West Seattle restaurants – West Seattle Blog… http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Sun, 18 Mar 2018 05:27:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 Owner of Tacos Guaymas restaurants charged with theft, accused of not paying $5.6 million in sales tax http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/owner-of-tacos-guaymas-restaurants-charged-with-theft-accused-of-not-paying-5-6-million-in-sales-tax/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/owner-of-tacos-guaymas-restaurants-charged-with-theft-accused-of-not-paying-5-6-million-in-sales-tax/#comments Sat, 10 Mar 2018 00:00:17 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=910979 The state Attorney General’s office announced this afternoon that the owner of West Seattle’s Tacos Guaymas restaurant and others is charged with theft for allegedly not paying $5.6 million in sales tax. 57-year-old Salvador Sahagun of Bothell is accused of doing this by illegally using “sales-suppression software” for cash transactions. We looked up the court documents to get West Seattle specifics, but first, here’s the AG’s news release:

Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed charges against the owner of Tacos Guaymas restaurants for allegedly using “sales suppression software” for cash transactions, pocketing more than $5.6 million in sales tax.

This is the largest “sales suppression software” in Washington state history –– and potentially the largest in the country.

Salvador Sahagun, owner of several Tacos Guaymas restaurants in King and Snohomish counties, is charged in King and Snohomish County Superior Courts with a total of six counts of first-degree theft and three counts of possessing and using sales suppression software, which is illegal in Washington state. In addition to a potential prison sentence, the defendant faces up to $150,000 in penalties and could be liable for up to $5 million in restitution to the state.

“When businesses pocket sales tax, they are stealing from Washington taxpayers,” said Ferguson. “That money should be funding our schools and parks, not deceptive businesses.”

Salvador Sahagun operated six Tacos Guaymas locations in West Seattle, Broadway, Greenlake, Fremont, Lynnwood and Marysville. During an audit, an auditor with the Washington State Department of Revenue found that point-of-sale records from these restaurants did not match with tax returns submitted by Sahagun. Additionally, the auditor found that the majority of sales receipts were missing from Sahagun’s point-of-sale system.

Run on a point-of-sale computer or cash register, sales suppression software surreptitiously deletes or underreports cash transactions. The software then re-balances the company financial records to show a lower sales figure, reducing the business’ sales tax obligation. The retailer pockets the difference between what the patron paid, including the full sales tax, and what the software reports. These unscrupulous retailers often keep “two sets of books.”

Suspecting that Sahagun was using sales suppression software, Department of Revenue employees visited the seven restaurants on several occasions and paid cash for their meals. The auditor then compared the employees’ receipts with the receipts on the point-of-sale system to determine whether the transactions existed and the amounts matched. The auditor found that three of the restaurants were using sales suppression software to delete or underreport cash transactions.

The auditor determined that Sahagun owed thousands of dollars in sales tax at each location, ranging from $43,339 to $2,197,460. In total, the auditor determined that the owner owed $5,615,497 to the state.

The charges contained in the complaint are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

An arraignment in the case is expected March 21 in both King and Snohomish County Superior Courts.

In 2013, Washington passed a law making it a class C felony for anyone to “sell, purchase, install, transfer, manufacture, create, design, update, repair, use, possess, or otherwise make available” software or hardware that deletes transactions.

In February 2016, the Washington State Attorney General’s Office filed the first “sales suppression software” case in the country. In that case, the owner of Bellevue restaurant Facing East used sales suppression software to pocket nearly $395,000 in sales tax. The owner pleaded guilty, paying $300,000 in restitution to the state and $600 in penalties and fees.

After receiving the news release, we looked up the documents on file in the King County Superior Court online system.

Sahagun is accused of breaking the law between the start of 2012 and the end of 2016. One count of first-degree theft specifically names the West Seattle restaurant; the second count names the restaurants on Capitol Hill and in Green Lake and Fremont. (We don’t have the Snohomish County filings.) Two counts of use of “sales-suppression software” are filed in KC Superior Court, one specifically naming the West Seattle restaurant, the other naming Fremont.

The probable-cause document explains that “sales-suppression software” runs on cash transactions, not credit. It says the undercover visits by state Department of Revenue employees included five at the West Seattle restaurant between December 16, 2015, and December 29, 2015, and 30 visits to other locations. Of the $5,615,497 that Sahagun allegedly owes to the state as unpaid taxes, the court documents say $178,575 is from West Seattle. The auditor also reported determining that Sahagun “personally runs each of these restaurants,” and each day “gathers the cash and reviews the prior day’s sales.” No one else is named in the court document and there is no allegation that anyone else in the company was complicit. Since the AG’s news release used past tense, we checked city and state records to verify that Sahagun is still the restaurants’ owner.

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FOLLOWUP: Opening day for Brass Knuckle Bistro – with a free sample http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/followup-opening-day-for-brass-knuckle-bistro-with-a-free-sample/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/03/followup-opening-day-for-brass-knuckle-bistro-with-a-free-sample/#comments Tue, 06 Mar 2018 21:10:56 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=910691

Elvis would love the opening-day samples at Brass Knuckle Bistro, the White Center restaurant just opened by a West Seattle family (we first introduced you to them back in August). As noted here a week and a half ago, today is indeed the first official day for the sandwiches/salads/sides eatery at 9602 16th SW, open until 8 pm. See more photos on our partner site White Center Now.

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BIZNOTE: Brass Knuckle Bistro sets the opening date http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/biznote-brass-knuckle-bistro-sets-the-opening-date/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/biznote-brass-knuckle-bistro-sets-the-opening-date/#comments Fri, 23 Feb 2018 05:57:59 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=909751 Almost six months ago, we told you about a West Seattle family’s plan to open Brass Knuckle Bistro in the former 3.14 Bakery space on the north end of downtown White Center (9602 16th SW). Now they’ve announced that March 6th will be the opening date. BKB will focus on sandwiches – see the menu online. (Thanks to Gill for the tip!)

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WEST SEATTLE RESTAURANTS: Giannoni’s Pizzeria has closed after 10+ years http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/west-seattle-restaurants-giannonis-pizzeria-has-closed-after-10-years/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/west-seattle-restaurants-giannonis-pizzeria-has-closed-after-10-years/#comments Tue, 20 Feb 2018 04:33:41 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=909466

Giannoni’s Pizzeria in Westwood Village has closed permanently, confirms proprietor Donna Burns. Earlier this month, they had planned to close for renovation, long overdue after 10 1/2 years in business, but the plan has changed, she told WSB, and they will not be reopening:

Giannoni’s would like to thank all of our wonderful and very loyal customers over the last 10+ years. You have been the best part of our days!

After being faced with many challenges while attempting to update and renovate the space, we ultimately decided that there were other opportunities we would like to pursue.

Westwood management will get pizza back in the mall very soon and we hope that the area continues to grow and be a great place for West Seattle to shop!

We inquired after someone sent us a photo of a notice that mall management had taped to the restaurant’s papered-over windows. Burns says they have been in contact with them. This is the third WWV closure so far this year, following Fresh Vitamins and Carter’s.

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Mission Cantina: Welcome, new West Seattle Blog sponsor! http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/mission-cantina-welcome-new-west-seattle-blog-sponsor/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/mission-cantina-welcome-new-west-seattle-blog-sponsor/#comments Wed, 14 Feb 2018 23:42:21 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=908948 Today we welcome Mission Cantina as a new WSB sponsor. Here’s what they would like you to know about who they are and what they do:

Mission Cantina: Celebrating Mexican food and culture in West Seattle’s Admiral District since 2005. West Seattle-owned and -operated, proudly including woman and minority partners.

Located a few steps from the historic Admiral Theater, Mission Cantina serves authentic Mexican fare and offers something for everyone, including Cochinita Pibil, Sweet Potato Enchiladas, and Tacos de Pescado on house-made masa tortillas. Our extensive collection of tequila, mezcal, sotol and craft cocktails will inspire you to try something new. 39 hours of Happy Hour every week, with late-night bites like our famous Nachos and soon-to-be-famous Mission Tijuana Dog. Not enough Nachos in your life? Get ’em during our Weekend Brunch alongside 15 flavors of Bottomless Mimosas!

Peter Morse, an original owner and manager of the restaurant previously known as Mission Latin Lounge, teamed up with new partners, husband-and-wife team Shawn and Tina Padilla, in August 2016, and they now operate under the name of Mission Cantina. This was the first ownership change for the West Seattle restaurant since it opened in 2005.

Peter has worked in the restaurant industry throughout his high school, college, and adult life. His appreciation for great Mexican food, spirits, and restaurants started when he was employed at El Camino restaurant in Fremont for 8 years. In 2001 he packed up his pickup truck and surfboards and headed south, stopping along the way to live and work in several countries, including Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. While exploring Central America he fell in love with Latin culture and cuisine. Peter keeps Mission Cantina progressive, fun, and exciting for the restaurant regulars and new customers by returning to Mexico with his son Gus and daughter Edith as often as he can, picking up new food, cocktail, and design ideas on his travels.

Shawn’s goal is to share his passion for all things agave with his West Seattle neighbors and the greater Seattle community. Shawn is dedicated to promoting Mexican spirits, food, and culture with all who visit Mission Cantina. Shawn polished his palate for 12 years while living in San Diego, before retiring from the U.S. Army Military Police and relocating to Seattle in 2011 to be closer to family. Known to his 6 grandchildren as Papa and friends as Shawn Pedro, his global travels have focused on Mexico in search of the best tequilas and mezcals. During Shawn’s explorations he has had the good fortune to meet leading master distillers and learn tequila production in their distilleries, savoring every sip of the agave art that results.

Tina joins the family of Mission Cantina partners to share her appreciation for unique and flavorful mezcal, sotol, and bacanora. As a college student in San Diego, Tina’s introduction to tequila was similar to many others: served alongside a bucket of beer and not worthy of sipping. Many years later, a sip of mezcal proved that the world of agave has much more to offer. The various and sometimes rare expressions of mezcal offer an enchanting variety of flavor characteristics, from smoky to fresh-cut grass, caramel to brine. Tina hopes to help others explore the fascinating world of agave-based spirits in search of their favorite.

Mission Cantina is at 2325 California SW, open 4 pm to 2 am daily, plus 10 am-4 pm weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays; Happy Hours are 4-6 pm weekdays, 10 am-6 pm weekends.

We thank Mission Cantina 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.

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WEST SEATTLE RESTAURANTS: Opening day for MOD Pizza http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/west-seattle-restaurants-opening-day-for-mod-pizza/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/west-seattle-restaurants-opening-day-for-mod-pizza/#comments Fri, 09 Feb 2018 21:42:31 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=908474 (WSB photos)

First, the ribboncutting … then, the pizza-making!

As first reported here last week and previewed this morning in our daily highlights list, it’s Opening Day for MOD Pizza at The Whittaker (4755 Fauntleroy Way SW; WSB sponsor). The Seattle-born chain offers you the opportunity to pick your toppings, and charges you the same, however many or few you choose. It also is donating opening-day pizza proceeds to FareStart, a job-training program that MOD says has a 90 percent hire rate within 90 days of graduation. Below are Megan Hampson and Molly Hancock from FareStart, with West Seattle Chamber of Commerce board chair Pete Spalding:

MOD West Seattle will be open 10:30 am-11 pm Fridays and Saturdays, 10:30 am-10 pm Sundays-Thursdays. And they chose an apropos date to open – it’s National Pizza Day.

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FOLLOWUP: One week until MOD Pizza opens in West Seattle http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/followup-one-week-until-mod-pizza-opens-in-west-seattle/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/followup-one-week-until-mod-pizza-opens-in-west-seattle/#comments Sat, 03 Feb 2018 01:40:44 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=907829 Three weeks ago, we reported that the new MOD Pizza in The Whittaker (4755 Fauntleroy Way SW; WSB sponsor) planned to open in “early February.” The official grand opening is now set for one week from today – noon on Friday, February 9th. The Seattle-based chain also has picked the nonprofit to which it’ll donate opening day’s pizza proceeds: FareStart. If you haven’t been to MOD, its angle on pizza is that you get to choose your toppings, none or one or many, same price.

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BIZNOTE: Giannoni’s Pizzeria plans temporary closure for maintenance and updates http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/biznote-giannonis-pizzeria-plans-temporary-closure-for-maintenance-and-updates/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/biznote-giannonis-pizzeria-plans-temporary-closure-for-maintenance-and-updates/#comments Thu, 01 Feb 2018 20:01:56 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=907725 If you go to Giannoni’s Pizzeria in Westwood Village sometime between next Sunday (February 4th) and the following Sunday (February 11th), don’t panic if you find it closed – Giannoni’s proprietor Donna Burns tells WSB that they’ll be closing for eight days for maintenance and updates: “After 10 years, it’s time to do updates including new floors and painting.” But until then – they’re open, and as a bonus, Donna says, “Pizza deals on Saturday – everything must go!” The closure officially starts at 9 pm this Saturday and is scheduled to end Monday, February 12th, with an 11 am reopening.

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WEST SEATTLE BIZNOTES: Fresh Vitamins; Just Poké http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/west-seattle-biznotes-fresh-vitamins-just-poke/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/west-seattle-biznotes-fresh-vitamins-just-poke/#comments Wed, 24 Jan 2018 20:31:52 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=907114 Two biznotes this afternoon:

FRESH VITAMINS: After noticing the “store closing”/liquidation sale signs at the Westwood Village store last night, we called today for details. We’re told the chain is closing its Washington and California stores but the exact date depends on how quickly the inventory is sold – could be open for a few more weeks.

JUST POKE: After a commenter pointed out recently that this poké restaurant mini-chain had announced it’s coming to West Seattle this year, we asked for more details. Finally heard back from co-founder Norman, who explains that it’s taking a little longer than they had hoped because the first (unspecified) location fell through – but they’re on the brink of signing for another (unspecified) location, one that he said already is set up for food/beverages, so once they have a lease, the turnaround won’t be too long.

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WEST SEATTLE BUSINESSES: Tap Station announces it’s closing http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/west-seattle-businesses-tap-station-announces-its-closing/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/west-seattle-businesses-tap-station-announces-its-closing/#comments Mon, 22 Jan 2018 20:58:44 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=906950 Another impending business closure to report today. Tap Station proprietor Jeremy Martin just sent us this open letter to the community, with the announcement:

To our Neighbors and Friends;

There is no easy way to say this, but the time has come to say goodbye. We’ve spent 4 years at the corner of Kenyon and 35th getting to know many of you and your wonderful families. Each of you has influenced us to try and turn Tap Station into the family-friendly, community gathering place you deserve … but it’s time for a change. All of us will take great memories with us as we move on to new adventures and opportunities. Thank you so much for attending our events and for sharing your wonderful community with us.

Please stop in and say “Hi” one last time, as we will be closing the doors at the end of the day on Sunday, January 28th. While you’re here, feel free to stock up on all of your favorite beers, wines, and ciders, and don’t miss our very last Trivia night on Friday, January 26th at 7 pm.

THANK YOU again for all you have done for us; we will miss you all.

Goodbye for now,

Your friends at Tap Station

It was summer 2013 when we reported that Tap Station was moving into the ex-flower shop on the southeast corner of 35th/Kenyon. It started as a beverage store and added restaurant operations a little more than a year ago.

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WEST SEATTLE RESTAURANTS: Another Subway closing http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/west-seattle-restaurants-another-subway-closing/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/west-seattle-restaurants-another-subway-closing/#comments Mon, 22 Jan 2018 20:34:09 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=906947

For the second time in less than a year, a Subway sandwich shop is closing in West Seattle. After a tip from Rebekah (thank you!), we went to the Jefferson Square Subway to confirm the closure. As the note on the door says, tomorrow is the shop’s last day. This will be the second Subway in West Seattle to close in less than a year and a half; the one at 2758 Alki SW lasted three years. Remaining Subways in West Seattle are at 3829 Delridge Way SW in North Delridge, 6515 California SW in Morgan Junction, and 6760 W. Marginal Way SW in Highland Park, all shown in the city business-license database as having different franchisees. The chain has been reported to be having some rocky times nationwide.

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King County Public Health closes Pho Aroma temporarily after illness outbreak http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/king-county-public-health-closes-pho-aroma-temporarily-after-illness-outbreak/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/king-county-public-health-closes-pho-aroma-temporarily-after-illness-outbreak/#comments Fri, 19 Jan 2018 01:49:56 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=906628 ORIGINAL THURSDAY REPORT: Seattle-King County Public Health announced this afternoon that it has closed Pho Aroma (5605 Delridge Way SW) temporarily because of an illness outbreak. On Tuesday, the department said, it “learned of 3 ill persons from one meal party that became ill after consuming food and beverage from the restaurant on January 13.” While visiting the restaurant on January 17th, the report continues, “investigators identified 2 employees who experienced similar symptoms after the ill customers’ meal date of January 13.” The department’s report continues:

We do not have laboratory confirmation of the pathogen responsible for the illness, but symptoms are suggestive of norovirus. Often in norovirus outbreaks, no laboratory testing is done. The exact food or drink item that caused the illness has not been identified, though this is not uncommon for norovirus outbreaks where multiple food items may be contaminated.

The Health Department adds, “The restaurant is working cooperatively with Public Health; they closed on January 17 to allow time to complete a thorough cleaning and sanitizing of the restaurant.” Department staff will revisit the restaurant before clearing it to re-open. Full details on its investigation are here.

UPDATE: As noted in comment discussion below, the Public Health website notes that the restaurant reopened on January 19th.

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BIZNOTE: New name for ex-Kokoras – TeriFresh http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/biznote-new-name-for-ex-kokoras-terifresh/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/biznote-new-name-for-ex-kokoras-terifresh/#comments Sat, 13 Jan 2018 00:56:29 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=906165

Thanks for the tips about that new banner hanging outside the ex-Kokoras space in Morgan Junction. It proclaims “Grand Opening” for TeriFresh, though it’s not open yet. Kokoras closed three months ago and when we found a crew working inside, they told us they were remodeling. Then some time ago, a local businessperson reported seeing a flyer that said TeriFresh was coming; when we reported on Kokoras’s ownership change a little over a year ago, our story included a mention that the new owner owned TeriFresh in Maple Valley. We tried to contact them about the flyer and never got a response; we’ve also been going by looking for anyone at work inside, and there’s been nothing visible for a long time until the new banner. If you want to find out more about TeriFresh, here’s the website for their Maple Valley restaurant.

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BIZNOTE: Taqueria La Original needs a new home, too http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/biznote-taqueria-la-original-needs-a-new-home-too/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/biznote-taqueria-la-original-needs-a-new-home-too/#comments Thu, 04 Jan 2018 22:29:12 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=905491

Thanks to Rich for the tip – less than two weeks after West Seattle Produce closed at future apartment site 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW, another closure: Mexican-food truck Taqueria La Original was towed off the lot this morning, and like WS Produce, it is now in search of a new home. We talked with TLO management by phone; they’re hoping to find a new home in West Seattle, but “it’s hard.” Once the truck does find a new location, they promise to announce it online. Taqueria La Original took the spot outside WS Produce almost exactly a year ago, same spot left by another food truck, Beloved Mexico, just over a year earlier.

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BIZNOTE: Srivilai Thai Cuisine now open in West Seattle http://westseattleblog.com/2017/12/biznote-srivilai-thai-cuisine-now-open-in-west-seattle/ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/12/biznote-srivilai-thai-cuisine-now-open-in-west-seattle/#comments Fri, 01 Dec 2017 17:12:00 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=902402

The photos are from the proprietors of Srivilai Thai Cuisine, who sent word late last night that the restaurant is now open at 3247 California SW (where Blackboard Bistro closed in August): “We won’t have our signage in place until Wednesday of next week, but everyone is welcome to stop by and have Thai food, beer and wine nonetheless.”

As we reported in September, they plan to serve lunch and dinner 7 days a week, phone number 206-257-5171.

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