West Seattle restaurants: Shelby’s Bistro and Ice Creamery closes after less than 6 months

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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.”

339 Replies to "West Seattle restaurants: Shelby's Bistro and Ice Creamery closes after less than 6 months"

  • Sad customer January 3, 2017 (2:56 pm)

    This makes me SO sad.  My kids loved Shelby’s.  We were getting ready to celebrate one of their birthdays there next week.

  • NR January 3, 2017 (2:58 pm)

    It’s odd this space seems to be a black hole for businesses.

  • West Side3 January 3, 2017 (3:02 pm)

    that corner is cursed

  • newnative January 3, 2017 (3:02 pm)

    that sucks.

  • Love me some ramen, but... January 3, 2017 (3:04 pm)

    Sad to say, but it’s not surprising at all. I just assume it’s a combination of high rent and the restaurants that go in lack quality and variety. I never went to Shelby’s (menu looked to big and unfocused to care). Never went to Westside Public House because it seemed way too bro-y and the logo/signage was offensively bad. I did go to A Terrible Beauty a few times, but it wasn’t anything I’d write home about when you could just go to Elliot Bay Brewing instead.

    It seems like the only thing that would do well here is a well known local restauranteur (eg Tom Douglas, Ethan Stowell, Renee Erickson, etc.) I would love to see some of those offerings in West Seattle. I also could see a place like Cafe Mox or Meeples do well here, it’s certainly a big enough space for that and something that is lacking from the Junction (a place for adults to play/buy games while drinking beer).
    • cjboffoli January 3, 2017 (3:19 pm)

      Seattle doesn’t need any more Tom Douglas restaurants.  We’ve already more than exceeded our mediocrity quota.  But I do agree to that too many landlords have reasonable expectations about rents.  Too many restaurants open with fixed costs that just don’t pencil.

      • JanS January 3, 2017 (3:42 pm)

        Cjboffoli…I agree totally.  Why should there ever be any more Tom Douglass restaurants, esp. in West Seattle? I’m not a fan, I guess. Yes, it’s the junction, and , from the statement from Shelby, it seems that perhaps a landlord decided that the rent should go up as of Jan.01. Do I know that for a fact? No. But it just seems to be the answer, all things considered. It’s a big space, and I’m sure they want premium dollar for it. I did not frequent Shelby’s in the months that it was open. Being disabled now, and not being able to walk very far, parking affects me a lot in the junction.  They’ve made room for bikes on the Ave. in the Junction, but the only few handicapped spots are all in the free/pay lots, too far for some of us to walk, sadly. 

        • Virginia January 3, 2017 (6:18 pm)

          There is no parking to speak of and that is a define negative.

          • Virginia January 3, 2017 (6:20 pm)

            Should say definitely a negative.

          • bolo January 3, 2017 (10:38 pm)

            No parking? Isn’t there a Diamond lot on the corner of SW Edmonds and 42nd Ave SW? Maybe 75 yards SE of Shelby’s front door? And a smaller one across from that at the USBank, even closer?

          • WSB January 3, 2017 (10:50 pm)

            Yes, there are. They are not shown on this map but we are in The Junction daily and can vouch for that:

            http://wsjunction.org/maps/

            Also note that, as IS shown on the map, most of the east side of 44th between Alaska and Edmunds is parking, some paid, more free.

            Last September, we reported on a City Council discussion with SDOT, which said it’s expecting to study Junction parking again next year – which will be 9 years after its last study. – TR

          • lookingforlogic January 8, 2017 (2:42 pm)

            There is 3 large public parking lots in the junction.  You have walk 1/2 a block or so, earn your sundae.  

      • cjboffoli January 3, 2017 (3:58 pm)

        I meant to type UNreasonable expectations.

        • WD fundie January 3, 2017 (6:24 pm)

          Speaking on unreasonable expectations….Parking out front of anywhere you go in a city.

      • Love me some ramen, but... January 3, 2017 (6:13 pm)

        Ok fine, not Tom Douglas, I only listed him as an example (though I do love some of his restaurants, especially Brave Horse).  My point was something with name recognition seems like the only thing that will be able to afford and be successful in that location. I’d rather it be from a local chain than a national one.

      • Wescaddle January 3, 2017 (7:21 pm)

        Why the hate on Tom Douglas?  His restaurants have employed more people than most small businesses in Seattle over the last 20 years. Great restaurants, with great quality food. 

        It’s funny how Seattle is…once someone becomes successful they are immediately deemed the enemy and driven out. Sad. 

        • BeachBoy January 3, 2017 (8:51 pm)

          I’ve eaten at several of TD’s restaurants. Yes, he’s a talented chef, and yes, he’s a great employer. I guess what I find underwhelming about his places is that they’re kind of a high-end ‘middle of the road’. It’s like shopping at Nordstoms; nice, but predictable. TD’s places are the ‘khakis & polo shirt’ of the Seattle restaurant scene. A little to ‘safe’ more my likes.

      • KT January 5, 2017 (10:37 am)

        Tom Douglas restaurant.  Let’s see…$24 for fried shrimp and french fries.  Do you really think this will go in WS?  

      • Lady D January 7, 2017 (11:50 am)

        Having worked for Tom Douglas for 12 years and being a long time West Seattle resident, I think it would be an excellent idea to have another TD restaurant.  I am not sure why you would not want a successful restauranteur to come into WS.  Tom Douglas employs many people and offers a great work environment which in turn provides excellent customer service and great food and drink.

        The corner is a hard space because of it was so big for one thing.  Also, anyone going in to open a restaurant should really take into consideration their surroundings, do your research.  The Husky Deli is an icon WS ice creamery.  Why would Shelby open up an ice cream shop across the street from Husky Deli?  Even Ben & Jerry’s opened up further down California, and it has since closed. There were many missteps it seems. 
         It is, however, sad to see a business owner put their heart and soul in wanting to provide a fun family restaurant. 
        I hadn’t even thought about TD coming in with another successful restaurant.  I would love to see that happen!  
    • sw January 3, 2017 (3:40 pm)

      That’s an interesting notion about Meeples.  Having a hangout spot for teens that would have coffee, drinks and snacks could work in that spot, as kids generally would get there on foot or by bus and would not have the parking/foot traffic hangups.  I would wager the rent is higher than their current space, however, making it unfeasible.  

      I think the key to succeeding in this location is revenue from alcohol sales.  Terrible Beauty was doing just fine until they opened the SLU location and mismanaged all three locations to their eventual demise.

    • Mac J January 3, 2017 (3:51 pm)

      I didn’t know Shelby’s had closed, but I had the same thought today that some kind of game cafe/bar would be a good fit for the Junction. I actually live closer to their current location, but I pass through the Junction much more often, I’d drop in more.

    • billv34 January 4, 2017 (11:52 am)

      Ama Ama was good

      • SkyTwelve January 7, 2017 (1:30 pm)

        I miss Ama Ama.  

    • Whiskeyboi January 16, 2017 (7:38 pm)

      Yea way to support local small buisnesses, pshhhh, go live somewhere were they have those overpriced restaurants then.

  • John January 3, 2017 (3:06 pm)

    Wow…..I liked the place….went four times.  The macaroni and cheese with chicken was great.

    Sad to see them leaving so soon.

    I wish they’d never painted that beautiful bar a white color. 

  • Double Dub Resident January 3, 2017 (3:16 pm)

    What is it with that corner?  If I was superstitious,  I’d say it’s cursed 

  • jude January 3, 2017 (3:16 pm)

    I am so sorry to hear this news.   It was nice to have a neighborhood ice-creamery.  :(

    • WsEd January 3, 2017 (7:06 pm)

      Ever hear of Husky Deli

      • WS booster January 3, 2017 (7:50 pm)

        Husky Deli has a history apparently. But it is a dirty place, a dive, in fact– and while some dives are worth it…  well, Husky Deli needs to use some elbow grease and clean! Even the sidewalk out front is not well taken care of in summer months. Just look closer and you’ll see. I refuse to go there anymore.

        Shelby’s had everything moving in the right direction, and they seemed to just now be catching their stride. Now the landlord has to find another tenant for this “cursed” location. How can the landlord make money this way? Sounds like the landlord just screwed themselves again.

        Well maybe Shelby’s can pop up in a new and improved spot. Shelby Varden  we thank you, and hope you pop up close by soon!

        • Polarbear7 January 3, 2017 (8:31 pm)

          I totally agree about Husky Deli. Everyone raves about it, but I don’t like going there. Everything is sooooo dirty. And, the ice cream….well, we would rather drive to a Molly Moon’s :) 

        • WsEd January 4, 2017 (12:26 am)

          I am not a huge fan of Husky Delii either.  I was just trying to point out the challenging demographics.  Combine that with a confusing Ice Creamery/ Bistro and I don’t think this place had a chance.  And before we blame the building owner, the restaurant is the one that signed the lease.

        • trickycoolj January 4, 2017 (5:22 pm)

          I gotta say, I was disappointed last time I got ice cream at Husky Deli too.  The teenager behind the counter handled cash from the customer in front of me, then proceeded to scoop my ice cream using his bare fingers to help pack the scoop and get it on the cone.  No hand washing.  No gloves.  I don’t have a food handlers card and know that’s a violation.  A lot of the European grocery products on the shelves are often past the pull date and twice the price of what I can get them for at World Market.

  • joel January 3, 2017 (3:17 pm)

    the only thing that will make it in that space is a Starbucks or a Payday Loan Store – 2 things that never close.

    • Diane January 3, 2017 (3:29 pm)

      actually, the “payday loan store” in the junction was closed down last year

      • Devon January 5, 2017 (5:06 pm)

        AND a starbucks that was in the ‘i believe’ current T-mobile space near the safeway had closed years before this corner starbucks opened.

  • Kate January 3, 2017 (3:17 pm)

    Ovio.  Sigh.  I loved that place.  Still think about the pork tenderloin with lentils dish.

  • Jason January 3, 2017 (3:18 pm)

    I took the kids there once for an overpriced mediocre sundae. The food on the menu was a little of a turnoff due to price. There are too many other excellent and established restaurants in West Sea (including Elliot Bay). 

    I don’t buy into the location being cursed. Terrible Beauty was more about terrible management, overreaching in the area of expansion, and firing good staff to hire bad staff. Drugs were also allegedly being sold out of the kitchen by one of the cooks which I’m sure didn’t help much.

    Westside Public House was a joke from the beginning – started in part by the son of the owner of Terrible Beauty. I went on the 3rd day of opening and it already smelled like the basement of our old frat house.

    A bar similar to the Bridge at that location may be able to do well. Or a good Chinese restaurant. New luck Toy should move up the street.

    • WSB January 3, 2017 (3:19 pm)

      Just added at 3:18 pm, a news release from Shelby, for whom we’d left multiple messages. He sums it up, “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.”

      • uncle loco January 3, 2017 (4:00 pm)

        Sounds like it might be due to the minimum wage increase.

        • Max January 3, 2017 (4:12 pm)

          That and/or perhaps increased rent costs.

        • Mickymse January 3, 2017 (4:43 pm)

          Doubtful… since everyone has known about that increase coming since BEFORE the place opened. But thanks for the conservative FUD about the minimum wage.

        • Mr Matt January 3, 2017 (5:18 pm)

          Dude, wages for labor are literally “controllable costs”.  You know what wages are going to be every month. 

          • uncle loco January 3, 2017 (6:21 pm)

            I’ve never run this type  of business but I do know from experience that labor is the least controllable expense. I was just trying to read into the quote, plus the timing of the announcement.

        • AMD January 3, 2017 (6:28 pm)

          Labor is always considered  a “controllable expenses” since you can control the expense via scheduling.  Uncontrollable expenses are things like rent.

          I’m super sad to see them go and hope they find a way to bring back the restaurant that solves the problems they had in the junction.  Their food was great, their ice cream was worth a trip for that alone, and the service was always on point.

          Thanks for the great meals, Shelby.  I look forward to your next endeavor.

        • West Seattle since 1979 January 3, 2017 (6:53 pm)

          I find it very hard to believe that someone who was intelligent enough to plan and implement this restaurant wouldn’t have taken into consideration that the minimum wage was going up by $.50 an hour on 1/1/17 ( or $1 an hour if they don’t offer health insurance).   It seems that most people know about the incremental wage increases in Seattle, judging by the number of comments that always happen when a restaurant closes, so I’m sure Shelby was aware of it too, and planned accordingly.  

          • Lisa January 3, 2017 (7:50 pm)

            Could also be the “Democracy Vouchers” initiative.  It will be interesting to see how many businesses survive in Seattle with all that the residents vote in.

        • WsEd January 3, 2017 (7:17 pm)

          Hahahaha ROFL

          Or maybe a horrible ill thought business plan.   The first time we walked past that place I bet a freind twenty bucks they wouldn’t last a year.  He owes me twenty bucks now.  Just emailed to collect. 

          People have bad ideas about what will sell and often new restaurateurs have no idea how to do the math to go from sunk costs, variable costs, and fixed costs, to a reasonable margin which is already paltry in the restaurant industry. 

          But go ahead and blame the very small marginal cost of increasing the minimum wage if that helps buffet the feeling of this failure.
          • Trina January 3, 2017 (8:48 pm)

            Calling someone a failure and getting 20 bucks off a friend. What a great day! 

          • WsEd January 4, 2017 (12:28 am)

            I couldn’t agree more.

        • lookingforlogic January 8, 2017 (2:54 pm)

          The revenue isn’t there.  Rent, insurance, power, staff, taxes, inventory, capital loan payment. 

    • JWinWS January 3, 2017 (5:43 pm)

      I too don’t buy the cursed location argument. It is a HUGE space so will come with huge rent. The general manager of another WS restaurant which was able to succeed said they were happy to be breaking even at two years. They had another location to help them absorb the losses until that point. It takes an excellent concept, smart planning, restaurant experience, ethical management, excellent food/product and excellent service to make something work in that spot. I hope the next one is the winner. 

      • datamuse January 3, 2017 (9:26 pm)

        I wonder if the size of the space is part of the problem? It seems kind of big compared to the other restaurants nearby. There’s no lack of customers–Bang Bar and Mashiko are packed every time we go.

        .

        The space is kind of weirdly configured, too. I remember thinking so when it was Terrible Beauty.

    • Sadtaco January 3, 2017 (11:49 pm)

      No.

  • Natalie January 3, 2017 (3:18 pm)

    How sad. We took our kids there 4 times. It was so nice to have a family friendly option in the junction. Shelby’s will be missed!

  • Autumn January 3, 2017 (3:19 pm)

    Awe, sad I was just there and was raving to family about their mac and cheese and sundaes.

  • SillyGoose January 3, 2017 (3:21 pm)

    Awe this is so sad, I loved this Shelby’s.  Had an ice cream party here last summer it was a lot of fun and I still say the salmon dinner at Shelby’s was the best in West Seattle.  He went to a lot of research and expense to really represent West Seattle with his beautiful murals  and lively colors.  This is a huge bummer for the community.

  • S January 3, 2017 (3:22 pm)

    The Cures of God Fathers strikes again.  

    • Ashlee January 3, 2017 (3:43 pm)

      Oh man, forgot it was a Godfathers back in the day!

      • Dave January 3, 2017 (6:32 pm)

        And didn’t GF stay in business longer than Ovio/Guppies/Table something/ATB/ Public House/Shelbys combined?

    • uncle loco January 3, 2017 (4:03 pm)

      haha, beat me to it

    • Rick January 4, 2017 (9:01 pm)

      Godfathers was great!

  • A. January 3, 2017 (3:23 pm)

    And that is why a family friendly focused restaurant  in the Junction will not work. 

  • hj January 3, 2017 (3:24 pm)

    I look forward to more old signs piling up on the roof of that corner– there are both Terrible Beauty and Westside signs lying around up there just out of sight from the street :-)

  • Adam January 3, 2017 (3:26 pm)

    No!!!  This was such a great place, especially to bring kids.  Sorry to see it go.  Seemed like it was doing well.

  • Android January 3, 2017 (3:29 pm)

    The rent for that large space is too high. 

  • Jules January 3, 2017 (3:29 pm)

    So sad that another business on that corner has closed.  I went several times and enjoyed the food.  Well prepared with at beautiful presentation.  My one suggestion would be to serve breakfast.  If you look around West Seattle on a weekend there are lines out the door for places serve breakfast.  Also, I felt the attempted ice cream niche would be hard to compete with Husky Deli, which makes it’s own ice cream and has been serving generations of families in West Seattle.  Still sad that it closed as the decor was amazing, clean and bright,  and it’s always nice to have a family friendly restaurant.  

    • hj January 3, 2017 (3:36 pm)

      Husky Deli does not have a lock on the local ice cream market largely because they just serve scoops. There’s still an opportunity for an actual dedicated ice creamery that makes sundaes, splits, and other such delights, and it doesn’t have to be in a huge space.

    • trickycoolj January 4, 2017 (5:26 pm)

      Breakfast would be a great idea!  Especially if it went a little later.  A lot of the breakfast standbys (Easy Street/Luna Park) often have mega waits on the weekends and Friday/Monday in the summer as we get swarmed with tourists.  

  • Brenda January 3, 2017 (3:29 pm)

    So sad!  I know Shelby put his heart into this place and worked really hard to create a great dining experience.   My kids will be sad as well.

  • Maria January 3, 2017 (3:32 pm)

    It would be great if Playdate Sea opened up a WS location!  Sorry to hear another local business closed.  

  • Brian January 3, 2017 (3:32 pm)

    I’ve lived in West Seattle for over 18 years and nothing has been successful on that corner.

    I agree with one of the other comments – it’s cursed.

    • Jason January 3, 2017 (3:39 pm)

      Remodelers have been successful there ;)

      • Chuck January 3, 2017 (4:32 pm)

        Jason nails it! Haha–I’m sure there are local carpenters/painters thrilled by the news of yet another tenant. 

        As for the space being cursed, I don’t know. The nearby Bang Bar has (what appears to be) a thriving business, because they serve very good food at reasonable prices by a friendly staff. Gawd, my memories of the terrible service crew at A Terrible Beauty still haunt me. They would ignore once you were finally seated, the bar staff was rude, and the food marginal. Shudder.  Nah, that space is not cursed. But the string of ownership is worthy of cursing (not necessarily looking at you, Shelby’s–no kids simply equaled no reason for me to go to an ice cream?! restaurant).

        Given the shear increase of bodies in the surrounding (walkable) neighborhoods, something will finally click there. The nearby Lodge is proof that sheer numbers alone can float a so-so restaurant. I’d love to see a quality Mexican joint, like Fonda La Catrina in Georgetown. Honest food, well priced. So tired of the overly-spicy food at Matador (they confuse hot/spice for flavor).

        Will be interesting to see the next experiment!

      • WestCake January 3, 2017 (6:33 pm)

        Jason, I like the way you look at things. 

    • Diane January 3, 2017 (3:45 pm)

      I’ve lived in WS for 17 yrs; pretty sure the gay bar was successful; anyone know how many years that bar (I forget the name, but remember the rainbow flag) was in biz there?

      • Alki Resident January 3, 2017 (4:20 pm)

        Guppys was not there very long either. Godfathers needs to return. Shelbys typically didn’t open its doors until around 2pm so never got to come visit. Was hoping for an earlier time.

        • Diane January 4, 2017 (2:59 am)

          Guppy’s was there 3 years, 2001 to 2004; before wsblog was reporting on everything WS, and I couldn’t find any other info via google searches on why they shut down; but I bet the rent has skyrocketed for that space in 15 yrs; one comment on recent wsblog story about this space, said the rent was $13,000/mo; that was last year; how high is it now?

        • dawsonct January 9, 2017 (9:59 am)

          No, God-awful-fathers does NOT need to return there. They had become horrible by the time Herman Kaine took them over, and his management style may have saved to company, but it was not because the product was improved.
          I guess if fake processed cheese, too sweet sauce, and mediocre toppings are your ne plus ultra for pizzas, then maybe this IS your place, but they would instantly be tied for worst pizza in West Seattle with Pappa John’s and Dominoes.

          No to national chain crap food.

      • supernova72 January 3, 2017 (5:35 pm)

        maybe not answering your question but I believe before the gay bar it was a God Fathers Pizza??

      • Meaghan January 3, 2017 (9:16 pm)

        Guppies was the name. 

        • seabruce January 4, 2017 (11:25 pm)

          I believe Guppies closed due to a huge rent increase when their lease went up for renewal. Some people thought it was homophobia. Also, I recall one of the three business partners who started Guppies (supposedly the one with the most bar experience) died shortly before or after opening. I think the young chef for Ovio’s (or was it Ama Ama) died as well. So maybe there’s something to it being haunted. Maybe the farmer’s market could rent it to have an indoor space all week?

          • dawsonct January 9, 2017 (10:03 am)

            That was Eddie Montoya at Ovio. His was a stunning loss to our culinary community. A real sweetheart, and truly a culinary genius.
            Were he alive today, his star would have long risen beyond Seattle.

  • Preppy6917 January 3, 2017 (3:36 pm)

    I’m sad to see Shelby’s go, but I agree with some of the other commenters that it just had too many things going on to gain traction.

    I’m surprised, however, that some people are saying they can just go to Elliott Bay Brewing Co. Their food is consistently weak and the service consistently aloof. I was hoping the Lodge would be better, but it’s just as bad.

    • WSoldguy January 4, 2017 (12:02 pm)

      I have lived in WS my entire life…The fish and chips are hands down the best in the city!!….spuds, ivars, chinooks, rays boathouse, to name a few can’t hold a candle to EB.  Todd the owner has 2 other “Successfull” locations.  Maybe you hit EB on a off night.  

  • So sad January 3, 2017 (3:38 pm)

    This is such sad news.  This was one of our favorite restaurants because our kids loved it and the food was great!  If we asked our son if he wanted to go out to dinner, he’d say “Shelbys!”  Thank you, Shelby, for such a fun and welcoming place for families in our neighborhood.  You will be missed.

  • Troy January 3, 2017 (3:39 pm)

     The landlord is a bloodsucker. He demands like $14,000 plus a month for that space it’s insane. The mega high rent has made every restaurant ever been in there crash and burn because they spend every single penny including their paychecks to themselves trying to save the place and pay the ungodly rent 

    • WS Hoodie. January 3, 2017 (4:25 pm)

      I heard even higher numbers than that, $17k to be exact, but the actual amount doesn’t really matter as much as you said, it A LOT. It’s always strange to me that landlords do that, it must be better with a lower, steady and guaranteed income than none right? But when you own a ton of properties you can just quite profit on one space again losses on another…

    • KK January 5, 2017 (1:07 am)

      I agree with Troy, all signs point to the landlord.  You can tell that Shelby and the staff definitely had a strong business plan and did a lot of research. It seems fishy that so many very different concepts all fail there. What’s the common denominator? The landlord!  Shelby’s will be missed.  The shrimp PO boy was to die for!

  • Diane January 3, 2017 (3:40 pm)

    shocked, and very sorry to hear about this closure; I did my best to promote Shelby’s with all my family clients; would like to know more about what is the rent there?  and what were the “other expenses out of my control”; the Seattle min wage has been known, so that couldn’t be a surprise; but I think there were some new fees or fee hikes on biz from city hall this year that I’ve heard small businesses upset about; anyone have more details on how those might be impacting local small biz; sure hope the city compensated Shelby’s a fair amount for loss of biz the night of the insanely overcrowded HALA open house

    • bolo January 3, 2017 (10:49 pm)

      Maybe you are thinking of the new “martial arts schools have to charge/collect taxes because they are now classified as workout gyms?”

  • Jeff January 3, 2017 (3:40 pm)

    We ate there about a month ago and enjoyed the experience, tho it was a tad pricey!  I think the biggest issue with that site is the high rents, combined with poor parking.  The free parking spaces in the junction have been reduced with all the new construction, and most of it is a block to block and a half north of that site.  Its hard to get the foot traffic to go all the way down to the south end of the junction!

  • Wendell January 3, 2017 (3:41 pm)

    Sorry to see this happen to Shelby. The food and desserts were really good IMHO.

  • Fiz January 3, 2017 (3:41 pm)

    Would love to see an old-fashioned mercantile go in there. 

    • Fingertips January 3, 2017 (6:30 pm)

      Yes.  This!

      I’m always saying to my husband that if we had a place to buy fresh nails right next door to the shop where we get our nails done we’d be in heaven-on-earth!

      Too true!

    • Heather January 3, 2017 (9:30 pm)

      Locally owned True Value is a block away. They’re a mercantile – I’m always amazed a what I can find there…

  • Erin January 3, 2017 (3:49 pm)

    Was it ever considered to be something other than a  restaurant ? Something that would serve the community other than a pizza place or nail salon. 

    • Jason January 3, 2017 (3:58 pm)

      Agreed. I was just going to say maybe a retail shop or something can make its way in there, the restaurant / food thing seems to be a bust there for whatever reason.

      • sw January 3, 2017 (4:24 pm)

        A retail shop wouldn’t have a prayer.  A restaurant with heavy alcohol sales is the only thing that will be able to afford the rent.

    • WSoldguy January 4, 2017 (12:04 pm)

      Another nail salon….C’MON…go to white center!

  • Brian January 3, 2017 (3:57 pm)

    I’m old enough to remember when Godfather’s was there…and when Uptown was a Skipper’s. 

    • K8 January 3, 2017 (4:19 pm)

      LOL … i even tried to get a job at Skippers but no call back. I still miss the dark atmosphere there.

      Godfathers was the best! the buffet & jo-jos amazing! so easy to go in after schools since all the metro buses went through the junction to get home :)

    • Rick January 4, 2017 (9:09 pm)

      Do you remember when it was Carlisle Furniture?

  • Joan January 3, 2017 (3:58 pm)

    Wow, didn’t even get a chance to check it out. It looked promising. Maybe that corner is cursed. Not sure what would do well there. Bangbar is great Thai. Maybe Middle Eastern? I think a falafel place closed in Admiral before I even knew about  it. The falafel truck at the farmers market always does well and has great food. It has to be different, it can’t be a duplicate of other places. 

    • dawsonct January 9, 2017 (10:11 am)

      You won’t be able to pay $13K, $14K, $17K, whatever, per month selling falafel. I don’t care how delicious it is.

  • Junctionite January 3, 2017 (4:03 pm)

    Too bad, never made it except for ice cream once. Would love to see a library branch in that space, not sure if restaurants work there? Maybe a Genki sushi type place? Seems like a big enough space. Some place with live music, like a Tractor Tavern would also be great.

  • Afsi January 3, 2017 (4:06 pm)

    Awwwwwww. We just loved Shelby’s. My daughter dragged us there at every opportunity even when we weren’t out to eat.  She would pull our hands to that side of the street. We went there with friends, on our own and for parties. Great food and fun every time. Sad to hear them go. 

  • CCW January 3, 2017 (4:07 pm)

    Rent is too high for something other than restaurant or maybe a high end shop (but really, there’s space there for 3 shops).  It needs to be a business that justifies the space.  You can’t just put a game shop or furniture store or whatever in a place like that.   Those types of places don’t need foot traffic, so why would they locate in a place where they’d be paying higher rent for foot traffic.   The right restaurant/coffee shop combo would do fine there.   The past versions were all just not good enough.  Shelby’s was too niche for such a large space / high rent.   Someplace that was essentially Cafe Fiore by day and Beveridge Place Pub (or similar – maybe w/ food and/or allowing kids) by night would work.   

  • s c January 3, 2017 (4:08 pm)

    My husband and I had our first date at Godfather’s in August, 1986.  

  • Joe Szilagyi January 3, 2017 (4:09 pm)

    Well, never got to try it. I swear, WSB — this could be practically an investigation piece. “CURSED OR UNREASONABLE RENT – WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THIS CORNER LOCATION?”

  • Fred January 3, 2017 (4:11 pm)

    Darn, that was my kids’ favorite place. The space is HUGE so it seems like a difficult venue to make work financially. Shelby seems like a great guy, so I thank him for giving it a shot. 

  • Andy January 3, 2017 (4:11 pm)

    I’ll miss the sundaes.  But I won’t miss being escorted past  numerous empty tables to be seated all the way in the back right next to the kitchen EVERY TIME we went there,  and it was the kids’ favorite place to go, so that was a quite a few times.  Every single time, I had to ask/insist that we be seated at some other booth that was not the worst table in the house. 

  • ImNotSpartacus January 3, 2017 (4:16 pm)

    The junction needs some decent Indian food! The appalling food and service at Maharaja is our only go-to when we want local indian. If not that, I agree with those saying that retail would be nice there. Maybe a decent Chinese buffet?

    • Alki Bee January 3, 2017 (6:00 pm)

      I think  Korean restaurant would be great in there.

      • Mini Hachi January 3, 2017 (7:53 pm)

        I agree!  A Korean BBQ restaurant where you cook at your own table would be awesome!

  • gatewood neighbor January 3, 2017 (4:16 pm)

    It is not a curse it is incredibly high rent.  I looked into the space right after WSPH closed and it was 13-14k per month with NNN added in.  Most restaurants max out at rent being 10% of monthly sales.  130-140k per month is a reach if you don’t have that place 60% full from lunch until 10pm.  It has a HUGE kitchen and massive dinning room.  If the landlord would cut out the left side of the space and let the space be divided then it would have a chance.  Get a little boutique retailer on the left side.  Have the entrance to the bar and dining section on the right and turn the restaurant business into more of an L shape the rent would be affordable for the two parties and increase the likelihood of keeping a successful tenant.  I think it will be a long time before someone touches this space as is.  Maybe he is wanting to clear the leases so he can tear down from teriyaki shop to shelby’s for a new building.  He is a developer after all and does own that whole stretch.

    Shelby,

    Hold your head high!  Many people dream but only the brave try!  You are a brave person and I respect you having the guts to live your dream.  Don’t let this be the end of it!  Regroup, learn and dream again!

    • Marie January 3, 2017 (4:31 pm)

      Very informative post! I’m convinced…

      & I want to echo the warm thoughts toward Shelby’s owners….thank you for trying, and don’t give up :) 

    • Diane January 4, 2017 (3:11 am)

      thank you for the great info; the insane rent makes a whole lot more sense that the ridiculous notion of this spot being cursed; with that amount of rent, any biz would have to be making huge profits just to survive

    • HTB January 4, 2017 (11:03 am)

      Who is the owner?

  • West Seattle Hipster January 3, 2017 (4:19 pm)

    Perhaps the next occupant should be a non-hipster joint, how about a Buffalo Wild Wings or a Popeyes?

    • Preppy6917 January 3, 2017 (5:02 pm)

      What on earth was hipster about Shelby’s?

  • K8 January 3, 2017 (4:21 pm)

    member Skippers

    member Godfathers

    member parking in the Junction

    • gatewood neighbor January 3, 2017 (4:36 pm)

      Are you on member berries?

      • Cheri Bexten January 3, 2017 (7:03 pm)

        Member… Back in the day.. Modern Comfort  Furniture..On this corner..

    • dawsonct January 9, 2017 (11:57 am)

      Maybe that’s the problem. Who want’s to be a member of Godfathers? Or Skippers, for that matter.

  • Xana January 3, 2017 (4:23 pm)

    Well, that location has bad luck. It was great food and atmosphere as a Irish place with a lovely fireplace area in the back. The mistake they made was not using their stage. They could have had live acoustic music in there and made it a one of a kind super fun hangout. Then cocaine addicts tried to make it a ” game room ” – fact not opinion,  I had the displeasure of meeting them. I thought Shelbys sounded interesting and applied there when I was job hunting and they never even had the courtesy to email me back. I went in and hated the open light colored remodel. The atmosphere could have been pulled off with clowns, some kind of circus theme gimmick- like people personality goes a long way! 

    • MsD January 3, 2017 (8:33 pm)

      You can’t take it personally when  you don’t hear back from the places you apply.  In the last few years I’ve had a few experiences where I had several hour-long phone interviews, then a 6-8 hour onsite interview where I took off from my current job so that I could attend, and never heard back.  Just about everyone I know has had the same experience.  It’s completely unprofessional, but that’s just how most employers are now. 

  • Donna January 3, 2017 (4:31 pm)

    He did not hesitate to sell me a gift certificate on Dec.24th, yet I am sure he knew he would be closing.  He sold the customer right ahead of me one, too. Surely he could have simply said he did not do gift certificates. And I know the young friend to whom I gave it was planning on using it next week.

    • WSB January 3, 2017 (4:38 pm)

      I will ask Shelby via e-mail regarding gift certificates.

  • Michelle McBreen January 3, 2017 (4:42 pm)

    Loved the Shelby’s snacky hour and so sad for the owner as he really seemed to put his heart and soul into it!

  • Paul January 3, 2017 (4:43 pm)

    I’m really sorry to hear this. We loved Shelby’s. It’s nice to find a rare family food option in West Seattle. Best wishes to the owner & staff.

  • My two cents ... January 3, 2017 (4:54 pm)

    @Cjhboffoli @jans — while you may not got excited over a Tom Douglas establishment, one should give him credit for a few of things.  First off, creating a presence and brand within the NW that generally seems to be positive from the community (critics included).  Secondly, seems to be overall a success with his ventures (more than be said for a large segment of new places that try to make a go of it).  Thirdly, serving as a springboard for other staff to open their own places (Ma’Ono to cite a local example).

    But then again, based on your comments, “we” don’t need the likes of him ’round here.

    • gatewood neighbor January 3, 2017 (5:01 pm)

      Tom recently mention in an article that he will be opening new restaurants outside of Seattle due to the hostile business climate created by the Mayor and City Council.  That is a sad situation when a guy who only opens in a 10 block radius in downtown feels run out by the cities government.  Before anyone attacks Tom he has always paid well above industry standards and with benefits.  So sad to say even if we wanted a TD restaurant, Ta doesn’t want us.  Good article BTW on My Northwest.com. 

    • JanS January 4, 2017 (12:31 am)

      hey, don’t take it personally. I simply am not thrilled about the Tom Douglass chain. Many of us can’t afford his prices, frankly. I have also heard that he is striking out into other cities now…

      so…to each his own. I would like to see a good solid restaurant there..nothing gimmicky, not a sports bar (already have those, thinking, The Lodge, that is just saw last week is open), don’t need a coffee shop (it’s too big a space), , and definitely don’t need a Dollar store, who really wouldn’t/couldn’t(?) pay the kind of rent that is being asked.  Something will find a place there that hopefully everyone will like. We simply need to support them.

  • swisschocolateorange January 3, 2017 (4:56 pm)

    Don’t blame the corner.  It was folly to open an ice cream parlor 1/2 block from Husky Deli.  Remember Ben and Jerry’s 1/2 block the other way?  Why don’t business people do their research before sinking $$$ into these things?

    • BethSue January 3, 2017 (10:37 pm)

      Husky Deli hardly counts as an ice cream parlor. They were two completely different operations.

  • Westside45 January 3, 2017 (4:58 pm)

    That corner has little parking available. Go there on a busy evening and you may walk two blocks. Not condusive to a quick pop in.

    • Brian January 4, 2017 (10:25 am)

      …it is if you live around the area and you just walk there. Notice all the houses and apartments around the junction? Yeah. People live there. 

  • Celeste17 January 3, 2017 (5:13 pm)

    Is there a way round contact them about an unused gift Card?  I have one that I didn’t get to use.

  • heylady January 3, 2017 (5:16 pm)

    Shelby’s was lovely and our family is sad to hear this news. I thought for sure they would make it. Thanks to the owners and the very kind staff for bringing sunshine to WS – even if it was temporary. 

  • wsres January 3, 2017 (5:16 pm)

    darn it! we were just there over the holidays to get floats and sundaes between christmas shopping in the junction. shelby did put his heart into it! realky great sandwiches. i am hoping his optimism  means he is looking for a new, smaller space to reopen.

  • Jort Sandwich January 3, 2017 (5:17 pm)

    Ah yes, somehow the comments somehow find a way to blame parking for the closure. 

    What seems more likely is that:

    — the space has more square footage than almost any other junction restaurant 

    — you’ve gotta sell A LOT of ice cream sundaes to make enough to pay that rent 

    — not that many people make a regular habit of buying ice cream sundaes to sustain that business

    Look at the Pie a la Mode space — that’s about 1/8th the size. I think that’s all you should expect from such a niche product category. 

    They should sub-divide that building up, or tear it down and build another apartment building.

    Or perhaps kill two birds with one stone and you can tear it down and replace it with West Seattle Junction’s most urgent and pressing economic need: another parking lot.

    • datamuse January 3, 2017 (9:36 pm)

      I agree, the purported lack of parking doesn’t seem to hurt Bang Bar any and they are literally right next door. From some of the other comments here I really am thinking the space is just too big. Hard to get enough customers in to make that rent in a neighborhood that’s still primarily residential.

    • Wes C. Addle January 4, 2017 (9:55 am)

      Yeah the people complaining that it’s too far to walk from the free parking lot to Shelby’s is ridiculous (unless you have some sort of disability or ailment)

      Seemed like a nice guy, but a huge Ice Cream parlor probably doesn’t do too well in the Fall/Winter plus if I’m paying $15 for a burger I’m going to go somewhere where the burger is amazing I.E Quinn’s.

  • Al January 3, 2017 (5:21 pm)

    Too bad they closed.  We went there once and we thought food was very good and the portions were pretty generous.  We thought about going back again…now we can’t.  One thing we couldn’t understand was the need to compete with a well established place like Husky Deli in selling ice cream.   Someone wrote about the idead of a good Chinese buffet and we thought that’s a good idea.  By the way,  a Popeyes is opening in the White Center some time in the summer or late summer.

  • Peter January 3, 2017 (5:24 pm)

    I meany to try it eventually, but the stark atmosphere and over abundance of young children were turnoffs, and I always thought “some other time.” But I did appreciate that it relieved some pressure on Elliott Bay. 

    ATB was horrible, I mean really really horrible, and Westside was even worse. Not a cursed space, just a succession of bad concepts with bad execution. We’ll see what’s next. 

  • Baffled January 3, 2017 (5:25 pm)

    Just ate there for the first time a few weeks ago.  The menu and atmosphere lacked focus, and the prices were too high.    This was on a Saturday afternoon,  and there were maybe only three tables occupied.   

  • D DelRio January 3, 2017 (5:30 pm)

    I remember when Guppy’s was there sometime after Godfathers closed. They served the LGBT community, but all where welcome. If I remember correctly, having a gay bar there back then was somewhat controversial for West Seattle. The owner of the building raised the rent so high, that they basically forced Guppy’s out. Since then, nothing has succeeded. When I hung out there the place was always packed. Too bad Outwest wasn’t at the spot. The only thing I would be afraid of is that they would get priced out too.

    • Diane January 4, 2017 (3:19 am)

      thank for the info on why Guppy’s closed; yes, Seattle was still not yet super gay friendly yet 15 yrs ago; Guppy’s was open 2001 to 2004; wonder what the rent was in 2001; some are saying it is now 17,000 per month; what biz can succeed with that amount of rent, except real estate sales?

  • Gabrielle James January 3, 2017 (5:31 pm)

    My husband and I never went to Shelby’s since we typically prefer more adult-oriented restaurants for date nights, but this is still sad to me since we love our neighborhood. I did go into the space when it was A Terrible Beauty and remember feeling it was much too large. Not intimate enough for dining. Too much empty space. I wonder if there would be a way to demise the space into 2 storefronts, so spaces were a more affordable scale for local businesses. Maybe even work out a way to share the kitchen in the back. Or if one place was a bar/restaurant and the other one was something else. Just a thought I’ve always had about that location. Either way, it needs a fresh spin to get the stigma of the location off its back. 

  • Wsgal January 3, 2017 (5:37 pm)

    We will be seeing much more of this from small business’ with the wage increase/benefit requirements. (Which I was All for) it’s extremely expensive to operate a business with the wage laws as they were and yes, this restaurant may have known about the changes but until their balance sheets arrived their profit and loss- to learn they weren’t breaking even, it’s a different story. They spent a LOT on build out and it was a huge space, I bet they paid a fortune in rent- possible 10-12,000 month based on other local rents. I wanted them to succeed, sad. 

    • West Seattle since 1979 January 3, 2017 (7:19 pm)

      I’d be very surprised if they didn’t do projections with the wage increase.  Very, very surprised.  

      • Wsgal January 3, 2017 (8:55 pm)

        I have a business and projections only go so far…if revenue drops or costs increase suddenly it’s a small difference between profit and closing. 

        • West Seattle since 1979 January 4, 2017 (8:35 am)

          I understand, but seems like something like a wage increase that was known about would be easier to plan for than a rent increase or tax increase or unexpected repairs  that might not have been known about at the time they opened.

          Anyway, it’s really sad they had to close-it sounds like Shelby really put a lot into it.  I hope he’s able to start up again somewhere where costs aren’t as prohibitive.

    • Diane January 4, 2017 (3:23 am)

      other up-thread comment says the rent is $17,000 per month; that is the biz killer

      • WSB January 4, 2017 (7:03 am)

        Please note, there is no actual information as to what rent was or wasn’t being paid. Unlike real estate sale prices, rent is not public information.

  • Misti January 3, 2017 (5:39 pm)

    This is very sad news, Shelby put out a great restaurant in a location with a bad landlord. My hope is that we will see another Shelby’s pop up somewhere else one day. Best to you Shelby!

  • aa January 3, 2017 (5:42 pm)

    “It’s hard to get people to walk a block to a block and a half” how sad is that?  That situation is never going to get better with all the building going on so maybe we can all just add a few extra minutes to our time to allow for a short walk.  And if you park south of the junction its easy to find a spot.

    Re: the husky deli comment, I believe Shelby used Husky ice cream. 

    • WSB January 3, 2017 (5:47 pm)

      Cascade Glacier ice cream, according to the Shelby’s website.

  • Ruprick January 3, 2017 (5:45 pm)

    I hate to see any local business fail, but this ones on the owner.  Didn’t seem to know what kind of restaurant he wanted to be.  The menu didn’t fit an ice cream joint.  He tried to do too much without getting really good at any one thing (though the chicken macaroni seems to be good according to the comments in here). He should have made it more like an old school diner and narrowed his menu.  Doesn’t help costs when you have a big menu that’s all over the place.

  • Becky P. January 3, 2017 (5:47 pm)

    Remember Snubby’s Deli?  That place was cool….. How about West Seattle Speedway and Hobby?

  • Alki Bee January 3, 2017 (5:52 pm)

    Suggest that the next person considering opening a restaurant in this (or any other) space do a serious project study before opening.  Seems that too many “restauranteers” in town fail to do this.

  • shannon January 3, 2017 (5:57 pm)

    good riddance… we didn’t need another ice creamery.. we already had husky and cupcake royal and also we don’t need a Tom Douglas restaurant.. we are WEST Seattle.. not Downtown …come on people…  now lets talk about the noodle places and corporate Chipotle     

    west seattle is on track of losing its Good JUJU.. gentrification is RUINING WS

  • Up the creek January 3, 2017 (6:02 pm)

    Sad to hear this. 

    Not to put salt in the wound, but….Shelby, I just received a $35 gift card to your restaurant. How are you planning on remuneration for those customers who were sold gift cards in the last two weeks?

    • WSB January 3, 2017 (6:28 pm)

      As mentioned upthread, I have an inquiry out with that question. But certainly anyone with something like that should also try contacting them yourselves. The phone # still had voice mail as of this afternoon and this e-mail address which is part of the “about” info on the Shelby’s FB page did not bounce: shelbys@shelbyswestseattle.com

  • WS Rdr January 3, 2017 (6:03 pm)

    Sorry to hear the news. We never made it over to Shelby’s:  to tell the truth,  adult bistro types, we were kind of scared off by the ice cream parlor customers. Best of luck!

  • Steve January 3, 2017 (6:08 pm)

    Guppy’s was a blast!  Great, fun crowds on weekends and the last successful business on that corner in my memory.  Shelby put his heart into it (we ate there a few times and enjoyed it) but the space was too large, the atmosphere  stark, way over-staffed and the menu was too broad.  Bless his heart but he was trying to please everyone but it lacked focus and thus didn’t find a following.  Thanks for trying Shelby and best wishes to you!

  • WS January 3, 2017 (6:12 pm)

    I also would welcome a chef-driven restaurant from Tom Douglas, Ethan Stowell or any other chef serious about food and committed to using thoughtfully prepared, quality ingredients. These are the restaurants that have (rightfully) earned Seattle a spot as one of America’s best cities to eat in – and it’s one area where I think our neighborhood has fallen short on options. It’s been a great year with the debut of New Luck Toy and Raccolto (both outstanding!) but we still seem to be behind other neighborhoods (even if you exclude dense spots like downtown and Capitol Hill) in terms of variety and quality of interesting, inspired places for a special night out or for a more casual bite.

  • Alkima January 3, 2017 (6:12 pm)

    I would be ok with a Matt Dillon or Ethan Stowell restaurant, although I assume they would be in West Seattle by now if they wanted to be.  I think a place like Kizuki Ramen or Blue C Sushi might work.  Those both seem to work for kids during early dinner, then for adults later.  My kids want a place that serves food by model trains like they had in pioneer square when I was a kid.  Entertaining to kids and drinking folks.

    • Mary January 3, 2017 (8:19 pm)

      Was that Iron Horse, or something? I remember going there to eat once as a kid! Always thought it was in the “triangle tavern” brick building but not sure if my memory serves me. 

  • Dave January 3, 2017 (6:22 pm)

    I called this before it even opened. If Ovio had to close selling $20+ entrees around 2006, there’s no way someone can stay in business selling ice cream for around $5 and entrees for around $10. Still I’m sorry to hear this closed. Passionate owner and good product in general. Oddly always out of vanilla though.

  • WestCake January 3, 2017 (6:26 pm)

    Alcohol sales are what keep restaurants in business, just ask Tom Douglas. 

  • DB January 3, 2017 (6:29 pm)

    This is too bad. All of those condos/apts filling up (?) and now just an empty space. Maybe it was before it’s time.

    I liked Shelby a lot and know that he put a whole lot into it in addition to heart and soul if you know what I mean :( 

    In this industry the only costs the owner can control is food and labor. The other costs are set by others and you have no control. The few times I walked by as well as the one time we went, I saw a lot of labor. One can certainly plan for the minimum wage increase but at the end of the day it adds up to thousands annually, even for a very small business. If you don’t raise prices or increase your own work presence in the business you will not recoup. 

    This rent range sounds incredible for anything besides a Starbucks or a successful bar. As mentioned, your rent, rolled in with your other operating costs needs to be under 25%. (25 food, 25 labor, 25 overhead, 25 profit, hopefully). This means everything – lights, heat, water, garbage, TAXES, bank fees, internet, phones; plus repairs, equipment replacement, advertising and much MORE. Starting with a 10k+ rent number is unimaginable. 

    I’m so sorry for Shelby, it must be a hard start to the new year. 

  • mapgrl January 3, 2017 (6:30 pm)

    The food was great and the service was also very good.  Disappointed to see Shelby’s go. 

  • Alkima January 3, 2017 (6:36 pm)

    Surely West Seattle has earned the right to a restaurant with an ampersand by now.  

    • WSB January 3, 2017 (6:43 pm)

      We have at least two (Peel & Press, WSB sponsor, and Ma’ono Fried Chicken & Whisky) and at least one more on the way (Vine & Spoon)…

      • Dan January 3, 2017 (8:12 pm)

        Not to mention the coffee shop on Alki which is actually called Ampersand.

    • MsD January 3, 2017 (10:40 pm)

      Nah, we’ll know we’ve arrived as a gastrination once we have a few restaurants that could be the name of a William Faulkner novel or Aesop’s fable, i.e. The Whale Wins, The Walrus and the Carpenter, How to Cook a Wolf…

  • RCS January 3, 2017 (6:37 pm)

    The wood finishes in that space are completely ruined. I can’t believe anyone allowed them to paint the wood white and the walls yellow.

    The space isn’t cursed. It’s just crazy expensive. Something like an Elysian Brewery needs to move in there. 

  • Delridge Resident January 3, 2017 (6:41 pm)

    Oh no! We were meaning to go back to Shelby’s since the HALA meeting and planned to go in the next couple weeks.

    Shelby and family, we are so sorry things didn’t work out! We hope you will give it another go in a new location. Happy New Year — may 2017 bring you brighter success!

  • Dave January 3, 2017 (6:43 pm)

    I’ve never had a bad experience at one of Ethan or Toms places. I’d welcome them here.

    .

    The building owner (and building contractors as someone mentioned) are able to be successful at this location. It seems people are paying the owner too much if the last 5+ businesses have had to close. The next business should negotiate a lower rent or people should just not rent it. At this point the only winner is the building owner. Hope the next business spectator reads these comments and does their research.

  • Alkima January 3, 2017 (6:44 pm)

    I’m just spitballing here… Let’s combine parents love of STEM curricula with the hipster need for whimsy and authenticity.  How about “The Seal & Catapult”?  Or “The Orca and Rocket”?   

  • wmyron January 3, 2017 (6:51 pm)

    There will never be a successful business on that corner until the landlord gets a huge check from a developer and they build a new multi unit apartment building  with the ground floor being designated as retail/restaurant spaces. 

    • WS booster January 3, 2017 (8:40 pm)

      There’s the painful truth. 

  • citizen January 3, 2017 (6:54 pm)

    Rent that space to the city of Seattle for a Neighborhood Center.

    • C.D. January 3, 2017 (8:00 pm)

      Love that idea!

    • uncle loco January 3, 2017 (9:12 pm)

      I don’t think we can afford the rent.

  • ACG January 3, 2017 (6:56 pm)

    Shelby, thanks for putting your dreams into action. Please don’t give up, perhaps you can find a smaller space with more manageable rent. Our family loved coming to your restaurant and appreciated the family friendly environment. Best wishes to you. 

  • Chris January 3, 2017 (7:01 pm)

    We had not made it though always told they had the greatest sandwiches.   Perhaps a change of the name to reflect that it was not just an ice cream place.  If people had known about all the other food they had.   Also, the parking was so bad.     Regret owner had to give up.   Perhaps there is another less expensive place in West Seattle where they could reopen?

  • miws January 3, 2017 (7:21 pm)

    Okay, I’m gonna one-up everyone that has commented “I’m old enough to remember……” so far.

    I’m old enough to remember when Carlisle Furniture occupied that space and the adjoining space to the north.

    Mike

    • Robert January 3, 2017 (11:03 pm)

      I was pretty sure that Carlisle Furniture was in that location.  We used to get boxes from the back and use them to go sliding down the bank at the old Jefferson school.

      Great times.  I’m glad someone else remembered! Good form you are truly a WS native.

    • Tony S January 4, 2017 (3:35 pm)

      Nice job! Don’t forget Wigwam and West Seattle Feed & Seed across the street!  :-)

      • John January 4, 2017 (10:11 pm)

        Absolutely!, and then there was the A&P, GO Guys, Kress, and Meredith’s.

        Off topic but some great stores in the junction back in the day.

  • DS January 3, 2017 (7:21 pm)

    What about a dim sum restaurant? Something like Din Tai Fung would be awesome! Seems our fine neighborhood is lacking in that department. Could be mistaken since we are new to the area – in which case I would love some recommendations! I’d also be down for some Korean food!

  • Katie January 3, 2017 (7:23 pm)

    Oh man that is so sad! They put so much work into that place! I thought for sure they would make it. 

  • Joyce January 3, 2017 (7:31 pm)

    They missed out on a lot of business, having no veg or vegan options, other than salad. Northwest natives are a health conscious group. I went once, but there was literally nothing on the menu I could order, so I never went back. I liked the place, it was nice, the staff seemed nice, just nothing but high fat, high calorie, greasy food. Shame.

    • Lucinda January 4, 2017 (7:57 am)

      Well, a few Northwest natives conflate “health conscious” with “self-righteousness about being health conscious.” I, for one, a Northwest native, am plenty health conscious, but that won’t stop me from enjoying a good sandwich or ice cream every now and again. I suspect most feel the same. As such, I sincerely doubt Shelby’s failed because their menu didn’t contain artisanal hand-hammered non-GMO wild grain nonsense to cater to the self righteous crowd and thus turned away massive amount of revenue. They failed because of other economic forces that dwarfed whatever small amount they missed as a result of their menu content.

    • SMH January 4, 2017 (3:09 pm)

      I agree. This is certainly one of the reasons we didn’t patronize Shelby’s. 

  • A-A-Ron January 3, 2017 (7:34 pm)

    What is more sad than the closing of doors is the loss of hope. The owner made a great go of it and probably spent a mint getting that place ready. I am sorry for him, his family and the employees now looking for work. I am sorry to see the effort, hopes and dreams dashed.

    Our family went for dinner once, and while pleasant, we dont eat out 3-4 times a week and with all the choices in the area, we just never returned because nothing stood out as “amazing” to draw us back. Burger, Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Pizza, Ice Cream…sorry, but that is everywhere in West Seattle. 

  • Heidi January 3, 2017 (7:48 pm)

    Would be nice if the proprietor notified “valued” customers — our son’s first birthday party was planned to be held there this Sunday and I am only finding out about the closure via the blog. Totally understand the chaos of owning a small business, and so sorry for the loss of this great place in our community, but would have hoped for at least a courtesy phone call.

  • CeeBee January 3, 2017 (7:50 pm)

    Citizen,

    The city used to have a Neighborhood Service Center in the space next to Shelby’s where Bang Bar is now.  (then they moved around the corner to where Kizuki Ramen is today, and then moved out to the SW Community Center).  So having a place where community events could happen and city services provided again would be great! 

  • C.D. January 3, 2017 (7:59 pm)

    Things I would love to see in that space:

    Bookstore

    Butcher shop

    Teahouse

    Jewish Deli

    Soul food restaurant

    Probably none of those could rake in enough to afford the rent so how about a fun Tiki bar? Or a bar that hosts live music like Feedback?

    • Wsgal January 3, 2017 (9:02 pm)

      Music! What a novel idea!

    • HazyCascadian January 4, 2017 (10:05 am)

      +1 to all the above ideas

      +2 for the butcher shop, I miss Terra Cole!

    • WSGUY January 4, 2017 (10:24 am)

      2nd the Jewish Deli- that would be awesome.

    • Andrew January 5, 2017 (7:34 am)

      Sorry… but Feedback closed and is now a Whiskey Bar.

      • C.D. January 5, 2017 (8:42 am)

        I know, that’s why we need something to replace it :)

  • gatewood neighbor January 3, 2017 (8:00 pm)

    FUN FACT:

    If this story would have broke last year it would already be the 7th most commented story form last year (142 comments at time of post) Just ahead of dash cam pursuit and just behind illegal tree cutting lawsuit and RV safe lot.  Impressive that this corner and business have generated this much conversation. 

  • Tom V January 3, 2017 (8:11 pm)

    It does seem that every restaurant that tries this location is doomed.  Although It would be sad if the place sat vacant for a long period of time, I think the greedy landlord needs a wake up call.  Stop sticking it to the small business owner.  Shelby poured his heart and cash into this venture and for what?  I wish him the best.   

  • New Thinking Needed January 3, 2017 (8:19 pm)

    Shelby should check out the now former marijuana medical store location at 35th and Roxbury, the little  corner business spot. It was a small restaurant 23 or 24  years ago but didn’t succeed because it served ‘southern’ food which didn’t have a big following at that time.  

    • Paul January 4, 2017 (4:43 pm)

      If you read the sign on the door of the old medical marijuana place at 35th and Roxbury, you’ll see that the landlord specifically will NOT rent that space to a restaurant.  

      • Wes C. Addle January 5, 2017 (8:54 am)

        Plus there is like 5 parking spots there and not really any street parking.

  • Space Dust January 3, 2017 (8:42 pm)

    Let’s face it, Parking in the WS Junction is (insert profanity). These Developers and the City of Seattle have ran people away.. I used to patronize a lot of business in the Junction, Not any more. I stay away because of the parking. 

    Remember the old saying…, Don’t Ballardize West Seattle. Well it’s too late.

    • Jort Sandwich January 3, 2017 (9:23 pm)

      Yeah, you know, I think 99% of Junction businesses seem to be doing just fine lately. 

      Thousands more people live in the junction now — and business is thriving. I’d just as soon replace every parking lot in the junction with more retail space so that there’s more to do. In fact, it would help reduce the junction business operating costs since the cost of the parking lots is being passed on to the businesses. It’s going to happen at some point, anyway. The amount of land it takes to park 20 cars for a few hours can be much better used to house people and businesses that serve hundreds.

      Sorry, but if you’re looking for an awesome shopping and dining experience with lots and lots of parking, I’d encourage you to go checkout Westwood Village or North Aurora, where you can park your car to your heart’s delight. 

      • MsD January 3, 2017 (11:03 pm)

        This may come as a shock to you, but not everyone in West Seattle who would like to visit local businesses are 35 year old Amazon workers.  When I moved to this neighborhood, I was pretty much just that person, and I bought where I did because I wanted to be within walking distance of everything. Perfect!  Then my disabled father moved in with me and I can no longer take him out to eat in the Junction unless I bring another person along to help get him  out of the car and wait with him while I drive back to my house and park.  He literally cannot walk 2 blocks.  There are a lot of older people in West Seattle and plenty of disabled people as well.  So, please don’t act like everyone who needs parking is just some lazy a-hole with an auto addiction,  Sorry that everyone doesn’t just pack up and move to Maple Valley when when they turn 50.  I know that’s what a lot of urbanists would prefer.

        • Diane January 4, 2017 (3:36 am)

          THANK YOU; completely agree

          • Ed Slope January 4, 2017 (10:33 am)

            So you’d rather HALA raze existing “affordable” housing in single family neighborhoods than reduce the amount of idle land in the form of surface parking lots?  No one says you can’t take your father for a drive but those parking lots should be looked at with the same density lens as my neighborhood!

        • Brian January 4, 2017 (10:41 am)

          Why are you projecting your personal, anecdotal experience onto everyone else? Does everyone suddenly have an invalid relative to take care of? No, a lot of people just want to drive their cars everywhere simply because that is what they have always done and they don’t feel like changing. Well, change is here. 

          • MsD January 5, 2017 (9:19 pm)

            Thank you for the most obtuse comment I’ve ever received on this blog.  You’ve even exceeded John, who has actually corrected me on my “anecdotal” experiences with the quality of my own home’s construction.  Well done!

    • datamuse January 3, 2017 (9:42 pm)

      If this were the case restaurants would be closing left and right. Mashiko, Bang Bar, Jak’s, Shadowland all seem to be doing fine.

    • Joe Szilagyi January 3, 2017 (10:03 pm)

      All the Junction businesses except this one seem to be thriving. Ditto for the Ballard businesses, and the ones the around Mercer & Queen Anne, and all these other places with “horrible parking”. 

      If I was a restaurant owner and I needed to turn out 250 plates a night to be successful, it doesn’t matter to me if I get 250 plates from people driving in from all over the place or from people living in density near the Junction or wherever walking over. 250 is 250. 

    • Jason Toon January 3, 2017 (10:10 pm)

      I’ve never spent more than 5 minutes looking for a parking space near the Junction at any time of day, plus another 5-10 minutes walking to my destination (which is part of the fun). Doesn’t feel like too much of a burden to me. It seems like a lot of people agree with me, which is why the Junction just keeps getting busier.

      • Diane January 4, 2017 (3:39 am)

        well then you’re probably not old or disabled; perhaps consider that not everyone is young and able-bodied

        • Brian January 4, 2017 (10:42 am)

          Maybe if people were complaining about the lack of “handicap parking” this argument would hold sway. 

          • Diane January 4, 2017 (4:26 pm)

            elderly and disabled people are constantly complaining about lack of handicapped parking

          • trickycoolj January 4, 2017 (5:51 pm)

            It does severely lack handicapped parking.  I have also circled around trying to get a handicapped spot for my father’s wife that had stage 4 cancer and would stop over for dinner to avoid traaffic after her radiation treatment on her brain tumors.  That plan lasted 2 weeks before they gave up on the idea.

      • Frank January 4, 2017 (11:04 am)

        Seattle is cool and getting cooler and Shelby’s just wasn’t cool.  Something cool needs to go in.  The cool spots are doing well.  Places for people to drink and go on Tinder dates are doing well.  More of that please.

  • Mr E January 3, 2017 (8:46 pm)

    I am sitting on my couch howling at the total self-absorption and utter lack of empathy toward the closure of Shelby’s. Just when I thought no one could top the “Not to sound elitist but…” commenter, enter this latest roll call of comments. Bravo.

    Shelby: I was truly hoping your business would become a cornerstone of Alaska Junction. I hope you’re able to land on your feet, and that your staff can transition to other work soon. Thank you for going after your dreams. Keep us posted where you land next.

    • Rusty January 3, 2017 (9:50 pm)

      Mr E, and others who have wished Shelby well, I know your kindness is not lost on him.  Thank you for being caring human beings.

  • Katie January 3, 2017 (8:52 pm)

    Dear Shelby and wonderful staff, 

    You will be missed tremendously. You created such a special place, with really really really good food and sundaes. I’m surprised to hear of the closing because in your small time being open we’ve been at least twice a month. Thank you for a changing table in both men’s and women’s room. Thank you for a breastfeeding chair. 

    I’m not sure how to break this to my son. 

    We wish the very best to you and your staff. 

  • BeachBoy January 3, 2017 (9:17 pm)

    It’s an awfully big venue, and the rent is really high. That said, from the day it opened it had no attraction to me. Kind of like a Farrell’s/Big Scoop family restaurant serving stuff I can make at home.

    I don’t know what could work there; the landlord should probably split the space into two.

  • GGG January 3, 2017 (9:18 pm)

    Maybe a space to bring back Rocksport?  #IMissThatPlaceTerribly

    • sw January 4, 2017 (9:06 am)

      ^^WINNER^^

    • WSSpartan January 4, 2017 (5:09 pm)

      This is the best comment of the year…I miss their wings and stiff drinks. I still mourn the Rocksport.

  • Azimuth January 3, 2017 (9:24 pm)

    My family enjoyed the place the half dozen times we visited, except the slow, though friendly, service. I ask my daughter what she wants for a reward or treat and it’s usually Shelby’s or Menchies. I would steer her to Menchies because though the dessert is far inferior, the time commitment at Shelby’s was usually more than I could spare. Just getting a simple ice cream was painfully slow sometimes, enough to make choose differently. Multiply me by hundreds or thousands of other local parents and that’s a lot of potential lost sales. 

  • HG January 3, 2017 (9:31 pm)

    My 3 year old son is going to be devastated when we tell him. I’m so sad for Shelby and wish him the very best in what is yet to come. 

  • Morris January 3, 2017 (9:36 pm)

    It’s tough to have a dream, sink a lot of capital into the idea and not see it take off the way you had hoped.

    Shelby – we appreciate everything you brought to West Seattle.

    And we wish you the very best going forward.

  • Gene January 3, 2017 (9:43 pm)

    Tom V- greedy landlord- sticking it to the small business owner?? Shelby knew what the rent was – nobody twisted his arm to agree to the price- did they? in fact in his statement he mentioned lower sales for such a large space- in other words- just not enough business. The comments here reflect the problem-some loved the place & went often- some went occasionally, some once- some never. I went once with my granddaughters- it was– ok. Certainly not the first place that came to mind when thinking of a place to go eat- truthfully not even the second or third place either. A place that big- with that kind of rent has to be able to sustain a brisk daily business- that didn’t happen here. I wish Shelby well- maybe a smaller place -a bit away from from high priced junction rents- sure wish Westwood Village had a family restaurant like Shelbys.

    • Rusty January 3, 2017 (9:53 pm)

      Gene, there are other ways a landlord can stick it to a small business owner besides rent.  

  • Rusty January 3, 2017 (10:06 pm)

    I know a lot of you will enjoy seeing the human side of this story — this post from Shelby’s husband, Mick.  This is not about the restaurant (so some of you won’t care) but it is about the person:  

    A few months back when Shelby’s restaurant opened I posted how unbelievably proud I was of him for following his heart and making his lifelong dream come true. The news he has shared today of the closing of his restaurant is so painful BUT true to his nature, in the midst of this pain, he has the gift of focusing on the positive. Don’t get me wrong, this is hard, harder than I could ever imagine, BUT what Shelby and I are experiencing and have experienced since long before this dream took form in the West Seattle location, is an outpouring of support from an amazing community of family and friends. The “season” for Shelby’s was shorter than ever expected, but regardless, that season has been incredible and is filled with countless special memories.

    We were all very fortunate to be able to experience Shelby’s dream and to participate in it.

    I’ve learned much watching Shelby throughout this process. Frankly, I am one of those people who never would have the guts to take the risks he did. For me, that is one reason why participating in his dream has been such a privilege b/c he has taken me places I never would have gone on my own.

    Shelby is my husband and he is also my hero. Having witnessed every moment of these past couple years where this dream crystalized and became real, behind it all he worked harder than really what is humanly possible. 100+ hour weeks on end, carrying the burden of immense stress, all the while leading his staff (special thanks to all those remarkable people, I will miss them) and striving to give every guest the best possible experience/meal.

    He succeeded beyond measure.

    Today (and I did not think it was possible given how proud I was of him on opening day), I am more proud of him then ever. He has followed his heart, created something magical, lead with dignity and respect, given us all the privilege of sharing in this journey with him, strengthened a community, reconnected friends, inspired me, gave Shelby’s everything he had, all that and more, while carrying a burden that would have crushed most of us. And now, he has closed Shelby’s and even in this part of the process he did so with integrity and honor.

    Thank you to our special, generous, supportive, amazing community of family and friends. You are loved and appreciated beyond words.

    • Mr E January 3, 2017 (10:45 pm)

      Thank you for sharing this message. I wish Shelby and Mick nothing but the best.

    • Donna DeRousie January 3, 2017 (10:54 pm)

      Thank you for posting this Rusty. Best to both of you, Mike and Shelby. 

      Donna DeRousie

    • Diane January 4, 2017 (3:46 am)

      thank you for sharing this beautiful heartfelt message; best of luck to both of them

  • Thomas January 3, 2017 (10:09 pm)

    Most of the nice comments here indicate that Shelby’s was a nice place for families with young kids. The problem with this was the pricing scale did not match a family-friendly restaurant. The food was almost priced like a place you would go to if you got a babysitter and wanted a night out with your significant other.

    I saw all the remodeling when it was happening and thought to myself, “They are going to have to sell a lot of $20 cheeseburgers to survive.”

  • Joe Szilagyi January 3, 2017 (10:10 pm)

    Could a chain restaurant with full bar even make that space work given the rent and space issues? Like, would it require a national chain?

    • WestCake January 3, 2017 (11:09 pm)

      It would require alcohol sales, the food is just a lure to get customers drinking. Profit margin on alcohol is much higher than food, you only need a bartender, no equipment to sell it, has a good shelf life. Food is the opposite of all those. 

  • Julia January 3, 2017 (10:32 pm)

    Good (really GOOD) Chinese food with dim sum for brunch. We go to Bang Bar often and parking is not that much of an issue. Chinese restaurants usually have popular bars and that place would be big enough for bar & dining sections.

  • Beth January 3, 2017 (10:37 pm)

    The only way a place will survive in that location is to do market research FIRST and not open a place because you (as the restaurateur) want it to be and it sounds “like a great idea!” Establishments only survive what and where the market will bare. It’s no longer smart to “build it they will come”.  Anyone taking a risk to go into this revolving space, should read comments like above, do traffic pattern study, take it to the street…ask A LOT of questions of people who live and spend their money here. Best of luck to whomever takes the chance…

    • KK January 5, 2017 (1:46 am)

      I know that Shelby did a lot of research.  You can tell by Mick’s letter that it wasn’t something he thought of on a whim. Speaking to Shelby about the mural and his business, it was evident that he had wanted this and planned for it for a long time.  That is what I find so sad, someone putting their heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears into a venture that doesn’t make it.  Such a happy place!  It breaks my heart.

  • Jeannie January 3, 2017 (10:54 pm)

    Thank you, Rusty, for sharing Mick’s post. There’s a lot of love and kindness in that message. We’ve all been through horrible times in our lives, and we wish Mick and Shelby the best. 

  • WSB January 3, 2017 (11:02 pm)

    For those who asked about gift certificates, Shelby replied to my question just now:

    If someone purchased a gift card in December I am happy to reimburse them.  They may contact me at shelbyv@shelbyswestseattle.com by Sunday, January 15th. “

    -TR 


  • KRC January 3, 2017 (11:09 pm)

    Sadly, both my wife and I could tell it wasn’t going to work from day one regardless of the heart & soul Shelby put into it. Huge space, awkward “cold” layout, unimaginative food and high prices. Why not a cool candy wall and a soda fountain at that big counter? You can’t afford not to offer alcohol, boozy shakes, etc… in such a large space. So many missed opportunities.

    The space isn’t cursed. A poor business plan for a niche business is to blame. Leases were signed and agreed upon, and yes, rent was high, but the numbers have to pencil out before moving forward. Time for the new biz to negotiate rent rates down a bit before signing! Or, subdivide.

    A high quality Mexican restaurant would kill in this space provided the food & drinks are delicious, the decor is creative and they put a cantina in the back. Think Fonda la Catrina, etc.. While there are other options for Mexican food in WS, none are really very good – certainly not on the level I’m talking about.

    Parking? Always a challenge but at the end of the day, it doesn’t sink a good business. Talaricos, Bang Bar, Kizuki and many others are overcoming.

    Whatever the next biz is, can’t be bush league. Food, drink, service, passion space & prices must be on point ALWAYS!

    • KRC January 3, 2017 (11:30 pm)

      Regardless of the above commentary from my original post, I appreciate a restauranteur like Shelby. It’s always a big risk, so cheers to him for exercising his dream. I wish him the best of luck and success in his next venture.

    • Frank January 4, 2017 (11:07 am)

      There is already 3 Mexican restaurants in the area.  Let’s be more innovative than that.  Sushi, check. Pizza, check. Vietnamese, check.  We need more hip cool Cap Hill, Ballard, Fremont type places.

      That’s a big space to fill and any restaurant would be challenge to pay the ‘too damn high’ rent.  Maybe another Starbucks or a Red Lobster would be good. 

      • dawsonct January 9, 2017 (11:23 am)

        Guaranteed a mediocre, national chain restaurant such as Red Lobster would be an absolute disaster on that corner. Seattleites tend to not support those types of places, and the types who DO support them absolutely require front door, strip mall parking. THEY are the lazy types who won’t walk a half block to get to their farm-raised tilapia and all-you-can-eat shrimp meal.

  • Seattle One January 3, 2017 (11:14 pm)

    The corner is not cursed.  It is what has gone into the space that has been cursed. It is a huge space and unfortunately in the restaurant business you need backing for a year plus to survive. It is and will always be an extremely tough  industry.  You really have to know what you are doing to be successful. Just not the right fit for the space and time, while it is great for young children they are competing with some pretty strong established business, Husky Deli for one. The local city council would be wise to convert it into two spaces and then a new venture, (restaurant or not may survive)>

  • Jamie January 3, 2017 (11:27 pm)

    Someone please listen!!! A great Chinese food or dimsum type place will be amazing at that place! Large space, high rent, large volume. Chinese place is the only way to go, and we certainly lack a good one at the junction, or anywhere in west Seattle. 

  • Greg January 4, 2017 (1:37 am)

    Liberty Deli closed and I didn’t get to go to it.  Wish Arts West would partner up with somebody and do Dinner Theater.  Jazz club other nights?  WS gots plenty of money and almost zero quality entertainment.  “The Upstaged”

  • Donna January 4, 2017 (4:36 am)

    My memory is failing me.  What was the restaurant about 2/3 of the way north between the Alaska Junction and Admiral? On the east side of the street?  Big lines on the weekends to get in for breakfast? Had a deck in front for outside dining?  Big petition drive when it was announced it had to close due to the owner wanting to use it for something else, and then it sat empty for a long time until finally torn down.  You know what I mean, don’t you?  Couldn’t today’s density in the Junction support something like that in this large space?

    I spend a lot of time working in Chicago and also lived there for a few years so I am really familiar with neighborhoods where many residents don’t own cars, but these same neighborhoods are also jam packed with cars literally bumper to bumper.  Walking 3-5 blocks from where you park to where you are going is a given.  I think we are approaching that point.  Our house is 7 blocks downhill from the Junction, not on a bus line.  For 30 years walking up to the Junction was common for us.  Now, however, my 68 year old husband cannot do it.  Sometimes we can find a parking spot in the Junction that is 3-4 flat blocks away, but frequently we find ourselves unable to patronize the Junction businesses due to the parking problems. I’m glad the businesses are thriving without our ability to access them, but due to the very high cost of housing  we were unable to afford to move when planning for our senior years and instead opted to remodel our house to make it accessible so we can age in place.  Those of you who are young and fit, remember that there is a huge number of Baby Boomers whose ability to walk up and down hills and several blocks is slowly but surely declining. And we are not all going to  move out of West Seattle.  So at a minimum, how about working with the city to ensure accessibility for this demographic and also younger people with disabilities and getting one posted disabled parking spot on every single block in the Junction area?

    • Bonnie January 4, 2017 (7:11 am)

      Donna, this has NOTHING to do with Shelby’s but commenting on your parking situation post.  Back when the C line started up I commented to my Mom (now 67) about how they took away so many of the stops that the old bus used to have.  I was glad because it was soooo annoying to me to keep getting stopped behind the bus.  She commented that now seniors had to walk up to 1/4 mile sometimes just to make it to the bus stop.  I guess I hadn’t even thought about that, all I cared about was the fact that I didn’t get stuck behind buses as often!  (but I still do)

    • chemist January 4, 2017 (8:25 am)

      http://westseattleblog.com/2011/04/were-closed-forever-charlestown-street-cafes-final-day

      Maybe you’re thinking of The Charlestown ? It’s a bunch of townhomes now.

  • flimflam January 4, 2017 (6:17 am)

    so many commenters are experts on the food and beverage industry it seems…

    • Jon Wright January 4, 2017 (4:59 pm)

      If only there was a way to capture all the business acumen from the armchair restaurateurs here!

      • AT January 4, 2017 (6:28 pm)

        I think we’re at conveyor belt Korean and dim sum with alcohol and delivery.  Tom and/or Ethan may or may not be involved :)

  • alki jack January 4, 2017 (7:27 am)

    Former tenants of this place told me that the rent was $14,000 a month for this location.  But prospective renters would know this up front and build it into their business plans.  By now you would think that the landlord (Capeloto?) would reduce the rent to keep tenants.  Or have a lower rent for the first two years to give tenants a chance to turn a profit.  Obviously the existing plan isn’t working.

  • Gyna January 4, 2017 (7:37 am)

    We just moved to the area and this was already our go to spot! Super sad to see this place go. Shelby, if you get to read this, we loved coming here and enjoyed the service every time! Your a gem and I hope this doesn’t stop you from opening up somewhere else… hopefully in west Seattle! 

  • C January 4, 2017 (7:59 am)

    A steakhouse other than Jaks would be perfect!👍

  • Curtis January 4, 2017 (8:59 am)

    Webster’s is the name of the place that is now……..wait for it……. townhouses.

    Personally, I can’t afford to eat out at decent restaurants. Sad, but true. It does seem that this is too large of a space. My own opinion is that this place seemed a bit unfocused. Honestly,  Adult Farrell’s sounds like an interesting idea. Live Music has some merit.  I too would also like to see a really good Chinese Restaurant in the area.  Indian is not well represented in West Seattle – if the folks who run Taste of India in the U-District are interested, I bet they could fill the place. Just a few thoughts. Very sorry that anyone would work so hard for so little return. Hope to see a new, smaller, more focused Shelby’s Too open up. 

    • WSB January 4, 2017 (9:33 am)

      Its full name was Webster’s Charlestown Street Café. Its final five years – in which it mostly went by “Charlestown Café” – were a rollercoaster, involving multiple redevelopment proposals, a community campaign to try to save it, and a fire. Our coverage archive (reverse-chronological order) is at http://westseattleblog.com/category/charlestown-cafe

      Trivia P.S. – one shortlived proposal for the site was by the developer Lobsang Dargey, who is reported by The Times to be pleading guilty to fraud today in an unrelated matter.

  • Jon Wright January 4, 2017 (9:11 am)

    Shelby,

    Thanks so much for a venue for fun outings. Our family is sad that we won’t be able to enjoy your hospitality any more, and we are sad for you. I am always somewhat awestruck by people who have the gumption to pursue their dreams. Kudos to you for that, too. I wish circumstances had played out otherwise for you but hope you can resurrect the concept in another space. If you do, we’ll come!

  • Maria January 4, 2017 (9:14 am)

    Playdate Sea has espresso, food, desserts, alcohol, sports on TV, wifi, and a jungle gym for the kids…..please somebody open up something like this…..

  • GlynB January 4, 2017 (9:19 am)

    Sad to see this place go. Closing up shop is always tough for any small business owner. I hope Shelby will try again in a smaller location. I took my kids twice for sundaes and it was a something we all enjoyed. Best wishes to him.

  • jfk January 4, 2017 (9:50 am)

    A real diner would be nice; open into the late evening, breakfast all day, etc. 

  • Monica January 4, 2017 (10:10 am)

    Hmmmm….I think the space needs to be CLEANSED before any other type of business attempts to establish itself there. 

    I personally would like to see a good “home cooking” style type of cafe that is reasonably priced for our seniors and folks on a tight budget!

    But a kitty cafe would be FABULOUS! 

  • McFail January 4, 2017 (10:35 am)

    Too bad.  We’ve always had a great experience dining at Shelby’s.  I hope it doesn’t become a Cannibas Store, “Weed Junction” 

  • DB January 4, 2017 (10:39 am)

    To answer the question about whether it needs to be a chain to afford the rent: it doesn’t ‘need’ to be, but chains can survive down times and loss better because of their other sites that carry them through. 

    And if the rent is really 14k, I bet that’s a LOT less than the neighbor corner where Starbucks is, as I know it’s competitive with the Starbucks rent at Westwood Village and as we all know, they’re doing just fine.

    We wish everything wouldn’t get taken over by chains and corporate money but this is a risk few can afford and are willing to take! Shelby was brave. Best of luck. 

  • Dan January 4, 2017 (10:43 am)

    So sad and disappointing.   Shelby put his heart into trying to make it work.   

  • Frank January 4, 2017 (11:01 am)

    West Seattle needs more than pizza, burgers and sushi.  There is a big demand for Kizuki Ramen, excitement over the Dumplings of Fury, and even for the kitschy New Luk Toy restaurant.  I hope Ethan Stowell opens something on this side.  Something cool and hip to satisfy the younger DINK crowd (Dual Income No Kids) who are moving to WSEA.

    American food and especially diner food isn’t really that good nor good for you so the last thing we need is more piles of meat, cream, and cheese.  Kids don’t have money to spend by 20 and 30 somethings do. 

    • Amanda January 16, 2017 (1:04 pm)

      You hit on the head, Frank — West Seattle demographics are shifting. Once a place for young families and long-time residents, West Seattle has given way to young adult with disposable income who spend their money on eating out and traveling. Ethan Stowell, et. al. would do best in West Seattle right now. Its unfortunate Shelby’s arrived about 10 years too late to meet the demand for young families.

  • HazyCascadian January 4, 2017 (11:08 am)

    Sad to see Shelby’s closing, especially after what was clearly a huge amount of work and capital that went into getting the business open. It was also nice to see a family friendly place to take some pressure off of Elliot Bay, especially on weekend nights.

    That being said, this closure isn’t surprising, a space that big has got to stay BUSY most of the day. That $13-$17k rent won’t pay itself, and I’m pretty sure you can’t sell enough ice cream sundaes to enough people do that.

  • Mike January 4, 2017 (12:05 pm)

    Sorry for Shelby’s closing, but the last several tenants you knew were closing shortly after starting up. The concepts, prices, menus, etc. have been IMHO terrible for whats already at the junction… 
    Leon’s rent might be jacked up, but you have to have an original concept that knows the demographics to succeed there. 

  • sleepernw January 4, 2017 (12:13 pm)

    The landlord should split site into two store fronts …  Rocksport or music venue  on one side and a REC store (Origins) in the other    NO need for foodie venue there’s enough in the Junction.  

  • Gina January 4, 2017 (12:16 pm)

    Residential/business may be the best future use once a big enough block of property is put together.  With the slope behind could go up high, high, high. Anyone can use the King.County parcel viewer and see what properties are being gathered and make predictions.

     

  • West Sea Neighbor January 4, 2017 (12:29 pm)

    Din Tai Fung West?

    • sam-c January 4, 2017 (12:50 pm)

      YES !!!!!!     that gets my vote. With the incredibly long waits at the U Village location, surely they would be busy at this corner.

      • trickycoolj January 4, 2017 (6:01 pm)

        Doubtful, they’re renovating the Rainforest Cafe space at Southcenter.  Supposed to open some time this year I believe.

        • sam-c January 4, 2017 (8:02 pm)

          I was definitely aware of that already.  Last I heard it was supposed to be Feb 2017. But i think there would be enough hungry customers to keep all the places busy.  They could even have the dumpling making window along the corner windows.  :)

  • oldcook January 4, 2017 (12:37 pm)

    It
    is a big awkward place and if the rent is that expensive it shouldn’t
    depend on a restaurant alone.
    The space should be cut in two.
    The
    front would be a smaller foot print with a comfortable public face
    and reasonable food and coffee. A good draw and name recognition for
    the other half.
    The other half, a big kitchen that cooks for the
    front and does catering, home delivery. Ah, to be 20 years younger,
    that would be so much fun.
    (greedy landlord(for no reason) would
    be an issue) 

  • Josh January 4, 2017 (12:48 pm)

    Come to Westwood Village! :)

    • ACG January 4, 2017 (4:24 pm)

      Agreed!!  WWV would be awesome, or in the vacated NWPRC mmj space at 35th and Roxbury!!

    • Carolyn January 5, 2017 (9:49 pm)

      I second Westwood Village!!

  • Junction Joe January 4, 2017 (1:25 pm)

    I went there once – on my birthday – had a banana split, just to kill some time.

    I was at that point hopeful, but not confident that it would get anywhere.

    Maybe that spot needs to bring back Godfather’s…

    For ice cream, anyone in their right mind would much prefer Husky’s…

    But so what…

    Shelby’s was a nice effort at a sit-down place which was fairly comfortable.

    Who knows what the trade winds demand for success in that spot?

  • Jim January 4, 2017 (1:42 pm)

    Went there early in the run for a sundae with TW. Staff was confused… offered us a to-go menu, we wanted to sit. We were taken to the back and offered the second worst table, next to a family that had spread over to that table, so we asked for a different one. Staff was confused…disappeared for 10 minutes. We were offered the to-go menu twice while waiting to be seated for a sundae.

    We never went back for another sundae, staff didn’t know how to deal.

  • Kathy January 4, 2017 (1:52 pm)

    You need to walk to get to the restaurant, even it is just a few hundred feet from your car. Perhaps the “curse” of this location has something to do with the fact that it is right next to a 5-way intersection “car sewer”.  I personally find it uninviting to walk in that area of mostly parking lots (7-11, Uptown) and a drive thru bank. You have to push a button to get across the street. It is a two or three leg crossing with two or three wait cycles, depending on where you are walking from.  How about an all way dedicated (no push button) walk signal for pedestrians and no right turn on red from every direction like we have at Alaska and California? How about some landscaping or artwork to make the area more attractive to pedestrians? How about (gasp! and lose one parking space?) a little parklet on the street in that intersection with whimsical interactive art  and a bench? That would improve sight lines for pedestrians and drivers.  Something to raise attention to the area and humanize it to attract people who may not be aware of what is down there. An SDOT project to make that intersection more pedestrian friendly might help to remove some of the curse of that corner location. 

    • KRC January 4, 2017 (11:42 pm)

      There is no curse. People will happily walk to a business when the product is truly unique, in demand and worth it.

  • john January 4, 2017 (2:09 pm)

    no surprise at all… we eat out in the junction all the time and browsed the menu at Shelby’s several times – prices way too high and the high number of items on the menu made me believe that they probably had no special talents at cooking any one genre of food…  I am surprised it even lasted 6 months… I mean… who pays $14 for a panini sandwich??

  • alki jack January 4, 2017 (3:56 pm)

    We definitely need another bar in West Seattle.  The ratio of customers to bar stools is becoming seriously out of whack as more and more apartments are built and occupied.  We lost Red Line and Westside Public House and have gained The Lodge and Westside Brewery but that’s just staying even.  Try getting into the E.B. Brewery, Talaricos, the Coin, for happy hour and you’ll be lucky to find a seat that isn’t filled with kids.  Totally unacceptable.   City law should be changed to require that for every new apartment built the city should require one more barstool.  

    I liked the town of Dingle in Ireland where there were more bar stools than population.

  • Jenn Dowell January 4, 2017 (4:10 pm)

    they should blow up the space and create a big parking garage for outsiders to park their cars so that the West seattle people can park on the street!

  • Andros. January 4, 2017 (4:34 pm)

    Leon Capelouto owns this building and that’s the problem. The rent is very high…so high that a space that large isn’t going to work.  He needs to rethink what he’s doing and done to west Seattle because this is a failure.


    There are suckers born every day though.  And that’s why the turn over is so high on this space. 


    The best bet bet is to boycott Leon until he makes better decisions on what to do. 

  • D in WS January 4, 2017 (4:45 pm)

    Ok– it’s time to just put Godfathers Pizza back in there…

    • dawsonct January 9, 2017 (11:37 am)

      They really are one of the worst national chain pizzas available. Why all the love? Is it simply because it was the last “successful” business on that corner?
      And, if they really WERE a success, why are they not still there?
      If we are going to put mediocre, childhood nostalgia pizza in that place, how about Shakey’s or Pietro’s?

  • WSKyle January 4, 2017 (4:56 pm)

    He posted this to his Facebook page: Note the landlord part.

    So why did the restaurant close? The question so many are rightfully asking. The last couple of months the restaurant’s controllable costs (food & beverage, labor, supplies, etc.) were all within the projected targets. The closing was a result of increasing city and state expenses, lower sales than expected for such a large space (high monthly rent), and a landlord dispute.

  • Jason January 4, 2017 (6:57 pm)

    Sad news for our entire family.  Kids loved Shelby’s and we had many memorable meals/deserts  there since it opened.  Best of luck Shelby!  

  • My sad son January 4, 2017 (7:07 pm)

    I just my six year old that Shelby’s closed and he cried. We wish we would have gone more often. We will miss it.

  • BJG January 4, 2017 (7:40 pm)

    That space is what we (who have been around FOREVER) know as the former Carlisle Furniture. It still looks like it, except that Bang Bar took some of the frontage on Calif. Ave. It has been difficult to make a restaurant out of a showroom and stock area.  That said, some revisions had already been made, and a commercial kitchen and prep area existed.  The dining space and bar was renovated at considerable expense, I’m sure.  Shelby can tell his own story and apparently has on Facebook,

    However, what also may be “unpredictable expenses” that tip the profit to loss, could have to do with a triple net lease. Most owners prefer it these days, it seems. The renter pays the taxes, insurance and all maintenance plus utilities. If the place falls apart, it would be on the restaurant owner to make repairs.  Commercial fixtures are a huge expense and a hiccup in a dishwasher, fryer, range, or refrigerator would close the  restaurant  if not fixed/replaced in a minute. There is a serious lack of restaurant help these day due to our great economy, so add a few flaky or absent employees to the already mentioned risks and owners are now very sleepless in Seattle.  No doubt every business plan is a bit optimistic or who would invest everything  he has in a losing proposition??

    Next time you complain about a hamburger over ten dollars, think whether you want all your meals to be drive-thru or made with care and served by a staff who want to make you happy and will do what it takes to have you come back again.  It’s a very hard business to own, and success depends on location, overhead, staff stability, deep pockets, and a lot of luck. Thank you Shelby (and family) for trying. We enjoyed having you here.

  • Jim January 4, 2017 (9:11 pm)

    Fascinating that an assault and murder of a poor person in West Seattle elicits few comments but the closing of a restaurant that was only open for a few months brings scores of comments. From the get go Shelby’s seemed to have their client base wrong. The average age of people living in The Junction now is in two ranges, 25-35 and 55-80. They have dogs, they don’t have children. They don’t cook, they only take out.  The older people don’t eat out and and the young people take out very late at night.

    I live behind Shelby’s and I really appreciate how well they kept the alley clean, SO unlike their predecessors who were pigs. And there is a huge amount of greediness going on by landlords in this city. But, my hope is that whomever goes in the next will do their research. It’s probably not the place for a restaurant. A prepared food take-out shop with a cold/hot food bar that is open till late at night might have a chance, like EATS in NYC.

  • PF January 4, 2017 (11:01 pm)

    How about  new home for the recently closed Spaghetti Factory or a Burger King . Both Mcdonalds in West Seattle suck. Prefer Spaghetti Factory, big enough and family friendly. Boycott anything to do with greedy Capoletto.

    • dawsonct January 9, 2017 (11:55 am)

      Guess what? Burger King sucks just as bad as McD’s. Also, their business model requires a drive-through. 
      BK is hardly worth walking a half block for, even for us physically gifted types.
      Come to think of it, now that I am not 8 years old, the Spag Factory sucks too.

  • Michael Waldo January 5, 2017 (8:06 am)

    Not cursed – It was a confusing mix of a business – Is it a childrens ice cream parlor or is it a sit down bistro for adults? Prices were too high for what the menu described. Also, the color and the bright lights were ice cream parlor decor not inviting for me, with no kids, to want to eat dinner there. A decent Indian restaurant would be a hit I think. Can’t eat at Maharajas any more. It amazes me that a landlord would rather have an empty building with no income coming in instead of charging reasonable rent for a steady income.

    • ImNotSpartacus January 5, 2017 (8:49 am)

      Michael Waldo, I agree completely with your assessment. I never went in either, for the same reasons. I hope the next owners are out there reading these comments right now!

  • HelperMonkey January 5, 2017 (9:02 am)

    oh please. you know Capeluto has only jacked the rent up so high here because he’s looking for an excuse to sell it to a developer. there won’t be another tenant in this space to worry about, because the entire building will be replaced by apodments. and no, there will not be parking. 

  • PH January 5, 2017 (10:16 am)

    I do agree that a big name needs to go there and regarding the comments about not targeting the right age demo I disagree. We are a family, and we believe that there are limited options for families to eat out in West Seattle vs. a ton for non-families. Seriously there is Elliot Bay who crams the families in the upstairs of the restaurant out of sight away from the nice atmosphere of the restaurant and then a few pizza joints? Everything else is targeting singles or retirees, so I would not suggest Shelby didn’t know what he was doing. He also had help from restaurant people as he worked for a major local restaurant group for ages. He knew what he was doing. In theory, Shelby’s should have worked. However, the prices were a bit high for families and unlike the major restaurant group he worked for the bistro just didn’t feel like the right experience for the pricing. And unfortunately, the food service was slow in all but one instances we went there:(. Kids get restless when it takes too long to get their meals. I think Red Robin needs to take the spot. Someone with deep pockets, finances to support the store lasting until it turns a profit and something for families that we can afford and not be crammed in a back corner.  The location is too big otherwise and as a single person commented earlier “take out” restaurants do not need a ton of space and the options available for quaint small independent businesses for the customer to visit are endless in WS. There are tons of kids in WS the schools are overflowing. There is a target audience and people willing to spend $ it just needs to be the right price, the right experience, and right service when you take kids out.  

    • Sue H January 5, 2017 (11:45 am)

      I eat at Elliot Bay Brewery often, and the lower level is often filled with families and children. The only reason they’re putting families upstairs is if there’s no room, the family is large (more larger tables upstairs), or it was their preference. They are not putting them up there to hide them away from the “regular restaurant.”

      • newnative January 6, 2017 (11:45 am)

        That’s not necessarily true.  I used to go in there with my young son (who is adult-sized now) and they would place us upstairs with the families when there was plenty of space downstairs.  I stopped going with him because it was so loud and the service was terribly slow upstairs.

  • sam-c January 5, 2017 (11:31 am)

    re: family friendly:  you can be turned away from lots of good food options if a place is 21+ and your ‘kid’ is home visiting from his freshman year at college.

    I would love it if a place like Smith went in there.

    Smith is ‘kid friendly’and the higher – ish prices reflect the quality of the menu.  I really hate the word ‘elevated,’ but the food is ‘elevated’    

    Unfortunately, we did not get to try Shelby’s – we walked by one time, and it seemed the prices for the menu items seemed high and the menu TOO varied and unfocused (in character-pizza, pasta, sandwiches, seafood, comfort food…)  I calculated in my head spending upwards of $ 100 for a family dinner.  I like to reserve that price point for date nights and instead spend ~ $ 65- (including tip) for dinner food at other ‘family friendly’ places in west seattle.  (ie, EBB has a pretty good variety too, but most of things I like are  about $6 cheaper than what I might like to order at Shelby’s.)

  • RS January 5, 2017 (5:04 pm)

    We need a tiki bar!

    • seattle_sunburn January 6, 2017 (3:31 pm)

      A VEGAN tiki bar! @ NoBonesBeachClub! Owner is looking for a WS location! (But not @ 15K per month! Hint Hint landlord!)

      • KittyJorts January 6, 2017 (5:07 pm)

        OMG I love No Bones Beach Club. Are they really looking to open in West Seattle? Tell me more! That would be amazing!!! 

  • bolo January 5, 2017 (10:41 pm)

    Not my preference, but I bet a Chuck E. Cheese’s would go great there.

  • Jeannie January 5, 2017 (11:23 pm)

    HelperMonkey, are you saying the building’s owner is  Leon Capelouto?

    The blog did a profile of him in 2014:

    http://tinyurl.com/hfwmlq2

  • Becky P. January 6, 2017 (7:13 am)

    Whatever goes into that spot I hope it’s not a bar type business. The place that was there before Shelby’s The sidewalk was littered with cigarette butts. YUCK!!!! GROSS!!!!

  • Patty Christensen January 6, 2017 (11:22 am)

    They sold us a gift certificate just two weeks before closing, shame on them!  If anyone knows how to get a hold of them let me know.

  • Vanessa January 6, 2017 (2:50 pm)

    WOW 313 comments at this point. Can’t read all that right now. But how can any business afford to pay $15,000 (?) a month rent? Did I read that much right?  And buy all the supplies and food, and pay  for utilities and TAXES  and pay all your employees and yourself? The landlords, and all gouging landlords in this day and time are despicable and probably proud to be in the basket of deplorables.

    Best of luck to the Shelby Folks and all involved. So sorry this happened.

  • AMD January 7, 2017 (8:42 am)

    Shelby’s should re-open in White Center.  Lots of spaces available at a good price, lots of folks of all ages to eat there.  And before anyone else says it, no they wouldn’t be a problem for Full Tilt.  It’s not just an ice cream place, they served food (really good food) and their ice cream offerings are plenty different from Full Tilt’s.  

    Plus Full Tilt delivers for days when it’s too hot to go out and get ice cream.

    But seriously.  White Center, Shelby.  Think about it.  We’d love to have you!

  • Jessica January 7, 2017 (11:09 am)

    I’d love to see a place like Essential Baking or Grand Central Bakery–a known and respected bakery/ cafe with plenty of seating and that offers good breakfast and lunch that’s  fairly quick with relatively inexpensive prices.  We have some good bakeries in the Junction, but not many casual places offering quality cafe-type food with a good amount of seating where you can go by yourself or with family/ friends.

    • dawsonct January 9, 2017 (12:07 pm)

      Across the street and half a block from one of America’s greatest bakeries (Bakery Nouveau)? And another half block from Great Harvest?
      Yeah, sure, we need a third bakery on that block. Where do you think you are, Paris?

  • Gina January 7, 2017 (12:55 pm)

    A medical testing facility might be right for the spot.

    “Pap & Probe”.

  • Sam_c January 7, 2017 (2:04 pm)

    If this location is only affordable for chains, as people say, how about a Panera?

  • dawsonct January 9, 2017 (12:17 pm)

    A restaurant opens in West Seattle. “Family friendly!!” everyone screams.

    Then it happens and lasts less than a year.

    These are probably the same people who complain that there aren’t enough variety in WS restaurants, and as the population density that can sustain a variety of restaurants increases, they complain about that, too.

    Please move. Soon.

  • dawsonct January 9, 2017 (12:53 pm)

    Whoever moves in, if it is a restaurant, they need to be prepared to be open a minimum of 20 hours per day, serving all meals, with a full bar. Would also be helpful to have a carry-out, prepared meal operation, so your kitchen stays busy during the slow times, and in order to make money with the lowest possible labor cost for part of the menu (i.e.: no wait staff, bussers, or dishwashers involved).
    It is too big with no appeal beyond (potentially) the food for a destination, dinner only restaurant.

    Personally, I think a Melrose Market concept would be best for the space.

  • Thd3 January 9, 2017 (9:36 pm)

    Interested in this space?  Have a strong vetted business plan and a list of successful restaurant investors. You could tell Shelbys was going to close the minute you walked in. 

    If the next tenant is not a known and successful restauranteur – it won’t work. Who cares about lack of parking – people flock to what is good and fun and feels like success. 

  • ThisTownNeedsAnEnema January 11, 2017 (8:52 am)

    Would love if someone did an in depth report on high commercial rent vs vacancy for Seattle in general. Seems like the business is always made to look like a failure (sometimes it is) but I noticed an obscenely large number of empty store fronts in this city. Seems like Portland, OR and Vancouver, BC with their similar high costs do better at filling spaces but maybe they just have even higher turnover and I’m not seeing it?

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