Pesos, Beers, Burgers and Scooters.


OK, you say, the Weekly launched "Ask a Mexican" a couple weeks ago and now it's looking for Latinos everywhere. Be that as it may, we recently received an invitation to the gran apertura of Plaza Bank, the first Latino-owned bank in the state (and fifth in the nation). According to assistant manager Shauna Plante, the bank's 12 founders include former Mariners star Edgar Martinez and beauty salon entrepreneur Gene Juarez. The bank is pitching itself as a "community bank" whose bilingual staff will cater to a Latino clientele. Plante says the bank's branch at Kent Station—South King County's answer to University Village—will offer access to the rapidly growing Hispanic population in Seattle's more affordable southerly suburbs. NINA SHAPIRO


Despite an underreported amount of impassioned testimony from small business owners and drinking rights watchdogs, the State Liquor Control Board went ahead and unanimously approved the city of Seattle's desire to ban about 30 brands of cheap, potent beer and wine from being sold at package stores in virtually the entire urban core, citing neighborhood litter pickups as its scientific method for choosing which brands to single out. The ban doesn't go into effect until November. Laughing Clown Malt Liquor, we hardly knew you. MIKE SEELY


Of the five Dick's Drive-In locations—Wallingford, Holman Road, Broadway, Lake City, and Lower Queen Anne—the lone indoor Dick's on LQA is generally regarded as the one in need of the mellowest police presence. The enclosed nature of the roofed Dick's makes it less susceptible to high-school cruisers, drunken college students, and wannabe roughnecks intent on flaunting their sound systems while munching on greasy little fries. Granted, this can make for quite an enjoyable human circus if one is in an altered state at 2 in the morning, but it's generally pretty annoying—which is what makes the LQA Dick's such an oasis of unfettered flavor and tranquility. Yet after two alleged violent attacks there within the past two weeks—one stabbing, one shooting (no fatal-ities, as reported in the Queen Anne News) —that rep may be subject to review. MIKE SEELY


A young Asian-American lass on a Segway scooter whizzed along Denny Way near Tini Big's lounge the other morning. As she passes by, it's evident that she's wearing a Seattle Public Utilities polo, with two small satchels hanging off the side of her Jetsons-like craft. When she stops her Segway a half-block up, removes a metal hook from one of her side bags, and lifts the cover off a meter, it all makes sense: Princess Kitty is a meter reader. Come to think of it, there have got to be more hip Asian-American public service workers in Seattle than anywhere in the Western Hemisphere. Not a day goes by when some light brown fox or hunk in sporty blue shorts isn't slugging mail over Queen Anne Hill or through the Republic of Ballard. Sure beats the hell out of the stereotypical "going postal" couriers that laze about the middle of the country. MIKE SEELY

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