First SeaMart, now JoJo’s closing at foreclosed Highland Park site

December 30, 2010 at 9:57 am | In Highland Park, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 30 Comments

(Photo by Deanie Schwarz, added 12:58 pm)
Another business is closing on the Highland Park site that is in foreclosure at 16th/Holden. First it was SeaMart, as reported here one week ago; the mini-market’s owner lost the property to foreclosure and shut the store after Christmas Eve. The other two businesses on the site, Zippy’s Giant Burgers and JoJo’s FIne Espresso, have been grappling with what the property’s uncertain future means to their businesses. Yesterday, shortly after publishing a followup focused on Zippy’s, the Seattle Weekly reported separately that JoJo’s owner Jodi Robbins had decided to close. Her stand was closed for the day when we subsequently went over to seek more details, but she confirms it in an online reply this morning: “Yes, it is true, I will be closing shop.” After the jump, her full reply explaining why she’s made the decision, and what she’ll miss:

When SeaMart closed, I lost my bathroom and wash area that was in my plans to the city … I now close shop to run home and use the rest area if I can’t go into Zippy’s. Also I’ve had to take dishes home at night but this is not good enough for the Health Department. We cannot use Zippy’s because they don’t know what is going on with their business and it’s required to have all this within 100 feet, not to mention that my rent is going up, I could barely stay open with the rent it was before.

Dropping a sewer is way too expensive with my husband just being laid off for the second time; we just can’t afford it. Moving to a different location of course is in my mind but the time frame is all wrong, so I will pack up and hold on to my equipment until I know what is next in my future. My family and I have lived in the area for 12 years and the last five years I have gotten to know a lot of people here in West Seattle; plus having teenagers I know a lot of parents that I have shared some good and bad times with. West Seattle has some of the greatest people I have ever met and although we are all different we all want pretty much the same things in life – peace, laughter and being around family and good people.

I will miss so much of the humor that has come through, and although it has been mostly me working seven days a week, I don’t regret opening this little crazy fun coffee shop. I hope Zippy’s gets what they need to take over the whole corner, they are great people with a dream they have worked hard to fulfill and i wish them the best of luck. …

As soon as my supplies run out I will close, and because it has been a slow week i may be here till early next week.

30 Comments

  1. I feel bad for both of those business. But an expanded Zippy’s would be pretty awesome. Maybe some room for eating in on a rainy day.

    Comment by Jeff — 10:22 am December 30, 2010 #

  2. I would love to see Zippy’s expand, with maybe a place for JoJo’s as well!! I can’t remember how many times I’ve realized I need a good cup of coffee to wake me up from my Zippy’s-induced food coma.

    Comment by hoss — 10:36 am December 30, 2010 #

  3. oh, this is so sad. hoping Zippy’s can take over the whole spot and make room for JoJo’s too. Whenever I get a burger from Zippy’s I always pop over to JoJo’s for an iced Americano to go with.

    Comment by HelperMonkey — 10:49 am December 30, 2010 #

  4. I was sad to SeaMart close – they had some great beer selections and was just a great little shop to have in the hood. Now the news of JoJo’s! I love that little espresso cart. I do hope that Zippys can expand and put some life into that corner.

    Comment by Lohoho — 11:16 am December 30, 2010 #

  5. “Also I’ve had to take dishes home at night but this is not good enough for the Health Department. We cannot use Zippy’s because they don’t know what is going on with their business and it’s required to have all this within 100 feet….”

    Government putting small business owners out of business.

    —-

    Way to go Seattle!

    Comment by transplantella — 11:43 am December 30, 2010 #

  6. Oh, it was all like a fantasy; great beer, quirky coffee and AWESOME burgers and shakes! If Zippy’s can possibly expand with a killer beer selection and find a corner for an eccentric coffee window, all will be right at the corner of Holden and 16th.

    …and my heart extends to Seamart- that is some rough ride! We will miss you.

    Comment by c_zen — 11:44 am December 30, 2010 #

  7. Yeah Transplant…the government MADE the seamart guy go out of business and start this whole thing rolling down hill…

    It was the government’s fault that this all happened. Right….

    Probably Obama too, RIGHT?!

    Geez…

    hk

    Comment by HolyKow — 11:52 am December 30, 2010 #

  8. sorry transplantella, but I’m not too cool with dishes being washed at someone’s home and being transported back-and-forth to the food establishment. The running water requirement exists for all food establishments, and (IMHO) it’s a fine requirement. You really want to be served food at a place that doesn’t have running water?

    Comment by alki_2008 — 12:15 pm December 30, 2010 #

  9. Transplantella is an invasive species. Like that guy (Pha-la-la?) who thought New York could handle a snowstorm. They move here and complain about our community. I really wish they’d vote with their feet and leave. I understand if you love free enterprise but calling the HEALTH department some kind of oppressive government? Your motto should be “Live free and die of food poisoning”.

    Comment by Born To Be Mild — 12:38 pm December 30, 2010 #

  10. Just a note after re-reading the original comment by Transplantella – regardless of whether anyone is to blame etc., it should be noted, the Health Department is a county entity, not city.

    Comment by WSB — 12:56 pm December 30, 2010 #

  11. Where Zippy’s goes, I will follow.

    Comment by Amanda — 1:23 pm December 30, 2010 #

  12. lol i have running water and i asure u my kitchen is much cleaner than seamarts wash area ever was,its not my fault they closed and left me in this spot it is not anyones fault exsept for the man that got a loan that was to highly priced to begin with and that he ran more customers off this block from him and his brother not practicing good customer service,they were rude, they towed customers if they were in a spot longer than 5 min i think he lost a buisness that was once built up because of not treating people with respect,im following the laws and what the health dept wants me to do and i promise this coffee shop is very clean i was a baker for 18 years and here for five and im very familure with wash rince and sanitize so no food poisioning here and since i only sell costco muffins im pretty confedent in what im doing,thanks for your concerns,this is all very sad but intill i close iam following the rules givin to me.

    Comment by jodi — 2:46 pm December 30, 2010 #

  13. Klassy, Jodi.

    Comment by @Jodi — 3:23 pm December 30, 2010 #

  14. Yes indeed the plot sickens. We will be sad to see Jo Jo close up shop a great lose to the neighborhood. We will of course help Jodi out by allowing her to use our facilities if she’d like.
    When we bought the business that we turned into Zippy’s Giant Burgers we were sold on the spirit of cooperation that existed between the three businesses. The one in the middle never lived up to this spirit. We feel compasion towards their plight. However, adults need to learn to live with the choices they make and shouldn’t try to shift the blame.

    Comment by blaine — 3:38 pm December 30, 2010 #

  15. blaine – i know i’m not alone in extending a welcoming hand to zippy’s to come to the morgan junction area. may i suggest connecting with the Mogran Junction Community Association to see if they have suggestions or ideas? i have to imagine they are better connected to available community resources than the average joe like me would be.

    http://www.morganjunction.org/contact-us.html

    regardless of what happens, all the best to you and your family, and to the others involved in this unfortunate turn of events.

    Comment by Ben — 4:39 pm December 30, 2010 #

  16. to jodi, I didn’t mean to imply there was anything unsanitary at your place. I’ve only been there once, but it seemed clean.
    My comment was aimed at transplantella’s comment that the “government” was forcing businesses to close because of their health code requirements. Not everyone is as careful as you might be about keeping things clean, so some minimum code regulations have to exist and be applied equally to all food establishments. I guess I’m not clear on what regulation the Health Department didn’t like if you have running water. Good luck to you, wherever you end up relocating to.

    Comment by alki_2008 — 5:10 pm December 30, 2010 #

  17. I do hate to see businesses shut down, however after going up to the counter at SeaMart with my beer selection and threatened to be towed (I jumped over to Zippy’s to order first, then get beer), I’m not surprised SeaMart couldn’t stay on top of the loan. His customer service was, how do you say it nicely, atrocious!
    .
    Quoted from the owner after I told him to put the beer I was going to purchase back: “I make more money off the towing than I do sales.”
    .
    It was appalling the way he treated me and I’m guessing I wasn’t alone. Zippy’s (and I’m hoping you too, Jodi) will prevail because you genuinely care about your business and customers. Hang in there through this and your following will follow.

    Comment by Ryan B. — 6:21 pm December 30, 2010 #

  18. Best to you and yours, jodi!

    Comment by (required) — 9:50 pm December 30, 2010 #

  19. Does that mean you will finally remove the sign that has been chained up at the Riverview playfield for the last year??

    Comment by Bubbles — 10:08 pm December 30, 2010 #

  20. So, so sad. Maybe Jo Jo’s and Zippy’s can open up shop at 35th & Graham.

    Comment by Mama Lisa — 6:49 am December 31, 2010 #

  21. So sorry to see this happen to jojos and the whole corner. It will be sad to drive past and see a vacant space:(my kids love her Italian sodas !

    Comment by Cclarue — 8:10 am December 31, 2010 #

  22. JOJO’S ESPRESSO IS NOW CLOSED. Thank you for everyones support. I have enjoyed being a part of west seattle for five years but im being forced to shut the doors. Best wishes to Zippys we love u!

    Comment by jodi — 9:24 am December 31, 2010 #

  23. @Ben . . . yes, and absolutely let us at the Morgan Junction extend a mighty welcome to Zippy in any incarnation! Colman Pool, Beverage Pub and Zippy’s would be an amazing summer triangulation. Wow my mouth waters just thinking about it.

    Comment by Bettytheyeti — 10:33 am December 31, 2010 #

  24. Wow, thanks for the years JoJo’s we hope to see you back on the corner again, thanks to Zippy’s for being who you are- it’s all about customer service ad we really appreciate the way you treat your customers, sorry you had to deal with SeaMart, we all did as well and I guess Karma wins again.

    Comment by Seattleseabug — 11:39 am December 31, 2010 #

  25. Seattleseabug- just because you parked somewhere you weren’t supposed to, it’s really harsh to claim these circumstances – the loss of child and the foreclosure of a property- are due to ‘karma’-Insinuating the owners are bad people and somehow deserved these events.

    Comment by moxilot — 12:37 pm December 31, 2010 #

  26. yes just because you were not soposed to park there he would not hesitate to tow u and since his tow buddy lived around the corner it was a matter of five min,loosing a child has to be the hardest thing to go through and i dont wish it on any one…but, he was running off business way befor his son passed on, he was in it to make money not friends,not customers…this neighborhood is a tight one and the storys of how they treated our children and family members is rediculous,i would park at zippys order walk accross to 7-11to get cigs now, dont u think that should be a clue what has happened to his forcloser,for god sakes he turned jojos water off for two days once and told her oh oops…what a shame to see this once great corner turn dark. I wish zippys and jojos the best.

    Comment by great dane — 1:51 pm December 31, 2010 #

  27. So, SeaMart is closed and he’s moving on, as is Jodi. I suggest you all try to do that same thing. I know a ton of you get your jollies by posting negative comments about anything and everything, but its bad for your disposition, and speaking of karma…

    Comment by Travs — 7:00 pm December 31, 2010 #

  28. To say thank you to all my customers that i just love,I will be serving hot 16ounce drinks for FREE intill i run out of supplys. You can have one per face,I will be open from 6am till i run out hope to see ya there! Thank You again for all the best wishes and support all around me there is alot of careing people out there!!JOJO

    Comment by jojo — 10:04 pm January 2, 2011 #

  29. sorry to see you go, Jodi – we’ll miss you, neighbor

    “SIN CITY” guy <;

    Comment by ULTRAJOE — 1:53 pm January 5, 2011 #

  30. I am soooo sorry to see JoJo’s close. I loved the coffee there (I am a coffee snob) it was always consistently good. I miss talking with JoJo about my kid…we have similar situations. I also miss Richard. I am hoping to hear that JoJo”s is opening again somewhere in west seattle. But I think the bigger picture is the banks were so eager to get more money granting mortgages to people who really couldn’t afford the mortgage, however had fully intended to honor the financial obligation.I feel that due to corporate greed two businesses have been lost and Zippy’s furure is also impacted. I love to support local businesses, it is my community and I feel I have some responsibility to foster these businesses survival. In order to carry this forward I closed my bank account with BOA and now bank at Homestreet bank. They don’t have all the special features the big banks have, however I feel more welcomed there every time I go in, and my money is used in my community. It is a little more inconvient, however in the long run it has been a good move for me. So I have gotten a bit off track…I miss JOJO’s and can’t wait to hear she is back in business in our neighborhood.Hang in there JoJo, and i look forward to your new location.

    Comment by mari — 3:49 pm January 6, 2011 #

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