FIRST REPORT, 2:46 PM: It was only the middle of last summer – mid-July – when Shelby Varden and his parents cut the ribbon to officially open Shelby’s Bistro and Ice Creamery at 4752 California SW in The Junction. Less than six months later, a sign on the door today announces that Shelby’s is closed. After a reader tip (thanks to Jason), we just went over but couldn’t find anyone there to speak with; nothing about the closure is on any of Shelby’s online channels yet. We’ve also left voice and e-mail messages, and will add anything more that we find out.
The corner spot has undergone a lot of turnover in the past decade. We had first reported on the plan for Shelby’s last April. That was five months after Westside Public House abruptly closed following a year in operation, preceded by three years of A Terrible Beauty, and before that, less than a year for Table 35 and less than two years for Ama Ama. Before that, Ovio Bistro had been in the space for almost five years.
ADDED 3:18 PM: We just received this news release:
Today, Shelby’s Bistro and Ice Creamery regretfully announced they will be closing effective immediately. Shelby’s Bistro and Ice Creamery, commonly referred to as “Shelby’s”, was opened by Shelby Varden on July 19, 2016 in the West Seattle Junction at 4752 California Ave SW. Shelby’s was a full-service sit down restaurant serving appetizers, salads, pizzas, sandwiches, pastas, entrees, and ice cream. Shelby’s patrons dined at the restaurant for the delicious food, cleanliness, friendly staff, and happy “feel good” environment. Many guests said it was a place that made them smile despite whatever else was going on in their lives.
In a statement provided by Shelby, he stated, “While we had some of the normal mishaps any new restaurant experiences, I am exceptionally proud of our achievements and the experiences we were able to provide our guests. We were recently recognized by the 2016 King5 Evening Best of Western Washington as the #1 Best New Restaurant in Seattle (#3 in Western Washington) and #5 Best Kids’ Menu in Western Washington. In addition, we received an average of a four star rating or above on all social media review platforms and had a loyal following of regular guests. I am especially proud of my incredible staff and thank them for all of their hard work, support and dedication.”
Shelby concluded by adding, “I would like to thank West Seattle and all of our guests for their patronage and fond memories. My staff and I will miss you! The restaurant’s controllable costs were all good although other expenses out of my control and lower sales for such a large space resulted in this regrettable closure. Despite that, I want to focus on the successes, our community contributions and holiday celebrations, school Dine Outs, thanking our wonderful regulars, and celebrate the many wonderful memories we created for those who visited or worked at Shelby’s.”