West Seattle restaurants: Charlestown Café closing

March 27, 2011 at 11:55 am | In Charlestown Cafe, West Seattle news, West Seattle restaurants | 86 Comments

(ADDED 12:41 PM: The note on the Charlestown Café door)
Thanks to the WSB’ers who called and e-mailed with this news, which we have just confirmed: The Charlestown Café is closing its doors. A sign on its front door says that it’ll be shutting down as of 3 pm next Sunday (April 3rd) and blames economic conditions. It’s endured a lot in recent years – first a development threat that rallied community support for the restaurant; then, shortly after word that the development plan was dropped, a 2008 fire closed the café for months. One year after its reopening, we followed up with owner Ron Hanlon, who candidly discussed the economic challenges (including the fact he had a month-by-month lease).

(WSB photo from 2009)
ADDED 3:51 PM: Rooting around now to see if there’s any hint at the site’s future. City files show some activity last June on a proposal for a “mixed-use multifamily building with commercial on the ground floor,” but no dated activity since then – we’ll be checking tomorrow to see if this is an active proposal. There’s no indication in online records of any change in ownership. The proposal that surfaced in 2006 ultimately emerged as a single-story building that was to be a new home for Petco; the plan was dropped in early 2008, and as reported here a month ago, Petco is moving to Capco Plaza at 41st/Alaska.

86 Comments

  1. So many of the long standing businesses in West Seattle closing their doors, very sad.

    Comment by Rachel — 11:58 am March 27, 2011 #

  2. That’s too bad – I’ve liked taking my kids there for lunch every Tuesday. Great service – GREAT servers. Wish them all well.

    Comment by R26 — 12:00 pm March 27, 2011 #

  3. You cannot be serious…wow. Is there anything we can do? I mean, I’m not usually huge on bailouts, but I love that place. Best breakfast south of Maltby and north of everywhere.

    Comment by Dylan — 12:00 pm March 27, 2011 #

  4. Oh no! Great servers! And where will we get curry chicken salad?

    Comment by Mike — 12:02 pm March 27, 2011 #

  5. I am so sorry to hear of them closing! They have the best service in town and outstanding French Toast! Best of luck to all of the employees who always had a smile and great work attitudes. I will miss them all!

    Comment by Ms Pam — 12:07 pm March 27, 2011 #

  6. I am definitely not happy about this. Where can I go for great dungeness crab cakes?!!! I know they made a valiant effort to stay open. Thanks for years of wonderful food and friendly service. Let’s all hope for a better future.

    Comment by Norma — 12:13 pm March 27, 2011 #

  7. Uh oh, I’m going to miss their clam chowder. Now I feel guilty for not stopping by more often.

    Comment by Born To Be Mild — 12:16 pm March 27, 2011 #

  8. The food was ok good, but their service was excellent. W.S. is going to drop a notch.

    Comment by Jiggers — 12:27 pm March 27, 2011 #

  9. I hate to hear this … will miss all of you greatly! Praying all of you find a good job in the terrible economy!

    Comment by Concerned Citizen — 12:52 pm March 27, 2011 #

  10. wow, I had no idea they were in business there for 32 yrs; sorry to hear this sad news

    Comment by Diane — 12:55 pm March 27, 2011 #

  11. not again!

    Comment by waman — 1:00 pm March 27, 2011 #

  12. Sad to hear…

    Comment by ad — 1:23 pm March 27, 2011 #

  13. Won’t miss it. Ate there once and never went back.

    Comment by A — 1:28 pm March 27, 2011 #

  14. Not a fan, but always sorry to see a landmark disappear but, apparently, the people who liked it didn’t go often enough to keep it open. If you like (the theater/or some other icon) do more than mourn when it leaves.

    Comment by charlabob — 1:35 pm March 27, 2011 #

  15. Thats too bad :( I hope something besides condos show up there..

    Comment by Westside J. — 1:42 pm March 27, 2011 #

  16. Best pancakes ever; sad to see them go. Thank you for many, many, MANY a great breakfast and brunch. Best of luck to everyone from the owners to those terrific servers and support staff.

    Comment by lenguamor — 1:49 pm March 27, 2011 #

  17. I’m surprised! I stopped for lunch last week and the place was packed.

    Comment by marty — 2:27 pm March 27, 2011 #

  18. Sad to see them close. The Charlestown became the spot my little girl always wanted to eat breakfast at on the weekends she was with her dad. She received many lessons about life over Eggs Benedict and Banana Pancakes and come to think of it so did I. The Charlestown is one of the things I miss the most about West Seattle.

    Comment by N.Y. Vinnie — 2:28 pm March 27, 2011 #

  19. Best crepes ever! I can’t say I expected this- it always seemed really busy. Sad to see them go, many great memories.

    Comment by Catherine — 2:30 pm March 27, 2011 #

  20. “To every thing there is a season, turn, turn, turn…” 32 years is a good run, and it was a good place for breakfast. I look forward to the next best place…

    Comment by JayDee — 2:47 pm March 27, 2011 #

  21. I’m surprised and sad about this too in that the parking lot always seemed like they had a steady flow of people coming through. Hope everyone lands on their feet quickly!

    Comment by My two cents ... — 3:01 pm March 27, 2011 #

  22. Well this just sucks.

    Charleston was a great place to eat. I went there about every other month for some breakfast or dinner.

    I will have to head back for some more delicious food before they close for good…

    ((If we are throwing in our wishes for the future of that space, I really wouldn’t mind a 24-hour diner as I’m a night-owl.))

    Comment by Cascadianone — 3:05 pm March 27, 2011 #

  23. Sad to see them go. Good food, good people. The reality, though, is that many familes, such as mine, have less disposbale income. We haven’t dined at the Charlestown as often as we would have liked, the past few years.

    Comment by Bruce — 3:09 pm March 27, 2011 #

  24. They can blame the economy if they want but…

    In our experience, they had poor service and the food wasn’t very good. So we stopped going (but continue to patronize their competition regularly). When we moved to W.Seattle 3 years ago, we went several times since they’re nearby, giving them the benefit of the doubt and then some. I hate to see any business close, and it’s too bad but…

    Comment by kennem — 3:13 pm March 27, 2011 #

  25. I don’t know how I’m going tell my 5 yo Granddaughter that no more Mickey Mouse Pancakes. I’ve been taking her there her whole life and her Dad before that. I’ve been eating there for almost 30 years at the old location and the present.
    We will miss the great staff.

    Comment by Timh2o — 3:16 pm March 27, 2011 #

  26. Sorry to hear the bad news. They are one of the few, very few, places we would spend the time and money to take a ferry boat across the sound to enjoy the food and the service. This is like losing a very close friend.

    Comment by Bill — 3:30 pm March 27, 2011 #

  27. Well, some West Seattle folk are “too cool” for a chain like Applebee’s, but I would love to see something like that in it’s place.

    Flame away, hipsters.

    Comment by Watertowerjoey — 3:32 pm March 27, 2011 #

  28. West Seattle is NOT West Seattle with out the Charlestown Cafe……I’m sick all these new residents and condos….The reason why they don’t get no buisness is because West Seattle is filled with people who arnt FROM West Seattle..IF your not FROM West Seattle your comments are irrelevant!!!

    Comment by West Seattle — 3:53 pm March 27, 2011 #

  29. Oh god, please….now where are all those people with kids going to go for breakfast? Parents please remember that little kids eating and having a melt down is not entertaining, not appetizing, and not fair to the kid or other diners. The kid issue has ruined the brewery on the weekends. Heaven help us.

    Comment by Neighbor — 4:03 pm March 27, 2011 #

  30. I am neither “too cool” nor a hipster, but Applebee’s? No, no, no thanks!
    I am sorry to see a local business go.

    Comment by MsG — 4:05 pm March 27, 2011 #

  31. This is the dilemma of a restaurant that’s known first and foremost as a family place: those without kids don’t consider it an option, and those with kids are the first to tighten their belts in a down economy. (Where are they going? I’m noticing a LOT more families at the cheaper spots in town.)
    .
    I was one of those who went a couple of times when I first moved, and found that the food was not rave-worthy enough to overcome the atmosphere. I eat breakfast/brunch in WS a couple times a week, but usually even if I thought of daring to return, my companion would veto the idea.
    .
    I definitely am sad for the Charlestown’s closing, though, and I think it’s great that families had a place to go that not only let the kids be kids but encouraged it.

    Comment by Michael — 4:10 pm March 27, 2011 #

  32. Sad. I think it was the fire that did them in though. After they were closed for so long, we just got used to not going there.

    I agree. I’m neither cool, nor hipster, but please no Applebees! To prove so, I say bring in a McDonalds with a play place! I’m only partially serious…:)

    Comment by ann — 4:12 pm March 27, 2011 #

  33. Well, Ms./Mr. “West Seattle,” I guess we might as well shut this website down, then, ’cause the co-publisher and I are “not (originally) from West Seattle” either. Celebrating our 20-year arrival in anniversary in about a week, but that’s just a blink of an eye. Even worse, we came here from California (gasp) like a whole bunch of others in 1991. No condo, though, we own a little bitty bungalow built in ’41, bought in ’93. Nonetheless, we’re sad to see the Charlestown go. The campaign to save it in late 2006 was the first news story we covered for WSB besides the windstorm. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 4:31 pm March 27, 2011 #

  34. This sucks. I enjoyed going there for breakfast and always made it a custom to take my kids when they were in town.

    I have to agree though that some parents had no problem letting their kids run amok or at least scream amok with no concern for other customers.

    Comment by Mike — 4:32 pm March 27, 2011 #

  35. This breaks my heart. My husband and I have eaten at the Charlestown for more than 11 years. When I was in chemo, this was one of the few places I felt comfortable going, they would custom make what I felt like eating that day, and the servers treated me so kindly. We will miss their amazing breakfasts, yummy dinners and excellent service. I wish the best to the owners and staff and thank them for many great memories and meals.

    Comment by Heidi — 4:41 pm March 27, 2011 #

  36. Frankly I dont have a problem with people who arnt literally “FROM” here as long as they contribute to the community in some way, and I’m not sure where WSB stands in all this “over population” going on in West Seattle but it’s clearly ruining the lifestyle’s of longtime West Seattle residents.

    Comment by West Seattle — 4:51 pm March 27, 2011 #

  37. Over priced, obnoxiously loud, and rude servers..bye bye

    Comment by willnotmissit — 4:53 pm March 27, 2011 #

  38. All right, TR @ 4:31 pm! Though a WS native myself, I’m with you on not abiding the clowns who pride themselves on denigrating every local who wasn’t born & bred here.

    Comment by Forest — 4:59 pm March 27, 2011 #

  39. ok “West Seattle” – I’ll bite. I am from WS, born and raised, work here, raising my family here. Eat at a lot of local restaurants, shop locally. Pretty invloved in our community.
    .
    Charlestown Cafe has been a good neighbor, HUGE SUPPORTER of many local causes, gathering place known for its people as much as its food. A great combination.
    .
    The crew there have done a lot over the past 32 years to create a successful restaurant. An amazing string of Chowder Cook-off Wins put them on the national map! Likely one of the longer running restaurants in West Seattle, and one of the friendliest. I last ate there about a month ago, and am sad to see them go.
    .
    Not sure what you think new people with new ideas has to do in your mind with their closing. These new residents, condos, businesses are a fiscal boon – bringing an overall stronger marketplace to a burg that once bemoaned the closing of JC Penneys in the Junction with “where will I buy my underwear?” And twenty years of retail stagnation in the Junction didn’t give way until about 10 years ago.
    .
    Very few restaurants survive 30 plus years. We have more than our share in our community, likely due to the special West Seattle Pride they bring us. But pride doesn’t fill the seats consistently, habits and markets change.
    .
    Take care, Charlestown Cafe folks. Thanks for hundreds of great meals.

    Comment by Denny — 5:00 pm March 27, 2011 #

  40. I did have an extremely tough steak there once, but everthing else was fine. The servers there were always great. And the kids? A friend of mine claimed that if you have kids you are immune to the noise. With that in mind, kids don’t bother me, I’m thankful that someone is taking on that task.

    Comment by Born To Be Mild — 5:06 pm March 27, 2011 #

  41. This is very sad news. I’m not a local W Seattler. In fact, I’m not even an American. My family and I moved to WS only six months ago. In the stress and bother of settling into a new country we stumbled across Charlestown and we loved it. Fantastic pancakes, french toast, great service. It really helped us feel ‘at home’. My family and I were there only last night for supper. My boys will be heart broken that they’re closing and I, for one, will be eating there as often as possible over the next week.
    :(

    Comment by Kate — 5:24 pm March 27, 2011 #

  42. I was shocked to see this and so sad .. It seems like there are always cars around the cafe, I never dreamed they weren’t doing well ..It’s a great place and I will miss it so much.. Ron’s Tuna Sandwich is the best anywhere and I don’t ever like Tuna ..Their Eggs Benedict are great, I could go on and on .. I wish there were something we could do, I would in a heartbeat .. Nothing like a place that serves good old fashioned comfort food .. A lot of new places try, but the Charleston did it ..

    Comment by Dawnie — 5:40 pm March 27, 2011 #

  43. So sorry to hear this, but honestly, it was the food that took it down. I’ve tried to eat there thee times. Each time ordering a basic ‘simple’ breakfast, and it was horrible. I’ve lived in West Seattle for 10+ years and only been there 3 times, that says something about it. No one I know eats there regularly.

    In that same time places like Circa have started and done just fine. Heartland Cafe opened and is doing just fine. West 5 seems to keep chugging on. It’s not the economy, but the restaurant business is TOUGH in the best of times. If you serve tasteless mediocre/poor food, you just won’t make it. I’m sorry, but “just being open” isn’t good enough in the food business, you have to be as good or better as everyone else, or else your customers (like me) simply go elsewhere.

    Comment by Alki Area — 5:50 pm March 27, 2011 #

  44. I’m very sorry to hear this. it was a local institution and a good place for breakfast. My very best wishes to the Webster family, I’m sure that they didn’t want to close the doors.

    Comment by leslie — 6:08 pm March 27, 2011 #

  45. Too dramatic server’s!

    Comment by guy — 6:13 pm March 27, 2011 #

  46. For those of you making mean and rude comments 30 people are about to lose their job with a 7 day notice. So please keep your nasty comments to yourself.

    Thanks

    Comment by April — 7:13 pm March 27, 2011 #

  47. I was surprised to read that it was under the same ownership because in my opinion the food quality had dropped from where it was years ago.

    Comment by dsa — 7:15 pm March 27, 2011 #

  48. DSA, there was one change – one of the owners, Larry, left a couple years ago. And the problems were foreshadowed – now that WS 4 Japan, which has taken most of our day, is winding down, I’m adding a little more background to this. We had a story one year after the post-fire reopening in which the remaining owner, Ron, discussed the difficulties, including a month-to-month lease:
    http://westseattleblog.com/2009/06/charlestown-cafe-changes-and-challenges-1-year-later

    Comment by WSB — 7:26 pm March 27, 2011 #

  49. Very sad news indeed. We have never had poor service and the food and prices have always been good. Now I know this economy is TRULY bad if Charlestown Cafe has to close because of it. Best wishes to Ron and the entire crew. We are very sorry to hear this news.

    Comment by mj — 7:55 pm March 27, 2011 #

  50. Bummer. We loved to walk there. My 4 year old will be disappointed. Maybe I will throw my hat in the ring and open a neighborhood breakfast always diner in that area.

    Comment by Dirk Digler — 8:42 pm March 27, 2011 #

  51. Sad to see this business leave. I know they have really been struggling. I am also saddened to see the negative comments.

    Comment by Chicago — 8:45 pm March 27, 2011 #

  52. Ooooooh….this is sad news. Aside from very yummy food, the Charlestown has been a part of our family’s life as long as we’ve been in West Seattle, 13 years. My son, who’s 16 now, use to walk there with his cousin from our house nearby and sit at the breakfast bar. Some of the servers were family friends of ours, and would serve the boys mickey mouse pancakes cheerfully. It was the highlight of the boys’ Saturday mornings! I loved the corned beef benedict. The negative comments are just an insult to WS and one of the many places that made it great. Will be there Saturday morning, for one last breakfast. :(

    Comment by Danielle — 9:02 pm March 27, 2011 #

  53. I’m really sorry to hear this. My husband and I really liked going there.

    Comment by datamuse — 9:16 pm March 27, 2011 #

  54. We’ve always enjoyed taking the kids there… good basic food and a basket of books to look at while we were waiting. Sad…

    Comment by wimsikl — 9:56 pm March 27, 2011 #

  55. mr/ms west seattle — how do a bunch of new ‘dinks’/condo dwellers to a neighborhood hurt a restaurant’s business?

    Comment by fubarrio — 11:10 pm March 27, 2011 #

  56. Sad to hear thIs news. We didn’t go to the Charleston often, primarily because we live at the opposite end of the Penninsula. But we always enjoyed our meals & the friendly service there when we did. And my now 4 & 1/2 year old daughter LOVED the pancakes so much she would always comment on how we needed to “Go there!” whenever we passed the cafe.
    .
    I also really, really, really hope that it isn’t torn down and/or replaced by another condo or mixed use commercial building. Enough already with that noise. Local, non-chain businesses are what makes our community strong & special. IMMHO anyway.
    .
    32 yrs is a GREAT run. I wish the owners and staff all the very best. You’ll be sorely missed by this non-native, former CA Girl, turned West Seattlite (and her pancake lovin’ kid too!).

    Comment by Jasperblu — 11:12 pm March 27, 2011 #

  57. anytime a local business closes, its a sad thing… small business is what drives communities… but the truth behind any business closing its doors is the lease. so, in a dog-eat-dog, the fittest survive world, you can’t blame anyone… but in a world, where we should understand that we all survive off each other and that there needs to be some give and take, here is the truth. the restaurant is closing its doors, INSTEAD of selling to someone who could continue its legacy because the landlord has refused to give them a lease. b/c the landlord wants to make money on the land. blame the landlord. the best restaurants in the world have haters.. as some of you obviously are. they food may have been bad to some, service may have been abhorrent to others, but it seems the majority of people liked this place for its longevity, community presence, and dare i say, its products.

    if they had a considerable lease, then i guarantee that the owner would not be closing, but would have sold… instead he is forced to close the doors, turn over the space and lose everything. blame the landlord.

    Comment by fellow business owner — 11:31 pm March 27, 2011 #

  58. What I really miss is the pre-fire Charlestown. That was a place to meet the community, and find unpretentious but tasty comfort food at a reasonable price. Their spirit and quality never really recovered after the fire. Personally, we went from frequent to infrequent customers.
    There is still a need for an easy to go to, moderately priced but tasty, and casual eatery in West Seattle. I hope some brave and dedicated soul will step in to fill that need.

    Comment by A long-time diner — 11:39 pm March 27, 2011 #

  59. Never had a bad meal there, never had bad service either. Loved the chicken fried steak, crab benny and clam chowder. I will miss it.

    Comment by Rod — 12:02 am March 28, 2011 #

  60. Makes me sad to think such a favorite family memory of ours will be nothing more than that! When my boys were little we used to walk to breakfast there on weekends and wait in line to sit on the patio if it was warm enough. It was always so worth waiting!! Best breakfast experience ever. Now my youngest goes there with his high school teammates after practice. Really hate to see it go. Farewell to the crew, good luck in future endeavors.

    Comment by Moji — 12:06 am March 28, 2011 #

  61. I lived in W.S. for over 15 years and only been there a few times, why, because I don’t like being served prefrozen food, or as I call it, ding ding food out of a microwave. Anyways, I don’t believe the economy bursted their bubble, I don’t think they had the innovation to change the menu. I never had a problem with service though.

    Comment by Jiggers — 12:59 am March 28, 2011 #

  62. To the condo haters out there, of which it seems there are many…my building is filled with long-time west seattle residents, many of whom owned homes here before they retired and downsized into a condo right in their own neighborhood. These folks continue to support local businesses. Condos are where many people start, move out to a home, and move back to for retirement. The level of ignorance about this is just astonishing to me.

    Comment by homesweethome — 6:18 am March 28, 2011 #

  63. This is sad… I almost feel guilty for bringing my kids for free meals. Wait! I was paying for the adul meals so I was keepi g the Cafe in business…
    so sad…

    Comment by good egg — 7:43 am March 28, 2011 #

  64. Charlestown was a great place to go with multi generations of family. No tv’s blaring, no loud music to cause more confusion for my mother’s dementia. Coloring supplies for the great-grand children. Reasonable prices for the grand children. No push to hurry up and vacate table, and padded seats to sit on. Perfect for after church family gatherings. And being able to park close to the door off the street was priceless with someone that had great difficulty with vision.

    Thanks, Charlestown!

    Comment by Gina — 8:09 am March 28, 2011 #

  65. @WestSeattle- As a person born and raised in this Region, but not WS, I find it a bit odd when other “natives” get so territorial. Unless you are Duwamish or of Native American ancestry you or your people came from elsewhere…I’d like to see the rest of us get over ourselves. Though I never ate at this restaurant, it is too bad when a local business that provides a healthy family environment shuts down- especially due to economy.

    Comment by seewhatsealionsstart — 8:13 am March 28, 2011 #

  66. @Gina. You’ve said it well.

    Comment by A long-time diner — 8:16 am March 28, 2011 #

  67. They must have been inconsistent– we went there once when we first moved to the neighborhood and had poor service and very greasy food; so we never went back… I did appreciate that it had a “mom & Pop” feel to it… Hopefully this is a new opportunity for the the Charlestown’s owner and a new opportunity for another business to move into the space. It seemed to have a following, so hopefully their next venture will have even a bigger following.

    Comment by ttt — 8:36 am March 28, 2011 #

  68. @seewhatsealionstart: nicely put, especially with regard to what it means to be “native” in Seattle.

    Comment by bridge to somewhere — 8:36 am March 28, 2011 #

  69. Oh so sad! We love you Charlestown! Thank you for seating us so quickly and accomodating our child every time. More businesses should be run like your – efficient service, good food and a staff that treats you like family. I also really always admired that you created a place for seniors to come. Really a shame. I hope that another glorious door opens for everyone who worked there. Have faith!

    Comment by s — 8:50 am March 28, 2011 #

  70. Was a regular there since the Webster’s days way up at the other end of California. IMO they stopped trying after the long struggle with their landlord. Same menu except for price increases for many years. A simple breakfast with coffee cost me $13-$15…too much. Loved the familiar, comfortable setting that was an important destination for the elderly but lacked much draw for the rest. Loved the staff, going to miss them terriblly. Sad.

    Comment by Chris — 9:29 am March 28, 2011 #

  71. Oh, how sad. We didn’t get to go there often, but always enjoyed it when we did.

    Comment by dameDonna — 9:54 am March 28, 2011 #

  72. The Charlestown has a special place in my heart and always will ;) Best of luck to the amazing, long time staff.
    If you want the chowder, head down to Post Alley at the market…

    Comment by MB — 10:05 am March 28, 2011 #

  73. We have been in the neighborhood since 82. A real loss. Has been a family favorite of ours for years starting with the location on the other side of the Junction. Good luck to Ron and his great crew!

    Comment by L Corbin — 11:23 am March 28, 2011 #

  74. The Charlestown has been there longer than I’ve been alive… it will be very weird to drive past that part of California Ave and not see it there. I haven’t freqented the Charlestown as much as I do other places, but the times I did go the staff was always friendly and accomodating. I was just there with my husband only 2 weeks ago and I really enjoyed the breakfast burritos I had! Maybe the food wasn’t something I would write home about, but it was a staple of the community, and I will miss it. Thank you to the owners and staff for running a nice, family-friendly restaurant for so long, and my best wishes to the staff who now need to find new jobs.

    Comment by Kristen — 12:44 pm March 28, 2011 #

  75. I loved the Charlestown Cafe and I am childless and non-native. I will miss it.

    Comment by highland park resident — 1:31 pm March 28, 2011 #

  76. What a shock. We have been coming to the Charlstown for about 7 years with our son and his wife and mother-in-law, for breakfast on Saturdays, and before that, with our mother. What will we do now?
    Good food and good friends will be missed.

    Comment by Jim and Alice Haury — 1:32 pm March 28, 2011 #

  77. This is NOT a spam link… it is a list of past winners of the famed Chowder Cookoff in Rhode Island:

    http://www.newportwaterfrontevents.com/chowder-cook-off/CCOo10_WinnersHistory.pdf

    I love that the Charlestown Cafe has always been there, and I wish society could do something to preserve it.

    Comment by Another Fan — 2:59 pm March 28, 2011 #

  78. @homesweethome I’m not a condo “hater”, but I DO think we need to balance business, single family homes, mixed use commercial/residential, public green space, etc. in a more community friendly way. There are FAR too many high rise condo buildings going in, and what are they replacing? Older buildings that might actually be just as great for someone to live in? Not all these new condo buildings are built well, nor do they have sufficient parking for the residents they bring in, and for every brand new building that everyone wants to live in b/c of the awesome amenities, etc. what about the hundreds of vacant or run down buildings that stand neglected, empty and undesirable?
    .
    We need a balance. And from my point-of-view, I think we have a lot of new condo buildings going in, or recently gone in, and for now, it’s enough. 100% agree with you that apartment and condo living is a great way to get into your first home, or to downsize when you’ve outgrown the need for a bigger piece of property w/ all the yard maintenance, etc. that goes with that… let’s just not throw the baby out with the bath water.
    .
    Besides, this is about the corner that the Charlestown Cafe currently sits on. A multi-story commercial property there does NOT make sense to me at all. Not trying to be a hater, just think we need to THINK. :-)

    Comment by Cheryl — 3:42 pm March 28, 2011 #

  79. So sad! One of the few places we comfortably take our 91 year old grandfather, and 4 year old son. Not many breakfast places left since the Admiral Way turned into a bank. Will the last Diner owner in W. Seattle turn out the lights!

    Comment by Huskilvr — 3:50 pm March 28, 2011 #

  80. I spent the morning of my wedding with my to-be husband, two “new” daughters and daughter at the Charlestown. That memory is from almost 18 years ago. My daughter has worked there for 5 years. It saddens me to see the Charlestown close for many reasons. It gives me joy to hear the positive posts from those who have enjoyed their experience, especially about the service!

    It often amazes me the amount of “misplaced” comments on some of the blogs. What do condos and whether you’re a native of West Seattle have to do with the closure of a long time business or the many people that are losing their jobs? Maybe a little but in the overall scheme of things, it seems very insensitive.

    Comment by JVC — 5:49 pm March 28, 2011 #

  81. Very sad. I never ate meals there (I don’t have kids, and am not a senior), but it was still a landmark, and I’d occasionally get chowder to go. What will become of the sacred clam chowder recipe? It must be preserved in some way, or shared with other restaurants. Please don’t let it die!!!!

    Comment by Alex — 6:01 pm March 28, 2011 #

  82. We just returned from our last meal and saw so many we have seen over the years. We’ve been going for 20 years. Our sons who are 11and nearly 5 were nearly in tears as were the servers who remember us since we were pregnant with them. Sad for employees and patrons. We will miss all those who worked there, the chowder, Ron’s favorite, Mickey Mouse pancakes, and so much more.

    Comment by PDH — 7:59 pm March 28, 2011 #

  83. Thanks,Charlestown Cafe, for the great memories, friendly service and great comfort food through the years.

    Comment by MMB — 8:37 pm March 28, 2011 #

  84. Just published a followup, talking to customers and staff as they dealt with the first day after the public announcement:
    http://westseattleblog.com/2011/03/charlestown-cafe-followup-day-after-the-closure-announcement

    Comment by WSB — 8:52 pm March 28, 2011 #

  85. I am with those who want to be activist. This place is a community resource. Can we take up a collection amongst us fans to pay off their debt or whatever cash amount might allow them to remain in business?

    Comment by Troika — 4:40 pm March 29, 2011 #

  86. I don’t like to see any long running, local businesses go under, but that place was overpriced and not so good. They should have served better food at a better price.

    Comment by mike — 12:47 pm April 2, 2011 #

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