Refer Black Real Estate
Seattle to Bainbridge

Seattle to Bainbridge

I love living in two very different communities. After a year of calling both Seattle and Bainbridge Island home, I know I’ve found the balance in life that works for me. I split my month between South Bainbridge and the Maple Leaf neighborhood in North Seattle. Waking up in my Bainbridge home never gets old; the smell of the sound, the waves from the ferry, the gulls with my morning coffee…then on to the 7:05 ferry to head to the big city. The trip over gives me a chance to prepare for my day and enjoy the views from the top deck. Arriving to the city that I’ve called home my whole life was a bit odd at first, but I’ve come to love Seattle all over again. I love the bustle and business of it (strange to say about my little berg I grew up in), all day knowing I’ll end my day back in my Japanese garden on the island.

A few weeks a month I stay in Seattle full time, especially during the busier times of year in real estate. Moving from Wallingford to Maple Leaf has allowed me the chance to explore another area I hadn’t spent much time in. Maple Leaf is an interesting neighborhood as it’s one of the last pre-war neighborhoods, which is why the sidewalk ends at 92nd. There’s a good combination of old century and new world charm homes with the last decade bringing a wave of newer construction. It’s been so fun walking out my door and finding new places to eat and parks to walk through. If you find yourself in the Maple Leaf neighborhood here are a few spots I recommend:

Judy Fu’s Snappy Dragon

A true Maple Leaf icon. If you haven’t had the chance to eat at Snappy Dragon, you are missing out. Judy Fu has been whipping up amazing Chinese food since 1993 and shows no signs of stopping. The signature jiao-zi (boiled dumplings) are served with Judy’s tangy dipping sauce and if you’re not careful you might just eat a whole order by yourself (and I wouldn’t blame you).


I’ve only been once so far, but it was memorable, so it makes the list. This small restaurant is located to the right of the Southbound freeway entrance on Lake City. Just look for the yellow building and you can’t miss it. Mojito has been serving authentic Latin American food for 18 years and almost everything on the menu comes with tostones, which are tasty, twice-fried plantain slices.

The Maple

If you’re looking for a great cocktail, check out The Maple. Located right on Roosevelt, this pub serves great cocktails, craft beers, and seasonal dishes. It’s the perfect stop to grab a drink any time of the year with a cozy fireplace inside for the rainy season and outdoor seating for the sunny Seattle days.

Art Tile Co. 

For all your tile needs, there’s no better spot than Art Tile Co. In business since 1947, the pros at Art Tile can help with your project from finding tile that match your specifications to installation. And you can even bring your dog!

The Rez

The Rez is a local icon that’s been around forever. It’s a classic drive bar located across the street from Maple Leaf Reservoir Park. If you’re looking to snack on some decent pub food and drink a cheap beer this is the place for you.

Maple Leaf Reservoir Park

Opened in 2013, this 16-acre park sits on top of the 60 million-gallon reservoir. The park features a play area, sports courts, gardens, and on a clear day there’s viewpoint of Mount Rainier and Lake Washington.

I’ve loved exploring Bainbridge, some of my favorite things to do are walk among the old grove trees in the Grand Forest, venture around the Gazzam Lake trails. It’s also fun to learn more about the local history. Fun fact: Pleasant Beach, my neck of the woods, is where the local timber industry used to be and was home to the brothels, which is how it got its name. There’s also a lot of different house styles ranging from Northwest contemporary, modern styles, 90’s boxes, and rustic cabins. If you ever make the trip over to the island for a day, here are a few of my other favorite spots you can check out:

Proper Fish

A newer restaurant owned by a British expat, Proper Fish serves fish and chips, classic mushy peas, and a rotating selection of chowders, made fresh daily. All their cod is sourced from boats that use a sustainable hook and line technique.

Treehouse Cafe

The Treehouse Café is a great pizza place on the South end of Bainbridge in the Lynnwood Center neighborhood and they frequently have live music. You can check out their calendar and buy tickets here.

The Beach House

Located in Pleasant Beach Village, The Beach House is an upscale restaurant perfect for a nice night out. Their BBQ heirloom carrots are so tasty my mouth waters just thinking about them. Boasting the Island’s best happy hour and bar, The Beach House is 21+ except Sundays from 9am-1pm for brunch.


Opened in 2010, Hitchcock serves farm-to-table dishes inspired by the PNW. My favorite thing to do is order the chefs choice – you tell them how much you want to pay and they’ll bring you food and wine until you’ve hit your cap. No matter what they bring to the table, it’s always delicious.

Get to Know Wallingford

Get to Know Wallingford

I was brought home from the hospital to my family home on Burke Ave in 1971, and have been connected to Wallingford my whole life. Growing up in a craftsman bungalow certainly helped develop my love for the pre-war homes that dominate the neighborhood. When I was young, Wallingford was a very different place than it is today. The train tracks that ended at Gas Works Park brought migrant workers from all over the country, and the Dirty Shame Tavern at 40th and Wallingford was known for its rowdy crowd of locals — watching fistfights break out on the street outside was a regular part of my childhood. I remember delivering the local paper, the North Central Outlook, to the Gypsy Jokers biker gang who had a home on Ashworth. They were the archrivals of the Hell’s Angels.


It’s safe to say the area has changed a bit. Today, Wallingford is more mellow in some regards, but the heart of the neighborhood still beats strong. The main drag on 45th has developed over the years, and I love walking up and down the street, grabbing a bite to eat and checking out the shops. If you have a chance to explore, here are some of my top recommendations:


Having lived in Japan for an extended period, I think I have some authority when I say this is a quality restaurant. Yoroshiko is a Japanese Izakaya (bar) with wonderful Ramen and traditional bar foods. They also have a great selection of sake and whiskeys.

Molly Moon’s

Who doesn’t love a scoop (or two) of ice cream? Opened in 2008, this their original location, and all the ice cream is made in the back of the shop. Molly Moon’s serves classic flavors year-round, including cookie dough and melted chocolate, and offers a rotating selection seasonally. Current summer flavors include s’mores and lemon blueberry custard.

Archie McPhee

A Seattle staple, Archie McPhee has moved locations a few times over its 30 years, but set its roots in Wallingford in 2009. The novelty store is your one-stop shop for strange gifts and all your rubber chicken needs. You’re bound to have a few good laughs while perusing the shelves.

Wallingford Center

Once home to Interlake Public School, Wallingford Center is a Seattle landmark. It’s a great place to support local shops and grab a bit to eat at the Chutney Bistro, an organic Indian restaurant, or pick up a cupcake to go at Trophy Cupcakes’ original location.

Meridian Playground

While the park isn’t right on 45th, it’s only a few blocks off, so it still makes the list. Located at the Home of the Good Shepard, another Seattle landmark, Meridian Playground is a great place to go relax in a quiet environment.

Pacific Inn Pub

Alright, this one isn’t on 45th either but it had to make the list. Sitting on the corner of North 35th Street and Stone Way is the unassuming Pacific Inn Pub, and if you love a good dive, this is the place for you. They serve microbrews and toss a great basket of fish and chips.

With everything it has to offer, Wallingford is truly the center of the Seattle universe. If you’re ever looking for more stories of the past or information on living in Wallingford, give me call; I’m always happy to share!