West Seattle development: 12 units proposed for 6537, 6541 35th SW in Upper Morgan

(King County Assessor photos for 6537 35th SW & 6541 35th SW)

Checking the city files to see what came in just before the holiday weekend, we’ve found new early-stage site plans for two parcels just south of the Upper Morgan business district on the west side of 35th SW. They are filed for 6537 35th SW and 6541 35th SW, to replace two 90+-year-old houses. Both lots are zoned NC2-40, as is that entire block, all the way to the next street south, SW Holly. The files show almost-identical site plans for the two lots, each with two live-work units fronting on 35th, four townhouses behind them, and five parking spaces on the alley behind that. Documents also indicate these sites will go through the “streamlined design review” process, which means no public meetings, but there will be a chance for public comment, once the official notices go out – watch for the sites to show up here.

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COMMENCEMENT ROBES WANTED: Request for donations from recent West Seattle HS grads

With this year’s commencement ceremony just a few weeks away, we’ve been asked to share a donation request to ensure that all West Seattle High School seniors can participate in this year’s ceremony. Volunteer coordinator Amy Doll has asked the WSHS community if any of last year’s graduates would consider donating the robes they wore in the commencement ceremony: “I have several students that aren’t walking because of the cost of the robes. The PTSA has a budget to help students but I would like to be able to let kids keep their Hat, Stole, and Tassel. I can do that if I have donated robes.” If you can donate one, please drop it off in the school office, which is open weekdays until 3 pm (though not tomorrow, because of the holiday).

P.S. One parent tells us they’re also welcoming used prom dresses. If you have a question about these donation requests, please e-mail asdoll@seattleschools.org. (Prom is next Friday, June 4th; graduation is June 21st.)

West Seattle birds: Eagles vs. ospreys

Two Alki photographers have noticed the local raptors clashing, and shared photos. First, from David Hutchinson:

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David writes:

On arriving at Jack Block Park … Eilene & I noticed a few crows dive-bombing the area above the elevated viewing platform. We thought that this behavior might indicate the presence of an eagle, so decided to walk out on the dock to check things out. About half way there, a bald eagle flew out from behind the trees and headed toward Salty’s. We thought we’d missed our chance, but when we got out on the dock, there was still one eagle sitting up at the top of the structure. He/she didn’t seem that much bothered by the crows and engaged in grooming periodically.

When an osprey arrived overhead the eagle became much more agitated and soon flew off to the top of one of the more distant, tall light standards in Terminal 5, followed by the osprey. There they engaged in a brief battle before the osprey moved on toward the nesting area south of the high bridge.

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During their confrontation the osprey would dive bomb from above while the eagle would throw itself upward and turn upside down so its extended talons were pointed toward the oncoming osprey.

Second, from Gary Jones, frequent observer of these big birds’ Alki Point hangout:

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If you can’t tell on your screen – the osprey in Gary’s photo has a fish in its beak. Find out more about them, and hear them, via this BirdWeb link; here’s the corresponding link for bald eagles.

NEXT SUNDAY: Baby Orca Birthday Bash!

A free, first-of-its-kind event is one week away, and you’re invited: The Baby Orca Birthday Bash, next Sunday (June 5th) at the Alki Bathhouse, 2-5 pm. It’s the kickoff to Orca Month as well as a celebration of all the orca calves born to Puget Sound’s Southern Resident Killer Whales in the past year and a half. The plans include:

*Orca storytelling by West Seattle-based Killer Whale Tales
*Orca bingo with prizes by West Seattle-based The Whale Trail
*Orca birthday cakes that you get to judge, with cakes donated by bakers including West Seattle’s Stuffed Cakes and BAKED
*Live music
*Face painting
*Orca hat and fin making
*Sammy the Salmon and Mike the Inflatable Orca
*Photo booth
*Free tote bags for the first 100 people to arrive

This promises to be both fun and educational, presented by the Orca Salmon Alliance, which highlights the fact that not only are our local orcas endangered, so are the fish they need to survive – and the more we learn about how to help them, the better their chances of survival.

Highland Park Elementary plans its playground: Time to ‘get excited’!


(Click image to see as full-size PDF)

At this month’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting, Connie Wolf, vice president of the HP Elementary PTA, gave the group a quick update on progress toward the school’s new playground. It now has a design, with help from students, but also has a long road to reality. Your help is needed – and your enthusiasm for helping them get a place to play! An upcoming open house was mentioned; we asked for more information and design images, and received this update from Elyse Clemens on the playground committee:

Over the course of this school year, the community at Highland Park Elementary School worked together with Pomegranate Center to design a playground for our school. Using input from the students, families, teachers, and community members, the new playground design is full of natural elements for students to play and explore on. There are hill slides, boulder steps, log scrambles, a net climber, and rain and sensory gardens. We are also looking forward to a welcoming entry way on 11th Ave SW that will invite the entire community to enjoy the new space:


(Click image to see as full-size PDF)

This Fall we will be working with Pomegranate Center to develop construction drawings for the design. And throughout the 2016-2017 school year we will be holding community events to raise funds, both direct monetary contributions and community participation matching through Seattle Neighborhood Matching Fund. We hope to have enough money to start the first phase of construction in Summer 2017.

We will be holding an Open House on Thursday June 16th from 6-7 pm at the current playground. This is an opportunity to meet the Pomegranate Center design team and get excited about the future playground. They will map out the design with sidewalk chalk on the blacktop and answer questions. All are welcome to join in the celebration!

We hear there’ll be ice cream! Get it on your calendar – it’ll be on ours. HP Elementary is at 1012 SW Trenton.

West Seattle Sunday: Holiday-weekend happenings, day/night 2

Good morning! From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and inbox, here’s what you need to know:

REMINDER – NO BRIDGE CLOSURE TONIGHT: Because of the holiday, the next closure of the west end of the West Seattle Bridge for the Fauntleroy Expressway seismic-cushion-re-replacement project is not scheduled until Tuesday night.

LAST DAY TO VOTE ON SPENDING $700,000 … Between 11 and 25? Know someone who is? This is the voting deadline in the city’s Participatory Budgeting experiment. Vote online here.

POPPIES TO HELP VETERANS: 8 am-4 pm, American Legion Post 160 will be at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) again today, offering poppies both to benefit veterans and to remind people what the holiday is about.

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In our photo from Saturday are Post 160’s Commander Keith Hughes and Ron Wright. (California/Fauntleroy/Morgan)

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: Strawberries and asparagus are abundant this time of year, and WSFM promises cherries this week too. 10 am-2 pm in The Junction. (California SW between SW Oregon and SW Alaska)

HIGHLAND PARK SPRAYPARK, DAY 2: Will today be any warmer? 11 am-8 pm, the spraypark is ready to go, rain or shine. (1100 SW Cloverdale)

COLMAN POOL, DAY 2: The water’s warm, so the air doesn’t have to be. Noon-7 pm, three swim sessons, as listed on the schedule for the outdoor pool in Lincoln Park. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)

ALKI POINT LIGHTHOUSE TOURS, DAY 2: 1 pm-4 pm, with the last group allowed onto the grounds at 3:40 pm. Go see the historic lighthouse and an awesome view, free! (Alki SW/Beach Drive SW)

AT C & P THIS AFTERNOON: Jazz, blues, and bossa nova blended by Mezze, at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 3-5 pm. (5612 California SW)

AT KENYON HALL TONIGHT: The Girsky Quartet performs music by Beethoven and Shostakovich. 7:30 pm. (7904 35th SW)

WHAT ELSE IS UP? Check our complete calendar.

Baseball in your backyard! Semi-pro Highline Bears win season opener in White Center

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By Randall Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog & White Center Now

The semi-pro Highline Bears baseball team launched its second season at Steve Cox Memorial Park in grand fashion Saturday night, downing the Langley Blaze 10-0 to give manager Rich Lindros a big win in his debut.

Starting pitcher Al Miller needed just seven innings to collect his complete-game shutout, thanks to the efficient Bears offense which used just three hits to generate enough runs to trigger an early end to the game via the “mercy rule.” Miller also surrendered only three hits on the evening, striking out two.

After Blaze starter Brandon Marklund loaded the bases in the fourth inning by hitting three Bears batters, second baseman Connor Jones delivered a two-out single to score Cameron Slader (a West Seattle High School alum) and Colton Kelly.

Marklund’s control struggles continued in the fifth inning, when he again loaded the bases without giving up a hit, this time walking first baseman Angel Valencia before hitting the next two batters. The Bears would pounce on the opportunity, plating six runs in the frame despite a Parker Coffey single being the only hit the home team would produce.

The Bears finished things in the seventh, again taking advantage of Langley pitching issues. After Ben Fitzhugh and Connor Jones each drew walks, third baseman Drew Larea doubled down the right-field line to make it 9-0. Myles Wesner grounded to second, but Ben Foerster’s throw to the plate could not prevent Jones from scoring a game-ending run.

Following the game, children in attendance were invited to run around the bases while Bears players lined the infield offering high-fives to their young fans, who then proceeded to collect autographs from their heroes in blue.

The two teams will meet again today (Sunday) at Steve Cox (1321 SW 102nd) for a doubleheader beginning at noon. Tickets are $5, with kids under 12 admitted free.

West Seattle sunset: Not so gray at end of the day

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Our top photo is by James Bratsanos, who observed that the sky looked “on fire” during tonight’s sunset. It was a colorful conclusion to a gray day; here’s a wider view from Lynn Hall:

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The forecast for tomorrow sounds a lot like today – but sunshine is still expected Monday!

From White Center Now: Bok a Bok Fried Chicken, days away

Two months after we got word that Bok a Bok Korean Fried Chicken was on the way to White Center, it’s opening Wednesday, and invited media in tonight. We dropped in for a few photos and updates – including, most importantly if you’re interested, the menu! See it on WCN.

CONGRATULATIONS! State championship for West Seattle HS Unified Soccer

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Another state title for local athletes today: The photo is from the Washington Interscholastic Athletics Association Twitter feed, which announced that the West Seattle High School Unified Soccer team won the Division 1 state title, 4-0 over Camas. (Here’s our previous report on the WSHS team.)

CONGRATULATIONS! Sealth’s Assa Kaba, WSHS’s Lani Taylor win state track titles

FIRST REPORT, 2:52 PM: At the state 3A track and field championships in Tacoma, two runners from our area are coming home with titles! Chief Sealth International High School‘s Assa Kaba won the 100m in 12.58:

Thanks to Kristin Arvidson for sending first word and that photo.

ADDED 3:10 PM: And congratulations to Kaba for another title just now – 200m, in 24.90!

(back to original report) And via Twitter, we got the news that West Seattle High School‘s Lani Taylor won the 400m:


The meet runs another hour and a half or so, and we will update with any other news about local athletes.

Beware of the birds! 3 reader reports from north West Seattle

You know we love birds and are honored to receive beautiful photos to share here several times a week. But – on occasion, birds can be dangerous too, especially in nesting season, and we have three recent reports to share. First one is just in from Greg:

I wanted to give a heads up to anyone that runs or walks on Fairmount (Ave) about an aggressive owl.

Last night around dusk I was running when I felt something on my head and realized an owl had clawed me. It hovered above and made a few more swipes. I scared it off and then about 100 yards later it swooped again, clawing the back of my head. I didn’t see any blood but it feels like I have a scratch – hard to tell under my hair.

It was white, possibly a barred owl – a white, beautiful bird. It was silent as it approached. The incident happened downhill of where Admiral street crosses over – basically half way between the bridge underpass and the homes on the road.

I’ve heard owls like this will repeat the behavior, so I want to make sure people are aware.

Carl reported the same thing recently:

I normally go jogging around 8-9 at night. This might I was running down Fairmount ravine in the dark when something sharp clawed my head. This was north of the Admiral Way overpass. The owl would not let go for at least 50 meters and I had to shine a light in his face for him not to attack me. He tried several more times to dive bomb me.

The ravine is not far, by the way, from where Rose reported an attack along Harbor Avenue two months ago.

Our third report: A crow got aggressive outside the West Seattle (Admiral) Library one morning this week, reported by Karin:

Have you heard about a territorial crow at the West Seattle library? I put some books in the book drop … and a crow attacked me. It followed me to Met Market, cawing and diving at me. It didn’t touch me, but it certainly scared me! I’m wondering if it was me or if I just got too close to a nest. Either way, I’m avoiding the library for a while…

From the state’s excellent Living With Wildlife series, here’s information about dive-bombing crows, and a similar note about owls.

West Seattle art: 9-year-old painter exhibiting at Ampersand Café

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If you don’t go to Alki today to sit on the beach … go to see Milo‘s watercolor paintings. Milo is a 9-year-old third-grader at Pathfinder K-8 who started painting cars less than two months ago, and is already having his first exhibition – on the walls at Ampersand Café. His proud mom Sarah sent us these images of some of his work.

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Sarah tells us Milo is “passionate about cars” but “also plays piano and is a decent chess player.” Milo’s paintings just went up at Ampersand (2536 Alki Avenue SW, open 6:30 am-5:30 pm daily) and will be up for about a month; if you like his creations, they’re featured on a poster that’s available for purchase.

West Seattle Saturday: First day of the season for Colman Pool, Highland Park Spraypark, lighthouse tours … and more!

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(Northern Flicker, photographed by Mark Wangerin)

Welcome to Memorial Day weekend! Highlights for today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and inbox:

TRAFFIC NOTE: No overnight bridge closure tonight; the next scheduled closure isn’t until Tuesday night, because of the holiday.

Now, what IS happening:

POST 160 POPPIES: 8 am-4 pm, American Legion Post 160 will be at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) offering the handmade poppies that are reminders of what Memorial Day is about. (California/Fauntleroy/Morgan)

MOBILE BLOOD DRIVE: Give a life-saving gift in The Junction today, with a mobile blood drive 9 am-3 pm (closed 11 am-noon); details in our listing. (42nd SW/SW Alaska)

ANCIENT LOCAL PLANT AND ANIMAL COMMUNITY RECOVERY TOUR: 10 am at Orchard Street Ravine in Gatewood, with naturalist Stewart Wechsler – info on his website. (3800 SW Orchard)

OPENING DAY FOR HIGHLAND PARK SPRAYPARK: 11 am-8 pm, it’s the first day of the season – which runs 7 days a week through Labor Day – at Highland Park Spraypark, the only spraypark in West Seattle. (1100 SW Cloverdale)

PLANT SALE AT SSC: The Landscape Horticulture program at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) is selling plants again today at the Garden Center on the north end of campus, 11 am-3 pm. (6000 16th SW)

FAMILY GAME DAY AT MEEPLES: Not warm enough for your favorite outdoor fun? Play indoors at Meeples Games (WSB sponsor), on Family Game Day! 11:30 am-3 pm. (3727 California SW)

COLMAN POOL’S OPENING DAY: This year, the historic pool in Lincoln Park celebrates its 75th anniversary. Be part of it starting today, as the first pre-season weekend begins. Three swim sessions noon-7 pm – check the brochure for full details. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)

ALKI LIGHTHOUSE TOURS BEGIN: As previewed here earlier this week, it’s the first day of the season for free tours of historic Alki Point Lighthouse, thanks to the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. 1 pm-4 pm, last group allowed in at 3:40. (Alki SW/Beach Drive SW)

LIVE HIP-HOP: 5 pm at The Skylark – details in our listing. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

DAMON BUXTON: Guitarist/composer, live at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)

Celebration of life June 5th for Renee Amundson Rundle, 1937-2016

Family and friends will gather on June 5th to celebrate the life of Renee Rundle, 79. Her family is sharing this tribute, remembering her as a woman of “many talents”:

Renee Marion Amundson Rundle passed away peacefully on April 28, 2016 after a valiant battle with multiple illnesses.

She was born in North Dakota on February 11, 1937 to Julia and Gerhard Amundson. While she was still quite young the family moved to Seattle, Washington. Renee attended West Woodland Elementary School, James Monroe Middle School and graduated from Ballard High School in 1955. She married Clayton Rundle in 1956 and they welcomed their daughter Michelle into their family in 1968.

She graduated with a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Washington. Throughout her career she worked for PR firms including Bernhagen & Associates and Ehrig & Associates. She also was the Editor for the Alki News. Most recently she worked as the Volunteer Coordinator for Providence Mount St. Vincent in West Seattle.

Renee had many talents. In her younger years she was an accomplished majorette, a member of the Ballard High School and All City Band, and on her high-school yearbook staff. Later in life she pursued many interests including traveling, sailing, playing on a softball team, and studying the universe, meditation, and art. She loved writing and poetry and dreamed of having her poems published. She was also passionate about her community and not afraid to speak up if something needed to be addressed, as she often did for Alki. Though her physical health limited her at times, her spirit was strong and she was always seeking and open to new adventures.

Renee is survived by her daughter Michelle Rundle, sisters Gwen Cleveland (Arne) and Janet Woodfield (Ed), and multiple nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Please gather with us to celebrate her life at 3:00 PM, Sunday, June 5, in the Fellowship Hall of Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church, 2400 NW 85th St, Seattle. Per her wishes, please also come dressed in brightly colored party clothes. In lieu of flowers, donations to your favorite charity in her honor are welcome.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Alki Art Fair 2016: Two-part T-shirt search

This year’s Alki Art Fair (with co-sponsors including WSB) is now less than two months away and tonight, organizers have a two-part request involving the T-shirts for which the event is well-known:

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We need a little help from our friends!

Over the last 18 years of the Alki Art Fair, there have been 20 different official T-shirts (a couple of years we had an extra supplemental ‘Kids Entry’ Winner). We have collected 18 past designs and are missing a couple … if you have an Art Fair T-shirt that is NOT one of those pictured above, please send us a photo!!!!!

Also, please let us know if you can identify the years that any of the shirts without printed dates on them are from.

Plus: We are still taking submissions for this year’s T-shirt design with the theme ‘Around the Sound.’ Please send your entry to vendors@alkiartfair.org by June 7. Design entry is open to the public and should include ‘Alki Art Fair 2016’ in the design.

This year’s Alki Art Fair is set for Saturday and Sunday, July 23-24, along the Alki Beach Park promenade as usual.

West Seattle Memorial Day: Post 160 providing poppies this weekend

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(WSB photo from 2014)

Another Memorial Day tradition: Tomorrow and Sunday you can get your poppies from American Legion Post 160 at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor), 8 am-4 pm both days. From Post 160’s announcement: “The Poppy is a symbol to remember those servicepersons who have perished in service to our nation. Donations received from Poppy Distribution will go to Veterans and Veterans’ Families in the local community.”

Thriftway is where California/Fauntleroy/Morgan meet. Meantime, Post 160 also invites you to Monday’s traditional Memorial Day ceremony at Forest Lawn (6701 30th SW; WSB sponsor) at 2 pm.

West Seattle whales: Humpbacks off Water Taxi dock

Thanks to the texter who just sent that phone video of what appear to be two humpback whales off the Water Taxi dock at Seacrest! We’ll be heading out in a bit to see if they’re still off our shore – let us know if you see/have seen them!

P.S. We checked the Orca Network page for any word of other sightings in the area and found this post with video of two humpbacks across the Sound in Port Orchard/Bremerton waters earlier today.

West Seattle development: Trees cut at Delridge Way site north of Youngstown

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The North Delridge development boomlet continues. A long-set-for-construction site north of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center suddenly caught a lot of attention today with crews cutting trees (note the “FREE WOOD” sign). That brought in a few questions about what’s happening there. The city files for this site contain a variety of plans that have changed in the past few years, but as far as we can tell, what’s currently approved includes two 2-unit, 4-story townhouse buildings toward the middle of the site, and one single-family house on the north side.

ALERT: Partial closure ahead for Charles Richey Sr. Viewpoint handrail work

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(WSB photo)

Just announced by Seattle Parks, a big project ahead – starting right after Memorial Day – at Charles Richey Sr. Viewpoint in the 3500 block of Beach Drive, just south of Alki Point:

Starting on Tuesday, May 31, Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) will close a section of Charles Richey, Sr. Viewpoint, 3521 Beach Dr. SW, so that a crew can replace an old, rusty handrail.

The work involves cutting the old handrail into pieces, core drilling 47 holes in the supporting concrete, and setting the new handrail and mortar in place.

The crew estimates the work will take eight to 10 working days. While there will be no access to the viewpoint once the work begins, there will be street parking available at the site evenings and weekends.

SPR regrets any inconvenience to park users, looks forward to providing a new, safe handrail in time for summer, and hopes park visitors will enjoy nearby Me Kwa Mooks, Schmitz, and Whale Tail parks while the work is under way.

We asked Parks, after receiving this, which specific section of Richey Viewpoint/Constellation Park will be affected; spokesperson Christina Hirsch said she expects it’ll be “most of” that stretch, because of the vehicles and equipment that will be involved.

FOLLOWUP: Ruling in for Luna Park Café sign; fine cut in half

FIRST REPORT, 2:02 PM: Just in: Deputy Hearing Examiner Anne Watanabe‘s decision on Luna Park Café owner John Bennett‘s appeal of a $500 citation for an A-frame sign. We first reported two weeks ago that he had been cited for the sign, after two warnings to remove it; city rules say business owners can only have such signs adjacent to their business, but his café is half a block away.

The complaint targeted a group of signs at Harbor/Avalon, not just Bennett’s, we learned when he argued his appeal before Watanabe downtown eight days ago (here’s our report). She said she’d have a ruling in a week or so, so we’ve been checking the city website, where it was posted half an hour ago (read the ruling here). Watanabe affirmed the SDOT decision to cite Bennett for the against-the-rules sign, but reduced the penalty from $500 – the fine for using right-of-way without a permit – to $250, the usual sign-citation amount, noting SDOT wasn’t opposed to a reduction, since it was a first-time citation.

Examiner decisions are the final word so far as the city goes; to challenge a ruling like this, you would have to go to court. We’re seeking comment from Bennett and will update.

ADDED 2:32 PM: Bennett tells us via e-mail that he’ll decide next week what to do about it, adding, “I’m a little upset that the sign ordinances are selectively enforced. I also feel small businesses shouldn’t have to pay heavy fines.” (City reps said again in last week’s hearing that enforcement is by complaint – there may be routine rule-breakers out there, but there’s no enforcement unless someone complains, same as a variety of other non-criminal city code situations.)

West Seattle restaurants: Angelina’s has ‘closed the doors for good’

After almost seven years under its current ownership, Angelina’s in The Admiral District has closed. We went to the restaurant at 2311 California SW to investigate after getting tips from two readers, and got confirmation. West Seattleites Skip and Allison Rich bought Angelina’s from its longtime previous owners in 2009, remodeling it, adding a bar, and removing “Trattoria” from its name before reopening it that fall. Here’s the text of the note that Allison tells WSB they will be posting:

Dear West Seattle,

It is with great sadness that we have closed the doors for good. We could no longer balance our personal lives and the restaurant. We have given all we have to this baby for 7 years and it is time now to start a new chapter in our lives.

We thank each and every one of you for your support throughout the years. We have watched your children grow up and watched lives change in many ways. It was our pleasure serving you! We will miss you more than you will ever know. As you were customers, you were family to us! With every lasagna, chicken parm or Rod’s scramble we served, we did it with all our hearts.

Thank you Admiral District for treating us so well! We will miss you terribly.

All our love and thanks,
Allison and Skip

Their restaurant has been, and still is, up for sale.

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