Story and photos by Michelle Riggen-Ransom
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
If you live in West Seattle, you probably already know that you can enjoy a meal out in Chicago, or Brooklyn, or even exotic Rhode Island just by visiting local restaurant Endolyne Joe’s (WSB sponsor). With its rotating, site-specific themes changing every four months, at Joe’s you can be sipping mojitos under a palm tree one season, slurping pasta and drinking vino at a cheerful Italian café the next.
But what you may not know is that beneath the restaurant is a cavernous basement filled from floor to ceiling with funky props, exotic creatures, and hand-painted signs from themes of yore. Looking for a giant wooden shark, or a glittery, oversized Mardi Gras mask? You’ll find it here, tucked away in the depths below the hundred year-old building where Endolyne Joe’s has made its home for well over a decade.
Story and photos by Randall Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Great news for Admiral District pho fiends: New Leaf Bistro is open, three months after first word that it was headed this way.
Though the green awning above the entrance to the ex-Royal India Grill space at 2342 California SW touts “Asian Cuisine,” the menu predominantly features the cuisine of Vietnam, the homeland of owner Geoffrey Ly.
New Leaf Bistro’s opening menu has 13 items on its entree page, with items ranging from chow mein and fried rice to wok-seared pork belly and grilled salmon. Also on offer are vermicelli bowls, rice bowls, and a trio of salads, along with a sizable collection of appetizers most fans of Asian restaurants will find familiar.
But the centerpiece of New Leaf is the pho, which is available with the traditional beef broth or a vegan-friendly broth and customizable with a variety of proteins.
“Our pho is special. We use only natural ingredients,” says Ly. “Pho eaters can tell when you use the powders for flavor.”
Ly decided to use a “soft opening” – starting yesterday – to help the restaurant and its crew ease into operations while making adjustments to adapt to the business as it develops and grows. “We’re still kind of testing everything,” Ly explains.
Currently, New Leaf is open seven days a week from 11:00 a.m. until 9:30 p.m.. Once the application for a liquor license is approved, however, closing time could be pushed later, particularly if the small lounge area toward the back of the restaurant finds an audience.
Carryout is of course available. Ly says he plans to also offer delivery on a limited basis (within 3 miles for a $30 minimum order), though details are not yet finalized.
New Leaf Bistro is Ly’s second West Seattle restaurant. In 1999, he opened Hunan Express in Morgan Junction (where Kokoras is now, at 6400 ½ California). It’ll be his fifth Seattle restaurant since 1984, after working his way from New York City with stops in Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Texas, and California.
Despite all those travels, Ly is bringing the flavors of his homeland, where he worked with his grandparents in a streetside food-vending operation as a young boy, to the Admiral District. The hard work of running a restaurant is something he learned in both countries.
“When I was young, I was here with no English and no education,” says Ly. “The only thing I knew was to work hard to survive.”
Two updates from the world of West Seattle food and drink:
PECOS PIT BBQ UPDATE: Nine months after we first told you a Pecos Pit BBQ restaurant was planned for the former Beni Hoshi Teriyaki spot at 35th/Fauntleroy, we have another update. Spokesperson Nick Nordby says the restaurant is expected to open in spring. They’re still working on outdoor deck seating and a drive-through (exiting onto Genesee, according to a document in the city file) as well as indoor seating. Nordby says founders Ron Wise and Debra Wise have teamed with Salty’s (WSB sponsor) proprietor Gerry Kingen to expand, starting with this location, but serving “the same famous Pecos Pit BBQ found on 1st avenue for decades, along with some new habit-forming options. Offerings include our traditional pork, beef, and chicken sandwiches in a decidedly sloppy style, plus beef brisket, and hot links,” along with “stuffed smoked potatoes … and a ‘Walkabouts Bowl’ filled with the meat of your choice plus cheese, cold slaw and sauce” and salads. You can even buy bulk, smoked meats including Pecos pork, beef brisket, turkey legs, and smoked chicken.” They’re aiming for a full liquor license, he adds. No word yet how soon work will start.
WESTSIDE PUBLIC HOUSE GOES DARK: We haven’t been able to directly confirm that Westside Public House at California/Edmunds in The Junction is gone, but all signs point that way. The pub at California/Edmunds hasn’t been open since Sunday night – just days after its first-anniversary celebration – and a peek through the windows reveals most furnishings gone. Its website and phone line are both down. No message on the door, no message on the still-up Facebook page, but its Tuesday night trivia provider posted on their FB page that they got word it had closed after Sunday night. The pub’s year in the space followed three years by A Terrible Beauty; before that, Table 35 was there for 10 months and Ama Ama for 21 months. (WSB file photo)
(WSB photo of Itto’s front door, this morning)
Six months after we brought you first word of Itto’s Tapas coming to 4160 California SW, its official grand opening has just been announced:
We are FINALLY having our Grand Opening! We are so excited to be in West Seattle where the neighborhood has shown its support with encouraging words, kind drop-ins, and overall excitement! Thank you all for the supportive energy. This has been a whirlwind of lessons learned and now all we think about is giving West Seattle our best. We can’t wait to feed you!
We are having our Grand Opening this Saturday, the 21st of November. Itto’s is named after our owner’s mother, and we thought it would be a blessing to honor her spirit by inviting you all in on the anniversary of her passing.
We will have our full menu and specialty drinks rolling! If you want to glimpse our menus, you can check out our Facebook page. To keep the energy up, we will have one of our favorite local belly dancers, Nadira at 10 pm!
Thank you again for all of your support! Looking forward to seeing our neighborhood in full force!
Itto’s is in the ex-Firefly space on the northeast corner of California SW and SW Genesee.
A local restaurant has closed suddenly, blaming a rent increase. Here’s the photo texted by a reader:
The Ripple Café was in the small multi-business building on 35th SW just south of SW Henderson, also home to West Seattle Fish House and Stuffed Cakes. It hadn’t even been open for six months. The King County Assessor‘s records show that the 86-year-old building changed hands this year for the first time in 19 years, sold to WD Group LLC in June for $600,000. While that LLC has a Seattle mailing address, one of its managers lists an address in San Francisco; we’re attempting to contact the owners for comment, and have also messaged the Ripple Café’s proprietor. The building recently underwent some external renovations; the site is zoned for up to four stories of potential mixed-use development, but a check of the online files shows no proposals on the record so far.
In case you’re wondering about the building’s other tenants, we went over a short time ago to verify the closure and while there, stopped in to check with Stuffed Cakes proprietor Donna Lawson. She confirms the change in landlords and a rent increase – which she expected, given the sale – but says her business is doing well and she’s staying. (She also mentioned that the San Francisco owner grew up in Seattle, so does have local ties.)
Just went through The Junction and the closed (“FYI”) sign is off the door at Chipotle Mexican Grill in The Junction, one day after the chain said it was reopening its 43 Washington and Oregon restaurants. The chain voluntarily closed them after a rash of E. coli illnesses; most, including the two-month-old Chipotle here, were closed for 11 full days, going back to Halloween. The 30 people who got sick in this state reported eating at five Chipotles, including two in Seattle, but the West Seattle store was not among them. So far, tests still haven’t traced where the bacteria came from. Here’s all the state info about the outbreak; here’s all the info from Chipotle.
MONDAY, 6:14 PM: Though the West Seattle Chipotle restaurant is *not* one of the ten linked to patients in the Pacific Northwest E. coli outbreak, it and the chain’s 42 other restaurants in Washington and Oregon remain closed. But both the state Health Department and Chipotle ownership are indicating they’re moving toward reopening. Today was the 10th full day of closure for most of those restaurants, including the one in The Junction, and the state has continued to provide daily updates: As of this afternoon’s update, 27 cases have been confirmed in Washington, including 10 people who were hospitalized, none of whom ate at a Chipotle any more recently than October 24th. The update also says the first round of test results from Chipotle food samples has not turned up any E. coli, so they haven’t linked it to any particular food yet. The chain has its own page detailing what it’s been doing in the meantime, but says it doesn’t know when it will get health authorities’ permission to reopen. (WSB photo: Sign that’s been up on Chipotle’s door in The Junction since October 31st)
TUESDAY, 10:55 AM: Chipotle says it will reopen the restaurants, this one included, “in the coming days.” We’ll be checking daily on the West Seattle location, which opened two months ago today. (As of just after 11 am Tuesday, its regular opening time, it was still closed.)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
One day after people started asking us about the disappearance of the Beloved Mexico food truck – a five-year fixture along Fauntleroy just south of Alaska, next to West Seattle Produce – we’ve found out what’s going on: It’s closed forever.
That’s what co-proprietor Christian Guerrero just told us when we reached him by phone at home in West Seattle: “We decided to shut down the doors, just yesterday. We’re really sad to shut down, but we just weren’t making enough.”
Unprompted, he cited competition, in particular, Chipotle Mexican Grill, which opened in The Junction less than two months ago (and is currently closed along with the company’s 42 other Washington and Oregon stores because of E. coli illnesses). “We don’t have the buying power of multi-million dollar companies.”
Another factor, Guerrero said: They would eventually lose their spot, since a CVS drugstore is slated to be built there, and a permanent spot for a food truck is hard to find in West Seattle.
He says they’re sad about closing and they appreciate the following they had, but financially, they had no choice. They had hoped it would someday lead to expansion into a permanent restaurant location, but that didn’t happen, and they’re not expecting to be able to open one. He and his co-proprietor brother have always had “day jobs” and that’s what they’ll be focusing on now. It’s been five years since Beloved Mexico opened – originally on the other side of Fauntleroy, as was WS Produce, on the site where The Whittaker is now being built; both moved across the street a year later.
Toward the end of our conversation, Guerrero told us he hopes West Seattleites will step up their support for the remaining small independent businesses – “to keep the flavor of West Seattle alive.”
By Randall Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Who doesn’t love a dumpling? There’s a reason why nearly every world cuisine has its own version of flavorful food creations delivered inside a neat pastry package. While the arrival of world-renowned Din Tai Fung two years ago may have marked a peak moment in the comfort-food trend for Seattle, we westsiders know the true peak of any local comfort-food trend is when we can indulge without leaving the peninsula.
After finding themselves dining on dumplings with increasing frequency, the team behind Shadowland was presented with the opportunity to take over the former Quadrato space (4302 SW Oregon) nearby, and soon the idea for Dumplings of Fury was born. Back in August, we reported briefly that this eatery was on the way – and now we finally have a full serving of details.
“I think it was definitely our love of dumplings that somehow sprung us into thinking of doing this,” says Ben Jenkins, Shadowland co-owner. “There’s nothing like that here, and we wanted to do something different for West Seattle.”
This is the third full day that the Chipotle restaurant in West Seattle has been closed, along with the 42 other Chipotles in Washington and Oregon, after a regional outbreak of suspected E. coli-related illness. We checked with the state Health Department today to ask if they had any new information, including whether they would be identifying the six locations where the people with the known cases were reported to have eaten. The reply: No update today, but health authorities plan a media briefing tomorrow. Here’s their newest summary, in the meantime:
The restaurants under investigation are linked to 19 cases of E. coli illnesses in Washington. Four more cases were reported from Oregon, also associated with Chipotle restaurants. Seven of the Washington patients and two Oregon patients were hospitalized; there have been no deaths. An investigation is underway. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is testing food samples from Chipotle restaurants at their lab in Bothell. Biological samples from people who were infected have been tested at the Public Health Laboratories (Department of Health) in Shoreline.
Here’s our report from Saturday morning. The state advised later in the day that anyone who “thinks they may have become ill from eating at a Chipotle restaurant in the past three weeks” should see their health-care provider.
UPDATE: West Seattle Chipotle closed today in regional health concern over possible E. coli cases in WA, OROctober 31, 2015 at 10:58 am | In Health, West Seattle news, West Seattle restaurants | 36 Comments
10:58 AM: We’ve just confirmed that Chipotle Mexican Grill in The Junction is one of the chain’s restaurants that are closed TFN while Chipotle deals with a health concern in some areas of Washington and Oregon. First word of closures in King County and elsewhere came via this story from Portland reporting more than 20 suspected E. coli illnesses in Oregon and Washington. After reader questions, we drove by the location in The Junction and confirmed closure signs, which, when we drove by, were the “Experience Closure” message also photographed at Oregon stores; by the time we could park to get a photo, the restaurant changed to “FYI” signs citing a “supply chain issue.”
The closure also was confirmed by the corporate Twitter account for Chipotle, in response to our mention of the closure:
@westseattleblog We closed our stores in the area, though most reported no problems, & are working with health department to resolve. -Joe
— Chipotle (@ChipotleTweets) October 31, 2015
We asked how long the closure is expected to last:
@westseattleblog Not sure, as we want to make sure we abide by what the health department perceives as best. -Joe
— Chipotle (@ChipotleTweets) October 31, 2015
1:03 PM: The most comprehensive information about the regional outbreak so far is still coming from the Oregon Health Authority – here’s its news release. The Washington State Department of Health also has issued a news release, saying four of the cases were reported in King County. No word on what might have been the source of the bacteria.
An update on Fit Bar, the healthy-food café that’s been taking shape next to Anytime Fitness at 2222 California SW in Admiral – Andrew Saldana says he, girlfriend Bles, and his brothers Daniel and Jacob, all West Seattleites, “are thrilled to announce a healthy alternative for our neighborhood! … Our Grand Opening will be Saturday, October 24th, from 8 am – 4 pm. … We are overjoyed to share what inspires us and use it as a medium to inspire others. We know we are all a little different individually, but collectively we strive to find what fuels our lives, and within that journey, we find the strongest connection; that of the mind and body.” Fit Bar will be open weekdays 7 am-7 pm and weekends 9 am-4 pm; Andrew says its website at fitbarcafe.com will go live on Friday. You can see some of the smoothies and bowls they plan to serve by checking out their Instagram feed.
The photo is from Pizzeria 22 proprietor Cary Kemp, who reports a celebrity customer on Saturday night:
It was an honor to host Neil Young, his family, band, and crew last night at Pizzeria 22. Looking forward to his performance tonight at the WaMu Theater.
ADDED SUNDAY NIGHT: We asked Cary if there was a particular reason the music legend chose his restaurant. His reply explains it: “I worked for Neil for 10 years as a tour manager.”
Five months after we first told you about the plan for Itto’s in the space formerly occupied by Firefly at California/Genesee in The Junction, it’s close to opening. After seeing the exterior signage taking shape on Tuesday afternoon, we asked if they have a new hoped-for opening date yet – originally, they’d estimated July, but as with so many new businesses, especially restaurants, unexpected circumstances pushed things back. The new estimate: Late October. As noted in our May report, brothers Aziz and Khalid Agour plan Itto’s – named after their mom – to be a tapas-style restaurant, with a variety of cuisines, primarily Moroccan and Spanish.
Notes from around the local food-and-drink-o-sphere:
MAC’S TRIANGLE PUB CELEBRATES MILESTONE: As mentioned in today’s daily preview, Mac’s Triangle Pub in South Delridge is celebrating its tenth anniversary. We stopped by this morning to photograph namesake and proprietor Geoffrey “Mac” MacElroy as they kicked off the all-day-and-all-night party with specials and more. (Even if you haven’t been to his pub, you might remember “Mac” from his legislative run, as an independent, five years ago.)
JUST TO THE SOUTH – CHARLIE’S BUNS IN WHITE CENTER: If you missed it on our partner site White Center Now – the burger truck Charlie’s Buns ‘n’ Stuff now has a restaurant in WC, 1521 SW 98th, just opened Friday.
PECOS PIT PROGRESS REPORT: Seven months after City Light told us it had a new tenant for the ex-teriyaki restaurant site at 35th/Genesee by the entrance to the bridge – a Pecos Pit barbecue franchise – city permit files show some movement. Documents filed less than a week ago are part of the application for permits to make alterations to the building, expanding the building footprint from 783 sf to 1,111 sf, plus “site improvement work to include alterations to drive-thru, parking, landscaping, and adding a new deck/patio seating, and walk-in cooler.”
FIT BAR GETS CLOSER: The health-food Fit Bar Café that the proprietors of Anytime Fitness in The Admiral District are building just north of their location is closer to opening – early October is the latest estimate, per the café-to-be’s Facebook page.
KUKAI RAMEN & THE LODGE, NOT UNTIL NEXT YEAR: Six weeks after we brought you first word that Kukai Ramen and Izakaya is coming to Junction 47 (thanks AGAIN to Jason for the tip!), the “official news release” arrived this week. We’re mentioning it just in case you missed our August report. The only new nugget was that Kukai, and the first restaurant announced for the project – The Lodge Sports Grille (first reported here in June) – are not expected to open before next year; they’re both going to be in the east building of Junction 47, which the release also notes has leased half of its apartments so far.
‘PINK OUT’ AT ADMIRAL BIRD: 9-10 am on Tuesday (September 29th), Admiral Bird is participating in “Pink Out to Support Planned Parenthood.” Free drip coffee for everyone wearing pink – with pink whipped cream if you want, says proprietor Heidi Herr. (Admiral Bird is co-housed with Flower Lab on the southeast corner of California/Admiral.)
12:40 PM: Thanks to the readers who spotted today’s Public Health “food establishment closures” bulletin before we did. It reports that inspectors closed Maharaja in The Junction on Wednesday afternoon. From the county’s ongoing list of closures:
Closed: Sept. 9, 2015 at 4:00 pm. Reasons:
Potentially hazardous foods at unsafe temperatures
Improper cooling of potentially hazardous food
Foods not protected from cross contamination
Poor personal hygiene practices – bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat foods
Failure to correct repeated violations
We just called to see if the restaurant was still closed; the person answering the phone said yes, but that they expected to reopen by mid-afternoon. The county explains its closure policy here; you can look up any restaurant’s inspection history here.
7:46 PM: Via comment and e-mail, we’re told Maharaja has indeed reopened. Morgan sent this photo:
The Health Department website hasn’t been updated since 3:44 pm; we’ll check again tomorrow.
Thanks for the tips that resulted in these four West Seattle business notes:
PARLIAMENT TAVERN NOW OPEN: In the space vacated by Vidiot, which is now next door in the former Benbow Tavern space at 4210 SW Admiral Way, Parliament Tavern opened this weekend.
MARDI GRAS DONUTS REOPENS: Fans were sad to see a “closed until further notice” sign up recently, but a texted tip and WSB Forums topic reveal the famous-for-its-beignets donut shop at 9828 16th SW in White Center has reopened.
CHOPSTIX ABOUT TO REOPEN: When last we wrote about Chopstix, north of Morgan Junction at 5905 California SW, it was promising an August 15th reopening. That came and went but now the sign on its door says it’ll be open this Wednesday (September 9th). We have a feeling it’s likelier this time – its website now sports the “grand reopening” menu for what will now be called Chopstix BBQ.
NEXT DOOR … The same tipster who texted the Chopstix update points out that Juneau Street Market, next to Chopstix, has somewhat conflicting notes on its locked doors, one saying it’ll be closed TFN, one saying it’ll reopen September 12th (next Saturday) after remodeling.
P.S. We have a really long watch list right now of in-progress restaurants and for-lease spaces we’re tracking – checking the locations, permit records, etc., as often as we can, but just wanted to say again, tips are very much appreciated if you spot signage, progress, etc., before we do – email@example.com – thank you!
Three quick biznotes, all from the world of local food and drink:
WEST SEATTLE BREWING COMPANY: Two months after King County Public Health closed it for “operating without a valid permit,” West Seattle Brewing Company at 4415 Fauntleroy Way SW is about to reopen. Thanks to Diane for the tip; we went over to verify in person, and were told they’ll open around 5:30 am tomorrow (Wednesday, September 2nd) for coffee and expect to stay open until about 11 pm. They’ve done an extensive amount of work in the meantime, as you can see via the WSBC Facebook page (and in fact, even as night fell, they were making some finishing touches).
MARDI GRAS DONUTS: Six months after we reported on this donut shop, specializing in beignets, opening at 9828 16th SW in White Center, it’s closed “until further notice,” according to a sign on the door. Thanks to David for the tip; he had gone there Sunday (a day they’re supposed to be open, according to new hours posted recently) and discovered the sign. Still up as of our check earlier today. We’ll keep checking back.
COMMENT TIME FOR CHUNGEE’S WEST: We broke the news last Thursday that a rezoning/remodeling proposal for the house at 6921 California SW would include a West Seattle expansion of Chungee’s, the Chinese restaurant on Capitol Hill whose proprietors already own the Morgan Junction house. As expected, the comment period for the proposal opened a few days later – here’s the notice, and here’s the form to use to comment (deadline is September 13th).
West Seattle restaurants: Rezone proposed to transform part of Morgan Junction house into Chungee’s WestAugust 27, 2015 at 3:24 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle restaurants | 46 Comments
(King County Assessor’s Office photo)
A very busy block in Morgan Junction, the 6900 block of California SW, has a new development proposal – and an unusual one at that. The same block that gained fame for the “30 apartments, no parking” controversy might get a restaurant right next to that almost-complete building. But it would require a zoning change. Documents are now filed with the city seeking a contract rezone – one that would be approved for a specific proposal – for the property at 6921 California SW, which currently holds the 103-year-old two-bedroom, one-bath house shown in the photo above. The change would be from Lowrise 2 to Lowrise 2 – Residential Commercial. According to what’s on file with the city, it would be a new location for Chungee’s, a Chinese restaurant that opened five years ago on Capitol Hill. Why this house? The Chungee’s proprietors own it. One of the documents filed in connection with the project describes it as:
Located in a LR2 Zone at 6921 California Avenue SW, Chungee’s West is a contract rezone proposal for a family-run, neighborhood restaurant. The rezone requires adding the RC designation to the existing LR2 zoning for the parcel.
The entire project includes an addition and renovation of an existing 100 year old one story single family residence. The extent of the remodel & addition will be to establish a commercial use (restaurant) on the lower and main level and a two-bedroom residential dwelling unit on the upper level. The owners of the restaurant intend to live in the upper level dwelling unit once complete. In order for the project to be realized, the parcel must be zoned LR2 RC from the existing LR2. The RC overlay designation currently applies to the parcel and block directly to the South across SW Mills Street.
An established family-run restaurant will increase the walkability of the neighborhood and the adjacent business district supporting the existing commercial node and attracting patrons from other neighborhoods. The proposal is consistent with the 2013 comprehensive plan for the Morgan Junction urban village and the long term goals of this area in West Seattle.
With immediate access and circulation off of California Avenue, a major thoroughfare, the restaurant will serve not only the immediate neighborhood but West Seattle and Greater Seattle via local transit and car.
The site plan shows three parking spaces in back, where the existing garage would be removed. Meantime, the city files include “proposed project images:
Any rezone will need City Council approval. Now that the city has formally accepted the application, a comment period should open soon – watch the Land Use Information Bulletin, which is published Mondays and Thursdays, for that. The proprietors already have sought letters of support, some of which are part of the official files already.
West Seattle food-and-drink-world notes, starting with tidbits of info about two new establishments:
NEW LEAF BISTRO: That’s the new name shown in public records for the ex-Royal India Grill space that’s been vacant in Admiral since spring of last year, at 2342 California SW. According to a tip from a reader who had encountered the prospective operators (we’ve been going by and haven’t found anyone there yet), it’ll be a Vietnamese restaurant.
DUMPLINGS OF FURY: “Rumors of dumplings” in The Junction erupted in a recent comment thread. Now a liquor-license application tells the tale – Dumplings of Fury, coming to the ex-Quadrato spot at 4302 SW Oregon. The names on the application: The team from Shadowland, almost just across the street.
We’ll be working to find out more about both of those (both of which are seeking beer/wine licenses, not full bars). Also of note:
‘EVENINGS’ AT JUNCTION STARBUCKS: Less than a week ago, when the new Junction Starbucks opened, the company was still saying it hadn’t made a decision about whether it would feature the “Evenings” concept, despite applying for a liquor license two months earlier. Today, John e-mailed us to mention signs up in the shop, and confirmation from a barista, so we checked again with company spokesperson Haley Nieman, who says it’s official – the new store “will begin offering the Evenings menu in late September.” That involves an “expanded menu of shareable small plates” as well as “hand-selected wines and craft beers.” The concept was premiered on Capitol Hill five years ago and is currently in more than 75 stores.
REPAIR CLOSURE AHEAD FOR ELLIOTT BAY: Elliott Bay Brewing Co. manager Amy sends word that EBB will be closed for a few days next week: “Elliott Bay Brewery will be closing for repairs at 9 pm on Sunday 8/23. We will reopen for lunch at 11:00 am on Thursday 8/27.”
When last we checked with Chipotle to see if its West Seattle Junction opening date was set yet, the company was aiming for late August. After three people sent notes today asking for an update, we first checked the 4730 California SW storefront – it looks nearly done; the menu’s even up. So we contacted the Chipotle media team, who say it’s opening September 10th. Hours: 11 am to 10 pm daily.
Three updates from the world of West Seattle food and drink:
JUNCTION STARBUCKS OPENS: For the first time since 2008, a standalone Starbucks store is open in The Junction. We first told you six months ago that Starbucks was on the way to the prime California/Alaska corner spot at the two-building Junction 47 project. One distinctive feature, this mural by Portland artist Ryan Bubnis, commissioned especially for this store:
The store’s liquor-license application – mentioned here in June – is still pending; we’re told the company hasn’t decided yet whether it will deploy the “Evenings” concept at this location, which (added) will be open 5 am-10 pm Monday through Friday and 5:30 am-10 pm Saturday and Sunday.
Its first West Seattle store was the one at Admiral & 41st, which opened 25 years ago. The company has 22,000+ stores worldwide.
Also today, two restaurant-remodeling notes:
CHOPSTIX: The banner outside Chopstix at 5905 California says it will reopen as “Chopstix BBQ” after two weeks of remodeling; its website and phone recording both say tomorrow (August 15th) is reopening day.
HARRY’S CHICKEN JOINT: Instead of reopening today after two weeks of remodeling, Harry’s Chicken Joint at 6032 California SW says it’s now planning to reopen next Tuesday.
(SDOT’s 42nd/Alaska camera shows the future restaurant’s corner spot, at left)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 4:55 PM: Thanks to Jason for the tip: City files show another restaurant penciled in for the east building of Junction 47. A “site plan” on file for the 42nd SW & SW Alaska corner spot shows Kukai as the “proposed tenant business.” This would be the answer to the hopes of those who have been wishing for a “noodle shop” in West Seattle. Kukai’s regional franchisees – spinning off a chain in Japan – have two other restaurants in Seattle so far, including one that opened on Capitol Hill last spring. (All Kukai locations are listed at the bottom of this menu you can check out online.) We have inquiries out to try to find out more. The first restaurant announced for Junction 47 was The Lodge Sports Grille, as reported here two months ago, also in the east building.
6:19 PM UPDATE: Broker Jason Miller from Colliers confirms to WSB that Kukai Ramen is indeed going into that space. He also confirms what another document in the city files show – Bishops Barbershop (a Portland-area chain with 1 Seattle location so far) will be next door, along 42nd.
Four food-and-drink-related West Seattle biznotes:
QUADRATO CLOSES: Michael sent the photo and wondered about the status of Quadrato at 4302 SW Oregon, saying it hadn’t been open for a few days. We e-mailed proprietor Cary Kemp, who confirms this morning: “Due to the recent addition of two West Seattle eateries offering the same menu items within a stone’s throw of Quadrato, we have been forced to shutter our establishment. We are grateful to our customers who supported us the last 2 years and thank you all for keeping us in business.” Kemp also owns Pizzeria 22 in The Admiral District, which WILL continue in operation. Quadrato opened in October 2013.
RENOVATIONS AT HARRY’S CHICKEN JOINT: We heard from a few people worried about Harry’s Chicken Joint at 6032 California SW, closed and papered. Just a TEMPORARY closure, we’re told by proprietor Bruce Cougan, who says it’s a round of renovations they’ve been planning for months. “We wanted to paint the whole place, including the back prep areas. We are also repairing one reach-in and adding another. The countertop is getting replaced and we are adding new touches to the dining room and removing the large table.” They’ll be done and ready to reopen in another week.
WEST SEATTLE BREWING COMPANY: We’re asked periodically about the 4415 Fauntleroy SW establishment that had just reopened after one mystery closure, only to shut down again on June 22nd, when King County ordered it to close for “operating without a valid permit.” You might have noticed work going on there again; on the WSBC Facebook page, owner Drew answered a “When are you reopening?” question on FB with “We’ve hesitated to provide any kind of timeline, because the timelines we have been given are vague at best & between 3 separate government entities, rarely, if ever accurate. Last thing we want is to put any of you through the repeated disappointment & frustrations we’ve had to & continue to crawl through. If it were as simple as picking a date, I promise we most certainly would have done so, & of course would have passed along that information to all as well. Instead, bureaucracy, or “beer-ocracy” as we call it, continues to be a battle, of which very little is in our control.”
FROM JUICE TO NAILS: The ex-Jamba Juice space at Westwood Village, empty a year and a half, will be the new home of NK Nails, moving from its current spot next to Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) elsewhere in WWV. We’d received a tip to that effect a while ago; now it’s confirmed by a construction-permit application and other documents in the Department of Planning and Development files.
(WSB photo added 5:57 pm: New restaurant’s wood-fired oven)
The opening of Mioposto‘s new Admiral restaurant is now set for next Saturday (August 8th), 4 pm. That’s the word today from Mioposto proprietor Jeremy Hardy – two days later than hoped, but still in the midsummer time frame envisioned last spring. The restaurant is occupying the north part of the former Admiralty House Antiques building at California/Walker, its third location after Mt. Baker and Bryant. We’re expecting some additional information shortly – hours, for starters – so check back on this story.
ADDED: Hardy says the hours will start as 4-10 pm Sundays-Thursdays, 4 pm-11 pm Fridays and Saturdays.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Popular diner Meander’s Kitchen in White Center closed early today – about two hours short of its usual 3 pm closing.
That wouldn’t be noteworthy, except for the circumstances: A management change, made with King County Sheriff’s Office deputies standing by, following 12-plus hours of unofficial claims, attributed to employees, that today would be Meander’s last day of operations.
First word of this came with postings in various spots on Facebook late Saturday night/early Sunday morning – including the “posts by others” section of the WSB page – saying that Sunday would be the restaurant’s last day open and urging customers to come show support. We also received a text message to that effect, saying the staff was opening the restaurant in hopes of making enough money to cover payroll and vendors. By morning, this sign was up at the restaurant (several people texted us the image):
Patrons told us employees were also telling them personally that it was closing. Contacted via Facebook, restaurant founder Miranda Krone – working out of town as a maritime chef – told us that was definitely not true, and that a new general manager/partner, Afton Larsen, who had been part of Meander’s operations in its early West Seattle days, would arrive at the restaurant later in the day to sort things out.
Larsen also contacted us directly to say she would be at the restaurant “this afternoon to talk with staff in person and keep our doors open.” And a post on the restaurant’s official FB page echoed, “We are NOT closing”:
We had planned to check in by mid-afternoon – and then came a text from a patron about the arrival of deputies, around 1:15 pm, with diners being told that service was ended for the day (regular daily closing time has been 3 pm). That accelerated our plan to go check on the situation. WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand was told on arrival that the deputies were there to ensure an orderly transition, but that there was no trouble and no one had been arrested.
Some employees say their paychecks had bounced, but so far, no one has reported filing a complaint with state Labor and Industries. Larsen (photo below) told us she was just starting to go through the books so didn’t know the status of the restaurant’s accounting yet.
She said some of the current staff has agreed to stay on; she said she hopes Meander’s will be open tomorrow, usual hours, but if circumstances make that infeasible, they would expect to reopen by midweek, potentially with limited service until things are straightened out.
Meander’s first opened in January 2011 in the tiny ex-Jade West Café north of Morgan Junction. Its popularity led Krone to seek a new, larger space, and Meander’s moved to its first White Center space in fall 2012. That turned out to be a bit too big, she said, moving the restaurant to its current space at 9809 16th SW in late summer 2013.
6:54 PM UPDATE: Via e-mail, Larsen says, “We will be open from 10-3 tomorrow running a limited menu with a skeleton crew.”
11:25 PM UPDATE: As discussed in the comment section, while a variety of allegations/rumors continue flying here, we don’t report what can’t be substantiated/verified, until and unless it is. One thing we did verify a short time ago, after some difficulty getting into online court records: An unlawful-detainer (potential eviction) complaint was initiated against the restaurant in late June by the previous tenant from whom they sublease. A hearing date was set for July 10th but online records do not indicate any court action taken then or since. We are seeking clarification from the new management on whether that means it’s been resolved.
11:19 AM MONDAY: Owner Krone responded via text that the rent is now current and resolution of the case is being negotiated by lawyers. Asked if there was any chance the restaurant would be evicted, she replied, no.
FEEDBACK LOUNGE SAYS GOODBYE
LAST DAY: SATURDAY, AUGUST 8th, 2015
What a wild ride we’ve had over the last seven years. There are simply no words to express how \ grateful we are to have been a part of the West Seattle Business Community and to have made countless, wonderful friends and worked with a many of the industry’s best.
But all good things come to an end. The owners are moving on and the Feedback Lounge is closing. New ownership will be remodeling the space with anticipated reopening in the fall. Our last day of business will be Saturday, August 8th with a final blowout show. We’ll announce the line-up soon.
But in the meantime, please drop by to have a drink with us and say goodbye.
Stay tuned to our Facebook page – we have a few surprises coming up.
The Feedback opened in April 2009 and became known for its craft cocktails as well as for its rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia collection and, eventually, live shows including rock and comedy, as well as for its community support of various causes – it’s hosted countless fundraisers. We’re working to find out more about its owners’ plans and the space’s future.
12:22 PM: We just heard back from Feedback co-proprietor Jeff Gilbert (at left in a 2011 WSB photo with co-proprietor Matt Johnson, sporting T-shirts with a slogan they became well-known for). He says they can’t elaborate on the new ownership just yet. As for the reasons for closing, he cites several, including his ongoing work in Portland that he jokes has almost required “dual citizenship,” all adding up to the owners not being able to devote enough time to the enterprise.
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Header image by Nick Adams. ABSOLUTELY NO WSB PHOTO REUSE WITHOUT SITE OWNERS' PERMISSION.
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