West Seattle, Washington
FIRST REPORT, 2:02 PM: Just in: Deputy Hearing Examiner Anne Watanabe‘s decision on Luna Park Café owner John Bennett‘s appeal of a $500 citation for an A-frame sign. We first reported two weeks ago that he had been cited for the sign, after two warnings to remove it; city rules say business owners can only have such signs adjacent to their business, but his café is half a block away.
The complaint targeted a group of signs at Harbor/Avalon, not just Bennett’s, we learned when he argued his appeal before Watanabe downtown eight days ago (here’s our report). She said she’d have a ruling in a week or so, so we’ve been checking the city website, where it was posted half an hour ago (read the ruling here). Watanabe affirmed the SDOT decision to cite Bennett for the against-the-rules sign, but reduced the penalty from $500 – the fine for using right-of-way without a permit – to $250, the usual sign-citation amount, noting SDOT wasn’t opposed to a reduction, since it was a first-time citation.
Examiner decisions are the final word so far as the city goes; to challenge a ruling like this, you would have to go to court. We’re seeking comment from Bennett and will update.
ADDED 2:32 PM: Bennett tells us via e-mail that he’ll decide next week what to do about it, adding, “I’m a little upset that the sign ordinances are selectively enforced. I also feel small businesses shouldn’t have to pay heavy fines.” (City reps said again in last week’s hearing that enforcement is by complaint – there may be routine rule-breakers out there, but there’s no enforcement unless someone complains, same as a variety of other non-criminal city code situations.)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
You might have noticed fewer advertising A-frame signs on streetcorners in recent weeks.
For a while earlier this year, it seemed every intersection in West Seattle had a cluster on weekends – mostly advertising the bigger new apartment complexes around town, even a building in Columbia City, six miles away.
Then the city cracked down and issued warnings – with one local entrepreneur as a sort of bycatch.
John Bennett, owner of Luna Park Café, got a $500 citation for an A-frame sign his restaurant had long placed at Harbor/Avalon/Spokane (same location as the top photo), half a block from his café, meant to catch the attention of people coming off the bridge to head toward the West Seattle waterfront.
He’s fighting the citation and has an appeal hearing this week.
That’s a quick Instagram-video spin (mouse over the image to bring up the “play” button) around the treacherous intersection of 30th/Avalon/Yancy/Andover. Busy road, many residents, south edge of the Luna Park business district, RapidRide stop steps away … dangerous whether you’re on wheels or on foot. It’s been a concern for many years – and now improvements are on the way. This came in from project manager Brian Glas at SDOT this afternoon:
Starting as soon as late March, crews working for the Seattle Department of Transportation will add a curb extension, curb ramps, a striped crosswalk, and a flashing crossing beacon at the intersections of SW Avalon Way, SW Andover St, SW Yancy St, and 30th Ave SW.
As I’m sure you know, this junction of intersections does not have a marked crosswalk across the SW Avalon Way arterial. Also, the current sidewalks do not have curb ramps that are compliant with current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, making access difficult for people with assistive devices (such as wheelchairs, walkers, or strollers). Please see the map in the attached project fact sheet for more details about the planned improvements.
The contractor has not yet finalized the construction schedule, but we wanted to give you and your readers a heads up of some general construction impacts. Crews will need to temporarily close SW Andover, SW Yancy St, and 30th Ave SW at SW Avalon Way as they build the improvements. They plan to close these side streets on a rotating schedule, to minimize impacts. There will also be intermittent single lane restrictions on SW Avalon Way while crews are working. During these lane restrictions, a flagger will be present to maintain two-way traffic. As of now, we expect King County Metro routes will not be impacted. We anticipate construction will last approximately 6 weeks, though the paving work is very weather dependent. As we know more about the traffic impacts during construction, we will distribute construction notices door-to-door in the project area and to the project email list.
This project is part of the Pedestrian Master Plan, which aims to enhance pedestrian safety, comfort, and access in all of Seattle’s neighborhoods. This project is also part of the Neighborhood Street Fund Program and was one of three projects the Delridge District Council submitted in 2015.
We also plan to send out project listserv email updates throughout construction. People can sign up to receive updates here.
Note that this does *not* include a signal, though one was decreed as “warranted” back in 2011 – before the signal was added at Genesee/Avalon nearby.
West Seattle’s newest mural has just been finished. If you don’t recognize the building via the telltale marquee – this is Shack Coffee in Luna Park, 2920 SW Avalon Way, where artist Jesse Link completed the mural less than an hour before we stopped by for a photo, according to Shack staff. Link’s mural spans the north wall, along the parking lot that Shack Coffee shares with Luna Park Café. You’ve probably seen Link’s work before; he’s been featured at several West Seattle businesses during monthly Art Walks. Checking online examples of his work, you’ll note that wildlife is frequently part of it.
West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports to share:
LUNA PARK TRUCK THEFT: Bob discovered this morning that someone had taken his white Chevy Blazer from what’s supposed to be a secure garage at City View Apartments in the Luna Park area. License plate 105YGD – call 911 if you see it.
STOLEN PLATES: From Andi:
This morning I discovered someone had swapped my back license plate on my car with someone else’s. I have reported them as stolen, so if anyone sees plates ASU6665 call the police. The ones they put on the car were ANK8876, and the officer said he recognized them from a call this morning. I live on Trenton & Delridge [map] if anyone saw anything.
This happens more often than you might think, so it’s always worth a quick glance at your plates every time you go out to your vehicle, if it’s parked outside.
POSSIBLE STOLEN BICYCLES: Two posts in the WSB Forums regarding bicycles –
**Vintage Puch bicycle found in a Westwood/Roxhill-area backyard
**Redline bicycle frame spotted in Admiral in unusual circumstances
HIGHLAND PARK MAIL THEFT: In the 9400 block of 10th SW (map), Fran A spotted several mailboxes open this morning, with mail littered on the street, including an envelope that was supposed to contain her husband’s new driver’s license.
— Eleanor Cade Jardine (@EleanorCJardine) January 25, 2015
11:27 AM: Nobody hurt, but some damage at The Shack coffee shop in Luna Park, after a car crashed into the building this past hour. We’re heading over to find out more. Thanks to Eleanor for tweeting photos.
(Photo courtesy The Shack)
11:53 AM: Just back from The Shack. Owner tells us they’re still open for business – the damage wasn’t that serious – and also shared another photo from right after the crash, added above (note the T-shirt). Someone is already on the way to board up the damaged window.
12:17 PM: And their sense of humor was certainly left undamaged:
— Shack Coffee (@ShackCoffeeWS) January 25, 2015
Two years after opening its restaurant/lounge at 2940 SW Avalon Way in the Luna Park business district, Duos announced today that it’s closing that part of its business, while continuing with catering:
Thank you for all the support and love you have shown to us here at the restaurant. We value the relationships we have built with you and we will truly miss seeing you. Our last day open will be December 20th, 2014 – Our two year anniversary.
The restaurant has become such a growing success for us and we were getting busier every day! It is such a great feeling to have a loyal support base and it made our decision that much more difficult. Unfortunately, we share this building with our catering department which has also grown substantially over these past two years. As a result, providing quality food for both the restaurant and catering has proven to be difficult and space has become limited.
Our business growth has been a blessing for us and it pains us to know the outcome of Duos’ success means closing the restaurant. We will still have an active role in the community and continue to support and donate to the wonderful schools and organizations in the area. We will remain in this building, producing our great catered food and we will keep the space open as an event venue. We will be holding events at the space offering special menus, date nights, cooking classes, and fun wine maker dinners!
This was an industrial and then retail space until five years ago; Café Revo was the first restaurant there, in 2009-2010, followed by Avalon for a year, early 2011 to early 2012, and then Duos, which opened its lounge/restaurant in fall 2012.
Until 10 pm, whatever time you see on the clock at Luna Park Café is party time! Tonight’s the night the café celebrates its 25th anniversary, not only by hosting diners and imbibers as it does daily/nightly, but also with entertainment including live bands:
BrittMania, one of two bands playing during the celebration, is a Beatles tribute band – and that has bonus significance tonight, since this is the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ 1964 Seattle Center show. (P.S. If you double THAT number, you’ll get a century, which is how long it’s been since Luna Park’s namesake amusement park closed … read the history on the café’s website.) Anyway, lots going on at the party, as noted in our preview of this very busy day.
This summer marks the fourth year that Luna Park businesses will throw a Block Party – it’ll be on July 10th. That date also will be part of a new monthly event debuting this weekend: The Luna Park Street Market. On four Sundays – June 1st, July 10th, August 17th, and September 14th – the lot outside Ola (2942 SW Avalon Way) will “provide a fashion, accessory, music, shopping mecca,” according to the announcement. While you’re out and about this Sunday, you’re invited to stop by between noon and 3 pm.
It was canceled fairly quickly, but it was so big that it caught a lot of attention, so here’s what emergency-radio traffic said about that big callout at Avalon/Bradford this past hour, in the Luna Park business district near the West Seattle Bridge: Someone reported that people were coughing inside a Metro bus because of some substance someone released – possibly mace or something like it. A “hazmat multiple casualty incident” response, with many units, ensued, but didn’t last long. Apparently the person who did it got off the bus, and the substance dissipated, and the bus continued on to 35th SW; no contamination was found. Seattle Police were reported to be looking for the person responsible.
Get over to the west side of Avalon Way south of the bridge right now and check out the third annual Luna Park Block Party – bigger than ever, with more businesses having opened since last year, among other reasons. One of them is Duos Lounge, which opened last December, and is serving up paella tonight, along with Spanish music:
Outside Ola Salon next to Duos, you’ll find not only the My Violette retail truck, but also West Seattle Brewing Company, visiting from their brewery and future tasting room (reported here a year ago) in The Triangle. They tell us they’re hoping to open to the public by October 1st. Back to tonight: The fun stretches northward from Ola and Duos, too, including face painting at Luna Park Café. It’s all on till 9 pm.
Just noticed this on the Luna Park marquee while passing through that business district – its third annual Block Party is now set for three weeks from today. And now we have the official announcement, featuring some new partners this year:
Ola Salon in the Luna Park neighborhood of West Seattle will be participating in the 3rd annual Luna Park Block Party, which they are leading along with Luna Park Café, on Thursday, August 15, 2013 from 6:00 pm-9:00 pm. This year’s party has more fun activities than ever, and will support two neighborhood nonprofits: Transitional Resources, a neighborhood mental health center, and Kitty Harbor, a cat rescue, rehabilitation and adoption center. Participants will also have a chance to get a preview of the new West Seattle Brewing Company’s offerings.
Hi there, I wanted to let the community know that Ola Salon in West Seattle was broken into and (burglarized) last night. All of our retail, equipment, cash, checks, two laptops and more was stolen. Everyone is safe; we just want to give the community a heads up and to be aware of a robber in the neighborhood. If anyone happened to see anything, please let the police and the front desk at Ola know immediately. Thank you! 206-933-6702
We have another reader report – this one from Mona, who says she ordered something because of a crime report- and now it has resulted in one:
I came home around 5:30 PM today and found (an) empty package on my doorstep which was supposed to have contained the stun gun flashlight that a WSB reader recommended in (comments on) this post. I already filed a report. This happened near 17th avenue SW and Cambridge.
Lots of time left to get to Ola Salon in Luna Park for Furry Faces Foundation‘s first-ever “Heels for Hounds” – not just a silent auction of some cute shoes (casual as well as fancy, as shown in the photo above), but also wine tasting, appetizers, and live music, all to benefit animal advocacy:
Ola’s at 2942 SW Avalon Way.
After publishing the news earlier this week that West Seattle Helpline received a $10,000 grant from the RealNetworks Foundation, we found out Helpline wasn’t alone: Transitional Resources, headquartered in the Luna Park neighborhood, has received one too. Above are TR’s CEO Darcell Slovek-Walker and RNF’s Kevin Johnson. A TR spokesperson tells WSB, “This grant will go so far in helping us expand our onsite chemical-dependency services to provide intensive substance abuse help to our clients. We are so happy to see their support for the organizations in West Seattle who are doing so much for the community!”
(STORY UPDATED MONDAY with planned days/hours)
It’s been almost four months since Duos Catering moved into the former Avalon Restaurant spot at 2940 SW Avalon Way (as reported here in August). The owners said they planned to open a “neighborhood hangout” – and they’re finally ready. Last night, during their “soft open,” WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams stopped in, photographing both the small-plates food …
(Grass-fed beef sliders with applewood-smoked bacon, Tillamook cheddar, onion jam)
… and the people – here’s co-owner Benjamin Jury checking in with guests:
More of Nick’s photos ahead:Read More
We’re on Avalon Way as its funky little business district opens its arms and its doors to evening visitors for the 2nd annual Luna Park Block Party. Top photo shows Sean Welch making a bowl at Avalon Glassworks, where you can enjoy some truly warm temperatures if you are missing true summer (don’t worry, you can also stand by their ginormous fan and feel Seattle-cool). The block party’s on till 9. Outside Java Bean Coffee, we spotted their long-famous red VW van:
Tonight’s host business is Ola Salon a bit further south along Avalon Way, where Sid Law is serenading Block Party-goers:
The Luna Park Block Party’s on till 9 tonight.
Staci at Luna Park Café shared the photo of their sign – which is up in advance of the restaurant’s 23rd anniversary this Sunday (March 18th). She says they’re celebrating by offering kids free face-painting from 3-6 pm that day (Sunday). The café’s history – including a photo of what the building held, long ago – is on this page of the LPC website. Staci also mentioned they’re also celebrating St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow (Saturday) with a corned-beef-and-cabbage special and green beers. (We’ve received word of a few other St. P’s day specials we’ll be offering, and they’ll be in the Saturday daily preview – e-mail us yours if you haven’t already!)
At Ola Salon in the Luna Park business district tonight, that’s Tiann Stubberfield with the tweezers and Transitional Resources‘ Darcell Slovek-Walker (reclining) and Yemaya St. Clair. Ola and TR are neighbors – TR, which provides housing and other services to people living with “severe and persistent” mental illness, is headquartered just a few blocks south on Avalon Way. Tonight, Ola held a fundraiser for TR, including donating the proceeds from certain services as well as raffle tickets. Treats too, plus live music from West Seattle’s own Sid Law:
If you missed tonight’s event – here’s how to help Transitional Resources. Meantime, still lots of chances for you to reach out and give this holiday season – we’ve got a special section, with both fundraisers and direct donation opportunities, on the WSB West Seattle Holidays page.
Several inquiries have come in about the police/fire response in the Luna Park business district. All we know so far is that an elderly man is reported to have suddenly collapsed, and medic crews have been doing CPR. No crime or crash – police told us they are there just to help make sure firefighters have the space they need to work. As you can see in our photo, southbound (uphill) Avalon is blocked at the scene. If we find out anything more later, we’ll add it.
Assuming the weather gets better by tomorrow – latest forecast suggests it could – SDOT says the paving work on Avalon Way will continue, and may go into Wednesday as well. According to spokesperson Marybeth Turner, “Lane closures will not last long and flaggers will assist traffic through the work areas. Sidewalks will remain open.”
SDOT was already planning to be over here doing “spot paving” on California SW in the block south of SW Edmunds tomorrow and Wednesday (as reported here). Now comes word that SW Avalon Way will follow, between 35th SW and SW Spokane (map), on Thursday and Friday, 9 am-5 pm, weather permitting. SDOT’s announcement says, “One lane of traffic in each direction will remain open. Bicycles will merge with general traffic within work zones. All sidewalks and crosswalks will remain open.”