• Time to Light Up the Beach! RB Community Open House Dec 2nd 5-8pm

    Join us for the 3rd Annual Light Up the Beach Holiday Challenge: All You Need is Love! December 2nd from 5-8pm over 30 Rainier Beach businesses and organizations invite you in for a FREE community open house to marvel at their decorations, enjoy their hospitality, and VOTE on your favorites! This event takes place all over Rainier Beach offering treats like live dance performances, ethnic food bites & beverages, crafts, games, a Ukulele jam, huge luminaria labyrinth, caroling, live music, pop-up shops, and SNOW! Get started at Rainier Beach Safeway (9262, Rainier Ave S.). There will be  THREE Ethnic Santas this year!!

    With a theme of “All You Need is Love,” there will be  THREE Ethnic Santas this year!! FREE Santa Photos from Derek Johnson Photographic (Asian Santa courtesy of Rainier Beach Ready Emergency Hub), white Santa courtesy of Rainier Beach Veterinary Hospital and African American Santa courtesy of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Lambda Alpha Zeta Chapter.lutb-poster-2016

    Additional participating local businesses and organizations include: Rainier Dance Center, Maya’s Mexican Fiesta, Jude’s Old Town (reigning champion), Rainier Health & Fitness, Merrill & Merrill Insurance, Southeast Seattle Senior Center, Stone House Cafe & Bakery, Redwing Cafe, Emerald City Bible Fellowship, Drae’s Lake Route, Beach Bakery, Kaffa Coffee & Wine Bar, Sunsets Cafe, King Donuts, Rainier Beach Veterinary Hospital, God Is, Joseph’s Elite Image, Rainier Beach Community Center, Taylor Tax, Designs by Cece, Rainier Beach Community Club, Seattle Farm Coop, Seattle Tilth, WOW! Chocolates, Rainier Beach Action Coalition, Seattle Police South Precinct, and pop-up shops from Cafe Avole, Young Queens of Rainier Beach/ Queen Care, and Penniless Projects t-shirt trailer.

    This event is presented and powered by Rainier Beach Merchants Association and its members, with assistance from our good friends at Seattle’s Office of Economic Development. Please contact maia@rainierbeachsquare.com for more info.

  • Detective Cookie Chess Park Planning: REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS

    Detective Cookie Chess Park Planning: REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS. Download RFQ PDF HERE.


    Friends of Detective Cookie Chess Park, a volunteer organization comprised of community leaders, community members, Barton Place Apartments residents, and business owners in Rainier Beach, as well as Detective Cookie herself, has proposed the creation of a small park in a Seattle Depart of Transportation (SDOT) right-of-way at Barton Place, in the Rainier Beach community. Recently awarded a Small & Simple grant from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Matching Fund program, Friends of Det. Cookie is seeking to hire a design consultant to create a design concept for the park.

    Site Description

    The park space is approximately 4200 square feet, and proposed in the SDOT right of way at Rainier Ave S, S Barton Place, and 51st Ave S. Available space is roughly triangular, and located between a bulkhead where three streets meet. Anchoring one end is Barton Place Apartments, a Seattle Housing Authority property which houses approximately 60% disabled residents, and 40% seniors of a multitude of cultural backgrounds.

    Recent SDOT “Safe Routes to Schools” improvements in and around the right of way include new sidewalks, a new signal for pedestrians crossing Rainier Ave S, a slight shift of the Metro bus stop to the south on Rainier Ave S, and new artwork – 10-ft high “King and Queen of Rainier Beach” chess piece sculptures, inspired by Det. Cookie’s Chess Club work.
    Right of way is currently maintained by SHA through the adjacent Barton Place Apartments and the desire is for that to continue. Design plan would require that no upkeep beyond current efforts will be needed.

    Planning Process Objective

    The planning process will allow us to identify a professionally engineered design and permitting requirements for this area. Ideally this would include permanent chess tables designed by local artists or groups for public use and use by the Detective Cookie Chess Club, as well as amenities for the senior and disabled residents of the adjacent Barton Place Apartments who do not currently have outdoor community space.


    For a decade, Detective Denise “Cookie” Bouldin has inspired local Rainier Beach youth to avoid violence and become successful adults by developing critical thinking skills through play of the game of chess. Her Detective Cookie Urban Youth Chess Club meets twice weekly, year-round, in spaces donated by the Rainier Beach Library and the Rainier Beach Community Center. In addition, she teaches chess classes at nearby South Shore and Van Asselt schools. Each week she connects with over 190 students through her teaching efforts, and encourages them to continue to play during the week with members of the wider community, including the elderly and folks from different cultural backgrounds wherever table space is available. This space is frequently in short supply.

    Bouldin has lived in the Rainier Beach community for 30 years, and has elected to serve as a member of the Seattle Police Department here for 32 of her 35 years on the force. Upon accepting Senator Patty Murray’s Golden Tennis Shoe Award in 2011, The Stranger reported, “(Det. Cookie) spoke about how the game helps teach patience and good decision making to kids who need both in order to survive in a rough part of the city. She talked about how her chess students line up outside her donated Rainier Beach Library space before club meetings, how they then come to her saying, ‘I’m not smart; chess is for smart people,’ and leave saying, ‘Detective Cookie, I’m smart!’ And then, standing there in full police uniform, she choked up.”
    The Detective Cookie Chess Park will serve as a tribute to the woman and her successful efforts, while activating an underutilized, open-air space for her club to meet, as well as providing a safe, free, public space for youth and adults from across cultures to meet and play chess at any time.
    The concept of the chess park has had some preliminary vetting by SDOT through its “Safe Routes to Schools” improvements over the last year at Rainier Ave S and Barton Place. Based on extensive feedback, sculptures installed as a part of this project are 10-ft high “King and Queen of Rainier Beach” chess pieces which honor the Det. Cookie Chess Club and the work of Det. Cookie.

    Additionally, the Rainier Beach Merchants last year created a mobile Detective Cookie “pop-up” Chess Park, via a neighborhood matching fund grant, which has enjoyed popularity by participating in dozens of events inside and outside or Rainier Beach, and has helped to build support for this project.
    With funding now secured for a park site design, the project will be overseen by a Steering Committee of Rainier Beach residents, with input from the larger community.


    Once awarded the contract in early November 2016, the consultant will work with the Steering Committee, representatives from relevant local government departments (SDOT & SPU), and with members of the community by way of two public meetings, to arrive at an overall design concept for the space. The final design will include a phasing plan, and cost estimates for future construction.

    From early November, 2016, through February, 2017, the consultant will:
    • Meet with the Steering Committee as well as SDOT and SPU representatives to refine the design requirements. This includes researching and outlining any special regulatory requirements that may apply to the site (Mid-November).
    • Prepare at least two preliminary design concepts based on input from the Steering Committee, SDOT, and SPU and formally present these to the Steering Committee (Dec 14), with a follow up meeting to review (week of January 2, 2017).
    • Communicate or coordinate meetings, as necessary, with the Steering Committee, SDOT, SPU or other relevant organizations to advance and complete the design.
    • Participate in two public meetings, one (week of January 16) to refine the design with public input and a second meeting (week of February 6) to formally present the final design.
    • Provide final documents, including schematic design and cost estimates for each phase of construction (week of February 27).
    Final job description to be determined by Steering Committee, but duties may include:
    • Meeting with steering committee for general use parameters as laid out by SDOT and goals for
    • Review and measure the space.
    • Produce two initial design alternatives for presentation to the Steering Committee.
    • Create professional design boards to present at community meetings.
    • Attend a minimum of one community meeting to experience community members and their questions first hand.
    • Finalize site design based on permitting and code requirements for the City of Seattle, CPTED considerations, and broad community input.
    • Coordinate with appropriate city departments.
    • Responsible to develop CAD documents of final designs.
    • Develop estimates of necessary professional and volunteer contributions, and costs for implementation of each design.


    The total budget for the work of the design consultant is $16,000. The scope of work described above is to be completed within the timeframe indicated and within this budget. All of the work will be reviewed by the Steering Committee.

    We seek a consultant with the following qualifications:
    • Extensive experience working with community groups and facilitating public input.
    • Relevant experience with environmentally sensitive open-space and pedestrian-oriented design.
    • Experience working with SDOT and SPU (for lighting considerations).
    • Familiarity with ADA standards.
    • Proven ability to work within a limited budget and short timeframe.


    While the final design of the park is to be determined, initial desired features include an outdoor chess park with 6-10 permanent artist-designed chess tables and multi-functional community space in the SDOT right of way (ROW) at Rainier Ave S., S Barton Place and 51st Ave S. This will be a playspace/ public garden to honor the hard work and influence of Detective Denise “Cookie” Bouldin’s decade-old chess club, and its positive impact on community youth.

    Activating this space would be a benefit to the whole community with potential benefits including:
    • Beautifying a currently under-utilized public space.
    • Providing outdoor amenities to the senior and disabled residents of Barton Place Apartments.
    • Providing a space for cross-generational and cross-cultural play.
    • Honoring a local hero: Denise Bouldin aka “Detective Cookie” and her work with the decade-old Detective Cookie Chess Club.
    • Playspace for the Det. Cookie Chess Club.
    • An opportunity for a variety of artists to express creativity by designing chess tables.
    • Supporting the principals of the game of chess which are particularly important for youth in our community to learn, including plotting strategy, patience, planning, and consequences of actions.


    Date Activity
    October 25, 2016 Deadline for submission of proposals
    October 28, 2016 Establish the “short list” of applicants
    October 31 – Nov 3, 2016 Applicant Interviews
    November 4, 2016 Award of contract
    Mid-November, 2016 Awardee meets with Steering Committee
    Week of December 12, 2016 First review of proposed design (by Steering Committee)
    Week of January 2, 2017 Follow-up to review (with Steering Committee and open to the public)
    Week of January 16, 2017 Public meeting #1
    Week of February 6, 2017 Public meeting #2 with final design
    Week of February 27, 2017 Submit final design documents to Steering Committee


    Submission deadline: October 25, 2016 to info@rainierbeachsquare.com. You will be notified when we receive your proposal.

    We prefer that proposals include the following:
    • A cover letter (1 page) that includes a brief description of the firm, number of years in business, relevant expertise, experience and resources to address the proposed work, etc.
    • Project team description (1 page). Specify key personnel and the specific role each will have in the project, especially with regard to project management, community meeting facilitation and design lead. In addition, please include any experience with or knowledge of South Seattle.
    • Project description (2-3 pages), including your initial impressions of the site, proposed approach for the project, work schedule.
    • Related work examples. Provide brief project descriptions (max 1 page each) for up to three recent projects of a similar scope and nature.

    Additional Background documents:

    Site rendering
    Site Photo
    Safe Routes to Schools and artist presentation


    As mentioned above, this park project has support from the Seattle Department of Transportation but success will be dependent on the ability to come to an equitable ongoing plan to keep this public right-of-way as a useful and positive public space, without encumbering the community with excessive costs and maintenance. We are eager to work with a designer who is passionate about community and excited about an opportunity to create a space for multigenerational, multicultural community members to thrive together, and honor a local hero.

    Please contact Maia Segura for more information: maia@rainierbeachsquare.com. 206.898.7090

  • Rainier Beach Music & Arts (BAAM) Fest: Our Story – July 23, 2016


    Meet Rainier Beach Music & Arts Fest! This year’s theme is “Our Story,” exploring the ways that we express ourselves through all of the arts. A community-wide planning committee is bringing incredible content to you that refelcts the richness of our community – check itout below!

    ARTISTS, MUSICIANS, & COMMUNITY GROUPS Interested in participating, please email info@rainierbeachsquare.com


    Grace Love & the True Loves: Big Band Blues Music
    Massive Monkees: World Cahmpion Break Dancers
    Ken Workman – Duwamish Elder Welcome & Blessing – Chief Sealth’s 4-th Great Grandson
    Rhythms of India: Bollywood Dance Performance & Workshop
    SANCA: Circus Arts School Youth Performance
    Ben & Joe Band: Roots Music
    New Revelations: Gospel Choir
    Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra: Live Jazz
    Reagan Jackson: Poetry Spoken Word/ Poetry/ Youth poets
    Filipino Youth Drill Team: Traditional Filipino Dance/ Martial Arts
    Pacific Northwest Drumline: Multicultural drum line
    Somali Community Dancers: Somali Traditional Dance
    The Moss: Youth Girl Band
    Centerpiece Jazz Band/ConBrio: Latin Jazz Set
    Ethiopian Community Dancers: Traditional Ethiopian Dance
    Rainier Dance Center: Youth Dance Performance
    DJ – Ramon Villalovos: Music/ MC
    Rell Be Free & Friends: Spoken Word Artists
    Dex Amora: Hip Hop & Beats
    DJ Smooth T
    Ocheami: Interactive Traditional African dance & music
    School of Rock: Youth rock music
    ESSAM and Al Madani: Multimedia spoken word and mural project
    Paul Che Oke Ten Wagner: Native American/ Coast Salish Story Telling
    Rabbi Kate Speizer/ Jewsih in Seattle: Jewish Storytelling
    Zumba Class with Rainier Health & Fitness: Work it out!
    Pratt Fine Arts Worskshop and Demo Room
    NPR Story Corps Listening Room
    Yeggy Michael Art Installation
    Humane Society Max Mobile – Puppy Pools- Dog Art
    Bean Mandala
    Haiku Contest
    Chalk Art Contest
    Disc Design Contest
    Art Booths & Displays
    FOOD! Full Tilt, Black Star Kebab, Maya’s Mexican Fiests Truck, JAckson’s Catfish Corner, Cafe Red

    Seattle Office of Economic Development – Only in Seattle Program
    Seattle Parks
    Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
    Third Place Books
    Dorothy Driver Real Estate
    The Critter Camp
    Merrill & Merrill Insurance
    Rainier Valley Community Development Fund
    Rainier Valley Food Bank
    Rainier Beach Ready Emergency Hub
    King County Libraries
    Ron Angeles
    Penniless Projects
    Satmato Yoga
    Esquiness Fine Woodworking
    With Support from Pratt Fine Arts Center
    And Media Sponsors: KUOW, The Stranger, and The South Seattle Emerald

  • Light Up the Beach Holiday Challenge Open House

    The Rainier Beach Merchants invite you to the 2nd Annual Light Up the Beach Holiday Challenge and community open house, December 4th from 5-8pm! Over 15 local businesses to decorate their storefront – or team up with a local community group or artist – to brighten our streets, celebrate the holidays, and compete for prizes!

    Meet business owners, enjoy complimentary hospitality, entertainment, and activities in shops, collect stamps on a passport and VOTE for your favorite displays. Carolers, food, crafts, dance & music performances, giant chess, luminaria, SPD Mobile Unit tours, FREE SANTA PHOTOS and MORE!

    Get your passport from any participating business like our major sponsor Safeway Rainier Beach. Also sponsored by Seattle Office of Economic Development.

    Venues & Participants
    Safeway Rainier Beach/ South Shore PTSA/ Rainier Beach Ready Emergency Hub/ Derek Johnson Photography/ FREE SANTA PHOTOS!
    Rainier Beach Merchants Association/ Penniless Projects/ GIANT CHESS! SNOW!
    Nate’s Wings & Waffles/ WAFFLES!
    Merrill & Merrill Insurance/ CRAFTY GOODNESS & SNACKS!
    Rainier Dance Center/ DANCE DANCE DANCE!
    Giorgina’s Mediterranean Kitchen/ The Critter Camp/ PIZZA!!!
    Jude’s Old Town/ COOKIES!
    Rainier Beach Veterinary Hospital/ SANTA PAWS! MUSIC! SNACKS!
    Kaffa Coffee & Wine Bar/ IB Art Rainier Beach High School/ SAMPLES!
    King Donuts/ DONUTS!
    Joseph’s Elite Image/ MUSIC! SNACKS!
    Maya’s Mexican Fiesta/ Artist Daniel Dara/ MEXICAN HOT CHOCOLATE!
    Rainier Health & Fitness/MIXXED FIT Holiday Hip Hop Class! PHOTO BOOTH!
    Seattle Farm Co-Op/ Seattle Tilth/ SOUP! CIDER! GIANT CHICKEN PHOTO OP!
    Rainier Beach Community Center/ Safe Passages Team/ GOOD TIMES!
    Rainier Beach Community Center Parking Lot/ Seattle Police South Precinct Mobile Unit/ TOUR THE RIDE!
    Roving Caroling by New Revelations & Friends
    Luminaria by Southeast Seattle Senior Center

  • Lunch and Learn with RainierView Advisors – POSTPONED

    This event will be postponed to a later date.

    Viewpoints Nov 6th Flyer

  • Art Walk Rainier Beach: A Cultural Homecoming is Coming Home Sept 5th!

    5th Annual Art Walk Rainier Beach, signature event of the Rainier Beach Merchants Association, will be presented Saturday, September 5th. With a 2015 theme of “A Cultural Homecoming,” the event celebrates all who have lived, worked, and shared in the Rainier Beach community since its settlement by the Duwamish people thousands of years ago. This year, Art Walk Rainier Beach will honor the Duwamish Tribe by opening the event with a special welcome by Chief Sealth’s 4th-Great-Grandson, Ken Workman.

    This free community event, held at the Rainier Beach Community Center Plaza, begins at 10:00 AM. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray will introduce the 4th-Great-Grandson of Chief Sealth, for whom the City of Seattle was named. Tribal members will also share stories, song, and dance of the Duwamish people. Art Walk Rainier Beach is particularly honored to embrace the Duwamish people with community support this year in light of the recent decision by the federal government to deny formal recognition of the tribe.

    Throughout the day, the event will go massive with headliner world-champion break dancers The Massive Monkees leading an impressive list of high-powered multi-cultural music, dance, spoken word, and interactive arts performances on two stages.

    Showcasing the incredibly rich, diverse talent of the Rainier Beach and Rainier Valley Area, the line-up includes:
    • World-champion break dance troupe Massive Monkees
    • America’s Got Talent 2009 Semifinalists, the Eri Am Sisters
    • Two Story Zori, a reggae band whose founders attended Rainier Beach High School
    • Haida Master Canoe Carver Sa’a’du’uts, artist in residence at Center for Wooden Boats
    • Performances and demonstrations representing many Rainier Beach resident cultures: Marimba, lion dancers, gospel, jazz, folk and blues, traditional ethnic and modern dance, traditional Chinese calligraphy, and martial arts demonstrations, a peace flag maze, international totem pole project, and more.

    For an extended list of confirmed performers, click here: http://www.rainierbeachmerchants.com/art-walk-rainier-beach/.

    In addition, Art Walk Rainier Beach offers FREE local-artist designed flying discs for kids (while supplies last), interactive community art projects, artist booths, local community groups, and delicious local fare by Maya’s Fiesta Truck, Jackson’s Catfish Corner, Sam Choy’s Poke to the Max, and LT’s BBQ, along with much, much more.

    The event, presented by the Rainier Beach Merchants Association and SEEDArts, is sponsored by more than 30 Rainier Beach Merchants members. Major sponsors include Seattle Office of Economic Development, 4Culture, Washington Federal Bank, The Stranger, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, Rainier Beach Action Coalition – A Beautiful Safe Place for Youth, Merrill & Merrill Insurance, Dorothy Driver Real Estate, Redwing Café, and Seattle Parks & Recreation/ Rainier Beach Community Center.

    Event Details:
    Saturday, September 5th
    10:00 AM to 4:30 PM
    Rainier Beach Community Center Plaza
    8825 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118


  • Rainier Beach Hidden Gem Tour – Rose Street & Rainier Ave

    Join the Rainier Beach Merchants Association for a FREE walking world tour at your doorstep! We will show you hidden gems at Rainier & Rose Street – where Africa and Asia meet: Special treats with Kaffa Coffee and Wine Bar​ and the Ethiopian Community Center​, a blissful Vietnamese spa, and a peaceful hidden Buddhist garden. This tour is FREE but spots are limited so please register at the link below.

    Please wear comfortable shoes – this is a walking tour. We will meet at the Ethiopian Community Center and travel on foot from there.

  • Welcome STP to Rainier Beach with the RBMA Hydration Station!

    Rainier Beach is a beautiful, safe place, for everyone, so let’s show it off to the 10,000 cyclists on the Seattle-to-Portland bike ride, and give away 100 brand new helmets to local kids!!

    Join us across from Beer Sheva Park on Sunday, July 12th from 5:30 – 9:00 am to welcome cyclists and provide a hydration station while they take a breather, and experience our stunning community!

    Let us know if you can make it! maia@rainierbeachsquare.com  

  • Community Comes Together to Support B2B & Giant Chess Launch

    Over 70 volunteers and 12 community groups rolled up their sleeves to clean up Rainier Beach and rebuild King Donuts, supporting the Rainier Beach Merchants Association project for Bridge to Beach Clean Up, and party at the Detective Cookie Pop-Up Chess Park Launch on April 25th.

    The King Donuts effort under the direction of member D’Arcy Gholsten, attracted over 30 volunteers including the new South Precinct Captain Mike Washburn, and helps to meet a volunteer match for a facade improvement grant coming this summer. Additional improvements will likely involve an inspired new look that celebrates love for the community and the wonderful Hay sense of humor.

    The afternoon was spent honoring Detective Denise “Cookie” Bouldin, with the dedication of a giant chess set for the “Detective Cookie Pop-up Chess Park.” Founder of the Rainier Beach based Detective Cookie Chess Club, Bouldin has been teaching strategy and consequences for actions to youth in the community crossing race, culture, ethnicity and gender barriers. Her love for the game is only surpassed by her students love for her.

    We also enjoyed a live performance by Pico Blvd, which included jams from a couple of youth who came to check out the party. Additionally, with the help of Maya’s Mexican Fiesta Truck and King Donuts, we fed over 150 people (mostly local youth) almost 300 free tacos, fried rice, and egg rolls. Giant chess will be available for community play at the Rainier Beach Safeway, off 52nd Ave S., and also be available for community events.

    Tremendous thanks goes to our fellow major sponsors for the event: Rainier Beach Safeway, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, the Southeast Seattle Tool Library, Seattle Police Department, and Rainier Beach Community Center. Thanks also to member Rainier Chamber for making Bridge to Beach Cleanup happen throughout the valley every year!!

  • February 2015 Member Mixer