West Seattle restaurants 1001 results

BIZNOTE: Alchemy opening date delayed

If you were hoping to be among the first to try the cocktails and small plates at Alchemy, you’ll have to wait a little longer. We were first to report last month that the new bar/lounge was planning to open in the West Seattle Junction on April 28th; since that’s this Friday, we checked in today with spokesperson Sara Ryan to see about a preview, and she told us the opening had been “pushed.” No new date yet. It’s one of two new enterprises that F2T Hospitality is opening at Junction 47 (California/Alaska/42nd), as first reported here last June.

THURSDAY: 5 local restaurants participating in Dining Out For Life 2017

Next Thursday will bring this year’s Dining Out For Life fundraiser, with five West Seattle and White Center restaurants participating. Heather Logue from Lifelong explains that you’ll be helping neighbors:

Lifelong AND Dining Out For Life are closely connected to West Seattle, because on a weekly basis Chicken Soup Brigade (the food program of Lifelong) delivers crucial food and nutrition services to 91 homebound people living with serious illness in your neighborhood! And over the last year we have delivered to over 200 West Seattleites. Many of these folks are just out of the hospital and going home alone to an empty refrigerator, so we began the “Welcome Home Program,” which provides the healthy meals and social support to keep them on the path back to health.

She adds that, “Much of our management team at Chicken Soup Brigade lives in West Seattle! This means that not only do we love our neighborhood, but we’re also often privileged to make deliveries on the way home from work.” So here’s where to go on Thursday:

Buddha Ruksa

Locöl Barley & Vine

Mission Cantina

El Chupacabra Alki (for lunch only)

Noble Barton (White Center)

Here’s the full citywide list of participants, including what percentage they’re donating, and which meal(s) on Thursday.

BIZNOTE: El Chupacabra expanding Alki space

Some weeks after Thailanding on Alki quietly closed, its signage and blue paint are gone, and a building-permit application confirms a reader tip that El Chupacabra is expanding into that upstairs space at 2620 Alki SW. We asked proprietor Aaron Wright for details:

We are excited to be expanding the Chupacabra into the upstairs soon. The plan is to add another full bar upstairs with additional seating for 29 inside and 15 on the upper patio. We will be using the upstairs for overflow seating for the summer months. For the winters we will be using the space for private parties and events. The current plan is to add a covered pergola and gas heating to the upper patio for outside dining on the cooler days.

No date for completion yet – Wright says that “the permit process is taking longer than expected” which seems to be the case for just about every commercial project these days – but he’s hoping to be ready “by early summer, June-ish.” It’s been six years now since the Alki location opened – the second El Chupacabra, after Greenwood – and Wright added a third location at South Lake Union in 2015.


Three quick West Seattle restaurant notes tonight:

ARTHUR’S GRAND OPENING PUSHED BACK ONE DAY: Don’t show up at 2311 California SW tomorrow morning to be the first to dine at Arthur’s – co-proprietor Rebecca e-mailed today to say they’re opening Friday instead: “Arthur’s is pushing the official opening date back just one day to March 31st. We are excited to see everyone this Friday starting at 8 am!” (Here’s our most-recent report on the new restaurant, which we first mentioned back in November.)

B’S PO BOY TAKING LONGER: We first told you in January about the plan for Cajun cuisine in the ex-Fatburger spot at 2738 Alki SW, and as happens so often, the original timetable for B’s Po Boy was optimistic. We checked back with co-proprietor Deborah, who tells WSB, “We are experiencing construction delays. We are still moving forward, but it is looking more like a June opening.”

SOUTH DELRIDGE NOTE: An early-stage plan in city files suggests a restaurant is proposed for 9211 Delridge Way SW, which has had identities from Dollarwise to dispensary in recent years. No details yet.

Speaking of restaurants … ‘South’ wins Dick’s Drive-In poll

So busy with other news this morning, we forgot to check in on the midmorning announcement from Dick’s Drive-Ins about their South vs. East new-location poll, until Matt mentioned it on Twitter. The winner … South, potentially including West Seattle. Now they’re taking suggestions for specific locations … but given the criteria, might be hard to find a spot in West Seattle:

Anyone who would like to share a specific location in the South region should e-mail newlocation@ddir.com. Dick’s Drive-In is interested in purchasing a parcel that is approximately one acre in size, close to high schools, colleges, nightlife and busy highways.

Dick’s says it received 177,645 votes plus 4,000+ e-mails “suggesting everything from a city preference to a specific address.”

West Seattle restaurants: Sushi Samurai coming to Alki

ORIGINAL REPORT, 11:41 AM MONDAY: We had just noticed a few days ago that the “for lease” sign was gone at the former Subway site that closed last November at 2758 Alki Ave. SW. No hint at the time and nothing in public records – but this morning we found the windows papered and decorated with this:

Sushi Samurai has a Queen Anne location, according to the website on the flyer. We’ll be contacting them shortly to find out more. While the window flyers only say “coming soon,” we just found a social-media post that suggests they’re hoping to open May 1st.

UPDATE, 11:20 AM TUESDAY: Just got a reply to our e-mail inquiry, from proprietors Amanda and Ray Maranon:

If all goes to plan, permits, Liquor board, and all of the inspections, then yes we do plan on opening on May 1st. We are still planning our menu and our hours of operation.

We will be offering sit down, takeout and delivery. Our challenge is to provide 100% sustainable sushi in a fast casual setting. Our restaurant is going to be family-friendly and will have a fun atmosphere.

Our menu will be changing every season and we strive to use high-quality organic ingredients and sustainable seafood, and we also look forward to being part of the community.

Our family is very excited.

Sign of ‘soda tax’ resistance at South Delridge’s Boss Drive-In

We spotted this sign this afternoon at Boss Drive-In (formerly Burger Boss) while checking out something unrelated in South Delridge. The “soda tax” refers to the “sugary beverages tax” proposed by Mayor Murray in his State of the City speech, as reported here one month ago.

The two-cents-per-ounce tax, to be charged to distributors, would not just be on sodas, as defined: “The ordinance defines sugary drinks to include liquids with a specified amount of caloric sweetener, syrups and powders that are used to prepare sugary beverages,” including fruit drinks, energy drinks, sweetened teas, and ready-to-drink coffee drinks (in bottles/cans/etc., not mixed and served at a coffee shop), as further explained here. The ordinance creating the tax has not yet been introduced so far as we can tell; if approved, the mayor says, it is expected to raise $16 million a year for programs meant to close the educational opportunity gap, “based on recommendations from the Education Summit Advisory Group,” which are detailed in this 150+-page report.

FACT-CHECKING: As for whether it would create $5 sodas – depends on how you crunch the numbers. One way to have a $5 soda would be a base price of $3 for 100 ounces – that’s 12 1/2 cups of soda – and $2 in tax (2 cents an ounce). Since it would be charged to distributors, depends on how they would pass it along.

PHOTOS: Fauntleroy Community Association grows, and celebrates, at annual Food Fest

Electing a board for the year ahead is part of what happens at the Fauntleroy Community Association‘s annual meeting. So the board gathered for our photo last night (the list is at our story’s end). The event had a triple-digit turnout, in part because of its other identity – the annual Food Fest, with samples from local providers. Ahead, photos from the night: Read More

FOLLOWUP: Dine-out benefit for New Leaf Bistro family raises $2,700+

Standing at left, that’s Shi Qiu Chen, proprietor of the New Leaf Bistro in Admiral, with a special group of visitors this afternoon – some of her fellow local restaurateurs who donated part of their proceeds this past Wednesday to help Chen and her family deal with the sudden loss of her husband and co-proprietor Geoffrey Ly. The tally from Wednesday’s benefit, including proceeds from Baked, Circa, Itto’s Tapas, Mission Cantina, Noble Barton, Peel & Press, The Westy, and gift cards from The Bridge, totaled $2,772. Dan Austin from Peel & Press – who announced the plan back on Monday – explained that the restaurant community is mutually supportive and when they found out about the New Leaf Bistro situation, there was no question they would find a way to help.

P.S. This is in addition to the GoFundMe online fundraiser organized by NLB patron/friend Suzanne Krom, which is continuing here, with more than 330 people contributing almost $20,000 in less than two weeks. Here’s our original report; here’s last weekend’s followup, with messages of gratitude from the family.

West Seattle restaurants: Arthur’s announces March 30th opening date

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

All-day, all-night breakfast and lunch … plus shuffleboard. (And dinner.)

That’s part of what you’ll find at Arthur’s, which has just announced it’ll open March 30th at 2311 California SW.

We first told you last November that Rebecca Rice and Sara Levin were bringing Arthur’s to the former location of Angelina’s, which had been closed six months by then. After hearing at last night’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting (full report to come) that they had set the date, we arranged to talk with them this morning.

They’ve been spending months revamping the interior, which for one has been brightened dramatically – a boon during this very long, dark, rainy winter.

Though some things are different – new wood table and bar tops, new concrete floor – the layout is much the same as you might remember, with the addition of the shuffleboard table.

The 14-foot, fifth-of-a-ton shuffleboard table on the dining-room side, not the bar side – intended as what Rice calls an “interactive space – shuffleboard, to me, is easiest for everyone to play.”

Back to what you’ll be able to eat and drink at Arthur’s. The concept, Rice says, was inspired by her dad, the namesake of Arthur’s – a diner-type situation with lunch available at breakfast and vice versa, but not greasy diner food. The food will be “hearty and nourishing … not biscuits and gravy all day every day,” Levin smiles. “Though we reserve the right to do that sometimes,” Rice quickly adds. Their chef is Ian Welch, who you might know from venues elsewhere in Seattle such as The Great Nabob and Leary Traveler.

Beverages will include a “full coffee program” – espresso as well as drip – with coffee roasted by QED (which, you might recall, opened a shop in north Morgan Junction last year). A full bar, too, and since their concept comes from Australia, and the name is in honor of Rice’s Australian dad, they’ll offer some Australian wines and beer. As well as Rainier Beer in a can, which she says was her dad’s favorite.

Hours will be 8 am-10 pm Sundays through Thursdays, 8 am-11 pm Fridays and Saturdays. As mentioned earlier, breakfast and lunch items will be available at all times; the dinner menu will be available starting at 4 pm. All prepared for, and served to, you by “an awesome staff,” Rice promises.

For her and Levin, it’s been “an adventure and a learning experience” – they have both been in the industry for so long, working for others, that they decided, “why can’t we do it?”

Yes, they’ll have a website up soon, menu and all, at arthursseattle.com. And soon the hand-painted sign in our top photo atop will be out front as they prepare to open on March 30th.

SOUNDERS FANS! Take The Westy’s special shuttle on matchday

(Photo courtesy The Westy)

Going to the Sounders FC match on Sunday (March 19th)? The Westy Sports and Spirits (WSB sponsor) is bringing back the Westside Sounders Shuttle, starting with Sunday’s home opener vs. NY. Here’s the announcement that shuttle tickets are on sale now at The Westy:

Since this is the Opening Ceremony coming off the Seattle Sounders FC MLS Championship, the shuttle will be departing 90 minutes (all other games, 60 minutes) before the scheduled game time.

Dates currently available for purchase: 3/19, 4/8, 4/29, 5/6, 5/20

Tickets are $25 each and include:

-Round-Trip transportation from The Westy
-One Beer/Wine/Well Cocktail
-20% off at The Westy on your Shuttle Game Day
-Plus other Bonus items

Pre-buy tickets for 4 Dates and save $20 – making it $20 per ticket.

Shuttle will operate for Sounder Weekend Home Games. Shuttle is all ages; however, the full benefit of the ticket package and The Westy are still 21+.

Buy your ticket(s) in person at The Westy, 7908 35th SW.

UPDATE: Peel & Press, The Westy, Mission Cantina, Circa, Baked, Itto’s donating part of proceeds to New Leaf Bistro family on Wednesday

(UPDATED 12:18 AM WEDNESDAY – now six venues participating)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 11:56 PM MONDAY: Over the weekend, we published a followup about the community generosity toward the family that owns New Leaf Bistro in Admiral, as they cope with the sudden loss of father, husband, and co-proprietor Geoffrey Ly. That generosity continues with this announcement sent tonight by Dan Austin of Peel & Press in Morgan Junction:

This Wednesday [March 15th], Peel & Press and The Westy will donate 10% of our sales to Shi Qiu Chen of New Leaf Bistro. We were very saddened to hear about the passing of Geoffrey and wanted to create an additional way for folks to support the family. Being small-business owners is incredibly hard, and to add the loss of a loved one is just unimaginable. Peel & Press will also be selling two $50 gift cards with all proceeds going to the family. Our friends over at The Bridge have also offered to donate gift cards that will be available at Peel & Press for cash donation. If any other restaurants would like to join us, please reach out!

Peel & Press is at 6503 California SW; The Westy is at 7908 35th SW. (Both are WSB sponsors.)

ADDED 10:10 AM TUESDAY: As noted in comments, Mission Cantina in Admiral is joining the fundraiser: “Mission Cantina will also be joining in and donating 10% of their sales from Wednesday night. We will be selling $25 gift cards with all the proceeds going toward the fundraiser. They will be available at Mission Cantina (2325 California SW) or Peel & Press.”

ADDED 4:41 PM TUESDAY: Another Admiral District restaurant, Circa (2605 California SW), is joining in donating 10 percent of Wednesday’s proceeds.

ADDED 10:24 PM TUESDAY: And more – the Admiral custom bakery Baked is “selling cake at Circa and the Admiral Bird tomorrow and donating all proceeds to New Leaf,” as well as 10 percent of the proceeds of their own sales tomorrow.

ADDED 12:18 AM WEDNESDAY: We’ve also heard from Itto’s Tapas (4160 California SW), joining in to donate 10 percent of Wednesday proceeds.

BIZNOTES: Vine & Spoon gets closer; Evergreen Tang Soo Do moves; Second Gear Sports cleat-exchange update; Kindermusik at My Three Little Birds

Four biznotes to share:

RESTAURANT UPDATE: From our watchlist of future West Seattle restaurant openings, Vine & Spoon at 4706 California SW says it’s close to setting an opening date. Executive Chef Larkin Young‘s “farm-to-table-inspired” restaurant/bar is currently looking at mid-May, according to a spokesperson. We first told you last May about Vine & Spoon; today’s update says:

The menu will feature seasonal ingredients, many of which Chef Young, an avid outdoorsman and forager, quite literally picks for himself in the wilderness. Guests will be treated to signature dishes such as green juniper cured salmon lox (fresh cheese, pickled mustard seed, marbled rye crisps); crispy herbed gnocchi (caramelized parsnips, hedgehog mushroom, smoked cipollini onion, butternut squash puree); grilled Snake River Farm wagyu hanger steak (roasted baby carrots, crimini mushroom, potato gratin, jus); and much more. Paired to elevate and complement the overall experience, the beverage program will feature an array of local wines and craft beers. ,,, Vine & Spoon will feature indoor and outdoor seating complete with an open kitchen, 18-seat bar, raw bar, and large garden patio.

The hours will be 11 am-midnight daily.

EVERGREEN TANG SOO DO ACADEMY MOVES: The martial-arts studio has moved two doors down, to the north, in the former Westside Gymnastics space at 2701 California SW. You’re invited to an open house to celebrate, 10 am-2 pm on Sunday, March 19th, with three free events:

10:15 am – Women’s Self-Defense
11:15 am – Kids Anti-Bullying
1:15 pm – Parents as Coaches Class

The grand-opening event also will feature free food provided by Dinners by Dao, LLC.

SECOND GEAR SPORTS CLEAT-EXCHANGE UPDATE: This Sunday (March 12th) is the second and final Cleat Exchange date at Second Gear Sports (6529 California SW; WSB sponsor) in Morgan Junction, 9 am-noon (that’s two hours earlier than SGS usually opens on Sundays). Before then, youth baseball/softball players and their families are welcome to drop off their used cleats at SGS. Details are in our original preview, here.

MY THREE LITTLE BIRDS KINDERMUSIK: My Three Little Birds (6959 California SW; WSB sponsor) proprietor Jennifer Young has announced that free kindermusik is returning, starting this Saturday and every Saturday, 12:30 pm at the shop. It’s targeted to babies/toddlers, she says, but all kids are welcome.

Dick’s Drive-In in West Seattle? Beloved burger chain taking votes again

(Photo by Christopher Boffoli)

When we saw via Twitter this morning that Dick’s Drive-In is taking votes again on where to add a new location, we thought it hadn’t been that long since their last vote. Checked our archives and … well, time flies. It’s been six and a half years! Anyway, this time they’re asking “east or south?” – with West Seattle included in the potential “south” spots. You can vote here.

(Back in 2010, north beat south, and Dick’s opened its Edmonds location a year later.)

YOU CAN HELP: Tragedy strikes New Leaf Bistro ownership family

(Family photo, used with permission)

Every small, family-owned business has a story. Recently, the one behind New Leaf Bistro in The Admiral District turned tragic. Less than a year and a half after opening the restaurant in the former Royal India Grill space, co-proprietors Geoffrey Ly and Shi Qiu Chen found out in December that Geoffrey had “a very aggressive cancer,” customer and friend Suzanne Krom writes. “His doctors started treatment but it quickly overwhelmed his system, and on January 29th, he died. He was only 55 years old.”

The couple has two young children, 10-year-old Angelina and 8-year-old Kelvin. Chen is now raising them alone and running the restaurant, a 17-hour-a-day job.

When Suzanne found out about Geoffrey’s death, she wanted to do something to help, something with which the community could help too. So today she launched a GoFundMe page. She writes that “the business and family are in jeopardy. Friends have rallied around her and customers who know about the loss of Geoffrey have been supportive too. But it’s not enough, which is why we have set up this GoFundMe page. Any donations of any size are welcome. We have a goal of $30,000 to help Shi Qiu pay for Geoffrey’s funeral costs. … Shi Qiu and her children will be eternally grateful for any help they receive. It will help make this tragedy something they can recover from. And it will feel like Geoffrey is indeed watching over them, making sure they are going to be okay.”

Mr. Ly’s West Seattle ties, by the way, went beyond New Leaf Bistro; as we reported when it opened, he also operated Hunan Express in Morgan Junction at the turn of the millennium. Again, if you’d like to help, the GoFundMe page is here.

FOLLOWUP: Falafel Salam confirms it’s moving into Yummy Teriyaki space in West Seattle Junction

(WSB photo)

If you look forward to Falafel Salam‘s weekly visits to the West Seattle Farmers’ Market, you will be thrilled to hear they’re opening a full-time restaurant in The Junction. Falafel Salam’s chef/owner Shimi Kahn has confirmed what emerged in the comment section after we reported Friday on the impending closure of Yummy Teriyaki (4746 California SW). We had noted in the Friday story that YT told us a “Mediterranean/Greek” restaurant would be taking the space; we couldn’t find anything in permit/license files, but commenter Forgotmyname said, “The new joint going in is the Falafel Salam folks who have a truck at the farmers’ market.” We e-mailed Falafel Salam to seek confirmation, and this morning, Kahn replied:

Yes, it is true. We will be moving into the Yummy Teriyaki space and starting renovation shortly.

The menu will include all the same awesome sandwiches and rice bowls we’ve been dishing out at the W.S Sunday Market as well as a few amazing additions such as Shakshuka (Brunch?!), Lamb Poutine and new Middle Eastern spreads, all ready to grab and go. All the food will be made in the same from-scratch using organic and local ingredients manner that we’ve done over the years.

Falafel Salam not only visits West Seattle weekly, its roots are here, as we were reminded while checking our archives – four years ago, we published Kahn’s call for suggestions of West Seattle spots to bring the then-new truck. FS has been a WS Farmers’ Market fixture since the market moved into the street two years ago.

WEST SEATTLE RESTAURANTS: Yummy Teriyaki closing in The Junction

Thanks to Anne for the tip via that photo: Yummy Teriyaki in The Junction (4746 California SW) is closing at month’s end. She sent us a photo of the notes on its door, including a longer one that says in part, “After operating our small business for more than a decade, we have decided to pursue a different business path” and says they’re “grateful” to have been part of the West Seattle community “and are blessed to have been serving many local customers throughout the years … Thank you for your support and consideration! And we will miss you.”

We went over to verify and clarify. Though their signage says March 1st, that’s the first day of their closure – February 28th is the final day of their operations (next Tuesday), they told us. And while another restaurant is reported to be moving in – they say they’ve heard “Mediterranean/Greek” – it’s different ownership/management. Caveat, we haven’t been able to verify that yet – no permits or license applications online, but we’re continuing to research. And in case you’re wondering, the building with Yummy Teriyaki, Q Cleaners, and West Seattle Smoke (county assessor’s photo above) has different ownership from the buildings to its north and south.

The Westy Sports & Spirits: Welcome, new West Seattle Blog sponsor!

Today, we’re welcoming a new WSB sponsor! Here’s what The Westy Sports & Spirits would like you to know:

(Photos provided by The Westy)

If you travel up and down 35th Avenue SW on a regular basis, there is a good chance you may have passed us without even knowing it. We are The Westy Sports & Spirits. Open now just over two years, The Westy is owned and operated by West Seattle residents JP Vidican & Paul Ritums.

Once you discover The Westy, you find it isn’t your typical sports bar. Yes, you will most likely find the sports you seek showing on one of the 18 TVs, as we have been recognized as a “go-to” viewing destination for your local teams and more by the Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly, & Eater.

You’ll discover The Westy is deceptively larger than it appears from the outside. Once inside, you will discover a comfortable, neighborhood hangout where friends gather to enjoy good food, drinks, and games.

Westy Collage

The Westy has a seasonal menu that is home to more than just deep-fried pub food, like the burger with Ghost Pepper cheese, award-winning chili (2016 Junction Harvest Festival), and one of the most popular items on the menu, our Broccoli. On the beverage side, you will find 13 monthly rotating draft beers/ciders/sours, over 120 different whiskies, 2 cocktails on tap, and much more. For your entertainment, you of course have the TVs, but also classic Skee-Ball, retro arcade game classics, and Golden Tee.

The Westy is open Monday – Friday, 11:00 am until 2:00 am; Saturday/Sunday, 9:00 am until 2:00 am, with breakfast served until 2:00 pm.

Special $5 Late-Night Bites 7 nights a week, from 11:00 pm – 1:00 am

Happy Hour Monday thru Friday, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

And introducing our new ‘Hangover Happy Hour,’ Sat/Sun 9:00 am – 11:00 am

We are thankful for the West Seattle community and our neighbors for an unbelievable first two years, and we look forward to serving you for many more. The Westy is at 7908 35th SW; 206-937-8977.

We thank The Westy Sports & Spirits for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

YOU CAN HELP: Six restaurants added to Wednesday’s Mission Cantina-led benefit for crash survivor Britt Russell

This Wednesday’s benefit for Britt Russell – who was on her way to work at Mission Cantina when a driver hit her two months ago – has expanded. In addition to what Mission’s doing – as previewed here – six restaurants elsewhere in West Seattle are also donating a portion of their proceeds that night. Mission co-proprietor Peter Morse sent word, with this poster:

Circa is at 2605 California SW
Peel & Press (WSB sponsor) is at 6503 California SW
The Westy is at 7908 35th SW
The Bridge is at 6301 California SW
Copper Coin is at 2329 California SW
West 5 is at 4539 California SW

And Mission, where the silent auction is planned 6 to 10 pm Wednesday (and where 20 percent of proceeds will be donated), is at 2325 California SW. Britt, meantime, was in the hospital for a month and a half but still has a lot of recovering to do.

WEST SEATTLE RESTAURANTS: Alki Fatburger closes; B’s Po Boy on the way


By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

After a little more than three years in business, Alki Fatburger has closed.

Thanks for the tip that sent us over to look for the telltale sign on the door. But with this restaurant closure, unlike many, we know what’s going to follow.

First, the backstory: Fatburger, part of an international chain, opened at 2738 Alki SW in October 2013, not long after the closing of Bada Bistro, which was in business for less than five months. The bistro had been a rebranding of the space that its then-owners operated as Beachside Café for about two years. That in turn was the successor to the abruptly shuttered Alki Bakery, a corner fixture for 25 years, until November 2010.

Back to the present – the sign on the door at the now-ex-Fatburger promises “an exciting new concept.” And we have just spoken to one of the co-proprietors who will be opening it within a few months.

Deborah Borchelt and her husband Ryan Borchelt are new West Seattleites who moved here from Indianapolis, where they founded B’s Po Boy, which she describes as “a Cajun-themed restaurant with authentic po boy sandwiches.” They will open its second location here.

How authentic? “If you’ve ever been to New Orleans, what really makes a po boy is the bread. We were thrilled to find out we’ll be able to get that bread here in Seattle, the same bread we use in Indiana.”

The menu – slightly expanded from what they have in Indianapolis, because the kitchen is larger – also will include gumbo, red beans and rice, beignets, salads, and other sandwiches. Also, she says, “vegan options.”

They’ll have “beer, wine, and spirits,” too.

They’re keeping the Indianapolis restaurant open as well as opening on Alki. So how did they wind up in West Seattle? It’s a love story – they fell in love with our area while visiting good friends here last summer. Those friends, she says, “said you’ll love it here …and we did fall in love, head over heels.” The friends, at the time, were renting on Alki, and had discovered another restaurant for sale. Deborah and her husband started talking and realized they could do business anywhere – so they pursued the idea of moving here and opening another B’s Po Boy.

It took four trips before they settled things, she says, and they were adamant that both their home and restaurant had to be in West Seattle – “that’s how much we love (it).”

So they have been in their home for a month and, this Friday, they close on the now-ex-Fatburger space. They will be working with the design-build firm Mallett to renovate it – nothing major, she says, “we’re not moving walls, but it will have a totally different look and feel.”

They hope to open within two months of closing but realistically, she says, it might be more like three. The hours will be similar to what they do in Indianapolis – opening daily at 11, closing at 9 Sundays-Thursdays, 10 Fridays-Saturdays, during the winter, adding an hour in summer. Maybe later, she says, depending on what they discover about business at the beach.

It will be a full table-service restaurant, with carryout too, and probably some catering.

Borchelt says they’ve seen lots of signs that things were meant to be. Even, she laughs, Alaska Airlines starting nonstop Seattle-Indianapolis service this spring!

She says they’ve talked to some West Seattle “merchants and neighbors” – without divulging their future location until now – and says “everyone’s been welcoming … we feel like we made a great decision.”

VIDEO: West Seattle Fish House in spotlight for King County’s new restaurant ratings


Big crowd at West Seattle Fish House (35th SW/SW Henderson) just before lunchtime today – but they weren’t there for the fish, chips, and chowder. It was a big media event to show off the new restaurant-rating system and signage that Seattle-King County Public Health is rolling out, starting now. Above are King County Council Chair Joe McDermott and County Executive Dow Constantine – both West Seattleites – with WSFH proprietors Senait Beyene, Muzit Evans, and Stan Evans. Here’s a closer look at the new emoji-inspired signage:


As explained in the official announcement of the new system, the first in the nation that takes an average of inspections:

The four food safety ratings are:

Needs to Improve: The restaurant was either closed by Public Health – Seattle & King County within the last year or the restaurant needed multiple return inspections to fix food safety practices.

Okay: The restaurant has had MANY red critical violations over the last four inspections.

Good: The restaurant has had SOME red critical violations over the last four inspections.

Excellent: The restaurant has had No or Few red critical violations over the last four inspections.

The window signage will eventually be displayed in all restaurants in King County. Here’s more about what they mean:

Executive Constantine pointed out that he spent a lot of time working in the food and beverage business – starting out by making fish and chips “down at Alki Beach.” Also at today’s event, inspector Ann Jackson demonstrated some of what she and other inspectors do:


Though West Seattle was chosen for today’s announcement, you won’t see the rating signs in restaurants here until April, the second phase of this year’s four-phase countywide rollout – that’s when they’ll be posted in zip codes including 98106, 98116, 98126, 98136, and 98146. Meantime – you can look up restaurants’ inspection results here.

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


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.”

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