Serial entrepreneur Marcus Lalario always asks himself one question before launching his next hot Seattle venture: “What’s missing in the city?” In the case of his new boutique, Can’t Blame the Youth (CBTY; Chinatown–International District, 674 S King St.), the answer is a clothing shop selling youth-centric streetwear that doubles as a community space for artists creating and wearing those styles.
The owner of restaurants Fat’s Chicken and Waffles, Li’l Woody’s, Ciudad Grill, online clothing brand Alive & Well, and a former band manager and music promoter, Lalario opened CBTY in May with the help of friends from the music and design scene. The shop’s name was inspired by the idea that adults “can’t blame the youth” for the world they have been given. (T-shirts and hoodies emblazoned with slogans such as “Fear the Future,” created by one of Lalario’s creative partners, Jason Gomez of Flying Coffin clothing, carry similar messages.) The shop’s minimalist design aesthetic features a vintage, working Bosco espresso machine (serving Caffe Vita espresso, naturally) and a backroom community space for retail pop-ups and art shows. As Lalario says, it’s “more than just a storefront."