May 6

Celebrate SLU

Kati Vegan Thai, MOHAI, and others win awards at this big annual neighborhood party.

The South Lake Union Chamber of Commerce once again threw an impressive bash to celebrate the spirit and connectivity of the neighborhood and its businesses and organizations.

Celebrate SLU is yearly recognition event that highlights local businesses and nonprofits. Each year since 2008, the Chamber has recognized businesses and organizations that demonstrate strong efforts in building a successful community in the neighborhood.

Just like in 2021, the ceremony was held virtually.

“This year’s event was virtual for the second year in a row which always brings some minor technical difficulties. We came out of it without a glitch though,” said Natalie Dewey-Smith, marketing and events manager for the Chamber.

Like with many virtual events, Dewey-Smith explained that gaining higher-level sponsorships are always a challenge. “We think larger organizations may not see the same benefits of sponsoring an in-person event. Also, we know many organizations are still recovering from the pandemic just as we are and may have tighter budgets.”

The big plus of holding Celebrate SLU virtual?

“You get to see everyone’s ecstatic faces when the winners were announced,” she said.

Screenshot collage of smiling faces on a zoom call.

Speaking of winners, here’s the full list:

SLU Restaurant of the Year: Kati Vegan Thai

SLU Large Nonprofit of the Year: YouthCare

SLU Small Nonprofit of the Year: MOHAI (Museum of History & Industry)

SLU Small Business of the Year: MadArt

New to SLU Business of the Year: Martha’s Garden

SLU Good Neighbor of the Year: Northeastern University ­– Seattle

More than 1,000 votes came in this year to select the Celebrate SLU winners. The most popular category was Best Small Nonprofit.

Patrons viewing an exhibit at a museum.

With so many restaurants now in SLU, it’s great to see a small family business like Kati Vegan Thai rise to win Restaurant of the Year.

“We are honored to be recognized as Restaurant of the Year! We are proud of our amazing team and so thankful to our customers for trying us out and being there for us. We hope to put a smile in your heart every time you try our food,” said Fon Spaulding, the restaurant’s founder.

Busy night time dinner crowd at a Thai restaurant.

Head to the Chamber’s website to check out more about the awards, and to see some of the smiling faces of the attendees and winners.

Story by Ethan Chung & photographs courtesy of Kati Vegan Thai, MOHAI, & SLU Chamber.

At The Center

SLU is the geographical center of Seattle