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West Seattle scene: Chamber ‘After Hours’ @ Meeples Games

March 24, 2016 9:54 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle scene: Chamber ‘After Hours’ @ Meeples Games
 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news

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(WSB photos. Above, from left, Meeples proprietors Brian Taylor and Laura Schneider with Chamber CEO Lynn Dennis)

Almost exactly a year ago, Meeples Games (WSB sponsor) learned it was the winner of the “Emerging Business of the Year” award from the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce. Tonight, Meeples hosted Chamber members for their monthly “After Hours” – a chance for local businesses and organizations to find out what others in WS are doing, and to take a much-deserved break from their hard work.

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Food and drink were part of the event, and they’re also something you can find at Meeples (3727 California SW, corner of Charlestown, upstairs) any time – it’s a café as well as a place to play games.

Meantime, we’ll find out soon who will follow Meeples as this year’s “Emerging Business,” as the Chamber’s next round of Westside Awards will be presented on May 4th at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor), with former Mayor Norm Rice as keynote speaker – you can register for the breakfast event by going here.

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BIZNOTE: Short Stop about to close and move, vacating building at Morgan Junction Park expansion site

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Thanks to Sam for the tip – we just stopped by the Short Stop convenience store in Morgan Junction and confirmed that tomorrow is its final day of operation. It’s found a new location – in the Pierce County town of Milton.

Since the dry cleaner next store is already closed, this will clear the way for Seattle Parks to demolish the 6311 California SW building that’s on the site of the quarter-acre it purchased for $1.9 million in 2014 to expand Morgan Junction Park. But the demolition equipment won’t be showing up any time soon. Though the teardown permit was issued more than four months ago, there’s some other work to do first, we found out from Lise Ward with Seattle Parks. She tells WSB that once the building’s vacant, they’ll call in environmental specialists to test for hazardous materials and determine what kind of abatement will be required before teardown. They’ll also take steps to seal it off until demolition, Ward says, which they’ll do as soon as they can. She says they’re thankful to the community for their patience.

The original purchase was to “landbank” the site for future park development. Money to plan and design it is on the Seattle Park District levy’s funding list for this year.

Care At Home of WA, Inc.: Welcome, new West Seattle Blog sponsor

Today we’re welcoming Care At Home of WA, Inc., as our newest sponsor. Here’s what Care At Home would like you to know:
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(From left: Hermela Bekele, Diane Tamaluns, Sandra Braun, Vanessa Carr)

As a Washington State Licensed Home Care Agency, we are celebrating 25 years of service in West Seattle and for the Greater Seattle areas.

Care At Home of WA, Inc. assists our elders and people needing care by providing Home Health Aides and CNAs (Certified Nurse’s Aides) and care partners. Shifts can be a 1-hour bath visit to 24-hour around-the-clock care, temporary, long term, or just on call. Business hours are Monday-Friday, 8-5. But we are on call, 24/7, for those urgent staffing needs that can happen after 5 pm and on the weekends.

Our Caregivers assist with vital services such as daily tasks, cleaning, grocery shopping, meal prep, personal hygiene/bathing assist, medication supervision, driving to appointments, and much more. Care At Home helps our elders continue to live with DIGNITY and enjoy life with support where it is needed. We RESPECT the needs and wishes of our elders and their families.

Care At Home understands that living in your own home allows people to live in COMFORT and happiness into their future years.

Our clients have expressed a great deal of relief knowing that our Caregivers and care management can bring a sense of calm during stressful times. We are great matchmakers with someone they can TRUST while providing care and support. We help our elders continue to live with DIGNITY and enjoy life with support where it is needed.

We opened our office here in 1992 as Help Unlimited Homecare under the direction of Vanessa Carr. We are now independently owned and operated, as we were able to “buy our office” in 2014 still under Vanessa’s leadership: “We are so blessed to be working with some of the finest Caregivers. They are truly like family to us.”

We are members of both the South and West Seattle Senior Centers, GSBA-Greater Seattle Business Association, West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, and the WA Home Care Association.

Find us: CareAtHomeSeattle.com206-937-3100

We thank Care At Home of WA, Inc., 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.

How do West Seattle businesses view our area’s ‘growing pains’? See results of a Chamber of Commerce survey

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Last Saturday at the 2016 Gathering of Neighbors, breakout discussion groups included one led by reps from the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce – our photo above was taken just as participants were settling in. Before the event, the chamber did a quick online survey of its membership to ask their views of our area’s “growing pains,” the focus of this year’s GoN (which itself is an event organized by the community group VIEWS, “Visualizing Increased Engagement in West Seattle”). This morning, the results have been made public, including the raw responses to these two open-ended questions:

“If you could change one thing about transportation in West Seattle, what would it be?”
“If you could change one thing about development in West Seattle, what would it be?”

You can read all those responses, as well as the results of the yes/no questions (including “Has the recent growth in West Seattle generally helped your business?” – 61 percent said “yes”), by going here.

P.S. Chamber CEO Lynn Dennis tells us 75 responses were received; the Chamber has 200+ members (including WSB). Responses weren’t sorted for size or type of businesses. So we’re not saying this is scientific, but it’s an undeniably interesting snapshot.

SIDE NOTE: The Chamber also just announced that former mayor Norm Rice will keynote the May 4th Westside Awards breakfast – ticket info and more is here.

FOLLOWUP: West Seattle’s first marijuana store now open

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(WSB photo: Andrew Cornwall and Jon Sherman photographed at Origins this afternoon)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

West Seattle’s first recreational-marijuana store is now open. And they’re touting another “first.”

We reported two weeks ago that Origins at 1416 SW Roxbury had become the second applicant to receive a license, but that it was on a faster track to opening than the first one, which is planned for a converted Craftsman at 5440 California SW.

And now, Origins is open; we talked today at the shop with co-proprietor Jon Sherman, who contacted us last night to say they’ve been in “soft open” mode since Monday and are planning a grand-opening event this Friday and Saturday.

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FOLLOWUP: Who’s moving in after JF Henry closes in The Junction

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When we reported last week that J.F. Henry in The Junction would close, with its owners Tom and Patty Henry leaving the retail business, leasing his building to someone and something new, the new lease wasn’t final yet. Now, it is, and we’ve heard from the new tenant: Tyler McKenzie recently bought the John L. Scott West Seattle real-estate office at 5242 California SW and will be moving it to the current J.F. Henry building at 4445 California SW.

In the photo atop the story, McKenzie and wife Marguerite Carlson are at left, along with the Henrys at right. As designated broker, McKenzie will oversee the company’s operations. His community-involvement history included serving as president of the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association board in 2009-2010. The move is still a few months away, McKenzie tells us, as they have permits and designs to deal with to convert the building’s interior. He summarizes, “We are truly excited by the prospect of occupying such a wonderful venue. Our goal is to create a fabulous environment, not only for our brokers, but clients alike. As they visit, clients will come to enjoy all the benefits of the Junction and its businesses, so this is a win-win all around.”

The building at 4445 California SW was a real-estate office in one of its past incarnations, McKenzie mentions. It has more than enough space for his firm, and room to grow. As for JF Henry’s closing date, we were unable to reach Tom Henry this afternoon, so we’ll have a separate followup on that later.

P.S. As noted in last week’s story, this is one of eight Junction buildings that the new West Seattle Junction Historical Survey considers to have landmark potential, pending further research.

West Seattle businesses: J.F. Henry to close, as owners change from retailers to landlords

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

One of the West Seattle Junction building owners interviewed for the just-released What Makes the West Seattle Junction Special?” historical survey is about to start a new chapter of his own history.

Tom Henry, owner of houseware store J.F. Henry Cooking and Dining at 4445 California SW, confirms, “We have decided to retire and close our business.”

Henry (at right, in 2014 WSB photo) and wife Patty plan to retain ownership of the building; they have quietly had it listed for lease for a few months and expect to announce its new tenant soon. “We’re going to take off our retail hat and become landlords,” he told WSB today. “We’re too young to do nothing – we’re very busy people – it’s going to be kind of fun. I’ve told people, you don’t know what’s out there if you have to pretty much unlock a door [to open the store] every day.”

He says that while brick-and-mortar retailing has definitely changed with the advent of online, “our business has been fine, and we’ve seen a lot of growth with new people moving in.” It “just felt right for us to be doing something different.”

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BIZNOTE: My Three Little Birds’ crowd-loan countdown

February 27, 2016 9:36 am
|    Comments Off on BIZNOTE: My Three Little Birds’ crowd-loan countdown
 |   How to help | West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news

Independent local businesses are more important than you might already know: For one, they’re the businesses creating most new jobs in the U.S.. Supporting your local indies means helping create jobs for your neighbors, and here’s one way to make that happen: Backing another local biz via Community Sourced Capital.

CSC isn’t your standard crowdfunding – it’s more like crowd-loaning; we’ve reported before on local businesses/organizations that used it for a boost, like The Westy two years ago. As mentioned here Monday, the latest is My Three Little Birds (WSB sponsor) in Morgan Junction – a resale boutique, community gathering place, and more – about to celebrate its second anniversary.

To grow and thrive, My Three Little Birds hopes to add an online store – so it can work with local families both in person and online – and to fund that, it’s working with Community Sourced Capital. That’s where you come in, to lend a hand, and a bit of capital that will be repaid – you can be an investor, helping a community business grow, without being a tycoon. Like most crowd-powered campaigns, this one came with a deadline, and My Three Little Birds must hit its minimum goal by the end of this weekend in order to receive any part of what supporters have committed already. Here’s how to be part of it!

West Seattle scene: Chamber ‘After Hours’ @ HomeStreet Bank

February 25, 2016 11:45 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle scene: Chamber ‘After Hours’ @ HomeStreet Bank
 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news

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(WSB photo)

Playing host to West Seattle’s biggest party tonight, that’s the team at HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor) in The Junction, led by (second from left) branch manager Melodie VanHouten. They played host to the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s “After Hours” gathering, which rotates between Chamber members’ businesses. Besides the monthly “After Hours,” the Chamber also has a monthly lunch meeting – next one is a “speed-networking” event on March 10th. And nominations are still open for this year’s Westside Awards, as announced earlier this month – here’s how to suggest someone (you don’t have to be a Chamber member, nor does your nominee).

West Seattle’s second licensed marijuana store will likely be the first to open

(WSB photo: 1416 SW Roxbury, in which Origins will open)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The second recreational-marijuana store licensed in West Seattle will likely be the first one to open.

A week and a half ago, we reported on the first store license, for 5440 California SW. That building is set to undergo some remodeling and proprietor Maryam Mirnateghi didn’t expect to be open for up to two months.

Now, the second West Seattle license has been granted, for Origins at 1416 SW Roxbury, #D – and its proprietor told us today that he expects Origins will be open within two weeks, as soon as the city grants a permit to change the use from a medical office.

Sean Miller explains that they formerly operated a medical-marijuana outlet in the same building, as well as one in South Park, both now closed. Origins will be licensed for medical marijuana as well as recreational, but Miller says that component doesn’t go into effect until July.

His company, he says, is being evaluated for two other licenses, including a location over the city/county line but just blocks away in White Center, at 9823 15th SW, and one on the Eastside.

Asked what will set his store apart, Miller said, “The biggest thing that we’re trying to do with Origins is, bring a better name and a better feel to the industry. Right now you walk into a recreational store and you feel kind of dirty and like you’ve done something wrong before you’ve done anything … We’re trying to create an atmosphere like a Starbucks, you walk in and feel really welcome.” He says that includes a “very high-end build … with slates and cork floors. When people look at it, they think it’s a jewelry store because of the level of finish. We want to do that with multiple locations and legitimize the industry,” for customers of all income levels.

He’s expecting to be open along the lines of 10 am-8 pm Mondays-Fridays, 10 am-6 pm Saturdays and Sundays. No website yet, he says.

P.S. As mentioned in our previous story, you can look for other application locations on Mark’s map – one still pending in West Seattle is the site of longtime medical provider Northwest Patient Resource Center at 35th/Roxbury.

My Three Little Birds: New WSB sponsor ‘growing up and looking to expand’

Today we’re welcoming a new WSB sponsor, My Three Little Birds in Morgan Junction! New local sponsors are invited to explain what they’re all about – so here’s what My Three Little Birds would like you to know:

My Three Little Birds is a high-quality resale boutique that has an eye for fashion-forward kids’ clothing, local artists and designers, handmade goods, and unique toys from all over the globe, that everyone can afford. They opened in West Seattle’s Morgan Junction in April of 2014, after owner and local mom Jennifer Young was inspired by her three young daughters to create a beautiful and well-organized space where families can shop comfortably, kids can play freely, and the community can come together.

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As their anniversary approaches, My Three Little Birds is growing up and looking to expand, by launching what they believe to be Seattle’s first online resale store catering to upscale children’s clothing, toys, and accessories. They are working in conjunction with Community Sourced Capital, a local company that helps established small businesses expand and grow. It is a unique type of crowdfunding, in that all donors are reimbursed for 100% of their contribution. All supporters can look forward to the thank-you party if this campaign is successful! The minimum target for the My Three Little Birds Campaign is $8,000, and they have a long way to go to reach their maximum of $15,000. If you wish to help fund and support this small business in the fast-growing community we live in, please go here for more information.

What has been most amazing about My Three Little Birds‘ 2 years as a part of the West Seattle retail community is how they have been able to impact their neighborhood in new and exciting ways each year, one connection at a time. Active with the Morgan Community Association, they have sponsored the kids’ area at the Morgan Junction Festival for the last 2 years, and will be there again this summer. They have also enjoyed sponsoring the Harvest Festival and 4th of July Kids’ Parade. An active member of a local group of small-businesswomen aptly named “Ladies Who Do Business,” Jennifer enjoys sharing ideas with other local businesswomen and offering support where she can. The play area has been an ideal location for their Spanish Song and Story Times, Costume Swaps, Kindermusik, Craft Days, Santa Photos, and more. The quarterly Ladies Night Extravaganzas have created a fun following of local women looking for a much-needed night out filled with shopping and mingling with friends.

My Three Little Birds is at 6959 California SW, 206-946-6591, and online at mythreelittlebirds.net. Their message in closing: “Thank you to our family, friends, co-workers, and customers for your continued love and support for our store and our family. We are grateful for all you have done to help this little business along the way. We love West Seattle and are honored to be sponsoring the West Seattle Blog.”

We thank My Three Little Birds 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.

First license granted for recreational-marijuana store in West Seattle

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By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

More than three years after our state’s voters approved the initiative allowing recreational-marijuana stores, West Seattle is finally about to get its first.

The state Liquor and Cannabis Board has just approved the first license for a West Seattle address – 5440 California SW.

The address belongs to an old Craftsman home converted to professional space, and now about to be transformed to retail space. (It’s almost right across the street from the spot where medical marijuana first came to local attention, at 5435 California SW, also the site of a recreational license application.)

The just-approved recreational-retailer license is in the name of LTC LLC, which had posted the license application notice two months ago. We talked with proprietor Maryam Mirnateghi this afternoon.

She told us that, pending city action on their permit applications for the remodeling work – which she says will not be extensive, because the space has many attributes already as a “cool old house” – they hope to have the store open within about two months.

Another thing needed first: A name. Maybe something reflecting The Junction, though they’re a few blocks south, said Mirnateghi, who has worked in real estate in the area (and purchased the future store location).

This won’t be Mirnateghi’s first shop; she already owns Fusion, a medical-marijuana outlet, which she says will be adding recreational marijuana, on Dexter Avenue downtown.

In the meantime, as for West Seattle: “Let everybody know, we’re working on getting it open.”

Her store might not be the only one in this area for long. At least two other applications are in the pipeline – one for Northwest Patient Resource Center, open almost five years as a medical provider at 35th/Roxbury, and one for Origins on the city side of 14th/Roxbury – you can see them and others on this map that’s been linked in WSB comments before by its creator “Question Mark.”

Last month, the city finalized zoning changes governing where marijuana stores can be located, including buffers of at least 1,000 feet between stores and schools/playgrounds, and at least 1,000 feet between any two stores.

BIZNOTES: West Seattle Chamber’s new home; Straight Blast Gym’s date night; Chopstix closed?

Three biznotes this afternoon:

(King County Assessor’s Office photo)

NEW HOME FOR WEST SEATTLE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: As mentioned here last month, the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce has been looking for a new headquarters. At today’s lunch meeting (full report to come), Chamber CEO Lynn Dennis announced one has been found, courtesy of Potter Construction (WSB sponsor). We talked to Gary Potter afterward, and he has confirmed they’ve just signed a lease – not at Potter’s HQ but not far – the Chamber will be relocating in a few weeks to the building Potter owns at 5639 California SW (which is also home to WSB sponsor Sound Yoga).

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT, VALENTINE EDITION: Want to go out (or hang out) on Valentine’s weekend while knowing your kid(s) are having a blast? Straight Blast Gym (WSB sponsor) is offering you the chance to do just that – 6-9 pm Saturday (February 13th), SBG coaches will offer a “ton of fun – play games, watch a movie, eat some pizza – while parents get three hours to either go out and enjoy or stay in and relax.” $30/kid – call SBG ASAP to save space – 206-420-1834.

CHOPSTIX MYSTERY: We haven’t been able to reach anyone to directly confirm whether this is a permanent shutdown, but we – and a few readers who have e-mailed about this – have noticed that Chopstix hasn’t been open for some time. The hand-lettered sign on the door simply says CLOSED; the phone goes unanswered. Chopstix opened three years ago, after Pan Africa Grill spent one year at the location, following a 12-year run by the Chinese restaurant Ho-Win.

Sunrise Heights-born Squatch Crunch granola making West Seattle retail debut today

Due to go on sale in West Seattle today: The first product of a “cottage industry” business born in a Sunrise Heights apartment.

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(WSB photo, outside Squatch Crunch HQ on sunny Monday afternoon)

Mari Bingham and Patrick Kelly are making and selling a three-flavor handcrafted small-batch granola line called Squatch Crunch. Today, it’s due to debut on the shelves at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor).

It’s local through and through, not just because it’s made here and riffs the brand name off a regional icon. The proprietors, now West Seattleites who are partnered in life as well as business, are both local: She’s from Bainbridge, he’s from Juanita; both have family around the region.

The three mixes, all gluten-free and vegan, have regional names – Sodo, Montlake, and Palouse. And the highlighted ingredients include subtle callouts back to related sports teams – Sodo, blue and green (with blueberries, pistachios, and pepitas); Montlake, purple and gold (featuring blueberries, apricots, and pecans); Palouse, red and white (with cranberries, raspberries, and coconut chunks). You’ll find them in 12-ounce bags for starters, with other sizes and flavors likely to follow.

Mari’s been making granola at home for a decade. She has a tech background, and Patrick has studied meteorology (you might know him from weather-related discussions in WSB comment sections) They just cooked up the business idea around Thanksgiving, and it’s rapidly scaling – available first via a market in Greenwood and at Gatewood B&B (which is operated by Mari’s sister), now adding other outlets, starting with Thriftway. Local outlets, of course, they stress, with local sourcing/suppliers for as many ingredients and other components as possible, all the way down to the bags and labels.

You can follow their business on Facebook and Twitter at squatchcrunch.

From the ‘in case you wondered too’ file: What’s going on at ex-Feedback Lounge

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(WSB photo)

5:26 PM: It’s been the question of the day: What’s going on at the former Feedback Lounge space (6451 California SW in Morgan Junction)?

While plywood’s up now, the facade was all but removed earlier today. Building permits and other documents show a renovation plan that’s been in the works for a few months to add more glass – “reconfigure storefront glazing” – to the front of the building.

We went by late this afternoon to check on its status and found someone who identified himself as a prospective tenant there to take a look. The landlords had told WSB recently that the building remains available for lease – as this listing indicates – and that the “Sound Bar” plan with nearby restaurateur Dan Austin hadn’t gone through after all.

The Feedback Lounge closed six months ago, after more than six years as a rock-‘n’-roll bar and restaurant.

ADDED 5:46 PM: A representative of the building’s ownership tells WSB regarding the renovations, “The building is going to look beautiful … bigger windows and a skylight. More natural light will show off the original cedar beams inside,” and confirms no tenant finalized yet. If you look at the photo in this 2008 WSB story, you’ll note the building’s corner space, home to Zeeks Pizza (WSB sponsor), used to be short on windows, too.

Get your hair cut, do a good deed on Illusions Hair Design’s 2016 ‘Have a Heart Day’

February 1, 2016 12:51 pm
|    Comments Off on Get your hair cut, do a good deed on Illusions Hair Design’s 2016 ‘Have a Heart Day’
 |   How to help | West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news

If you need a haircut soon – heads up:

Next week brings the 23rd annual “Have a Heart Day” at Illusions Hair Design (WSB sponsor) – Saturday, February 13th.

This is the annual day when Illusions opens for haircuts – at reduced prices for women’s and men’s cuts (teens/kids at full price) – with every cent of the proceeds benefiting local nonprofits.

Proprietor Sue Lindblom (left) says this year’s edition will help the West Seattle Helpline – which provides emergency assistance to people in need – and Pencil Me In For Kids, which provides school supplies to local public-elementary-school students in need.

“Everyone donates their time,” Sue explained when we sat down for a quick chat in Illusions’ lobby at 5619 California SW. She had already been in business for 16 years when she came up with the idea in 1994. “We thought, gosh, we wanted to give something back to the community, so we’ve been doing this (and other community-benefit campaigns) ever since, because that’s what makes you part of the community.”

Sue is part of the West Seattle community through and through – even “born in The Junction,” half a mile from her salon, she points out.

“Have a Heart Day” isn’t just a chance to do a good deed while getting a good haircut. It’s also something of a party. “We’ll have some treats for the customers who come in, and it’s just kind of fun – several of us will be hanging around.” You’ll get a chance to learn about the beneficiary nonprofits, too, and “you just walk away with a real good feeling,” as Sue puts it. It’s fun for them too – “we meet a lot of nice people we’ve never met before.”

But they have a limited number of appointments that day, so call Illusions ASAP – 206-938-3675 – if you want to “Have a Heart” on this special day.

Viscon Cellars: Welcome, new WSB sponsor!

Today we’re welcoming West Seattle winery Viscon Cellars as a new WSB sponsor. Our new local sponsors get the chance to tell you about themselves:

Viscon Cellars Tasting Room
We are West Seattle’s winery. All of our wine is made here in West Seattle; it has been our home for over 20 years.

Our vision and mission is to make premium wine, sourcing grapes from some of Washington’s best vineyards and share with our West Seattle neighbors and friends. When presented with the opportunity to open our tasting room in Woodinville or West Seattle, hands down we chose our own neighborhood and do not regret it for one second.

Our wines are easily approachable and not intimidating. They are great simply by the glass and compliment foods nicely.

There are a lot of wine lovers in West Seattle. Our central location for our neighbors has created a great opportunity for them to try new wines they cannot get elsewhere also while supporting their neighborhood small business. Our customers love that when they come in they get to speak directly with the winemaker and hear about the personal stories of each wine. We even have customers who volunteer their time to help with crush and bottling.

We are fortunate to have a very loyal customer and fan base. So much so that we sold out of our inaugural release of wines before our second planned release of wines was ready to debut. This resulted in us closing temporarily until the new wines were released. They have supported us and introduced their friends to our winery, and their friends have introduced their friends …. so we are truly fortunate to expand our circle of customers through the mutual love of Washington Wine and West Seattle loyalties. It’s fun to hear their reaction when they discover us! Our winery tasting room (at 5910 California Ave SW) has quickly become a neighborhood gathering place. The vibe is friendly and welcoming. We have seen longtime neighbors finally meeting each other face-to-face at our tasting room and discovering their common connections over our wines.

Many folks bring in food from local restaurants or from home and enjoy dinner, conversations and a bottle of our wine on Friday evenings and Saturday late afternoons. We even have an example of a young couple who had just moved to Seattle; we introduced them to another couple having a glass of wine at the tasting room. They became fast friends and even spent Thanksgiving together. We love the sense of community that happens at our shop.

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ABOUT VISCON CELLARS: Ben Viscon is the Winemaker and Owner for Viscon Cellars. He has been making wine for over 12 years in Washington State. He first explored the art of winemaking as a curious hobbyist, then honed his knowledge and education of winemaking by attending University of California, Davis, College of Viticulture and Enology. We are part of Seattle Urban Wineries, a group of 25 wine producers that make and sell wine in their respective neighborhoods throughout the City of Seattle. Our Winery Tasting Room is located at 5910 California Ave. SW, Suite B, in the heart of West Seattle and is open on Fridays from 5-9 pm and Saturdays from 2-7 pm, or by appointment outside of those hours. Our space is also available for private events.

We thank Viscon Cellars 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.

West Seattle Chamber of Commerce launches 2016 with strategy session at annual meeting

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(WSB photos)

The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce celebrated new board members at its annual meeting in The Junction today. In our photo above, from left, are Mary Becker from Nucor, acupuncturist Nancy Ishii from White Crane Wellness, CEO Lynn Dennis, Pete Spalding from Verity CU, and Elaine Chan from FIOH Investments. The lunch meeting at the Alki Masonic Center included small-group discussions:

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While membership grew 15 percent last year – adding 44 new members – outreach and growth are always a concern, so attendees discussed strategies for finding out which categories of businesses aren’t currently represented in the group, and figuring out how to introduce Chamber members to new people moving into West Seattle. Speaking of new, just-elected District 1 City Councilmember Lisa Herbold was there:

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She’s the guest speaker at the next meeting, February 11th, two weeks from today. And she might get an earful of a key issue for the government-affairs liaison side of the Chamber – “parking, parking, parking,” along with other transportation issues. General issues that came up also included ongoing development and existing businesses dealing with rent increases that threaten to price them out.

The Chamber’s president for 2016 is Elizabeth Pluhta from South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). Find out more about the Chamber at wschamber.com.

West Seattle Chamber of Commerce home-hunting

January 27, 2016 10:12 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Chamber of Commerce home-hunting
 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news

On the eve of its annual meeting, the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce is in the midst of a big search – for a new office. It’s long been at 3614 California SW but needs to move on. Chamber CEO Lynn Dennis says they need commercial office space, 300-500 square feet, and are open to office-share options. Someplace to offer or suggest? lynndennis@wschamber.com

Meantime, if you’re not signed up for tomorrow’s annual meeting, the CofC suggests you go here fast! It’s at 11:30 am Thursday at the Alki Masonic Center, 4736 40th SW in The Junction. (Looking ahead – City Councilmember Lisa Herbold is the guest for the February 11th lunch.)

Reader report: Ralph’s Barber Shop, closed after more than half a century

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Thanks to Eric Shalit for sharing the photos as a tribute to Ralph’s Barber Shop, behind the Chelan Café at 2302 SW Spokane. The shop closed when Ralph retired earlier this month. Eric says, “I believe the shop was in that location since the WS high bridge was built and in a slightly different location prior to the high bridge being built. Ralph’s father had the business before him. It’s been a hangout for longshoreman, steel workers, railyard workers, and many old-timers. This is a real piece of old WS that is now gone. It was well-known for the enormous collection of caps (hats) on the wall.”

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Eric says he’d been going to the shop for about 10 years and got one of Ralph’s last haircuts.

P.S. (in response to a comment) No relation to Ralph’s in Admiral, which is open!

BIZNOTE: PCC West Seattle store reopens after short shutdown

January 22, 2016 10:05 am
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 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news

10:05 AM: Thanks to Chris for the tip – the West Seattle PCC Natural Markets (WSB sponsor) store is temporarily closed. We called to find out why; a staffer told us they’re fixing a plumbing problem and hope to reopen later this morning, perhaps as soon as 11 am or so. We’ll be checking back, but if you find it open again before we mention it, please consider texting/calling our hotline, 206-293-6302 – thank you.

10:50 AM: Via Twitter, PCC just announced the West Seattle store has reopened.

WEST SEATTLE BIZNOTES: Post-holiday breaks

January 2, 2016 10:08 am
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 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news

Quick notes about West Seattle businesses with extended breaks this post-holiday month (let us know if you’ve heard of others!):

CLICK! DESIGN THAT FITS: You CAN shop at Click! Design That Fits in The Junction (4540 California SW; WSB sponsor) this weekend, but then the shop’s taking an extended break starting January 4th. Read about it on the Click! website.

WEST SEATTLE PRODUCE COMPANY: No, the shop at 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW is NOT closed permanently, as one reader who contacted us feared. WSP is taking a break until January 16th and still searching for a new location, while awaiting word on when it’ll have to clear out from this one. The CVS drugstore project for the site continues to proceed but doesn’t have final approval yet, as, among other things, it still requires at least one more Southwest Design Review Board meeting (no date set yet). WSP originally opened in April 2010 across the street, where The Whittaker is now under construction.

SPEAKING OF PRODUCE STANDS: Just a reminder that Tony’s Market at 35th and Barton is temporarily closed too, its traditional break after the end of Christmas-tree-selling season. It usually reopens in late winter/early spring (it was later than usual last year because of renovations including parking-lot work).

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