West Seattle, Washington
12:06 PM: The acclaimed West Seattle restaurant Blackboard Bistro has announced it will permanently close in 2 1/2 weeks. The following is the full text of the announcement we just received from its proprietors, who included the two accompanying photos:
Dear Editor and West Seattle Community,
On August 19th, Blackboard Bistro will be closing its doors for good.
The reasons for closing are simple. At the end of last year, Ginger had to stop daily operations to stay at home and look after parents full time. Due to increasing need at home and my right-hand Lady no longer at my side at Blackboard, we are having to let go of the dream…..
We have had a wonderful 7 years making friends and welcoming them into our restaurant and lives and passion. Thank you for all the support, we will miss you and being able to share food with you.
Cheers! Jacob Wiegner, Ginger Wiegner and family
We have followup questions out, including whether the restaurant is for sale, as it was for a while in 2012. Blackboard Bistro opened in August 2010 at 3247 California SW, which had been home to two other restaurants in less than three years, before Blackboard Bistro’s seven-year run.
1:49 PM: The Wiegners say yes, the restaurant is for sale.
Another big West Seattle restaurant mystery is a mystery no longer. You might recall that when we reported in mid-June that Pellegrini Italian Market (4521 California SW) had closed, its owners said they had sold it to “another GREAT West Seattle operator.” We hadn’t found any hints in permit filings but today the “great … operator” is unmasked by Seattle Met food reporter Allecia Vermillion as Chef Mark Fuller, of Ma’Ono and New Luck Toy. She reports it’s a pizza-and-drinks place to be called Supreme, opening this fall. (Thanks to Brian for spotting and sending the link.) Checking around, we find the name and owners are also confirmed by a liquor-license-application filing that’s new on the state website this afternoon.
New at the crosswalk on the south side of 35th and Fauntleroy: Orange safety flags, courtesy of Pecos Pit BBQ (WSB sponsor), which has “adopted” the crosswalk.
Pecos Pit executive Jeannie Hammock says they paid for the flag basket and flags because it’s the best they could do for now – they asked SDOT to restripe the faded crosswalk but it has to wait until the Fauntleroy Boulevard project (and even then, improvements there were late additions to the plan) next year.
She notes that the unofficial “adoption” of the nearby area also includes “the installation/maintenance of landscaping in the ‘triangle’ at the entrance of the WS Bridge in order to beautify the entrance.” (That’s the area just north of the restaurant, which opened a little over a year ago.)
Falafel Salam‘s sit-down restaurant in The Junction officially opens tonight, confirms proprietor Shimi Kahn. We checked with him after a tip from Amy, and he told us, “We did a very soft opening yesterday and our temporary hours are 4 – 9 Tuesday to Sunday. Once we get all the new positions staffed and trained, we will be adding lunch and then brunch.” If you’re just catching up, Falafel Salam has taken over and renovated the former Yummy Teriyaki space at 4746 California SW; we published an extensive preview June 20th, including, of course, the Falafelsaurus, who is already awaiting customers in the new spot:
Chaco Canyon Organic Café in The Triangle has a new proprietor, who we’re welcoming as a new WSB sponsor:
Mohamed Youssef is the new operator/manager of Chaco Canyon Organic Café in West Seattle, which is in its 7th year. He wants to be sure customers past, present, and future know that nothing has changed – the menu is the same, the hours are the same, the prices are the same.
Before taking over the West Seattle Chaco Canyon, he spent time at the main Chaco Canyon Café kitchens in Green Lake with the Seattle chain’s chefs, learning about the preparation methods, ingredients, and serving styles. He wanted to master each step of the process so everyone who comes in is guaranteed both good food and comfortable surroundings.
As Mohamed stresses, Chaco Canyon Organic Café is Seattle’s best choice for fresh, organic, GMO-free, vegetarian, and non-allergenic cuisine. That all being said, most people who come to Chaco Canyon do not come for those reasons. Chaco Canyon‘s many regulars come because the food is delicious, no matter what their diets are, and it leaves them feeling satisfied and energized.
Many people find Chaco Canyon Organic Café from word of mouth – the customer base cultivated over 14 years are the restaurants’ best spokespeople, and they tend to bring in family and friends to see for themselves: “When people come in once, they tend to come back because they see and experience the value of our business. Coming to Chaco Canyon is not only a great thing for the planet, since we are decidedly environmental and make sustainable business choices, but also often a great thing for our customers health, diet, and well-being. We’ve heard hundreds of accounts through the years of how Chaco has transformed people’s lives, their health, their relationships with food, and become an essential part of their daily lives. We love serving this great community and being a business that can be a benefit to all.”
West Seattle’s Chaco Canyon Organic Café is at 3770 SW Alaska – phone 206-937-8732. Find the newest menus here.
We thank Chaco Canyon Organic Café in West Seattle 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.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
After “working day and night for three and a half months,” West Seattle chef/entrepreneur Shimi Kahn is almost ready to open his sit-down Falafel Salam restaurant in The Junction.
We first reported in February that the longtime food-truck owner was taking over the former Yummy Teriyaki space at 4746 California SW. After hearing that the transformation was almost complete, and that he expects to open next week, we stopped in on Monday afternoon.
First thing to catch our eyes: Plants.
The southwest side of the restaurant’s interior will have a “living wall,” not far from where the Falafelsaurus sits in one of the garage-door-style windows, which will be ready to let in the summer warmth and sunshine when Falafel Salam opens. (Some outdoor seating is planned, too.) Read More
You might have noticed that the old Shelby’s signage was taken down this week, five and a half months after that restaurant closed (which in turn was five and a half months after it opened). So we checked with the new tenants in the space, Great American Diner and Bar (here’s our in-depth May interview), for a progress report. They tell us they’re waiting on their liquor license, and hoping to get it around June 27th.
That flyer is just in from Aimee Pellegrini, announcing that Pellegrini Italian Market at 4521 California SW in The Junction has closed, after selling the business to an unidentified “new tenant.” It’s been just under two years since the Pellegrinis – best known for La Rustica on Beach Drive – opened the Junction venue at the site of Aimee’s previous venture, La Romanza Bistro. More to come!
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
When we told you in January about Deborah and Ryan Borchelt‘s plan to expand their Indianapolis restaurant/bar to their new neighborhood, the previous tenant in the West Seattle space (Fatburger) had just closed. The Borchelts have spent the time since – longer than they had hoped, but that seems to happen to most such projects these days – renovating the space and getting ready to unleash their trademark cuisine.
“We’re ready!” Deborah told us this weekend, during a conversation in the 85-person-capacity indoor space (a patio is in the works too but won’t be ready to go until later this summer). Ryan, meantime, was busy in the kitchen, working on a caramel sauce that could not be left alone for so much as a second.
They’ll open daily at 11 am, with “flexible” closing times. “Probably 10 during the week, 11 on weekends in the summer, an hour earlier in the winter. Since we’re opening at the height of the season, if it’s Friday night and we’re packed at 11, we’re not going to close … (but) we’re also not going to be serving liquor until (2 am), we’re not late-night people.” They’re considering opening at 10 for weekend brunch (11 for now), which, by the way, will include their regular menu as well as brunch specialties, and you’ll be able to add a fried egg to any po boy at brunch time.
Along with the signature po boys (starting at $10, with halves available) – fried shrimp and fried oyster are their best-sellers in Indianapolis (where the original B’s Po Boy remains open) – the menu (see it here) also include beignets ($6), mostly missing in our area since the short-lived Mardi Gras Donuts in White Center closed.
Mardi Gras, of course, will be festive at B’s when it rolls around next year.
The green “subway tile” on the bar is in fact one of the main Mardi Gras colors – green, purple, and gold – though Deborah says it just worked out that way; their designers at Mallett chose it.
What’s special year-round: “Everything is made in house,” except the andouille sausage and the bread, which, as she told us in January, will be flown in from New Orleans. The aforementioned beignets are from their own recipe, not a mix. Their sauces are all house-made, too, from the strawberry and chocolate sauces for beignet-dipping to the savory sauces and even one you’ll find bottled and available on the table (along with sriracha, a Pacific Rim touch) – their custom hot sauce, “based on habanero peppers, complex flavor up front before the heat hits you.”
Classic New Orleans cocktails will be on the drink menu, including the Hurricane, Ramos Gin Fizz, and the city’s “official” cocktail, the Sazerac. That name is even painted on the side of the patio – where you’ll also see this painting:
They commissioned it from artist Eric Wallentine for their back yard in Indianapolis but it doesn’t fit where they’re living here, so it’s outside the restaurant. It has a special feature, Deborah told us – a coating that will be illuminated at night. “New place to take a selfie,” she suggested with a smile.
Online, you’ll find the menu and other info at bspoboyseattle.com.
Half a year ago, we told you about the plan for the former Alki Huddle to become Hawks Nest West. After extensive remodeling of the space at 2806 Alki SW, The Hawks Nest is finally ready to open its Alki expansion – in “soft open” mode tonight, and then officially opening at 3 pm tomorrow (Thursday, June 1st). We stopped by for photos late today.
Like its sibling establishment in SODO – and as you would guess from the name – Hawks Nest West has a sports theme.
Here’s a photo of the menu. It will be open 3 pm to midnight for the first two weeks, we’re told, then 11 am to midnight, with weekend brunch to be added soon.
One by one, the newer Admiral commercial spaces are getting takers. Just found this one in the city permit files: Domino’s Pizza is pursuing a spot at Springline (3220 California SW) for its second West Seattle location. The site plan on file with the city shows the pizza storefront is proposed for the space south of the building’s north garage entrance.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
After the flyers went up on Sunday, announcing a new restaurant/bar for what was briefly Shelby’s at California/Edmunds, we only came up with a bit to report – but promised a followup.
And now we have it, after sitting down Wednesday evening with the proprietors of the coming-soon Great American Diner and Bar.
Meet Singh Biryah and Glen Quadros, partners in the new operation.
They have decades of experience in the restaurant/hospitality business and say they’re up for the challenge of the corner some call cursed. “We know what’s been happening, we’re taking it up as a challenge,” Glen declared. Read More
Back in late March, we reported on Sushi Samurai taking over the ex-Subway spot at 2758 Alki SW, between Top Pot Doughnuts and Pegasus Pizza. Now, we have an update from co-proprietor Ray Maranonn, who tells WSB, “We are happy to announce that we will be opening on Wednesday, May 10th, at 11:30 am. Our hours for now will be 11:30 am-7 pm Wednesday-Sunday, and I anticipate those changing to Monday-Sunday in the next few weeks.” This is Sushi Samurai‘s second location; its first is on Queen Anne.
Thanks for the tips! Four months after the abrupt shutdown of Shelby’s Bistro and Ice Creamery at 4752 California SW in The Junction, a new restaurant is going to give the space a try. After a text about signage in the window, we went down and found what you see above – signage saying Great American Diner and Bar is on the way. We also talked very briefly to a man who said he’s the new proprietor; he was pressure washing out back and said all he could tell us right now is that he’s hoping to be open in a few weeks. We’re not finding a liquor-license application or business license online yet, but we’ll be going back in hopes of finding out more. Great American will be the sixth restaurant/bar in 10 years in the California/Edmunds space.
By Randall Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Two veteran bartenders are working to bring a neighborhood bar to an evolving stretch of South Delridge.
West Seattle residents Andrew Spence and Ed Wheeler have worked in bars and restaurants throughout the city since moving here from Oakland, California and Las Vegas, Nevada, respectively. Now the two have become business partners working toward a summertime opening of 2 Fingers Social at 9211 Delridge Way SW, a site that has seen a variety of businesses come and go in recent years, as noted here when we first mentioned an early-stage plan for the site in March.
Spence and Wheeler hope their experience in the food-and-beverage industry will help them establish their bar as a fixture in a rapidly changing area, where neighbors have already been working hard on improvements.
“It will be a place where people can come socialize with their neighbors and feel connected. It will have an old-school feel with a very old-fashioned aesthetic to it,” says Spence in describing the overall concept for the space. “It’s going to be a ‘bar’ in the traditional sense of the term, like what you would expect to see in a classic movie. It’d be a place where you would see Humphrey Bogart sitting next to Elvira.”
Beer and wine will be available at 2 Fingers Social, but the full bar will be the primary star. Spence and Wheeler are still putting their liquor lists together, but already have ruled out any cut-rate labels.
“Our well liquors are going to be what other bars serve as their calls,” says Wheeler. “Our prices may reflect that a bit, but people will quickly recognize that they’re getting quality drinks.”
Between the bar seating and tables, 2 Fingers Social will seat 50 people upon opening. The owners plan to eventually add outdoor seating on a patio in front of the building.
Though there is a heavy focus on the bar, Spence and Wheeler say their food offerings will be just as compelling. The menu will consist of hot sandwiches and sides. They plan to keep selections fairly limited and “off the beaten path.” Wheeler says they hope to work with the nearby shop Meat the Live Butcher on sourcing quality, local meats for their sandwiches. They will also have vegan and vegetarian sandwiches on the menu.
Both fathers themselves, Spence and Wheeler are dedicated to making the atmosphere of 2 Fingers Social as family-friendly as possible so that everyone feels welcome, whether they are coming for cocktails, dinner, or both.
“We want people to come into what would be an extension of our living room . . . if we could have a bar in our living room,” says Spence
The two are working hard on renovations and paperwork in the hopes they will be able to open within a few months, though typical delays in processing could push them into August before they could open their doors.
Once open, 2 Fingers Social will be open from 4 pm to midnight, seven days a week, with the potential to expand in the future into both the lunch and late-night hours.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.”
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.