component. Now the store has new neighborhood regulars that stop by for only the candy and to chat with John.
Finally, there is Tether Design Gallery, a branding/creative/advertising firm in Pioneer Square that has recently decided to get into the retail game by taking over the gallery space below their offices on Occidental at Jackson.
Part vintage items, part locally designed products, part artwork, the Tether Gallery is a fun retail lab for the creative thinkers upstairs, and a great addition to the neighborhood. They are also a growing staple of the First Thursday Art Walk and continue to act as a growing showcase for local artists.
With the addition of these ‘more than meets the eye’ retailers, we are left to ponder what else is going on in the neighborhood that we might be missing!
For more information:
Location: 615 Western Avenue, just north of Yesler
Store Hours: 11a-6p Tuesday – Saturday. John says Sundays and Mondays are for “chillin”
Phone: (206) 624-4367
- Deli Highlighted in Pioneer Square Blog « The Deli Blog
- The New Pioneer Square – DELI creates a theatrical shopping experience in Pioneer Square