SEATTLE — Piroshky Piroshky, a Russian bakery on Third Avenue reopened after closing its doors for 10 months because of crime concerns. The bakery and customers hope it’s a positive sign for small businesses downtown.
Customers and familiar faces lined up at their beloved bakery in the heart of downtown Seattle. The shop is a front window to Third Avenue and had a firsthand look at the problems plaguing it.
“That’s why we closed 10 months ago, when we couldn’t handle it anymore. It’s just so bad,” said owner Olga Sagan.
Sagan said things are starting to feel different and safe enough to open its doors.
“Hopeful and cautiously optimistic," Sagan said. "We’re hoping to be a part of the community again and to see our customers and to know their names."
According to Seattle Police Department’s Crime dashboard, crime around Piroshky Piroshky has decreased slightly.
“Downtown is coming back little by little,” Sagan said.
The Downtown Seattle Association agreed. Its economic recovery dashboard showed an increase in visitors, foot traffic and workers downtown. James Sido, with the organization, said there’s still work to be done as Third Avenue is the busiest transit corridor and main hub to downtown Seattle.
“We need Third Ave to be a better experience than it has been traditionally," Sido said. "We have a vision for what Third Ave could be and we’re excited there are people at city hall who are excited about what that vision could be as well."
That vision would make the corridor more pedestrian-friendly, expand sidewalk space for cafes, and include strategies to improve retail, parks and public spaces.
Sido said the plans are moving slowly but reopenings like Piroshky Piroshky help.
“Part of what moves like this indicate to us is that there are more people who do feel downtown’s vibrancy is on its way back,” Sido said.
Sagan hopes reopening will help more businesses and revitalize downtown.
“We were a part of that closure momentum and we’d like to be a part of an opening momentum as well,” Sagan said.
The Seattle Police Department has had emphasis patrols in the area since March, at any given time there could be up to six patrols in the area.
Sagan said they won’t reopen if they have to close again because of crime.