Today, I'd like to pay tribute to some of Seattle’s Most Deceptively-Named Retail Establishments. In a down economy, you have to say “hats off!” to the folks who have the courage to open and operate stores with a completely unclear theme and/or business model. Really. We need more shops like you.
Happy Endings (1409 East Madison Street). You know how it is with today’s hectic lifestyles. You’re in a hurry, running late … You need to pick up a used sombrero, an electric bingo machine, and a case of organic buffalo-meat cat food. Normally, you would have to go to three different places to check everything off your list. Not anymore! Now, there’s Happy Endings, a self-described “urban mercantile” which is apparently not a code for a “massage parlor,” despite the missed opportunity in the name. On their website, you’ll find their mission succinctly described: Vintage Finds. Pet Grocery. Art Gallery.
If a pet food shop decided to host a neighborhood garage sale, Happy Endings is what it would look like (please don’t ask them if they sell organic cat food “with release…”) In addition to organic pet food, you can snag such gems as a non-vintage red sombrero—the kind a tourist might’ve bought in Tijuana in 1987 after doing one too many Jell-o shots at Senior Frog’s. If you’re good on sombreros, pick up a 70s-era divan that looks like something from your Great Aunt Maude’s house (for better or worse), and a synthetic cardigan that, at $40, costs more than it would have retail. The selection of health-conscious pet foods, although strangely out of place in this bizarre, bazaar environment, is good and reasonably priced. I was delighted to find cat food made of organic rabbit (no, seriously), since the vet prescribed rabbit-based diet for my obese cats as part of hypo-allergenic weight reduction (a.k.a. “money reduction”) diet. Here, the rabbit cat food was about half the price charged by the vet. But, sadly, the only items that even come close to living up to the shop’s suggestive name were a small selection of artisanal dog collars, which, in larger sizes, might appeal to the fetish community.
Speaking of… if you have good vision, you can stand in front of Happy Endings and spot a shop across the way called The Doghouse (1312 East Pike Street). You may think, “Fido needs a new leash and a chew toy!” If Fido is your submissive Bear boyfriend, this is the perfect place to get that special gift. At first glance, I seriously thought it was a pet shop. It’s…not. It’s almost as if there were a mix-up with the sign maker, and Happy Endings and The Doghouse each got stuck with the wrong signage, but for some sitcom-y reason, both shops decided to just make do.