Thanks to longtime WSB’er “k” for photographing the sign installation at West Seattle Vision, taking over much of the former Windermere Fauntleroy space (closed after WF merged offices with Windermere in The Junction) in the 6500 block of California SW. We’d been working on a story but since the sign’s up – here’s what we know so far: It will be a group practice of optometrists, part of the Northwest Eye Care Network. Their opening date isn’t firmed up yet, but we’re told they’re getting close. Their Facebook page includes sneak peeks at the remodeling they have been doing inside the building. We first mentioned an eye clinic was on the way in this March 15 story about the new tenant for the rest of the space – Pet Elements, moving from its original location a block south.
9:09 AM: Just announced on Facebook and via e-mail, the Junction clothing boutique Sweetie is closing at the end of this month. The announcement:
After ten wonderful years in West Seattle, Sweetie will be closing its doors at the end of April. Thank you so much for your passion, your spirit, your kind support.
I love being part of the West Seattle community, with all of my heart, and I adore the time spent with each and every one of you. It’s been an honor and a pleasure dressing you all. You are my Sweeties, and I will miss you very much.
Wishing you the very best this amazing world has to offer.
PS – Stay tuned for special events in April…!
ADDED 2:42 PM: We stopped by Sweetie to follow up with Joeanna, who’s in our photo above. She says she’s closing because of a combination of factors – her lease was up, and she has a five-year-old she would love to spend more time with.
(John Smersh from WSB sponsor Click! Design That Fits with balloons on 2012 “Tax-Free Day”)
It’s become an annual post-tax-day tradition – one big day of “Tax-Free” sales in The Junction. The official announcement this morning notes that more than 40 businesses will participate in this year’s event on Saturday, April 20th, and as always, you’ll know which ones by looking for red balloons outside participating businesses. You can always plan ahead by checking the list here – note that some food/beverage establishments are offering specials, too. (Of course it’s not really “tax-free” – just means the merchants are covering the ~10 percent you would otherwise pay in sales taxes – but that’s a notable discount.)
(Photos by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
Happy 3rd anniversary to Lori and Tim McConnell and their business West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), celebrating with a sale through tomorrow! (That’s Hombre the greyhound with them in our photo.) When we first reported on their plan in February 2010, it was the most-commented-on new-business report ever – with WSB’ers enthusing that the area really needed this kind of shop, not just for the retail, but also for a coalescing point for the running community. Their milestones along the way have even included co-launching a brand-new event, the Float Dodger 5K preceding the West Seattle Grand Parade; the second annual FD5K is in the works for July 20th. Speaking of 5K’s, if you make it to West Seattle Runner before 4 pm today, it’s one last chance at an earlybird-discount signup for the West Seattle 5K, which is coming up May 19th:
(WS5K race director Jeff Mensing at left with WSHS PTSA president Tracy Burrows and Jim Donovan)
The WS5K is a benefit for the West Seattle High School PTSA, and will kick off a doubleheader of Alki events again this year, with Seattle Summer Streets following the run/walk. (WSB has been a proud sponsor every year since it launched in 2009.) If you can’t get to WS Runner before 4, you’ve got plenty of time to sign up online, at the regular rate
Two notes tonight from West Seattle Autoworks (WSB sponsor) – co-owner Todd Ainsworth says, “We are happy to announce that we have received our AAA approval here at the shop. It was a process that took months to complete, but it’s official now” – and that’s why the logo is now on the sign (photo at right). Todd also says WSAW is “participating in a new campaign sponsored by the State Department of Ecology and ASA called ‘Don’t Drip and Drive’ – aimed at educating consumers about the problems that can be caused by fluids leaking from vehicles. Runoff from the streets go directly into storm drains and, in turn, into the streams and creeks that feed Puget Sound.” Watch for a promotional campaign this month by the state, in which, Todd says, “participating shops such as ours will provide the customer with a free leak inspection. If leaks are found, the customer will be entitled to a coupon for 10% off (up to $50) toward the leak repairs.” You can find out more at fixcarleaks.org and pugetsoundstartshere.org.
Back in November, we reported on West Seattle Office Junction – local entrepreneurs Christine Bartels and Stefan Hansmire (above) working to find a space on the peninsula to set up a co-working enterprise, someplace that at-home/telecommuting, or otherwise office-less, workers could use, not just as a working space, but as a place to collaborate with and enjoy the workday company of others.
The Junction space they were close to leasing at the time didn’t work out – but after an extensive search, they have locked down a brand-new multi-level unit just south of the Junction, and tomorrow (Monday, April 1st) is opening day. It’s a space with a view:
We photographed Stefan, Christine, and the view from West Seattle Office Junction’s rooftop deck during an open house they had last Thursday night for those who have been participating in co-working meetups and other events while the quest for a permanent location has been under way.
For opening day tomorrow, you are invited to drop in – for a few minutes, or even a few hours – free, to give the space a try. It’s a free day for everyone. West Seattle Office Junction is at 5230 California SW, unit B (map). See many more photos in their gallery here – the WSOJ website also includes information on amenities, membership levels, and rates here, chronicles of meetups and other events along the path to WSOJ becoming reality, and more.
We’re welcoming new sponsor West Seattle Fight & Fitness, which has a special offer for you and is planning an open house this Saturday. Here’s what they would like you to know:
At West Seattle Fight and Fitness, we not only teach martial arts, we teach movement. We strive to connect the sense of effort and enjoyment, providing an environment that is physically demanding yet playful in nature. We operate out of a 4900-square-foot warehouse converted into a martial-arts and fitness facility, conveniently located on Delridge, with more than 1700 square feet of mat space. Needless to say, there is plenty of room to climb, jump, lift, roll, kick, punch, and most importantly, MOVE.
West Seattle Fight and Fitness offers classes in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ), also known as the “gentle art,” daily. It is a beautiful martial art that advocates self-defense and self-awareness. It uses leverage and efficiency of movement (minimal effort, maximum benefit) as the primary way of applying techniques, allowing every man, woman, and child the opportunity to excel. We also offer Tae Kwon Do (TKD), a relaxing martial art whose beauty is displayed through forms and powerful kicks. In our youth program, we immerse the children in 3 different skills: striking, takedowns, and the “ground” game. We believe that children need a variety of experiences that will lead to a solid development of fundamental motor skills and set the cornerstone for creating a future black belt. We create strong and hard-working kids who enjoy every second of our classes and also have the confidence to stand up for themselves and others.
All of our programs are great ways to stay in shape and push your body to new heights. We believe in community and teamwork, which is why we are proud members of the Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu Association. Not sure if the martial arts are for you? Let us show you! We offer a 30-day free trial to give you the time you need to see the various benefits of what we do. Come see how West Seattle Fight & Fitness can change your life today!
We thank West Seattle Fight & Fitness 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.
It’s come up multiple times in the past few days – from the WSB Forums to a question via text message just now – so we’re mentioning this in case you wondered too: There’s finally somewhat-official confirmation that the building going up behind the Delridge Arco station will be a Sherwin-Williams Paint store. When we published a quick item about the construction work two months ago, a few readers said that’s what they had heard, but the company’s PR people didn’t answer our query, and at the time, there was no evidence online. Now (in the form of a sign permit), there is.
(UPDATED THURSDAY EVENING with new comments from prospective club buyer Sam Adams, and another “response” document – both updates added at end of story)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Continuing our coverage of Allstar Fitness‘s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, there are new developments as the proposed sale of the club’s assets goes before a federal judge downtown tomorrow morning:
More than 50 responses and/or objections to the sale motion have been filed, according to our most recent check of the online docket. We haven’t read all of them yet; most appear to be from individuals, with one exception: GRE 509 Olive LLC.
Its objection involves both the sale and the purchase. You can read it in its entirety here; while we’ve been working on this story, a response has been filed as well – a response saying that if the sale is not approved, the bankruptcy will go to Chapter 7 and the club will close, and had already been on the brink of closing in January.
First, excerpts from the objection:
Allstar Fitness bankruptcy: Sale/’rejected contracts’ hearing Friday; member response deadline WednesdayMarch 18, 2013 at 11:31 am | In Allstar Fitness bankruptcy, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 81 Comments
Continuing our followups on the Chapter 11 bankruptcy and impending sale of West Seattle’s Allstar Fitness: This Friday is the day a federal judge will consider approving the proposed sale of the club to health-club entrepreneur and former Seahawks player Sam Adams. As first reported here on March 9, court documents say that Adams does not want to assume “long-term contracts” from before last August’s bankruptcy filing. He denied that in a conversation with WSB the next day (here’s our March 10th report), saying he expected to honor “99 percent” of them, but so far, the court filings have not changed. This Wednesday, March 20th, is the deadline for interested parties to file responses with the court. As of this morning, the online file includes only a handful of responses to the sale motion, and one response to a separate motion that is scheduled to be heard April 5th – a request that the judge give permission for court proceedings NOT to result in further mass notices.
One WSB’er suggested that in case members missed the mail notification and/or still don’t know whether they are on the list of contracts proposed as “rejected” contracts, we upload the publicly available court documents here. Here’s the one with the “prepaid contracts to be rejected” list – 17 pages holding more than 2,000 names. If you want to file a response to be considered before this Friday morning’s hearing on the sale motion – which includes the “rejected contracts” list – this court document originally included in our March 9th report explains how to do so by the Wednesday deadline.
Two West Seattle biznotes to share:
PET ELEMENTS MOVING: The pet food/accessories shop south of Morgan Junction has outgrown its cozy corner location and has announced it’s moving. Only half a block north, though. While the shop’s announcement on Facebook didn’t identify which of the vacant storefronts to the north would be its new home, we confirmed with Pet Elements that they’re taking over the south part of the former Windermere space, immediately adjacent to Subway, in the 6500 block of California SW just south of Fauntleroy, across from West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor). They’re hoping to move in early May. (As for the north section of the ex-Windermere space, we haven’t made direct contact yet, but Morgan Community Association president Deb Barker told us recently she’d learned an eye clinic is moving in.)
‘THREE LUCKY DAYS’: Today through Sunday, more than half a dozen businesses on the north side of The Junction – including J.F. Henry and Co., whose proprietor Tom Henry and son Drew Henry we photographed under their outdoor tent – are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day weekend with games, prizes, and coupons. The businesses are all located on California SW, from Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) southward to just north of Oregon – look for the green and yellow balloons; the full list is on the West Seattle Junction Association website, along with the coupon sheet.
(Alki Tavern file photo by Christopher Boffoli)
Just got word from Alki Tavern (and confirmed it with a phone call to be sure) – they’ve decided at the last minute to have a memorabilia auction TONIGHT, before closing for good this weekend:
Sorry for the late notice but today Wednesday March 13th at 7 p.m. we are having an auction for all of our of memorabilia, neon signs, mirrors, etc.
Registration starts at 6 p.m. auction is at 7 p.m. at the Alki Tavern, 1321 Harbor Avenue Southwest. Live auction please bring cash. Last day we are open is March 17th.
Starting tomorrow, you can help the West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) celebrate its 25th anniversary by buying a ticket for a unique raffle: The winner gets a four-minute shopping spree to gather up to $500 in house-brand Western Family merchandise. Tickets will be sold tomorrow through March 27th for just $1 each, and the proceeds benefit West Seattle Food Bank. The store has a lot to remember and celebrate; staff member Michele Grasso is quoted in the announcement: “I have never worked anywhere else that has been so involved with its community. So many of us are locals, or have worked here for so long that it’s like we’ve grown up with West Seattle. We’ve been through a lot with you – we even survived a fire!”
That fire happened in March 1997 and destroyed the building previously housing West Seattle Thriftway, founded in 1988 by Paul and Connie Kapioski. While it was closed for rebuilding, they even ran a weekly bus to then-Admiral Thriftway for senior citizens who needed help to get to the store.
Before it burned, the store faced Fauntleroy Way SW; now, while it’s on the same site, it faces California SW, with an in-store Chase Bank branch as well as an in-store dining area next to its deli, bakery, and Chinese food counter. Notes the announcement:
West Seattle Thriftway supports their local Food Bank on a daily basis with food donations, and in this economic environment with so many in need they hope to see this event as an additional way to help the surrounding community and have some fun at the same time. In the last fiscal year, families visited the West Seattle Food Bank 37,943 times.
The store supports many other community charities in ways including summertime benefit barbecue lunches outside the store, like this one for WestSide Baby last summer:
Along with buying raffle tickets starting tomorrow, you have two more ways to help West Seattle Thriftway celebrate its silver anniversary: Next Monday, March 18th, they’ll commemorate the grand reopening post-fire, including a celebratory cake from Creme de la Creme Bakery – customers get a slice! And on Saturday, March 30th, at 9 am, it’s the annual Easter Egg Hunt, which usually draws quite a crowd:
(WSB photo from 2012 Easter Egg Hunt)
If you’re new in town and don’t know – West Seattle Thriftway is in Morgan Junction, on the southeast corner of California and Fauntleroy (with a parking entrance from 42nd on the east side, too).
Allstar Fitness bankruptcy: What prospective owner Sam Adams says about contract cancellations and club renovationsMarch 10, 2013 at 8:30 pm | In Allstar Fitness bankruptcy, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 62 Comments
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Allstar Fitness‘s prospective new owner Sam Adams says the court documents don’t tell the whole story.
After members of the club, which is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, contacted WSB yesterday about court documents they’d received, we reported on those documents and other recent filings, which ask a judge to “reject and terminate the contracts” of “long term prepaid members” who bought their memberships before last August’s bankruptcy filing (reported here in October), without otherwise defining “long term prepaid,” but saying that would be about 2,100 contracts.
Even before that, we had messages out seeking a conversation with Adams, the former Seahawks (and other teams) pro football player turned health-club entrepreneur, to find out more about his plans for West Seattle’s biggest fitness club, which he says he will rename the West Seattle Athletic Club.
This morning, he called. He claims that while the court documents say about 2,100 membership contracts are proposed for termination, he intends to honor “99 percent of them.”
Three West Seattle business notes to share:
VENTANA CONSTRUCTION CELEBRATES ITS TENTH: Above are Anne and Clarence Higuera, owners/founders of Ventana Construction (longtime WSB sponsor), photographed during an open-house celebration Friday night marking their business’s 10th anniversary. They shared thoughts about the milestone on the Ventana website, describing their work as something that “affords us the opportunity to meet new people every day and talk with them about the dreams for their home, and after some careful planning, make those dreams come true.” Congratulations!
HARRY’S CHICKEN JOINT UPDATE: We reported last week on the new restaurant’s delivery-to-Beveridge-Place-Pub launch; today Harry’s announced via Facebook that the restaurant (former Meander’s/Jade West space) will open this Wednesday.
ALSO OPENING NEXT WEEK: West Seattle’s fitness-business boom continues. The next to open will be Inspire West Seattle, in the California SW-fronting building north of Admiral Safeway, whose owner tells us they’re formally opening on March 15th. We first reported on Inspire’s West Seattle plan back in August.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The newest development in the AllStar Fitness Chapter 11 bankruptcy and proposed sale: We heard today from multiple club members who reported receiving a copy of these court documents for a motion asking the federal bankruptcy judge to allow the cancellation of contracts purchased before the bankruptcy proceedings started last August.
Other court documents we have since obtained online say that would mean a cancellation of more than 2,100 contracts for the North Delridge club.
Those documents explain that Chapter 11 bankruptcy trustee Richard Hooper believes:
… the Club’s balance sheet has been hampered by the Debtor’s longstanding practice of selling long-term membership as significant discounts. A practice which the Trustee ceased in the interim period of his appointment. It was often the case that the Debtor would offer members reduced monthly rates in return for prepaying 6 or 12 months at a time. The Debtor would further discount these pre-paid memberships by offering an additional 6 or more months free of dues as an additional incentive for prepaying the already reduced rate. As sales of these prepaid membership slowed, the Debtor’s ability to meet its ongoing obligations suffered greatly. It appears from the Debtor’s financials that it relied heavily on these prepayment to meet operational and other needs…
The court documents say the trustee does want to:
(Friday photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
With all of yesterday’s breaking news, we are finally now getting the chance to share with you more of WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams‘ photos from a big Friday event on Harbor Island – Gov. Jay Inslee ceremonially making a weld during the keel-laying ceremony for the new state ferry Samish at Vigor Shipyards.
Workers took pictures too:
Samish, named for a Northwestern Washington tribe, is a 144-car ferry, one of four planned in the new Olympic class – it’s under construction at Vigor along with the first in the class, Tokitae:
While at Vigor, the governor took a look at both:
(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
Governor Jay Inslee came to West Seattle this afternoon to help mark a milestone in the construction of the Washington State Ferries 144-car vessel Samish at Vigor Shipyards: Making the first arc welds on its keel, which WSF describes as “the maritime equivalent of placing a cornerstone.”
Photojournalist Nick Adams covered the ceremonial event for WSB; these are the first photos he sent, and we’ll add more later.
The Atomic Boys namesakes themselves, Max and Quinn, had stepped out just before we stopped by, but we did get their atomic parents Parris and Kent Sadow to pose in honor of their Admiral District shop’s fifth anniversary. You are welcome to stop by the retro toys, novelty, candy, etc. shop till about 6 today (4311 SW Admiral Way) and enjoy a five-cent retro soda in honor of the occasion. We asked what’s new – always a challenging question if your shop deals in what’s old as well as new – and did learn they are now official Kit-Cat Clock dealers:
No small feat, we’re told. The distinctive moving-eyes-and-tail clocks are celebrating their 80th anniversary, Kent pointed out. While 5 years is a fraction of that, we can attest to the fact it’s a big deal for a small business (having marked our own 5th two months ago), so congratulations, Atomic Boys!
WSB has just confirmed that Allstar Fitness, put up for sale as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy (as first reported here February 5th), has a buyer – a company owned by former Seahawks player Sam Adams, who already owns other former Allstar locations.
Allstar’s staff received word of the sale this morning, and a handout about the announcement is available at the club’s front desk, Allstar’s Chapter 11 trustee Richard Hooper tells WSB. Hooper confirms that the prospective ownership company is West Seattle Athletic Club LLC, which state records verify is owned by Adams, who was a Seahawk for six seasons and was then part of the Super Bowl-winning Baltimore team in 2000. The former player owns five fitness clubs under the umbrella of Oregon Athletic Clubs, four including former Allstar locations in southwest Portland and in Tacoma. According to the Portland Oregonian, Adams bought the other three Oregon clubs last fall. (He also was reported in 2011 to have owned a downtown Seattle club that moved into a former Allstar space, though we haven’t been able to verify its current ownership.) Adams is a Kirkland resident, according to this recent story on the Seahawks website. Trustee Hooper tells WSB that nothing will change with West Seattle Allstar – “it’s status quo … a great place to work out” – until and unless the bankruptcy court approves the sale, although he doesn’t expect that to take more than a few weeks.
Thanks to the WSB’ers who tipped us to the impending closure of Pioneer Coffee on Alki. To get details, we talked with the shop’s manager, Lisa Del Rosario. She tells WSB that after five years, Pioneer Coffee is doing well – but recently found out that its lease will not be renewed. They have to be out by the end of March. No word yet what will take over the space (no permit filings so far), but the folks at Pioneer are asking you for help: They are asking for ideas of where they might move – sooner rather than later, so they can transfer permits rather than apply for them all over again. They’ve built up a steady clientele for both coffee and afternoon/evening beer and wine, and say they love their loyal customers and hate the thought of leaving Alki and leaving them behind. Right now, they are planning a going-away party for late March, as a way of thanking those beloved customers; if they find a new location sooner, she says, it will be a grand-opening party. If you have a location suggestion – particularly in the Alki area – please e-mail Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the café – 206-937-0920.
With the Roxhill Park skatespot set to open soon – it’s the perfect time for a new skate shop across the street in Westwood Village. SW Skate Shop is in its second week of business on the breezeway (east of Bed Bath Beyond). We stopped in today and met Ian Mandt, the manager, and Luke Constant:
They told us the shop’s focusing on local brands whenever possible, and it’s carrying boards, components, apparel, even local art – check out Jason Singler‘s work, displayed on the walls (and available for purchase, too):
Mandt says their hours are somewhat flexible for starters, noon-6 weekdays, 11-5 weekends.
West Seattle Valentine’s Day: Extended hours at Fleurt, ‘Seattle Magazine’s Best Flower and Garden Shop’February 13, 2013 at 11:41 am | In Holidays, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 6 Comments
Need Valentine flowers? Fleurt (WSB sponsor) in The Junction is still taking Valentine’s Day orders, and will be open extended hours tomorrow – 8:30 am to 8:30 pm. From left in our photo, you see Fleurt’s Tiffany, proprietor Sam, and Devon, who are still on cloud 9 after Fleurt was crowned the city’s “Best Flower and Garden Shop” by Seattle Magazine. As noted recently on the West Seattle Junction Association website, Fleurt offers gift options way beyond flowers, too. Find Fleurt at 4536 California SW.
West Seattle seems to have somewhat fallen off the food-truck map – of course, it’s winter anyway. But Shimi Kahn, who started his Middle Eastern food business in West Seattle and is about to launch a truck, is looking for a spot in the area and wondered if we had any suggestions. So we’re sending his question out to you. Read on:
Joey Genzale has been making signs and choosing produce, getting ready to reopen Tony’s Market on Monday for the third year since the passing of its namesake, his dad Tony Genzale, whose portrait hangs over the entrance:
This year, Joey told us on Sunday, he will run Tony’s with more of his dad’s trademark spirit, “do things the way my dad would” – you might even hear those Dean Martin songs again. And there are other reminders and tributes here and there, like this framed bag (“one of only two like it”) dating to his dad’s Pike Place days:
After “a couple years of trial and error,” Joey says, he plans to focus closely on what people want most, so you’ll find fewer non-produce items this time. The ones he will carry include Penny’s Salsa and cage-free eggs from Puyallup. This year, Joey also expects to take more time to manage, to scout the best produce for the best prices, since his longtime friend Aaron will be helping run the market:
And the prices will be lower, he says, gesturing to the bright, shiny apples awaiting customers on the south side of the store: “99 cents a pound!” he says proudly. More than ever, Joey says, he wants to live up to Tony’s standards – “When he said it was the best, it was the best.” See for yourself as Tony’s Market gets going for the year under the red/white/green canvas at 35th/Barton, 9 am-7 pm every day.
The Yada Yada Blues Band is playing to a full house tonight for West 5‘s 10th anniversary party (previewed here Friday night, on the actual anniversary). Among the revelers – co-proprietor Dave Montoure, who along with Dean Overton opened the restaurant/lounge on February 8, 2003:
As with any anniversary/birthday party, there’ve been some gifts:
The party continues at 4539 California SW. Congrats, West 5 – here’s to the next 10!
On this date 10 years ago – February 8, 2003 – West 5 opened its doors at 4539 California SW in The Junction. You’re invited to a big party this Sunday night – but before that, co-proprietors Dean Overton and Dave Montoure (center and right in the photo above) commemorated the milestone this afternoon by re-enacting a historic moment: Making a guest appearance as bartender, Dean served a beer and a shot of whiskey to the man who in 2003 was their first customer, Bill Reid (left):
Dave noted that Bill was known as “The Tallest Man in Radio” during stints with KNDD (“The End“) and KJET. Dave and Dean, as pointed out when they announced their 8th-anniversary party two years ago, are “born-and-bred West Seattle natives,” and West 5 has gained fame for its food as well as its cocktails, gaining an especially huge helping of fame for its Astral Mac ‘n’ Cheese. They invite you to be on hand this Sunday night for a “raucous party,” starting at 8 pm.
P.S. Found a party-entertainment hint on West S’s Twitter page:
Happy anniversary to us! Lets have a party this Sunday. twitter.com/Westfive/statu…
— West 5 (@Westfive) February 5, 2013
(They performed outside West 5 on Summer Fest eve last year – there’s video in our report from that night.)
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