Yo, Ali, Wassup?

Strike a blow against staid First Avenue storefronts!

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Recently profiled in our Best of Seattle issue, Cherry Street Coffee House proprietor Ali Ghambari just opened his fifth and newest location at First and University. In addition to the quality espresso drinks you expect, a familiar menu offers items like the veggie burger and feta sandwich. It's another sign of how the once forlorn strip between the Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square is gradually creeping upmarket (fewer porn and pawn shops, more condos). Look no farther than the remodeled, expanded SAM (with its popular new cafe) and the Four Seasons, both of which should send new customers to Cherry Street. What's most eye-catching about this location, though, and something you'll never find at SAM, is the colorful awning and indoor murals by local artist Sam Sneke, whose work has been featured in Seattle galleries. Or you may've seen it on a few Belltown walls--or even on railway cars passing along the waterfront. (You can also check out his work here.) Apart from the appeal as a new coffee stop and lunch joint, it's nice way of keeping a fast-gentrifying avenue in touch with the street.

 
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