Charlestown Cafe is open again!

June 30, 2008 at 6:05 am | In Charlestown Cafe, West Seattle news, West Seattle video | 14 Comments

charlestownsign.jpgThe video above shows Charlestown Cafe staff greeting Ted, the first customer to walk through the door on the restaurant’s grand-reopening day – he arrived a few minutes after 6 am, as the beloved restaurant is back in business almost five months after a fire shut it down. We’ve talked with co-owner Larry Mellum, who’s also been interviewed by at least one TV crew so far (that’s a channel 7 photographer you see in the video above), and says he’s thrilled for this day to have finally arrived. More video and pix, including an interview with Larry, coming up. ADDED 6:34 AM: Another clip — a quick look inside, just before the first customer arrived:

ADDED 6:52 AM: Just before the customers began arriving, we talked with Larry about what’s changed at his restaurant, and what hasn’t:

Now a little of the backstory, to help with context for all this – The Charlestown Cafe has been a West Seattle fixture practically since its opening in 1991. Then, two years ago, in summer 2006, the cafe owners announced they were losing their lease because the property owner wanted to redevelop the site. A community outcry ensued, as did various hearings on the development. Then this year, just a few days before the February fire, when it seemed the project had been stalled for months, the Charlestown owners announced they had something of a reprieve (WSB report here). Still much to be decided about its future, but when the property owner committed to the repairs, that said a lot about a commitment to the restaurant for some time to come. (More later.)

14 Comments

  1. Before Webster’s Charlestown there was Webster’s, further south on California, where the vet clinic is now I think. Webster’s has been a WS fixture since the ’70s at least.

    Comment by arborheightist — 7:13 am June 30, 2008 #

  2. Thanks! We were definitely just alluding to this incarnation but that’s great historical background, which we don’t personally have since we’ve only been in WS since ’91.

    Comment by WSB — 7:32 am June 30, 2008 #

  3. West Seattle life is complete again! Thanks for the excellent news.

    Comment by Tessa Bowden — 10:08 am June 30, 2008 #

  4. Yes, arborheighist is right! Webster’s was indeed where the vet clinic is now, near the Nursery, and it was always packed full of customers. For a brief time there was a branch on First Hill as well. Oh how I miss the Webster’s salad, full of chopped vegetables, and the most luscious dressing ever!

    Comment by Kacey — 10:53 am June 30, 2008 #

  5. Enjoyed the crab cake eggs benedict this morning. Nice to see all the familar faces!

    Comment by Karl — 11:01 am June 30, 2008 #

  6. Took a few minutes out of work for Breakfast at Charlestown this morning and will skip lunch this afternoon. Great to have them back!

    Comment by Chris — 11:43 am June 30, 2008 #

  7. There was a Webster’s before the southern California Ave site. It was very small and in the parking lot (more or less) of the Chevy dealership on Fauntleroy Ave. Same great food. Was a favorite for breakfast then,too. Loved the potatoes and pies.

    Comment by Patty McPhee — 3:12 pm June 30, 2008 #

  8. And before it was Webster’s on California it was the White Spot Cafe on Fauntleroy just off Alaska. Great breakfasts and lots of coffee then, too.

    Comment by fiz — 9:46 pm June 30, 2008 #

  9. Yes, I often went to Webster’s in its earlier days south of Erskine — as far back as 1979 when I moved here as a young’n. Smaller, always packed, always friendly, and always good! (That was back when there also used to be a Denny’s a few blocks north of them.)

    Comment by PSPS — 10:04 pm June 30, 2008 #

  10. All is back to normal. This morning the Rev. Jay Walker got off the bus across from the Charlestown Cafe and jaywalked across a busy California Ave for his breakfast stop.

    Comment by BusRider — 9:33 am July 1, 2008 #

  11. I am soooooooo glad for back to normal! A huge thanks to the owners and staff for hanging in there to see this through!

    Comment by call me naive... — 3:09 pm July 1, 2008 #

  12. There was also Meal Makers in Burien (now Kelo’ed & demolished to make way for a big development), which I hear used to be part of the Webster’s family.

    Comment by Jenny — 1:13 pm July 2, 2008 #

  13. I like the support of local businesses, and I am happy to see the success of a small business. But keep in mind, West Seattle needs a lot more growth. This restaurant is another greasy spoon, that West Seattle could do without. Its a waste of real estate, which is being occupied by a restaurant that serves below average food, that West Seattlites have grown accustom to. I guess now the elderly have an alternative to the McDonald’s morning breakfast and coffee.

    Comment by Jamal Ginsberg — 5:58 pm July 5, 2008 #

  14. Welcome back! You were missed.

    Comment by Diane — 10:37 pm July 28, 2008 #

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