If you’re not the type to closely follow restaurant openings in town, this news might be something of a shock: Pioneer Square is the hottest culinary locale around. In just a year’s time, a half-dozen restaurants have opened, breathing new life into long-vacant storefronts and bringing energy to the struggling neighborhood. Leading the charge was Matt Dillon, the James Beard Foundation Award–winning chef who opened two lovely destination-worthy spots: first, Bar Sajor, and then, The London Plane, on opposite corners of Jackson and Occidental. Dillon generally eschews any talk of a master plan to revitalize the neighborhood with his projects, insisting that his presence is simply a reflection of his loyal and long-standing affection for the area. Still, his actions have spurred a shift in attitudes, and the historic streets of Seattle’s oldest neighborhood are coming alive yet again.
The Full List: Most Influential People of 2013
Their finger prints are all over Seattle. From protecting honeybees to regulating marijuana to popping and locking, these 54 men and women (and in one case, a machine) are shaping our neighborhoods, economy, attitudes and future. In the case of our person of the year—for the first time in our nine years of compiling this list, it’s a tie!—the impact is on a global scale. We may not always like the direction they are taking us in but it’s hard to deny: these folks are taking us somewhere.