By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Now that Alki Auto has moved into its new Luna Park home, its former beachfront site’s future has been confirmed: Blue Moon Burgers is indeed opening on Alki.
As reported here last month – when we first learned that the auto shop was moving – although the city website said a restaurant was moving in, with BMB proprietor Charlie Olson‘s name on the permit, he wasn’t ready to comment on whether that was the plan.
Now he is, so we just talked with him by phone to get the details:
Alki will be the fourth Blue Moon Burgers location, after South Lake Union, Fremont, and Capitol Hill.
Blue Moon’s distinctive features, according to Olson, include:
*Many gluten-free options – even gluten-free onion rings and chicken tenders, from gluten-free fryers.
*Vegetarian options – homemade black-bean and falafel patties.
*While it will also be sit-down, if you’re interested in take-out, you can order in advance online (they have an iPhone app and one in the works for Android), and a parking space will be reserved out front for pickup.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
The location itself, Olson says, belongs to an old friend in the Strickland family, which once upon a time, he says, owned many gas-station sites around the area. This was a Signal Oil service station when built in the ’50s, and he says they’ll be painting it white to recapture some of its former look.
While they have had pre-application discussion with the city – that’s what we discovered on the DPD website in March – Olson says they don’t know how long it will take to get the permits for work, so he’s not ready to estimate a time frame for opening. Once the permits are in, he thinks the work will only take a few weeks, as they don’t intend to do too much to the inside. “It’s really kind of a cool building.” He’s not sure yet how many they’ll be able to seat once the renovations are done; that’s still being worked out.
(Answering a question someone asked in comments on our previous story, he says the old gas tanks on the site were abated way back in the ’80s, so they are not facing any environmental-cleanup work.)
A fence is up just to keep the site from becoming a hub of unauthorized activity during the time it’ll be vacant.
“We’re excited to be here – we’ve been wanting to be in West Seattle for a while.” (As pointed out in our previous story – there was even talk back in 2007.) Some of his management staff has West Seattle roots, he says, and he has long worked with West Seattle photographer Kelly Cline, who, he says, also has been lobbying for Blue Moon Burgers to open in this area.
The early plan is for the menu and other aspects of the operation to be similar to what they’re doing elsewhere, but Olson does say that once they arrive in a neighborhood, “we wait to see what customers in each area want,” so there’s always the chance for evolution down the line. “We’re waiting to get it open and play it by ear.”
Hours are expected to be 7 days a week, open daily at 11, closing at 11 pm Fridays and Saturdays, 10 pm the other nights.
SIDE NOTE – ALKI AUTO’S NEW HOME: As added to our previous story, Alki Auto has taken over the old British Auto Center spot in the Luna Park business district (2938 SW Avalon Way). Tim McMonigle caught this photo of the signage switchover last Tuesday:
Local writer Keith Creighton, working with Alki Auto on the transition announcement, says British Auto’s proprietor decided to close the bricks-and-mortar business so he could focus on his eBay store.