West Seattle restaurants: Avalon closes its doors

February 3, 2012 at 4:38 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle restaurants | 74 Comments

Last night, a reader sent us this Craigslist link listing Avalon, the year-old restaurant in Luna Park, for lease. We asked its owners for comment – and just received this, from co-owner Deb Breuler:

We have decided to close. We had an OK year, but it’s just not enough to warrant going further into debt. We tried to renegotiate our rent to no avail. We had awesome guests and they made it worthwhile.

She added, “Today was our last day” (added) and just confirmed in response to our followup question, the closure has already taken effect. Avalon opened in January 2011, a few months after the shutdown of CafĂ© Revo (which had been in operation a year and a half); before that, the space had been home to a furnishings store.

74 Comments

  1. So sorry to hear. We were there last Friday. Dinner was great, and they were very accommodating with us having our busy 19 month old with us. We wish you the best.

    Comment by deener — 4:43 pm February 3, 2012 #

  2. not surprised, seems like an awfully large space for the area. hopefully they can reestablish themselves elsewhere if they choose to pursue it.

    Comment by weiss — 4:50 pm February 3, 2012 #

  3. I am so sorry to hear this! We have been there a few times and really liked it. I wish we had more disposable income, so we could have gone there more :(

    Comment by Vicki — 4:54 pm February 3, 2012 #

  4. Will Amazon vouchers be refunded?

    Comment by Rose — 5:00 pm February 3, 2012 #

  5. Oh, sad. I’m sorry we weren’t able to get there before they closed their doors. I had wanted to try it out but never thought about it when we were considering where to go for dinner. Sorry guys…

    Comment by Tim — 5:03 pm February 3, 2012 #

  6. Bummer! Good food and service, and just different enough cuisine to be refreshing.

    Comment by KM — 5:07 pm February 3, 2012 #

  7. Oh so sad! We loved Avalon and you were all so incredibly supportive in our community. We’ll miss you!! (from fans at WestSide Baby)

    Comment by Nancy@ WestSide Baby — 5:07 pm February 3, 2012 #

  8. Well what a bummer. We were actually planning to go for dinner there tonight … using our Living Social coupon. Which I guess now goes down the drain. Really too bad, we were there about 2 months ago and had a most enjoyable dinner and conversation with staff.

    Comment by add — 5:10 pm February 3, 2012 #

  9. We went there as often as possible because it was so good! All of our out of town guests went there, and always wanted to go back. Great food, great service, and the owners are just great people to have around. We’ll miss you!

    Comment by Ann — 5:11 pm February 3, 2012 #

  10. I think this is a difficult place for a restaurant. Luna Park is an icon with a loyal following. But any other restaurant is going to struggle to get customers. Best of luck to the former owners.

    Comment by skeeter — 5:12 pm February 3, 2012 #

  11. THANKS and Good Luck to AVALON RESTAURANT owners Deb & Thomas Breuler…

    Comment by Aman — 5:18 pm February 3, 2012 #

  12. Oh, no! So sorry to lose them. Great food, nice people. :(

    Comment by Lola P — 5:24 pm February 3, 2012 #

  13. Strange that they had an online coupon only yesterday. Glad I didn’t buy it.

    Comment by 4thGenWestSide — 5:32 pm February 3, 2012 #

  14. So sad to hear this. We enjoyed more than a few visits there – always guaranteed a delightful meal. Deb obviously has great love for her art and her meals always impressed. The wine dinners were especially fun. Truly a loss for our hood. Let us know if you pop up somewhere Deb and gang – you will be missed!

    Comment by Fuji — 5:38 pm February 3, 2012 #

  15. Will miss them. Nicest group of people to dine with.

    Comment by nw ryan — 5:45 pm February 3, 2012 #

  16. We tried to go here a year ago and were waiting to be seated: Woman at the bar looked at us and gruffly asked what we wanted – so we left.

    Comment by Alejandro — 5:47 pm February 3, 2012 #

  17. I’m so so sorry to hear this. I loved everything about the place! Oh Duck Flatbread… we will miss you very very much, but thank you for so many amazing meals and amazing hospitality!

    Comment by Maren — 5:53 pm February 3, 2012 #

  18. Oh No. I loved it… Darn it. Where’s the love from the landlord????

    Comment by Gini Johnson — 5:54 pm February 3, 2012 #

  19. It’s unfortunate, but unless you live on site and have your extended family working for you it’s almost impossible for a restaurant to survive.

    Comment by DTK — 5:56 pm February 3, 2012 #

  20. May want to locate future restaurants away from steam billowing from a steel plant…

    Comment by Ripper — 6:28 pm February 3, 2012 #

  21. We were there just a week ago. Had a great time and enjoyed the place. Sad to see it go.

    Comment by Mr Spencer and Firegirl — 6:28 pm February 3, 2012 #

  22. I’m sorry to hear Avalon closed. Always great service and great food as well. I had a feeling they wouldn’t last much longer because of the changes along Avalon Way with regard to parking and the Bus Only lane. A big loss to the WS dining scene.

    Comment by CJS — 6:34 pm February 3, 2012 #

  23. We love Avalon and the family owners. Thank you for always giving us a great dining experience.

    Comment by amy — 6:38 pm February 3, 2012 #

  24. Sorry to hear that! My mom was visiting from out of town back in November, and we had the most delicious lunch there — amazing burgers and fries. Not your standard fare. Wish you all the best.

    Comment by cmc — 6:39 pm February 3, 2012 #

  25. So sorry to hear this! A fine family business with excellent food, staff and service. Hope they reopen in a better location as the parking issues there and no foot traffic must have been fatal!

    Comment by WS Resident — 7:26 pm February 3, 2012 #

  26. Sad! Best brunch ever! Love the French toast :(

    These online coupons are killers for struggling businesses – it’s a trend I hope goes away:(
    How can you thrive when you give everything away for half off? You keep just 25% and give groupon the other 25%. There is no way that math can work unless you get 75% of the people not use their coupon. No thanks!

    Comment by Alkidoc — 7:36 pm February 3, 2012 #

  27. Just not a good location for a restaurant, period.

    Comment by Marcus M — 8:01 pm February 3, 2012 #

  28. I’ve heard from a few people that it wasn’t any good so no loss there. We did like Cafe Revo though.

    Comment by A — 8:02 pm February 3, 2012 #

  29. I wish them the best of luck in the future and that their passion for food never dies.

    Comment by Cindertang — 8:24 pm February 3, 2012 #

  30. Wow, I am disappointed to hear the news. Avalon was our favorite WS restaurant and in particular really enjoyed their brunch. We dined there just a few weeks ago after our baby’s baptism, with family and friends from out of town, who were all impressed. More than the food, the owners Deb and Tom were very friendly and seemed interested in helping their community. I hope they are able to find another venue or venture in WS that proves successful.

    Comment by Bryan F — 8:32 pm February 3, 2012 #

  31. I’m sad, i liked the staff there. I use to work for Groupon and I’ll tell you the last ditch effort for many struggling businesses is to run a bunch of daily deals. You get a cash infusion, then worry about how to fulfill them later. Restaurants that are doing well don’t need Groupons.

    Comment by Jsv — 8:37 pm February 3, 2012 #

  32. I think most sites will refund you (or give you credit) if the establishment closes down before you can use the coupon.

    Comment by the_real_lb — 8:49 pm February 3, 2012 #

  33. I agree that most of the time, Groupon type coupons are BAD for small businesses. They can lose a ton of money. When I see small inns and B&Bs use them (who I know are struggling anyway) and I know they are selling a room at 75-90% off… Makes me sad. One place near the Gorge sold a ton and so their whole season was full… At 75% off. Just say no.

    If a West Seattle restaurant wants to do some marketing, you are much better off putting that money into advertising on the West Seattle Blog! I do pay attention to which restaurants sponsor here, and it’s a factor when we eat out. I know I’m not alone in this :)

    Comment by Owlish — 9:07 pm February 3, 2012 #

  34. Avalon was one of our favorite restaurants. I will miss the amazing tapas including the shrimp diablo and the duck flat bread. Amazing food and staff, we never had a bad experience. The people that didn’t get to use their coupons are missing out on way more than just $25. It’s too bad, a valiant effort in a struggling economy. It was great while it lasted.

    Comment by Kelley — 9:20 pm February 3, 2012 #

  35. Thanks for the kind words, Lauren. I started two times previously to write a comment in this thread that I guess I’ll write now … “daily deals” are dangerous for businesses; since it’s been a big fad these past couple years, WSB has been solicited time and time and time again by “deal companies” wanting to either partner with us in offering them, or to buy advertising here, and we have continually turned them down. The only people they truly pencil out for are the suddenly rich people who started the big “deal companies.” And in the case of the one whose name I won’t speak, the money you give them goes straight out of town. They don’t care about a thriving *local* business community. We are still selling WSB ads at the same price we set when we became a business in fall 2007 because we want it to be affordable for independent local businesses to let readers know they’re here … and it just doesn’t seem right to jack up the price when we know it’s a tough road for small businesses. (Of which we are one!) BUT I digress. This isn’t about us, it’s about folks who had a dream, gave it a try, and it didn’t work out … how heartbreaking that has to be … TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:38 pm February 3, 2012 #

  36. Wow, this is a bummer; I was going to check them out tomorrow. Some locations just seem to be cursed. I’ll be curious to see if A Fatal Beauty can beat that location’s jinx.

    Comment by TheScootingGourmand — 9:49 pm February 3, 2012 #

  37. @ Gini – Wondering the same thing. Three businesses have gone under in about as many years. Is this landlord related? I believe the ownership changed hands not long before Murphy’s closed…

    Comment by enviromaven — 9:53 pm February 3, 2012 #

  38. Just a note … Murphy’s didn’t go under; it moved. I lost track of what happened after that, but the departure from WS was a move:
    http://westseattleblog.com/2008/01/another-west-seattle-retailer-moving

    Comment by WSB — 9:57 pm February 3, 2012 #

  39. I love them and I loved their brunch but a word to the successor: open earlier than 9:30 am. We knocked on locked doors, then tried the Chelan but they were so full both lots were jammed with cars. Avalon, you lost a lot of early risers business .

    Comment by dhg — 10:32 pm February 3, 2012 #

  40. Oh no, I had just discovered Avalon’s bacon tempura last week. Thank you for the delicious happy hours!

    Comment by JennyB — 10:49 pm February 3, 2012 #

  41. Very bummed to see them leave. A wonderful restaurant, perhaps just a rough time to open one,
    no matter how good…And, they were GOOD!

    Comment by dm — 12:08 am February 4, 2012 #

  42. We didn’t get to go very often, but we really enjoyed brunch at Avalon. We are very sorry to see them go.

    Comment by Alex — 1:14 am February 4, 2012 #

  43. So sad to hear the news. I love Avalon. Best Bloody Mary in West Seattle. I also love the fries. They will be missed.

    Comment by m — 2:08 am February 4, 2012 #

  44. This is so sad. It was one of the best brunch places in west Seattle. Very sad to see it go.

    Comment by Kel — 2:43 am February 4, 2012 #

  45. Interesting. We had friends make reservations on Thursday evening for brunch this Sunday and they didn’t say anything about closing. It would have been our first time. Bummer.

    Comment by SSF — 3:34 am February 4, 2012 #

  46. Not surprised. Nice people but the food just wasn’t very good.

    People need to stop blaming locations or the economy. I’ll tell you now bang bar is next. Don’t blame the location.

    It’s simple. Serve good food at a price appropriate to what you are serving. Problem is that’s hard to do. WS supports good food.

    Best of luck to the owners.

    Comment by Chord — 5:58 am February 4, 2012 #

  47. Sorry to hear this – I enjoyed the food, atmosphere and staff. I will especially miss their duck flatbread.

    Comment by K. — 8:50 am February 4, 2012 #

  48. A sad closure. We enjoyed our anniversary dinner there last year and I had hoped to make it a tradition. Best of luck to you in your future endeavors!

    Comment by Ann — 8:56 am February 4, 2012 #

  49. A shame, I liked that place. I agree with other posters though–don’t build a (fairly expensive) restaurant by a steel plant. It was just a terrible location.

    Comment by Alex — 10:08 am February 4, 2012 #

  50. Avalon was a place of warmth, friendliness, family, and joy. It’s hard to even articulate how much of a vaccuum there will now be with this sad turn of events. The Breulers are a part of West Seattle, and Avalon was an extension of that. To see them close their doors causes a pain in my heart and a void in my culinary soul.

    And to all of you posting about how you ‘lost out’ because your coupons aren’t valid any more, you should be ashamed. A fine family business has fallen by the wayside, and all you can do is bemoan your no-longer-valid coupon? The shame you should feel at your lack of tact and, worse, your lack of empathy, is great.

    Comment by PK — 11:07 am February 4, 2012 #

  51. WSB, could you explain the “Daily Deals” further – is this the same thing as Groupon?

    Comment by M — 11:10 am February 4, 2012 #

  52. It’s the generic industry term for Gr*upon, Living Social, and what are literally hundreds of imitators that have sprung up after seeing how much Gr*upon has wrung out of small businesses. They are NOT the same as old-fashioned coupons, where merchants offer discounts … the general daily-deal modus operandi is they get a cut of the face price of the “deal” – see this discussion, and you can find much else written online:
    .
    http://www.quora.com/What-percentage-does-Groupon-and-LivingSocial-take-on-the-deals-they-promote
    .
    So let’s say the cut is 40 percent. DailyDealSiteX sells somebody a $20 coupon meant to get them $40 of merchandise at BusinessX. That means DailyDealSiteX gets $8 cut. So BusinessX really gets $12 for the $40 of merchandise. They get paid up front, I’m told, so it may be attractive (one critic called it “payday loan for businesses”) in the short term, but in the long term, no. And all the “promotion” you get out of it is one blast on a mailing list.
    .
    Anybody wants to talk about this further, open a Forum topic and let me know :) I am breaking our own rules here by assisting in a threadjack … TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:23 am February 4, 2012 #

  53. No!!!!!! I am devastated! Food and service was always amazing. The space was really inviting…like I was hanging out at a friend’s house. And the chicken fried chicken…unbelievable! Deb, thank you for so many great times and wonderful meals. And Corner Inn Lynn, thank you for always making my sister excellent espresso martinis!

    Comment by MT — 11:59 am February 4, 2012 #

  54. This is a real loss. Not only was the food outstanding but Deb Bruler has an amazing palate for matching food and wine. I was planning to a special dinner there in a few weeks where I would bring a bottle of wine for her to build a meal around. She did this once before for us and it was incredible. The wine dinners she produced were outstanding and among the best meal dinners anyone could imagine. I truly hope she is cooking again in this area.

    Comment by Bill Hibler — 1:38 pm February 4, 2012 #

  55. Sorry to hear it. We just never made it over there. I agree it’s a bad location – when we are trying to decide where to go, it’s pretty much always in one of the junctions near free parking. I totally forget about the more out of the way places like Endolyn, La Rustica, Avalon when thinking about nicer places. It’s unfortunate, but true.

    Does anyone know more about restaurant.com? I use them a lot when going out because it’s a good deal for us and we still end up paying $40 or so for dinner and drinks *excluding* the few bucks I paid for the certificate. Are we hurting local businesses this way or because there’s a minimum you must spend over and above the certificate value, does that change the picture?

    Comment by A — 1:59 pm February 4, 2012 #

  56. Ps: if ANY WS place were open for very early (5am) breakfast on either weekends or weekdays, we’d be all over it. We are early to bed and early up, and don’t love the Chelan Cafe’s food (sorry.) Meanders closes slightly too early for us, and Luna opens slightly too late. I’d love to have a nice bfast option in the wee hours!! Hell, I’d settle for a freakin Denny’s in ws at this point. ;-)

    Comment by A — 2:06 pm February 4, 2012 #

  57. We will miss your brunches, Avalon! Move your tasty food and drinks to White Center! You’re amongst friends here! Raise some capital on kickstarter.com and come on over! We’d all love to have you!
    Stefanie and Mike

    Comment by Proles — 4:17 pm February 4, 2012 #

  58. So very sorry to hear this. The owner (Deb) has a genius for selecting excellent wines and she was so friendly whenever we went there. I truly hope she will be able to follow her passion for wine and food at another West Seattle venue.

    Comment by Gwen — 4:36 pm February 4, 2012 #

  59. PK, Please don’t chastise those that spent their hard-earned money on coupons that Avalon *chose* to take an up-front cut on. While I feel bad at the loss of this family business, I equally feel bad for the customers (and possibly suppliers) who may have also been left in a lurch.

    Comment by Brian M. — 5:30 pm February 4, 2012 #

  60. Sorry to see you guys go. It was good to have two full service restaurants in our little Luna Park neighborhood. The Luna Park Merchants Association will miss your support. The neighborhood will miss your great food and service.I wish you the best.
    John Bennett
    Luna Park Cafe

    Comment by john bennett — 6:02 pm February 4, 2012 #

  61. PK – its coupons people are talking about Groupons, etc.. that they PAID for. You’re saying you’d be ok with throwing your money away?

    Comment by a — 8:31 pm February 4, 2012 #

  62. D’oh! We had a reservation for this Monday evening! Wish we had made it there sooner! Yes, using a prepaid thingee. Am bummed because I as really looking forward to the veggie options. We went to spring hill last week, and I had to piece together my veggie dinner. Wow–good thing I’m checking wsb or I wouldn’t have known that we were going to spring hill in its last days before they change concept and would have been dragging a 2yo to Avalon Monday evening.

    Comment by Sophia — 9:15 pm February 4, 2012 #

  63. I disagree that this was an issue of location. Just as another reader noted, Luna Park Cafe has been humming along for quite some time. Many people also commented that they were planning on going there but never got around to it. We all need to remember to frequent new restaurants that we like to ensure they make it. Even though I’ll miss Avalon and it’s wonderful owners, I intend to support the next inhabitant there. There’s much more to West Seattle’s dining scene than the Junction!

    Comment by fb — 2:36 pm February 5, 2012 #

  64. FYI, Groupon credits your account for any unused coupons, whether the place closes or the ‘use by’ date has passed. They are very customer friendly.
    Also, as I remember, the first restaurant at that location closed shortly after it’s owner and chef passed away suddenly. Just an unfortunate series of events it seems.

    Comment by fb — 3:37 pm February 5, 2012 #

  65. no!! that’s sad news. was one of my favorite places in the area. :(

    Comment by Jay — 11:47 am February 6, 2012 #

  66. More and more I hear about businesses, especially restaurants, that are handing out charitable donations and Groupon-type deals just a few days before going out of business. I’m really sad for the owners of Avalon that they had to close, but I’m also frustrated as a consumer and local patron that some business owners seem perfectly ok with taking money for promised deals they will not be able to honor. That’s dishonest. I don’t participate in Groupon and the ilk exactly because of situations like this.

    Comment by Scooterista — 11:05 pm February 6, 2012 #

  67. I just got a TIPPR email for Avalon this morning, 7 days after Avalon closed. It was a coupon deal like Groupon, for $10 to spend $20 at Avalon. Not cool.

    Comment by Wsfoodie — 6:46 am February 7, 2012 #

  68. Two failed restaurants in a short period in the same building. Maybe the rent is too high. The space is not well adapted for a restaurant. I liked the food at Avalon but the ambiance was a bit cold and the space has a bowling alley feel. The most recent owners of the business tried to overcome this problem and if they failed, perhaps it is time to look at the reasons why before putting another restaurant in place to fail. Another problem is that it takes time to build a loyal following. Maybe short-term rent concessions could have helped the owners stay afloat while rethinking. I hope they stay in West Seattle and find another location, preferably smaller and with better acoustics.

    Comment by Diner — 7:59 am February 7, 2012 #

  69. I came here literally every other Sunday for the Biscuits and Chorizo gravy! I will be having withdrawal symptoms for so long…

    Comment by Bobby H. — 1:56 pm February 7, 2012 #

  70. @Scooterista

    The businesses don’t take money from the consumer. If it goes out of business, contact the company TIPPR, Groupon, etc. . and they’ll refund you.

    I never made it to this restaurant, mainly because there are so many more options in the Junction and in Admiral.

    Comment by Wes C. Addle — 5:32 pm February 7, 2012 #

  71. Rent is crazy high for that place, almost 6k for a 4300sf building where less than half is usable as a dining room. Next operator will need to be creative, maybe rent out commissary access to food trucks, etc. kitchen is huge and very far from the dining room, going to be hard to run just a restaurant out of there and be successful. Places that need a lot of staff just to keep the doors open don’t tend to last long, this space is a classic example of inefficient use of space.

    Comment by Restauranteur — 7:33 pm February 7, 2012 #

  72. sad news, but i agree with the others in that the location was horrible. with the amount of rent plus salaries they need to roll over a lot of tables to make it.

    i didn’t ever go because their website was really underwhelming.

    future restauranteurs need to watch kitchen nightmares and all of kitchen impossible.

    Comment by steve — 8:37 pm February 9, 2012 #

  73. We too had a voucher for $50 to eat there and didn’t get there before it closed. All you have to do is call Amazon and tell them what happened. They’ll refund your credit card. 866/395-2090

    TOTAL BUMMER. WE LOVED THIS PLACE FOR DINNER, BRUNCH, AND HAPPY HOUR!

    Comment by Cindy Small — 7:31 pm February 10, 2012 #

  74. I am so sad that Avalon has closed. I moved to West Seattle a year ago and Avalon was the one place I had visited the most, especially on Two Dollar Tapas Tuesday! I am going to miss you all; especially Lynne! She was always friendly, even on a busy Tuesday night. Good luck to all of you as you head to new places.

    Comment by Mary Anne — 8:09 pm February 12, 2012 #

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