Bellevue’s Unique Meeting Venues

Memorable and engaging experiences for meeting attendees

Meeting professionals know that making lasting impressions on convention attendees happens throughout an event. It requires thinking strategically about all aspects of the event from the opening reception, to the meeting venue, to where to hold your organization’s board meeting and how you can create memorable and engaging experiences all along the way.

The Visit Bellevue Washington team is here to help you to identify those unique opportunities to engage your event attendees and create a memorable experience in our city and beyond. Here is a list of types of venues to spark your imagination.

Bellevue’s Unique Venue Ideas 

  • Art museum or gallery
  • Cooking class
  • Performing arts center or theater stage
  • Movie theater
  • Children’s museum
  • Escape room
  • Tree house overlooking Bellevue nature park
  • Brewery or wine tasting room
  • Restaurant buy-out or private dining

Check out our list of Bellevue’s unique meeting venues and group dining options and other engaging interactive meeting venues. The list includes information venue capacities for receptions or seated events, availability for buyouts and more.


New trends in convention and facility design mean that meeting venues offer engaging lighting and sound systems, creative gathering spaces and a range of interactive technologies that maximize the attendee meeting experience. Meydenbauer  Center’s recent renovation delivers a range of new lighting options, offers comfortable and flexible lobby seating that provides opportunities for attendee interaction and all new AV technologies make it even easier to bring your presentations to life.

Bellevue also offers a range of unique venues that are perfect for a reception for your entire group or smaller events for VIP dinners or events.  At KidsQuest Children’s Museum, your guests can engage their inner child while exploring the exhibits at a reception.

At the Bellevue Arts Museum, three diverse event spaces can be rented out for private events set against a backdrop of impressive architecture and exhibits. Or you can host a reception on stage at Meydenbauer Center’s Theatre.

We can also recommend venues where you’re able to take in views of Bellevue skylines or enjoy a meal or reception on a beautiful outdoor patio surrounded by the sights and sounds of the Pacific Northwest.

Photo Credits, Top to Bottom: After hours reception via Visit Bellevue Washington, Meydenbauer Theater by Meydenbauer Center Theatre, Inner Child by Visit Bellevue Washington.

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Calling All Foodies

Great news for those of us who live to eat. Bellevue is attracting award-winning local, national and worldwide talent in the kitchen. The result? We are now home to some of the hottest chefs and most innovative flavors in the country.

Here are just a few of the newest and most inspired eateries in town.


Fogo de Chão

Fogo de Chão brings fresh excitement to the Bellevue restaurant scene. A Brazilian steakhouse, this new venue is famous for its centuries-old Southern Brazilian grilling technique of churrasco, a taste of traditional Southern Brazilian culture and cuisine.

For one price, mouth-watering Brazilian meats are carved tableside. Included with your meal?  An extensive salad and vegetable bar called the Market Table. The Market Table features goodies like hearts of palm, giant asparagus, fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese, sun dried tomatoes, fresh cut and steamed broccoli, marinated artichoke bottoms, tabbouleh, smoked salmon, an assortment of fine cheeses, and much more. At lunchtime, the Market Table is available as a meal all its own.

What to try? In addition to the Brazilian meats try the south-of-the-border fish and seafood dishes along with a Caipirinha; a signature cocktail featuring cachaca, the native spirit of Brazil, distilled from pure cane sugar.

Planning a meeting? Fogo de Chão offers private dining for large and small groups including corporate or business functions.

The Lakehouse

Also in Lincoln Square South, James Beard Award-winning Chef Jason Wilson brings his interpretation of a Northwest farm-to-table meal to Bellevue.

Offering vibrant, farm-inspired craft-cooking, The Lakehouse concept was inspired by Bellevue’s own history and spotlights produce sourced from ever-evolving grower and farmer relationships. Authentic, engaging and delicious, the familiar dishes meet an artisan approach with a produce-driven menu that is filled with local seafood, small ranch meats, and handmade pasta.

Set in a beautiful, welcoming space reminiscent of an entertainer’s lake house, the restaurant features a farmhouse table for communal dining or large groups, chef’s counter, private and semi-private dining.

After dinner, be sure to check out Civility & Unrest, another Jason Wilson venture, on the ground floor of Bellevue’s new W Hotel. This speakeasy-inspired lounge is centered upon the craft cocktail insider experience.

What to try? Feast on comfort food like the Grilled Pork Chop with apricots and white cheddar grits; or the Roasted Neah Bay Halibut with lemon chile buttered spinach and Manila clams.

Japonessa

Seattle’s favorite sushi restaurant now has a home in Bellevue’s own Lincoln Square. Japonessa is a sushi-cocina, offering sushi, sashimi and specialty rolls with a Latin twist. Known for an extensive happy hour and traditional sushi bar experiences, this restaurant features a gorgeous dining room decorated with modern décor and an extensive sushi bar front and center. It’s the perfect place to be and be seen.

From traditional nigiri and sashimi to rolls decorated with jalapeño, cilantro, and mango, Japonessa takes traditional Japanese cooking fundamentals and fuses them with flavors from Latin America. There’s even a chef’s table you can book ahead of time to watch Chef Masa Nakashima do his magic right before your eyes.

What to try? Look for amazing rolls like the Eight Spice Tuna Tataki with seared tuna, jalapeño garlic soy citrus, and wasabi aioli or our favorite, the Madrid Moon with spicy yellowtail, cucumber, cilantro, topped w/ seared spicy crab, black tobiko and drizzled with jalapeño citrus and truffle oil.

Private dining is also available for small or large groups.

Peony Kitchen

Located on Main Street in Old Bellevue, Peony Kitchen is a modern take on Chinese cuisine and is breathing new life into traditional Chinese food.

Enter the dining room, and you know you’re in for something special.  The spectacular space is decorated with Chinese pottery, brass, and vases of silk peonies. Walls of brick, tile and unfinished wood give the new building a vintage look. Peony Kitchen’s owner, restaurateur Paul Choi has designed an upscale Chinese restaurant with some unique menu items.

What to try? The Whole Five Spice Crispy Duck, crispy and mouth-watering and like nothing we’ve ever tasted. The Tea-Smoked Free-Range Chicken is another entrée you don’t want to miss. For lighter fare, try the smaller tapas-style plates like the delectable Mu-Shu Tacos or pan fried Kurobuta Pork Buns.

Pokéworks

The healthiest, most delicious trend in eating comes straight from the islands of Hawaii. Pokéworks delivers the best in delicious Poke bowls and wraps. And it’s no wonder. After many trips to Hawaii filled with lots of poké, its founders decided to bring this island favorite to the Mainland for all to enjoy. And now you can indulge in the freshest, most delectable seafood you’ve ever tasted, conveniently located on Bellevue Way in the heart of Downtown Bellevue.

What to try? Build your own bowl any way you like with flavors like Shiso Salmon, Spicy Ponzu Albacore, Wasabi Shrimp and Scallops, and Ginger Chicken. And don’t forget the add-ons. Choose from mix-ins like edamame, mango, sweet onion and incredible sauces including Spicy Ginger, Wasabi Aioli or Sweet Chili Gochujang. For crunch lovers, how about topping it all off with Onion Crisps, Lotus Chips, and Macadamia nuts. Or try a unique twist on a fan favorite, the Pokerrito (Poke burrito)!

Henry’s Tavern

Also new in Bellevue’s Lincoln Square South is Henry’s Tavern. With one location in Seattle and another on the way in South Lake Union, Henry’s is now on the east side of Lake Washington, much to the delight of Bellevue beer and burger lovers.

And this location is something to behold. Over 100 beers on tap along with indoor shuffleboard, state-of-the-art televisions for perfect game-day viewing, a custom frost rail to keep pints cold, an extensive wine list and a floor to ceiling keg cooler in the bar area. There’s even outdoor rooftop dining with views of downtown Bellevue and space enough to seat 80.

What to try? Don’t miss Henry’s signature hand-seasoned Gorgonzola waffle fries as a side to a Peanut Buster Burger featuring applewood smoked bacon, chunky peanut butter, dill pickles and crispy onion strings.

Sugar Factory

Sugar Factory arrived at Bellevue’s Shops at the Bravern in September. A whopping 8,500-square-foot retail/restaurant that seats 250, with plenty of outdoor space and even a chocolate lounge. A celebrity favorite destination in New York, L.A. and Las Vegas, Sugar Factory offers a fun family-friendly menu, decadent treats and is popular for all types of parties.

What to try? Check out one of their signature cocktails (with or without alcohol); served in goblets garnished with lollipops; or try to polish off a King Kong Sundae.


Whether you’re searching for meat-lovers paradise at Fogo De Chao, exploring the exotic “sushi-cocina” menu at Japonessa, or looking to indulge in some crazy sweets at Sugar Factory, Bellevue’s latest and greatest restaurant openings will surely have you coming back to the city for seconds.

Photo Credits, Top to Bottom – Spread via Fogo De Chao, Roasted Carrots via The Lakehouse, Sushi platter via Japonessa, Bar via Peony Kitchen, Sushiritto via Pokeworks, cheeseburger via Henry’s Tavern, Cocktail via Sugar Factory.

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What’s New in Bellevue

While we were out and about this summer enjoying the Pacific Northwest’s beautiful weather and natural settings a profusion of new spots to shop, dine, stay and play opened in Bellevue.

We are excited to welcome AC Hotel by Marriott and W Bellevue, plus new restaurants and bars, entertainment, and nightlife options at Lincoln Square. In addition, new coffee shops, a wine tasting room, and several new restaurants in Old Bellevue and The Shops at the Bravern are ready to be explored. Our newly renovated Downtown Park offers walking paths, water features, and innovative new playground spaces.


New Places to Stay & Explore in Bellevue

The summertime openings of two exciting new hotel properties AC Hotel by Marriott and W Bellevue brings Bellevue’s total hotel rooms available to 5,274.

Within downtown, and walking distance from Meydenbauer Convention Center, there are now 17  hotels and 3700 guest rooms.

  • W Bellevue – A contemporary design inspired by the hotel’s spectacular position near the shores of Lake Washington and Bellevue’s history as a lakeside vacation destination. The hotel includes 245 modern guest rooms, 25 Suites, 11,000 sq. ft. of event space, plus three unique restaurants and bars that have people dancing well into the night.
  • AC Hotel – This European inspired hotel provides stylish & modern guest rooms. Indulge in delectable tapas, locally brewed beers & wines on site at the AC Lounge or explore dozens of award-winning restaurants, just minutes away in downtown Seattle & Bellevue. Meet in sophisticated function rooms complete with high-speed internet & advanced AV equipment.

Old Bellevue – Main Street

  • Third Culture Coffee brings together the tradition and history of cultures with the allure and mystique of coffee. All in a welcoming atmosphere that celebrates a global coffee culture.
  • Peony Kitchen Offers a fresh interpretation of Chinese cuisine in a vibrant and stylish atmosphere.
  • Swiftwater Cellars – This tasting room and restaurant bring the popular Swiftwater Cellars of Suncadia to Bellevue.

The Shops at the Bravern

The Shops at the Bravern is anchored by the Northwest’s only Neiman Marcus plus the ultimate luxury brands like Hermes, Gucci, Moncler, Bottega Veneta and Prada and much more.

  • Sugar Factory American Brasserie The food at Sugar Factory American Brasserie is a treat for all, serving decadent and tasty fare to satisfy any craving. The signature menu offers everything from pancakes and sweet and savory crepes to salads, burgers, and pizzas, all available throughout the day. Sugar Factory also offers spiked adult beverages made with premium spirits, including Sugar Factory’s signature 36-ounce alcohol-infused smoking candy goblets, all of which are available without alcohol for the kids.

Bellevue Collection – Lincoln Square South

Lincoln Square South is the newest area of the Bellevue Collection, located just south of the Bellevue Arts Museum and connected to the rest of the Bellevue Collection by sky bridges. In addition to the new W Hotel and residential tower and an office building, Lincoln Square South also includes a wide range of shopping, dining and entertainment options.

  • Dote Coffee – Direct trade green coffee, roasted in small batches to bring out the unique ‘taste of place’ in each origin and blend. Served up traditionally or mix it on the bar with handmade chocolate, ice cream, and booze. Signature creations by Chef Ewald Notter.
  • Cinemark Reserve Lincoln Square – State of the art movie theater featuring six stadium seating auditoriums with lounge seats, electric powered, oversize, plush, comfortable recliners with foot rests! This 21 and over movie theater also has a full kitchen with seat side service for order and delivery, plus a bar with lounge and table seating and exterior terrace.
  • Civility & Unrest – Speakeasy-inspired cocktail experience, offering guests an expressive cocktail culture exploration.
  • Fogo de Chao – Internationally renowned Southern Brazilian steakhouse, Fogo de Chão, features a vibrant dining room, lively bar area and an open kitchen showcasing the centuries-old Southern Brazilian grilling technique of churrasco. Fogo de Chão honors the Brazilian gaucho traditions of churrasco, the art of roasting meats over an open fire, and espeto corrido, or “continuous service.”
  • Henry’s Tavern – American Bar & Grill. Henry’s Tavern Bellevue offers 100 beers on tap to combine its rich history with an innovative approach to beer inspired food and a dedication to local brews. Its robust menu includes a wide variety of scratch made items supporting locally sourced ingredients.
  • Japonessa – Sushi Cocina featuring a Japanese core concept with hints of Latino flair.
  • SoulCycle Bellevue – SoulCycle is a full-body indoor cycling workout that started a movement. Rockstar instructors. Epic playlists. THE original cardio party on a bike.
  • The Lakehouse – 3-meal restaurant. The farm-inspired craft-cooking by Chef Jason Wilson showcases his produce-driven approach using the best local ingredients from the region’s farmers and foragers. The menu offerings include local seafood, small ranch meats, and handmade pasta.
  • Nordstrom Rack – The Rack returns to downtown Bellevue adding to the range of shopping options from off-price to luxury. The Rack offering customers a wide selection of on-trend apparel, accessories, and shoes at an everyday savings of 30-70 percent off regular prices.
  • Wild Ginger – Fusion Asian restaurant offering fresh, diverse, and authentic flavors in a fine dining atmosphere. With a Wine Spectator Grand Award winning wine list, lively bar and great happy hour.
  • Zoom + Care – Pioneered on-demand healthcare with Perfect Visit™ — same-day, no-wait, illness, injury, and preventive care scheduled directly online, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, meds and labs on site.

Additional dining options are scheduled to open throughout the fall and will be highlighted in future newsletters

Photo Credits, Top to Bottom: W Hotel Lobby via W Hotel, Signage via Third Culture CoffeeCocktail via Sugar Factory.

Posted in About Visit Bellevue, Culinary and Wine, Downtown Bellevue, Fashion, Hidden Gems / Local Picks, Shopping, Things To Do | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s the Season to Fall for Bellevue, Washington

From exploring outdoor fun in our breathtaking Pacific Northwest playground; like world-class sporting events and scenic day trips; to the hottest trends in fall fashion, restaurants and nightlife along with great weekend rates on fabulous hotels – adventure awaits you.

Fall Fashion

And it wouldn’t be fall without fashion. There’s plenty to see for the fashionista in Bellevue. This fall’s latest trends come to life on the runway during Fashion Week at The Bellevue Collection, September 20 – 24, featuring three different runway shows and many other events.

Fashionistas will also want to check out The Shops at the Bravern.  Bottega Veneta and Oliver Peoples made their debut earlier in the summer. And Gene Juarez opens its new flagship salon and spa in September.

Enjoy Outdoor Activities

If you are an outdoor sports lover, don’t miss the 9th annual Round the Rock stand up paddle board event on September 10. Organized by Northwest Paddle Surfers, Round the Rock is the longest standing Stand up Paddle (SUP) event in the area. Every year, hundreds of athletes and passionate paddlers from all over the world depart from Bellevue’s beautiful Newcastle Beach Park and paddle around Mercer Island (the Rock). It’s fun to watch or paddle.

If hiking is your passion, we love the fall colors and miles of gorgeous trails at Bellevue’s own Mercer Slough Nature Park, Lewis Creek Park or Weowana Park. Or, head out along the Mountains to Sound Greenway and explore trails galore.

Fall also brings some great family festivals and activities. Don’t miss the fabulous Zip Scare Tour. Going on evenings, October 13-28, it’s a night-time zip-line adventure that will have you zipping through the evening sky with glow sticks lighting the way.

The Kelsey Creek Farm Fair happens Saturday, October 7 from 11-4 celebrating everything the season has to offer. Look for children’s crafts, inflatables, entertainment, tractor rides, and vintage tractor displays.

Or welcome autumn in the Pacific Northwest at the annual Salmon Days Festival in Issaquah, Washington. Taking place October 7 – 8 in Downtown Issaquah, just minutes east of Bellevue off I 90, Salmon Days is an award-winning fall season kick-off event.

Explore New Dining Options

Prefer to eat your way through the city? Enjoy the nightlife and great people watching in Bellevue at a slew of new adventurous eateries with the hottest chefs and trend setting menus. And if you’re planning for a large group or company gathering, many can accommodate you.

Southern Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chão has opened at the Lincoln Square expansion featuring Brazilian grilled meats and seafood, along with Japonessa, a Japanese core concept restaurant with hints of Latino flair. Be sure to also check out The Lakehouse, Henry’s Tavern and the sophisticated lounge, Civility & Unrest. And don’t miss the new Market at Lincoln—a premium, casual food hall featuring a flurry of new restaurants. Also coming in September to The Shops at The Bravern is the celebrity favorite, The Sugar Factory.

No matter what your idea of the perfect fall adventure, you’ll find it here, in Bellevue, Washington.

Photo Credits, Top to Bottom: Zip Scare Tour via South Bellevue Community Center, Fashion Week via Bellevue Collection, Fogo Spread via Fogo de Chao

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Festivals and Outings Perfect for the Kids (and Kids at Heart)

If you’re bringing the family to Bellevue on vacation, coming for business, or spending the weekend, fall is the perfect time of year to play in our neck of the woods. And now more than ever, Bellevue is a fantastic place to spend a week or a weekend. New luxury hotels in town like the W Bellevue and AC Marriott and great values on weekend stays at all our Bellevue hotel properties makes us truly the destination for staying and playing.

And this fall, there are great festivals to check out and a fantastic line-up of fun, family-friendly things to do throughout our city or just a short drive away.

Right Around the Corner

  • Be sure to take the kids to KidsQuest Children’s Museum in downtown Bellevue. A hands-on, interactive children’s museum that encourages learning through play. With activities both indoors and out, it’s a great place to spend an afternoon or entire day with the little ones all the way up to age 11 or so.
  • Enjoy a beautiful day outdoors with the family at one of our many gorgeous parks. The Bellevue Downtown Park reopened in July after a year of expansion and renovation. It’s an urban oasis in the middle of downtown Bellevue with water features, a ½ mile walking path and the new Inspiration Playground with new interactive features that engage the senses and accommodate children of all abilities.
  • Are you a family that loves to hike? Why not hop on a trail at the Mercer Slough Nature Park. With over 7 miles of trails to pick from, you’ll find the perfect path for an afternoon out with the entire family.
  • Looking for water views and other outdoor activities? Pick up a sandwich at Whole Foods in the Bellevue Collection and check out Enatai Beach Park for a waterfront view of Lake Washington while you picnic. After lunch, consider renting a canoe, kayak or paddle board and paddle around Lake Washington and into the slough.
  • For the perfect day indoors, look no further than Lucky Strike at Lincoln Square for an afternoon with the kids. There’s premium bowling on 16 spacious lanes, fantastic food, and a world-renown arcade game area.

Festivals and Fun

If festivals are your passion, here are some of our favorites in Bellevue or just a short drive away:

Kelsey Creek Farm Fair

Explore Children’s arts and crafts, inflatables, animal encounters, a petting zoo, entertainment, interactive children’s activities, tractor rides, and vintage tractor displays. Have a fun-filled day with the little ones while searching for a pumpkin in the pasture to decorate. Admission and many activities are free while some have a nominal fee.

Halloween on the Hill

Join the fun at a series of Halloween inspired events on Saturday, October 28 at Halloween on the Hill at South Bellevue Community Center.

This one-day festival features events like The Great Pumpkin Race and Jump; race or jump your decorated pumpkin on wheels; Carnival on the Hill; carnival games, food, bouncy houses, and entertainment; Haunted Movie on the Hill; enjoy buttery popcorn while watching a Halloween classic on the big screen.

Zip Scare Tour

The Zip Scare Tour takes place every evening October 13-28 on the Zip Lines at Bellevue’s Eastgate Park. You can enjoy scary, creepy fun zipping through the dark of night. There’s one suspension bridge and three zip lines to thrill you, while you step off a platform and coast along in darkness. But not to worry; riders and platforms will be brightened with lights and glow sticks.

Issaquah Salmon Days

Held over the course of two days, the Salmon Days Festival in historic Downtown Issaquah celebrates the return of salmon to local waters. Taking place October 7-8 and just minutes east of Bellevue off I-90, this award-winning festival embraces Issaquah’s unique history, culture, and ethnic diversity.

Look for a parade to kick it all off on Saturday as well as a kid’s entertainment stage. Treat yourself to delicious cuisine from over 60 food booths. If you’re an art lover or love to shop, you’re in luck. Over 270 arts and crafts vendors will be there displaying their work.

Hayrides, Hot Air Balloons, and Corn Mazes, Oh My!

Prefer some old-fashioned fun of the past? Just a short drive away from Bellevue—you and the family can be transported to the days of yore at these fun farms and corn mazes.

Serres Farm – Redmond, WA

A 24-acre working family farm in Happy Valley east of Redmond, Serres Farm has a pumpkin picking patch your kids will love getting lost in. Just put on your favorite boots and grab a wheelbarrow because it’s time to start the hunt for the perfect jack o’ lantern. A variety of pumpkins from miniatures to giant Great Atlantics grow in the field. Patch opens the last weekend in September and runs through Halloween.

And be sure to enjoy the spectacular cornfield maze. It’ll take about 15-20 minutes to navigate this giant hand designed puzzle. The kids will also delight in the animal train ride all around the farm. Of course, what would fall be without an old-fashioned hayride? You can even race your favorite duck in a water propelled duck race.

Jubilee Farm – Carnation, WA

Every Saturday and Sunday in October, you can visit the pumpkin patch, take a hayride and enjoy some hot spiced apple cider at Jubilee Farm.  About 20 miles east of Bellevue, Jubilee has thirty acres of farmland open to the public. Bring the kids to visit the animals, play in the hay maze or watch a cooking demonstration. They’ll delight while watching adults sling pumpkins with the homemade trebuchet. There’s even a concession area for a quick bite.

The farmers market is open to the public in the fall on this biodynamic farm. It has operated in Snoqualmie Valley for more than 20 years.

Prefer to get carried away?

How about checking out fall’s colors from hundreds of feet above Woodinville wine country? Hop aboard a balloon at Woodinville’s Over-the-Rainbow hot air balloon company and take you on a ride of a lifetime.

Enjoy spectacular views looking over Lake Washington and the Seattle skyline. Beyond that is Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountain Range. And to the south,  Mount Rainier, so big and beautiful it looks close enough to touch. It’s an experience unlike any other.

This is just a sampling of things that we like to do in the fall in and around Bellevue. Check out Visit Bellevue’s calendar of events and things to do for more fall visit inspiration.

Photo Credits, Top to Bottom: Bellevue Downtown Park via City of Bellevue, Zip Scare Tour via South Bellevue Community Center, Salmon Days via Issaquah Salmon Days, Farm via Serres Farm,  Hot air balloon via Pixabay.

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For The Fashionista In All of Us

Bellevue has emerged as a fashion center and magnet for some of the hottest stores in the country and around the world. And it’s no wonder. With Bellevue’s growing, diverse population and reputation as a business and technology hub; we’ve become a shopper’s paradise.

Whether it’s a high-end boutique or the perfect place for back-to-school shopping and scoring a great deal—you’ll find it here in Bellevue. From the Bellevue Collection to the new Nordstrom Rack in Lincoln Square South, DSW, TJ Maxx and other off-price retailers at the Marketplace at Factoria, or authentic Chinese and Indian wardrobe items at Grace Collection Galleries and Sakkhi Style Bellevue truly has something for every fashion forward shopper.


Fashion Week at the Bellevue Collection

Want to check out the latest looks for fall? There’s no better way than during Fashion Week at The Bellevue Collection, September 20 – 24, 2017.

This annual event delivers an extraordinary experience to fashion forward, contemporary and luxury shoppers. Look for exclusive runway shows, trend reports and demonstrations, chic parties and irresistible shopping. Enjoy the unique fashions of seven local designers at the Independent Designer Runway Show where these up-and-coming Northwest designers square off in an ultimate runway showdown. Posh Party Trend Show features a high energy runway of must have Fall trends and a chic pre-party with beauty tips and photo booth fun.

And this year, The Bellevue Collection introduces The Collective Runway Show, featuring premier brands, hosted by special guest Fashion Designer Christian Siriano.

Inspired? Why not go shopping! Beyond the hottest retail shops to explore at the Shops at the Bravern and the Bellevue Collection, Bellevue is also home to some of the best independent boutiques and local trendsetters in the state. And remember—Small Business Saturday is November 25th this year.

Here are a few of our favorite local haunts:

Jarbo

Jarbo opened their first boutique in Old Bellevue on Main Street seven years ago. Since then, they’ve expanded to 11 locations across the country including Oregon, Michigan, and California.

Featuring clean, European designs in fine fabrics, Sharon Roth, owner, and designer, first began designing clothes in Seattle and selling them to friends. Word got out, her customer base grew and many are still her most loyal fans.

One look inside this boutique and you can understand why. With classic, comfortable designs that fit just right, along with sumptuous fabrics sourced from Italian leather, cashmere, and Pima Cotton, Jarbo designs and manufactures 90% of the clothing themselves. That makes the succulent leather coats, soft cashmere sweaters, and gorgeous silks hard to resist. They also carry their own leather handbags, scarves and accessories to complete any ensemble.

And the Jarbo “look” can be dressed up or down making this line perfect for work, an evening out, or a comfortable day on the go. Jarbo is a “must visit” for the true fashionista.

Sakkhi Style

Located at Bellevue’s Crossroads shopping center, Sakkhi Style is a family run boutique featuring tastefully designed traditional Indian dresses for men, women, and children.

The dresses are designed in-home by fine craftsmen and tailored beautifully. The unique designs, fabric, and artwork used are all inspired by Indian lifestyle, culture, and beauty. Discover Sarees, Kurti, Salwars, children’s clothing and one-of-a-kind jewelry to compliment the beautifully designed attire. Stop by for a true Indian shopping experience.

La Ree Boutique

If you want to know what’s happening in the world of fashion, look no further than La Ree Boutique in Old Bellevue. Right off Main Street, La Ree specializes in brands and designers you won’t find in many of the big box stores. But it’s their attention to trends and detail that have helped this little shop build such a loyal following.

What to expect this fall? Cozy, oversized sweaters, plaids and flannel shirts, distressed denim, skinny and wide leg bottoms, bomber jackets, booties, flats and chic mule slides. According to Rachael, La Ree’s owner, also looks for lots and lots of velvet, leopard prints, high-rise bottoms and light hues of pink and blush.

The addition they’re most excited about this season? Le Kasha Cashmere. Warm and so soft, these are pieces you will go to for years to come. This brand has been around since 1918 and solidified its reputation when Coco Chanel chose them to make her first suit collection.

Shop for dozens of other top designers as well as accessories, bags, scarves and one-of-a-kind jewelry.

GCG | Grace Collection Galleries

This Chinese boutique is the first of its kind in North America. Located at The Shops at the Bravern walk in and you know you’re in for a special experience. With both custom pieces and ready-to-wear, the colorful silks are a feast for the eyes. And while you’re taking it all in, Grace Chu, GCG’s owner will make you feel at home with an offer of tea.

The clothing is simply breathtaking. Numerous items are handmade, reflecting colors and patterns that have been passed along for generations. Many of the embroidered designs are directly taken from the Royal family of China and have been carried down for more than 800 years.

In addition to the custom clothing,  GCG features a gorgeous, ready-to-wear line encompassing the same traditional Chinese design with a modern twist.

Also look for accessories that take you on a journey of Chinese heritage by designer Saint Joy, along with home furnishings and paintings by artists who have become masters of their passions. GCG has an astute eye for melding the global and traditional while combining it with a contemporary twist.

David Lawrence

Pushing the limits of the Northwest’s fashion scene since 1994, David Lawrence has mastered the art of styling men and women in the Greater Puget Sound area. They focus on accessible luxury–fusing design, fit and quality to create contemporary collections each season.

Step inside their boutique and it’s easy to forget that you’re in the land of khaki, flannel and polar fleece. The clothes tags here read like the credits from a GQ or Vogue fashion shoot, with no shortage of Italian labels.

Look for exclusive items from designers like Versace, Philipp Plein, Eton, Herve Leger, Les Petit Joueurs, Moschino and much more. You’ll find David Lawrence at The Shops at the Bravern.

Whether you’re shopping for a new fall wardrobe or just adding a few perfect pieces to update your look, Bellevue has you covered. Our shopping options include a range of price points from off-price to luxury and items from Pacific Northwest basics like jeans and sweaters to shops that cater to those seeking authentic Chinese and Indian wardrobe items.

Photo Credits, Top to Bottom: Fashion Week via The Bellevue Collection, Store Front via Jarbo, Dresses via Sakkhi Style, Signage via La Ree Boutique, Traditional dress via GCG, Models via David Lawrence.

Posted in Bellevue Indoor Recreation, Downtown Bellevue, Fashion, Shopping, Things To Do | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bellevue Coffee Maker Spotlight – Meet Shawn


Combining unique, modern aesthetics with a commitment to providing quality, locally sourced coffee, Cafe Cesura has been recognized as one of the premier coffee houses in the Bellevue region. Boasting lofted ceilings and unique art pieces scattered throughout, Cafe Cesura offers a delectable variety of specialty coffees and tea beverages that are sure to satisfy your cravings.

Located on the corner of 108th Ave NE and NE 10th, this cool, urban coffee house is the perfect escape from the busy Bellevue streets.

What is your name?

Shawn Nickerson.

Which coffee shop are you with?

Cafe Cesura.

What inspires you to come to work every day?

Getting to make quality coffee and seeing our customers smile!

Signature coffee order?

I would have to say a Sunrise, which consists of freshly squeezed orange juice and espresso!

What is your favorite accompaniment to your morning coffee?

An Almond Croissant is pretty amazing; for me, it’s really the perfect pairing with a fresh cup of coffee.

When you’re not drinking coffee, what’s your go-to beverage of choice?

An Old-Fashioned from Lot No. 3.

Do you have a favorite place in Bellevue?

Outside of Cafe Cesura, it would have to be my home in Bellevue Towers.

If you were going out after work in Bellevue, where would you head?

I would head to my building’s gym for a good workout.

If a customer asked you where to go for “the best bite” in Bellevue, where would you send them?

There are so many options, but I would recommend 99 Park.

What, in your opinion, is the world’s best coffee creation?

Espresso!

What activity in or around Bellevue is a “must” for those visiting the region?  

Exploring the Bridle Trails State Park is at the top of my list.

Where’s your go-to happy hour spot?

Lot No. 3 or Purple Cafe.

Where do you go when you’re craving something sweet?

Fran’s Chocolates.

Where do you enjoy drinking your coffee when you can take it wherever you like?

Down by the lake in Meydenbauer Bay, or beside Lake Cle Elum.

What’s your favorite spring or summer event in Bellevue?

The Bellevue Arts Fair in July is a great event.

How would you describe Bellevue to visitors? 

A small town on the Eastside with shiny buildings.

Stay tuned for more Bellevue Coffee Maker Spotlights from Visit Bellevue Washington. Be sure to pay Shawn and his crew at Cafe Cesura a visit this summer and post your photos with the hashtag #MyBellevue to enter our summer photo contest! (Full details here.)

Photo Credits – Cafe Cesura 

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Your Complete Guide to Bellevue Arts Fair Weekend 2017

Bellevue Arts Fair Weekend takes center stage in Downtown Bellevue this Friday, July 28th through Sunday, July 30th, 2017. Each year, the Bellevue Arts Fair Weekend draws in more than 300,000 attendees to Bellevue over the 3-day arts and crafts celebration. This extensive guide will lay out some tips to navigating through the city during this busy weekend and also provide the necessary resources to plan your perfect weekend getaway in Bellevue, Washington.


BAM ARTSfair

Friday & Saturday: 9:30am – 9:30pm | Sunday: 10am – 6pm 

BAM ARTSfair Map

The Bellevue Arts Museum plays host to this award-winning arts & crafts festival in the Pacific Northwest. With a commitment to quality, handmade excellence, BAM ARTSfair supports designers, artists, and craftspeople at the local, regional and national levels. With over 300 inspiring artists showcasing their unique, handcrafted works, BAM ARTSfair represents an eclectic mix of modern, traditional, and emerging artists, craftspeople and designers. Since 1947, BAM ARTSfair has been the annual gathering place for creators and community members and serves as a great way to connect to the world of art, craft & design.

In addition to this unique shopping experience, BAM ARTSfair offers free programming including BAM Exhibitions, KIDSfair, the Sound & Movement Stage, food trucks, and much more.

Valet service available at:
Bellevue Square: Northeast & Northwest Parking Garages on Level 1
Bellevue Place: Hyatt Regency Bellevue
Lincoln Square: Westin Bellevue

Permit parking only in the Bellevue Arts Museum parking garage.

Phone: (425) 519-0742

Directions to Bellevue Square:


Bellevue Festival of the Arts

Friday & Saturday: 10:00am – 8pm | Sunday: 10:00 am – 6pm

Bellevue Festival of the Arts Map

Celebrating its 33rd year in 2017, The Bellevue Festival of the Arts features 200 of the most talented and popular artisans, musicians and craftspeople from the greater Pacific Northwest region and beyond. Produced by the Craft Cooperative of the Northwest, the festival is entirely organized by artists and supports a variety of local and global non-profit organizations with proceeds from the festival. The Bellevue Festival of the Arts remains a committed community partner and works with various local educators and features local non-profits in the festival.

Phone: (206) 363-2048

Located along NE 8th in the lot of Cost Plus World Market
10300 NE 8th St. Bellevue, WA 98004


6th Street Fair: A Taste of the Arts

Friday & Saturday: 10:00am – 8pm | Sunday: 10:00 am – 6pm

Click to enlarge

6th Street Fair Map

Produced by the Bellevue Downtown Association, Bellevue’s 6th Street Fair showcases the original work of over 100 artists of sculpture, jewelry, wood and glass work, home décor, fabrics and more. Various brick-and-mortar restaurants and food trucks are located in close proximity to the fair.

Phone: (425) 453-1223

6th Street Fair is located next to the Bellevue Connection and Compass Plaza along NE 6th Street and 106th Avenue NE.


Things to Do in Bellevue

If you need a break from the Arts Fairs, Bellevue also offers the ultimate in shopping, dining, and cultural attractions, all surrounded by natural beauty and outdoor spaces. Just a few steps from the bustle of the Art Fairs is Bellevue Downtown Park, located between NE 4th and NE 2nd street just west of Bellevue Way. And if you want to explore further, miles of nature trailspublic parks, and swim beaches are walking distance from downtown for a workout or unwinding. Numerous spas, museums, and art exhibitions are located in Bellevue.  Bellevue is your gateway to the entire Puget Sound Region.

Learn more about all the different types of activities in Bellevue.


Restaurants

Looking for a quick bite to eat between events? Or maybe a formal, sit-down restaurant when the night winds down? There are hundreds of restaurants in downtown Bellevue and much more across the city ranging from casual sandwich spots to 4-star chef owned restaurants and well known national chains.

Click here to learn more about Bellevue’s diverse range of casual to fine dining options.


Hotels

Bellevue, Washington’s hotel accommodations include more than 5,500 guest rooms with options from luxurious 4-star downtown hotels to peaceful suburban retreats. Hyatt RegencyWestinHiltonSheratonCourtyard by MarriottMarriott Residence Inn and Seattle Marriott Bellevue are among the major hotel brands from which visitors can choose.

Click here for a complete list of Bellevue’s hotels.


Traffic Notices & Street Closures

With some downtown streets shut down for the festival, travelers should expect some congestion. Street closure locations and times include:

  • 100th Avenue NE, from NE 8th Street to NE 10th Street, will be closed in the southbound direction from 7am to 9pm on Thursday and from 5:30pm to 10pm on Sunday.
  • 102nd Avenue NE, from NE 8th Street to NE 10th Street, will be closed in both directions from 7am Friday to 11pm Sunday.
  • 106th Avenue NE, from NE 4th Street to NE 6th Street, will be closed in both directions from 6pm Thursday to 11pm Sunday.
  • NE 6th Street, from Bellevue Way to 106th Avenue NE, will be closed in both directions from 6pm Thursday to 11pm Sunday.
  • NE 10th Street, from 106th Avenue NE to 108th Avenue NE, will be  closed in the westbound direction from 5pm to 10pm Thursday.

Getting to Bellevue Art Fairs by Public Transportation
BAM ARTSfair is easily reachable by bus. Visit www.ChooseYourWayBellevue.orgMetro Transit or Sound Transit to plan your trip today!

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Bellevue Coffee Maker Spotlight – Meet Tony


Fresh air and fresh coffee – what more is there to ask for? Situated in the heart of the Bellevue Botanical Garden, Copper Kettle Coffee Bar offers tantalizing views of the surrounding botanical gardens while serving quality handcrafted coffee beverages and made-fresh daily food, including pastries and sandwiches in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

We are excited to introduce cafe owner Tony Frizelle, whose enthusiasm and welcoming spirit make visiting the Copper Kettle Coffee Bar a true joy!

What is your name?

Tony Frizelle.

Which coffee shop are you with?

Copper Kettle Coffee Bar.

What inspires you to come to work every day?

To be part of the Bellevue Botanical garden community. We have many regular and love welcoming new customers and visitors to Bellevue alike.

Signature coffee order?

I’d have to say Latte, either hot or Iced. Our beans are from Sleepy Monk Coffee Roasters, Cannon Beach, Oregon. We call our order in Tuesday, they roast Wednesday and we get delivery Friday. We pride ourselves on fresh, organic, fair trade coffee.

What is your favorite accompaniment to your morning coffee?

Has to be one of our pastries delivered fresh every morning from Macrina Bakery……Buttermilk Biscuit with Strawberry Jam is sooo good.

When you’re not drinking coffee, what’s your go-to beverage of choice?

A pint of Guinness Paddy Coyne’s Irish Pub in Bellevue.

Do you have a favorite place in Bellevue?

Chism Beach Park with my wife Paula and kids Conor and Amy.

If you were going out after work in Bellevue, where would you head?

Crossroads Mall International Food Court with the family.

If a customer asked you where to go for “the best bite” in Bellevue, where would you send them?

John Howie’s Seastar Restaurant.

What, in your opinion, is the world’s best coffee creation?

Keep it simple….Black Americano.

What activity in or around Bellevue is a “must” for those visiting the region?

I am biased but I really have to say Bellevue Botanical Garden. What a beautiful, relaxing spot to stroll around with friends, family or by yourself. Right in the heart of the city….and its free.

Where’s your go-to happy hour spot?

Purple Café.

Where do you go when you’re craving something sweet?

The French Bakery.

Where do you enjoy drinking your coffee when you can take it wherever you like?

Enjoying a relaxing stroll around Bellevue Botanical Gardens.

What’s your favorite spring or summer event in Bellevue?

Downtown Park Movie night with the family.

How would you describe Bellevue to visitors?

Bellevue has great shopping, parks, beaches and lakes. Its proximity to everywhere is fantastic. It also has great family activities.

Stay tuned for more Bellevue Coffee Maker Spotlights from Visit Bellevue Washington. Be sure to pay Tony and his crew at Copper Kettle Coffee Bar a visit this summer and post your photos with the hashtag #MyBellevue to enter our summer photo contest! (Full contest details here.)

Photo Credits – Copper Kettle Coffee Bar 

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Bellevue Coffee Maker Spotlight – Meet Jenessa


Bellevue’s Cafe Trophy opened last summer at The Shops At The Bravern as the brainchild of local Trophy Cupcakes & Party founder, Jennifer Shea. Serving coffee, fresh French-style pastries, macarons and champagne alongside their locally-acclaimed cupcakes, the Cafe Trophy concept can best be described as a grown-up bakery-cafe-champagne bar.

Spacious, warm and stylish, the space at Cafe Trophy draws you in. But beyond being a chic meeting-spot for a little indulgence, Cafe Trophy embodies Jennifer Shea’s belief that every day should be a celebration. The friendly staff and attention to detail show the team’s dedication to making their customers’ day, no matter whether they’re looking for a birthday treat or just need a reason to celebrate. For this week’s spotlight we talked to Jenessa Thatcher, Cafe Trophy team manager, about what she loves best about Cafe Trophy and being in Bellevue.

What is your name?

Jenessa Thatcher.

Which coffee shop are you with?

Cafe Trophy.

What inspires you to come to work every day?

I get every ounce of inspiration from my amazing crew. We are just one little family here, and that love and support is truly what keeps our happy vibes rolling along.

Signature coffee order? 

The Undertow- 1 pump Vanilla, 2 shots espresso, w/ 1inch breve, served affogato.

When you’re not drinking coffee, what’s your go-to beverage of choice?

On-tap Prosecco from Cafe Trophy in Bellevue!

Do you have a favorite place in Bellevue?

Cactus.

If you were going out after work in Bellevue, where would you head?

Lucky Strike Bowling Alley!

If a customer asked you where to go for “the best bite” in Bellevue, where would you send them?

Lot No.3

What is your favorite accompaniment to your morning coffee?

A fresh baked butter croissant & the Seattle Times.

What, in your opinion, is the world’s best coffee creation?

Espresso espresso espresso!

What activity in or around Bellevue is a “must” for those visiting the region?

The Bellevue Japanese Garden at Bellevue Botanical Garden.

Where’s your go-to happy hour spot?

Blue C Sushi.

Where do you go when you’re craving something sweet?

Cafe Trophy of course! Can’t beat their cupcakes.  

Where do you enjoy drinking your coffee?

I take my cup of joe on the go!

What’s your favorite spring or summer event in Bellevue?

The Bellevue Farmers Market.

How would you describe Bellevue to tourists? 

As a bustling city center, with a huge dollop of Seattle flavor on top.

Stay tuned for more Bellevue Coffee Maker Spotlights from Visit Bellevue Washington. Be sure to pay Jenessa and her crew at Trophy Cafe a visit this summer and post your photos with the hashtag #MyBellevue to enter our summer photo contest! (Full contest details here.)

Photo Credits – Cafe Trophy

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