What Should Go in the New Retail Space on North Island?

The construction on North Island is finally finishing up, opening up some new retail space.



Which begs the question: what should go in there? My top ideas are

  • An independent bakery and coffee shop
  • A Trader Joe’s, though I suspect Mercer Island is too small for it
  • A killer dessert place. Could be a new ice cream place now that Maggie Moo’s is gone, or cupcakes, or just desserts.
  • A great Indian place.

What we have so far is a new bank:


Useful but not high on the exciting-meter.

Leave a comment– what stores do you want to see in North Island?

Bonus Link: MIHS Can Write

hugo-house-seattleMercer Island resident Hannah Wood has just been selected as one of two new Youth Writers-in-Residence at Seattle’s Hugo House. If you’re not familiar with it, Hugo House is a well-respected center supporting writing and the literary arts. It’s a big honor to be named a writer-in-residence. Congratulations Hannah!


16 responses to “What Should Go in the New Retail Space on North Island?

  1. A few suggestions:
    1) A gourmet food takeout spot–like the counter that Bennett’s used to have
    2) A kid-friendly resturaunt – something beyond a regular place with a kids’ menu (I’m looking at you, Islander)
    3) Bring back Cucina Presto!

  2. Ditto what Rob said. I miss the Bennett’s take out counter. I miss Cucina Presto. I also miss the Mexican place, Annas?

    More restaurants. Fewer banks. Who goes to a bank any more? All you need is the internet, an ATM, and the good ol’ USPS.

    Independent coffee/bakery/breakfast place would be great, too. Like the place in Kirkland (or at least they used to have a nice one).

  3. mercerislandblogger

    Gourmet food takeout– that’s an idea. Never knew Cucina Presto, sounds like I missed something good.

  4. Yes, more restaurants, a good bakery, or an upscale and/or health-food grocery store. Not another Qdoba or Subway. I’m sure MI can support much better than it has (though there are a couple good places, like Bennett’s), especially if it’s the sort that isn’t too expensive and where people might pick up something to bring home.

  5. I’d like to see a bike shop, and/or a sporting good store that allowed one to pick up sports-related equipment and accessories. M.I. probably can’t support a full-fledged sporting goods stores but would love to have a place on the island to get minor repairs and accessories.

    Also, I’d agree we need a kid-friendly and family-friendly restaurant more than we need another coffee place. Would love to see a family restaurant/coffee shop like “Julia’s” on the island.

    Whatever businesses go into the new space, I hope they don’t feel compelled to advertise their presence with sandwich boards all over the sidewalk, the way the other new businesses on the north end of the island seem to do.

  6. mercerislandblogger

    Bike shop– great idea. With all the bikes that come ride around the Island, a small bike shop near the North Island trail would do really well.

  7. BTW, what happened to the Mercer Island Cyclery? The Gnehms used to be a big part of the cycling community on the Island…

  8. Definitely agree on a bakery, maybe lure a Macrena here? Or at least a cupcake place. Would defintely love a family-friendly restaurant with weekend brunch service. Also agree on a healthy food store, maybe a PCC?

    @Dave, El Sombrero on the south end has excellent Mexican food…

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  10. Just a follow-up — I posted last Fall I’d like to see a bike shop in the North End. Turns out that Velo Veloce ( a pretty nice bike shop based in Issaquah) is opening a store in August in Mercer Island. It will be in the building formerly occupied by Hollywood Video. Looks like Mud Bay, the pet-care chain, will be there other tenant.

  11. mercerislandblogger

    That’s fantastic. Yes, it’s strange that we never had a bike store before this! I’m hoping to talk with the owner next week.

  12. Two corrections from my comment above — the name of the store is “Veloce Velo” ; not Velo Veloce. I always get that wrong. And I meant to type “their other tenant.”

    I guess I was so excited about a bike shop on the island I got it wrong.

    Anyway, Veloce Velo in Issaquah is a pretty nice bike shop. They handle two big brands — Jamis and Specialized, plus a bunch of high-end road and mountain bike brands. They also have a pretty complete repair shop, and they rent out some pretty nice bikes as well (not junkers or cruisers, like some other rental places provide). And I know that they lead “shop rides” out of their Issaquah location.

    The Seattle area has some world-class bike shops but I ended up doing a lot of business online because I just can’t get to Seattle, Bellevue, Issaquah or Redmond when I need something — I’ll be happy to support a local shop once they are established.

  13. mercerislandblogger

    Thanks for the background Steve, I’ve never been to the Issaquah store. And I agree, we have fantastic bike shops around and it’ll be nice to have one close.

  14. Pingback: Bike Shop (Finally!) Comes to Mercer Island « Surrounded By Water: A Mercer Island Blog

  15. Steve…This is Jason, manger of Veloce Velo. Thanks for all of the positive comments on the shop. We’re quite excited to move into town and feel we have alot of things to offer the Island.

    Just to clarify a couple of things… We aren’t bringing Specialized (too close to other dealers) or Jamis (we don’t carry them anymore).
    What we are bringing is a wonderful selection of high-quality, universally respected brands, including: Wilier, Pinarello, Ridley, Scott, Moots, Waterford, Cyfac, and Look. Others may also add to the mix as we formalize our dealer agreements.

    Service and parts will be readily available, and a great clothing selection has always been a part of the store. Friendly, low pressure sales with lots of bike bling will represent nicely in the new space.

    For anyone needing mountain bike products, we can direct you to the Issaquah location, which will be rebranding to Mtnside Bikes as we move forward. Hydraulic service will mostly be taken to Issaquah, but all other road and mountain bike service will occur at either location.

    Keep an eye out for a Grand Opening in late August. Thanks for the welcome to the Island, everyone!

  16. Jason,

    Good to know that you’re listening! I’m not even a biker, but I hope your store does well in the hopes of attracting more retail with more variety.

    One thing I think you should do is make sure that people know about your store when they bike onto the island. I imagine that many circle the island without coming into the business district. You should see if the city would let you put a sandwich board on the two bike path entrances to the Island.

    Keep us posted!


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