The fence is up, the windows are covered, and intensive work is under way at the Seacrest Boathouse as Marination gets ready to open its first West Seattle bricks-and-mortar location, after three years of bringing its truck to the peninsula on Saturday. This afternoon we spoke with Marination co-owner Kamala Saxton for an update, six weeks after they announced the start of construction – and the official name.
Twists and turns in the permit and construction process have now pushed the expected opening date back to late September, Saxton says. “Progress is being made … not as fast as we wanted.” However, she and co-owner Roz Edison are still rooting for the round of summery weather that often happens in late September/early October, in hopes it will grace the West Seattle waterfront as they fire up the shave-ice machine (and the rest of the new Marination Ma Kai) for the first time. If you are a West Seattle Water Taxi rider, diver, kayaker/SUP’er, or other frequent Seacrest visitor, you will likely notice the roof-replacement work any day now (tomorrow’s parking-lot closure there, however, involves an unrelated ladder replacement on the pier); today’s highlights, she told us, included a new door. They’re also working on hiring – recruiting notices are posted on the boathouse windows – and Saxton says that’ll be finalized in a week or so; lots of West Seattle locals have applied, she says. They’re also excited about Marination Ma Kai’s potential as an event space, including its availability to local groups like PTAs.
It’s been five months since the revelation of a snag in the permit process – extra reviews required because, though the location had been run as a restaurant for more than a decade under previous concessionaire Alki Crab and Fish, it had never formally been approved to serve as one – and almost nine months since word that Marination had been chosen to take over the space. But, as the Marination owners wrote in another flyer that’s posted in the boathouse windows, “We are so in love with Seacrest and the incredible good times to come, we know every hoop, thorn, and fire we deal with will all be worth it!”
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