West Seattle biznote: The Sneakery closing in The Junction, staying in Ballard

March 17, 2015 at 3:36 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 27 Comments

Thanks to Dave for the tip that a “for lease” sign is now up in the window of The Sneakery at 4736 California SW in The Junction.

We checked in with proprietor Drea via e-mail; here’s what she told us:

The Sneakery will be leaving West Seattle at the end of April and consolidating things back to our original location on 65th Street in Ballard, where we’ve been since 2006. We had a great time in the Junction over the last 4 years and would like to thank our customers for their support. Most merchandise will be deeply discounted through the end of April, so we encourage everyone to use their gift certificates and coupons. Although we are sad to leave the Junction, we are also thrilled to be growing our business in Ballard, where we will be able to offer our customers even better selections and service.

The Sneakery’s West Seattle location opened in May 2011. Half of its side of the block has been a construction zone for the past year and a half.

Biznote: West Seattle Fabric Company changing focus, moving

March 15, 2015 at 6:45 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 12 Comments

Another storefront in Admiral will be vacant soon – but the business that’s leaving it is NOT shutting down. Monica Skov of West Seattle Fabric Company announced late today that their focus is shifting, recognizing how the retail world is changing. From the message sent to the WSFC mailing list:

We are making a big shift to our business, and although it is a bittersweet decision, let’s celebrate together. As a retail storefront, we have had the beautiful benefit of getting to know all of the people in our community. We feel so thankful to have made connections and friendships that we would have never encountered. Inspiring a community of new sewing enthusiasts fills us with so much happiness. And I cannot tell you the joy I feel every time a customer comes in and says ~ I come here to be inspired. But the days of dense neighborhood shopping districts & bustling storefront commerce are evolving into online shopping and home delivery. Honestly, we’ve seen a shift from increased online sales and less storefront traffic. Shopping online has become much more convenient and in order to grow in an ever-changing economy we are going to transition our fabrics to an online-only fabric shop.

But, she continues, that’s just part of the change:

Seeing this trend for some time, we’ve been turning our focus toward the one thing you can’t get online – Services. The thing that we love about being small-business owners isn’t selling new collections or decorating a shop (although that is fun). We truly love helping our community. Our team has taught hundreds of customers to sew & quilt, we’ve been a resource for all sorts of sewing related questions and advice, and we’ve already completed a large number of customers’ quilts in the past couple of months. In addition to all of our other services, the ultimate way that we can help our community is Repairing and Servicing Sewing Machines, which we will now be offering.

So next month, West Seattle Fabric Company will move to a smaller space on Harbor Avenue in the ActivSpace [WSB sponsor] building, not retailing fabric, but focusing on services and education – classes, repairs, quilt finishing, plus, in relation to the online merchandise, “FREE local pick-up for our local online shoppers …” First, the shop (at 2210 California SW, where it opened in December 2010) plans a liquidation sale starting at 10 am Friday (March 20th), 30 percent off everything in the store, and “incentives for buying in bulk.” You can read the entire announcement here.

The General Store Seattle: New WSB sponsor; sale this weekend!

March 13, 2015 at 12:59 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

Today we’re welcoming The General Store Seattle as a new WSB sponsor. New local sponsors get the chance to let you know what they’re all about:

The General Store Seattle focuses exclusively on US-made, locally produced items that are unique and hand-picked with an eye for quality, says proprietor Claire E. Jones (at right). “Our customers continually praise the high quality of our products and they love that their money is going directly back into their communities. They seek us out because they know they can find one-of-a-kind items that more than replace the lower-quality products found at big box retail chains.”

Claire says The General Store Seattle is inspired by the traditional general stores – some clothes, some household goods, some food-related items, all locally sourced, with her suppliers at most a few hours away from Seattle. Sourcing locally can get expensive sometimes, but Claire works to do the research necessary for you to be able to shop with The General Store Seattle and find merchandise at fair prices.

This weekend, The General Store Seattle has a special sale – 5% of your purchase will be donated to the charity of your choice. Go here to get full details.

The General Store Seattle is open Wednesdays-Sundays, 10 am-7 pm, on the street level at 3400 Harbor SW (map) – and you can shop any time via the store’s website, at thegeneralstoreseattle.com.

We thank The General Store 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.

2 more days to get nominations in for this year’s Westside Awards

March 13, 2015 at 8:59 am | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Sunday (March 15th) is the deadline for you to get nominations in for this year’s Westside Awards, to be presented by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce on April 2nd. You do NOT have to be a Chamber member to make a nomination or to be nominated. From the announcement first published here last month:

Westside Business of the Year – This nominee has been in business at least 3 years and demonstrated business excellence and success.

Westside Emerging Business – This nominee has been in business for less than 3 years but is meeting the challenges of a growing business through leadership.

Westside Not-For-Profit of the Year – This nominee Not-for-Profit is making our community a better place to live while contributing to community benefit through their mission.

Westsider of the Year – This nominee is making a lasting impact on our community and the lives of or is an up-and-coming community role model.

Make a nomination online through the Westside Awards Nomination Form – a different one for each category – and again, Sunday’s the deadline, so do it before the weekend’s out! Here’s our coverage of last year’s ceremony. You can buy your ticket(s) for this year’s event online – use the “register now” link on this page.

West Seattle biznote: Admiral Benbow’s owners say they’re closing

March 10, 2015 at 10:01 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news, West Seattle restaurants | 26 Comments

Just shy of a year after the owner of the then-Heartland Café announced he’d sold it, the owners who then resurrected its former identity as the Admiral Benbow say they’re closing it. Announced on Facebook tonight by co-proprietor Allison Hill:

It is with great sadness that Ian Hill and I are announcing the closure of The Admiral Benbow. We made a great run at it and love it dearly, but some things just aren’t meant to be. We want to thank all the friends, fans, pirates, scallywags, bands and everyone else who helped make this dream of ours come true, even though it was only a short period of time. Our last day will be Sunday, March 22nd. So come down and see us over the next 12 days and help us go out with a blast! We’re still open until then so come get your drink on or catch a show. Help us send this place off the right way! Thank you all again. We love you and can’t thank you enough.

The Hills had applied the Benbow brand to the entire operation at 4210 SW Admiral Way – restaurant, bar, and entertainment venue – in a nod to its long-ago fame as the Admiral Benbow Inn.

West Seattle biznote: Alki Kayak Tours open for the season

March 7, 2015 at 7:00 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

More spring-like weather is forecast for tomorrow (remember, it’s still technically winter for another two weeks) – so you might be interested to know, if you hadn’t noticed already, that Alki Kayak Tours is open for the season at Seacrest (1660 Harbor SW). Proprietor Greg Whittaker (who shared, and is in, the photo) says AKT is starting its 11th year, with rentals for getting out on the water or rolling/riding along the beach. As the season gets going, they’re open noon-sunset on Fridays, 10 am-sunset on Saturdays/Sundays. (And of course, with the time change tonight, sunset will be later starting tomorrow.)

Rudy’s Barbershop, now open in West Seattle: New WSB sponsor

March 6, 2015 at 3:43 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 16 Comments

Today is opening day in West Seattle for Rudy’s Barbershop, which has just become the newest WSB sponsor. Here’s what Rudy’s would like you to know about their business:

Since its Seattle conception in 1993, Rudy’s Barbershop has been committed to providing top-notch haircuts for men and women at an affordable price. Rudy’s offers a one-of-a-kind experience with a curated blend of art, music, and sense of place. Every shop is a cross-generational community center, buzzing with creative energy.

Rudy’s is incredibly excited to announce its newest location in the proud neighborhood of West Seattle, at 4480 Fauntleroy Way SW.

The location will soon feature a large neon sign, urging the community to “GO WEST,” professing the aforementioned pride of the people of West Seattle.

In January, Rudy’s teamed up with West Seattle’s Delridge Community Center to provide free haircuts to the community. Cuts took place in Rudy’s modified barbershop airstream, and with the help of the West Seattle community and other nearby neighborhoods, they raised almost $1,000 for the Delridge Community Center. This money will help them fund after-school programs, community classes, children’s basketball teams, and many other beneficial activities for the people of West Seattle in the future.

No need to wait for an appointment; walk into any Rudy’s Barbershop, any day of the week, 9 am-9 pm, and get a great haircut. Satisfaction guaranteed.

We thank Rudy’s Barbershop 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 biznote: What else is going into Oregon 42

March 4, 2015 at 11:11 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

(Photo courtesy Beehive Salon)
Another of The Junction’s new storefronts has a tenant. Just this morning, Laurie e-mailed to say it looked as if another space in Oregon 42 at 42nd/Oregon, next to Emerald Water Anglers (WSB sponsor), had been leased. Then tonight, we received e-mail from Annie of Beehive Salon, which she describes as “an Aveda Concept salon in Wallingford that (is) opening a second location in West Seattle,” saying the Oregon 42 space is where they’re going. Annie says Beehive “offers hair, skin, and body services in a fun, professional, and welcoming environment … We couldn’t have picked a better spot and look forward to joining the neighborhood.” Their website says they’ve been in Wallingford for 15 years. They’re expecting to open the expansion salon here in May.

West Seattle biznotes: Art Nest, Rudy’s opening dates

March 3, 2015 at 9:02 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

Two West Seattle biznotes:

RUDY’S BARBERSHOP: 2 1/2 years after first word that Rudy’s Barbershop planned a West Seattle location, it’s opening this Friday. Rudy’s confirmed last summer that it would move into the ex-Diva/Maestro/Ace 1 space at 4480 Fauntleroy and has now announced the opening date. No word on the co-housed Caffé Vita, though.

WEST SEATTLE ART NEST: It’s been just a few weeks since word that this new kids-art studio was moving into 4138 California SW north of The Junction, and now its grand-opening party is days away: Saturday (March 7th), 3-6 pm.

West Seattle biz-and-building notes, 35th Avenue SW edition

February 25, 2015 at 4:44 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 14 Comments

Three biz=and-building notes from along 35th:

NEXT DESIGN REVIEW FOR NEW EYE CLINIC LOCATION: The three-story building planned as the future home of Clearview Eye Clinic, currently at Westwood Village, continues moving through Design Review. The Southwest Design Review Board schedule now has a tentative date for what could be the final meeting (after two next year), 6:30 pm April 16th. (Part of the site formerly housed Red Star Pizza.)

PEOPLE’S CHOICE MARKETPLACE TO 35TH/ROXBURY: According to documents on file with the Department of Planning and Development, tenant improvements are in the works for the space at 9451 35th SW that’s been vacant since Jackson-Hewitt moved to Morgan Junction last year. The site plan for the space is in the name of People’s Choice Marketplace, a medical-marijuana access point currently located on the south end of Delridge Way SW. We have an inquiry out to ask if this is an expansion or a move; no reply yet. The corner has a medical-marijuana outlet, Northwest Patient Resource Center across the street, and the CannaHealth clinic, which specializes in patient authorizations, is to the north.

STUDIO NORTH OF 35TH/MORGAN: Driving by the (updated) storefront at 6531 35th SW next to Q & T Nails’, just south of SW Morgan, we noticed a big new banner, Barre Bohemian. It’s a fitness studio that’s chronicling its transformation online.

Terminal 5′s future: Opponents of drilling-fleet lease say they’ll ask Port Commission Tuesday to cancel it

February 23, 2015 at 9:27 pm | In Environment, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 22 Comments

(WSB photo: Terminal 5 as seen from east Admiral this afternoon)
Port of Seattle commissioners meet tomorrow for the first time since it was publicly disclosed that the port had signed the lease with Foss Maritime that will bring Shell‘s Arctic-drilling-fleet vessels to West Seattle’s closed-since-last-summer Pier 5. Port CEO Ted Fick signed it on February 9th, and the commission met on February 10th, but the signing wasn’t brought to light until a February 11th letter to the environmental coalition that had not only urged the port not to strike the deal, but held a media event hinting at legal action.

While the T-5 lease is not an official agenda item for tomorrow’s meeting, the opposition coalition plans to bring it up during public-comment time at the meeting, which starts at 1 pm in the Sea-Tac Airport conference room. Emily Johnston from 350 Seattle tells WSB, “Legal action is still definitely being considered, and we’re definitely moving forward in other ways as well: primarily, persuading the Port to rescind the lease, or to work with Foss to mutually abandon the lease, or to do whatever else they need to do *not to play a supporting role in Arctic drilling*. The Port is a public entity, and it has not been acting responsibly as such; at a minimum, they need to pull back and hold hearings. … Working on their process so that “next time” they know how to manage a controversial decision like this isn’t good enough: this particular decision is as consequential as any they will ever have, and they need to make the right one, and nix the lease.” The “process” refers to a directive given by commissioners when they agreed January 13th to let staff continue negotiating the lease, saying they needed to come up with procedures for policies that could guide staff in the future. A briefing on that potential process change is on tomorrow’s agenda.

We also sought an update today from Foss’s spokesperson, who had indicated that more details of the T-5 plan would be available by now. We haven’t heard back yet but will include anything that we do find out. Tomorrow’s commission meeting, meantime, is open to the public; the commission’s public-comment rules are here.

Happening now: Grand opening weekend at new West Seattle Runner storefront

February 22, 2015 at 1:39 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news, WS & Sports | 2 Comments

If you haven’t stopped by to check out the new location of West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), grand-opening weekend festivities have about three more hours to go. Lori and Tim McConnell (above) first confirmed back in November that they would move to a new location in the Orion Building just north of PCC (also a WSB sponsor) – the space is bigger, and it’s at street level. All sorts of grand-opening excitement is ongoing including raffles and discount signups for the Seattle Marathon and the West Seattle Float Dodger 5K. Vendors are on site too – when we stopped by, we found GoreTex and HOKA reps, as well as Beth Baker from locally based Running Evolution, who has a new apparel line:

She’s there until 2; the shop’s open today until 5, at 2743 California SW. P.S. West Seattle Runner is about to celebrate five years in business!

Followup: Seattle, Tacoma ports ‘relieved’ by tentative contract deal

February 21, 2015 at 7:23 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

One day after the tentative contract agreement between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association (terminal operators) was announced, the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma have sent their official comment:

The ports of Seattle and Tacoma are relieved to hear of the tentative deal between the ILWU and PMA.

Operations at our terminals will resume Saturday evening. We are uncertain how long it will take to move the remaining cargo on our docks and awaiting vessels, and to assess the effects this has had on our gateway.

Our combined ports support more than 200,000 jobs throughout the region, many of them depending on the freight moving through our terminals.

We will do everything we can to support our customers in getting this gateway back to our high standards of reliability and efficiency.

MarineTraffic.com shows no container ships at anchor in Elliott Bay right now, but three off Manchester, a holding zone for Tacoma. No word, meantime, when ratification votes will happen.

Dock dispute: Tentative contract agreement announced by union, terminal operators

February 20, 2015 at 8:26 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 11 Comments

(Prague Express, photographed by David Hutchinson on 2/13/2015, one of several days it spent at anchor)
8:26 PM: After more than half a year without a contract, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union has reached a tentative agreement with the West Coast terminal operators, according to this joint announcement sent out by both sides (from the Pacific Maritime Association here and the ILWU here):

The Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union today announced a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract covering workers at all 29 West Coast ports. The deal was reached with assistance from U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Deputy Director Scot Beckenbaugh. The parties will not be releasing details of the agreement at this time. The agreement is subject to ratification by both parties.

“After more than nine months of negotiations, we are pleased to have reached an agreement that is good for workers and for the industry,” said PMA President James McKenna and ILWU President Bob McEllrath in a joint statement. “We are also pleased that our ports can now resume full operations.”

More to come. (Thanks to Verne for the tip.)

ADDED 10:48 PM: Mayor Murray‘s reaction, sent to us and other local-news organizations:

The agreement reached between the ILWU and the PMA is good news for our region’s economy and the tens of thousands of jobs and economic activity that depend on our west coast ports. I want to thank the work of Secretary Perez to help bring both sides together to find an agreement that is good for workers and for the industry. I also want to thank the tireless efforts of Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti, who helped to organize my west coast colleagues over the last few weeks to support the negotiations. Together, we did everything we could to encourage the two parties to come to a fair agreement and get our ports moving again.

Biznote: West Seattle Runner’s new location opens this weekend

February 18, 2015 at 7:47 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

(WSB photo, taken this afternoon)
The new location of West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) at 2743 California SW, about a mile north of its original location, is almost ready to go, and the grand opening is set for this weekend, 10 am-6 pm Saturday and 11 am-5 pm Sunday. WSR’s Lori McConnell says vendors will be on site – Asics, Adidas, Saucony, Mizuno, Superfeet, GU/Probar/Protec on Saturday, Hoka and Pearl Izumi and Goretex on Sunday. They’re also planning raffle prizes including shoes and activity trackers as well as gifts available with purchases, plus an 8 am group run set for Sunday (“complete with coffee and donuts afterward, and raffle prizes!” says Lori). The new ground-floor space – for which WSR is the first tenant – is being shared with Elite Sports and Spine, which will be opening early next month, with an open house of its own, but will also have reps on hand during WSR’s grand opening. We first reported the WSR move back in November; the new location has about a third more space than the Charlestown Center space in which WSR launched almost five years ago.

Local biznote: West Seattle Art Nest open north of The Junction

February 17, 2015 at 12:45 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 4 Comments

We’ve had big conversations in recent days (here and here) about businesses coming to the new developments in The Junction. Today, our biznote is about a new enterprise getting ready to open in an existing building just north of The Junction: West Seattle Art Nest. Its proprietor Karen Crane is hoping to be open at 4138 California SW by the first week of March.

(WS Art Nest proprietors’ kids “helping with the paint job” – photo courtesy Karen Crane)
West Seattle Art Nest will be the first drop-in art studio for children since Young at Art closed last June in Fairmount Springs (where it moved after its original location made way for the Junction 47 project), and Crane says Young at Art’s proprietor Theresa Anderson will be part of the new studio, “bringing her creativity and art expertise to WS Art Nest, as Art Facilitator Extrordinaire.” WS Art Nest will offer “drop-in-studio-style art, after-school art, specialty classes, camps, birthday parties … a paint splatter room, play area for the little ones, recycle crafting, and much more.” The website isn’t done yet but you can check this Facebook page for updates.

Dock dispute: Terminals closed again today; labor secretary plans meetings in San Francisco

February 16, 2015 at 11:16 am | In Seen at sea, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 15 Comments

Two notes on the ongoing contract-talks stalemate between West Coast port-terminal operators and longshore workers:

(Northeastward view over ships anchored off Manchester; photo by Long Bach Nguyen)
TERMINALS CLOSED AGAIN TODAY: Today is the fourth day (of the past five) that terminals remain closed to ship offloading by order of the Pacific Maritime Association, the umbrella organization for terminal operators on the West Coast. So far, they’re expected to reopen tomorrow; that could mean major truck traffic on roads to local terminals, such as lower Spokane St. and East Marginal, which backed up last Friday when terminals reopened after the first day of closure. Nine cargo ships are anchored off Seattle and Manchester today, as shown on MarineTraffic.com (and in the photos with this story)

(Bulk-cargo ships anchored off Magnolia, seen from West Seattle; photo by Chris Panarello; [added Tuesday] note – commenter points out the grain terminal is not part of the current situation)
LABOR SECRETARY IN SAN FRANCISCO TOMORROW: There’s an update today on the plan for U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez to intervene by talking with the PMA and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union: The Bay Area’s NBC station reports via Twitter that Perez will meet with both sides in San Francisco tomorrow. No details yet.

Dock dispute: No ship unloading the next three days, as contract-talks stalemate continues

February 13, 2015 at 11:37 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

(WSB photo, taken this morning from Seacrest)
Tonight the status of the contract-talks stalemate between longshore workers and West Coast terminal operators is as murky as the Elliott Bay fog was this morning, when we photographed the Prague Express (still anchored in the bay per MarineTraffic.com, as are three bulk-cargo ships). After allowing offloading operations today, the Pacific Maritime Association‘s members say they will again close the docks for the next three days rather than pay weekend/holiday rates to International Longshore and Warehouse Union members whom they accuse of a deliberate slowdown. The ILWU, meantime, has made public a letter of support from three Seattle City Council membersMike O’Brien, Nick Licata, and Kshama Sawant – calling the temporary shutdown a “destructive negotiating tactic.” The Wall Street Journal reports that a federal mediator had separate meetings with both sides today. Also today, as noted in our morning traffic coverage, trucks backed up on streets approaching Seattle terminals, including S. Spokane St. and East Marginal, following yesterday’s one-day shutdown.

Nomination time! West Seattle Chamber of Commerce awaits your nominees for Business of the Year, Emerging Business, Not-For-Profit of the Year, Westsider of the Year

February 13, 2015 at 11:42 am | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Give some love to your favorite West Seattle business, nonprofit, and community leaders – nominate one or more for the 2015 Westside Awards, to be presented April 3rd by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce. You do NOT need to be a member to make a nomination – nor does your nominee have to be a member to win. First, here are the categories, from the Chamber’s announcement today:

Westside Business of the Year – This nominee has been in business at least 3 years and demonstrated business excellence and success.

Westside Emerging Business – This nominee has been in business for less than 3 years but is meeting the challenges of a growing business through leadership.

Westside Not-For-Profit of the Year – This nominee Not-for-Profit is making our community a better place to live while contributing to community benefit through their mission.

Westsider of the Year – This nominee is making a lasting impact on our community and the lives of or is an up-and-coming community role model.

And here’s how to make a nomination (or, more than one!)

Nominations are accepted online through the Westside Awards Nomination Form.

A separate form must be submitted for each category.

Please take a few minutes before March 15th to submit the form and help us recognize the most outstanding contributions.

Here’s our coverage of last year’s ceremony.

Dock-talks update: Terminal operators shutting down ship offloading today, 3 of next 4 days

February 12, 2015 at 9:16 am | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 22 Comments

As the contract-talks stalemate continues at West Coast ports, the Pacific Maritime Association says terminal operators will do for four more days what it did last weekend – suspend offloading of ships. Those days are today, Saturday, Sunday, Monday – holiday/weekend days when longshore workers would be paid at a higher rate. The announcement from the PMA also takes issue with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union‘s claim earlier this month that the two sides are close. In response, the ILWU issued this statement alleging the PMA “grossly mischaracterize(d)” the union’s “current bargaining position” and saying the employers had canceled a negotiating session set for yesterday afternoon.

Followup: Port has signed Terminal 5 lease with Foss Maritime; Shell vessels expected as soon as April

February 11, 2015 at 7:19 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 17 Comments

(January 2015 photo of Terminal 5 by Long Bach Nguyen)
The lease is signed and Shell’s drilling fleet is expected to start arriving at West Seattle’s Terminal 5 as soon as April. That’s according to a spokesperson for Foss Maritime, who shared the letter in which the Port of Seattle announced its decision to sign the lease for 50 of T-5′s 156 acres, despite concerns voiced by a coalition of environmental advocates. The letter signed by Port CEO Ted Fick mentions the lease is for $550,000 a month for two years, with two one-year extension options. Here’s the letter (if you can’t read it embedded below, try the PDF version):

The coalition addressed in that letter sent a letter of its own after an event at Jack Block Park two weeks ago (WSB coverage here) that suggested possible legal action if the Port went ahead with the lease. In addition to environmental concerns, both for Puget Sound and the Arctic, other issues included the then-potential lease came to light only days before the Port Commission was briefed on it – as reported here January 13, that briefing included direction from three of the five commissioners for staff to continue negotiating the lease. Terminal 5 has been empty since the Port closed it six months ago in preparation for a modernization program (though its details have not yet been finalized). More to come…

West Seattle biznote: Thunder Road Guitars booming, seeking bigger spot – and suggestions!

February 9, 2015 at 12:37 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 27 Comments

(King County photo)
Can you help Thunder Road Guitars (WSB sponsor) upsize? Proprietor Frank Gross explains, “We are busting at the seams in our current location, looking for a larger storefront in West Seattle and are having a tough time finding something that suites our needs. We currently have 800 square foot and ideally would like double the size.” Maybe even a trade, Frank says: “If someone with a larger space is looking to downsize, we would be open to swapping.” Thunder Road Guitars opened at 3916 California SW more than two years ago after being online-only for its first year. If you have a suggestion (or offer!) for Frank, e-mail him at frank@thunderroadguitars.com.

VAIN, your ‘one-stop style shop’: Welcome, new WSB sponsor!

February 9, 2015 at 9:59 am | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 17 Comments

We’re welcoming one of our newest WSB sponsors, VAIN, a “one-stop style shop” in The Junction. New local sponsors get the chance to let you know what they’re all about, and here’s what VAIN wants you to know:

VAIN is a locally-owned hair salon and boutique located in the heart of the Junction. We opened our West Seattle doors in late 2011. Several of our employees are West Seattle residents, some born and raised! We love this neighborhood. We have two other locations- one in Ballard and one downtown. We have been a Seattle style-exploration destination since 1996.

If you’re looking for a great hair salon where style exploration is encouraged, VAIN is the place to go. We want every client to feel comfortable trying whatever look they want, whether it’s a basic, easy-to-manage haircut, new highlights, or having bright pink hair for the first time at 50 (it happens!). We love helping our clients love their hair and feel like it truly expresses their sense of personal style. We also carry great accessories, hair products, locally made items, fun jewelry and more. We’re a one-stop style shop!

Clients seek out VAIN for a lot of reasons – our talented and highly skilled staff of hairdressers, our reputation for being a creative environment, our active community involvement, and our boutique full of great jewelry, accessories, hair products and locally made items. All of that is also what keeps clients coming back; plus, our hairstylists create meaningful relationships with their clients. It’s wonderful to see people’s looks evolve over the years in the same stylist’s chair.

We hope that our clients’ interaction changes their lives by helping them feel great about their hair, safe to explore new styles if they want to, and good about supporting a local business that is active in its neighborhood and community. VAIN supports many local organizations, including Planned Parenthood Northwest and YouthCare (read here about VAIN’s “Week for YouthCare“). VAIN is open in West Seattle seven days a week at 4513 California SW, 206.535.2595.

We thank VAIN 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 biznotes: Pink Gorilla Games goes; Radio Shacks stay

February 6, 2015 at 4:24 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 13 Comments

Two quick biznotes:

PINK GORILLA GAMES: No longer in West Seattle, after 3 years at 6053 California SW in Morgan Junction. On the company’s Facebook page, they told a customer their landlord had sold the building and that they have no plans to look for another WS location. They’re still open in the International District, University District, and Bellevue. Thanks to Katt for the flag on the store’s disappearance. (WSB file photo from 2012)

RADIO SHACK: In case you were wondering (we were) – the company’s out with a list of locations that might close because of its bankruptcy, and the list does NOT include either of its two West Seattle locations, in The Junction and Westwood Village.

Dock talks reach pivotal point: Terminal operators make ‘all-in’ offer; ILWU says the two sides are ‘extremely close’

February 5, 2015 at 10:15 am | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 20 Comments

(January 2015 photo by James Bratsanos – cargo ships anchored off Manchester, a holding zone for Tacoma)
Depending on how you interpret what the two sides in the Seattle-and-beyond West Coast dock talks are saying right now, a deal – or a port shutdown – could be close. It’s been more than half a year since the International Longshore and Warehouse Union‘s contract with the terminal operators, under the umbrella of the Pacific Maritime Association, expired. The PMA says it made an offer Wednesday that it calls “all-in” – detailed here. The ILWU describes the two sides as “extremely close” and says it’s “dropped” some issues in hopes of a resolution. But the organizations’ respective statements indicate continuing disagreement over what’s led to loaded freighters waiting at anchor and trucks backing up from the docks – the PMA continues to allege “ILWU slowdowns” while the union alleges the problem is an “employer-caused congestion crisis.” In a video linked from the PMA website, its president James McKenna claimed West Coast ports are as little as a week from “collapse” and says the offer is “as far as we can go at this time.” ILWU president Robert McEllrath, meantime, says, ““Closing the ports at this point would be reckless and irresponsible.”

Happening now: School of Rock-West Seattle’s grand-opening party

January 31, 2015 at 2:43 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | Comments Off


They’ve got rhythm! Our quick Instagram clip shows kids getting a demo drumming lesson from teacher Daisy at the grand-opening party for School of Rock-West Seattle (WSB sponsor).

Other demos and live performances are planned, along with door prizes and enrollment discounts, as the party continues through 6 pm at 4701 41st SW (outer east side of Jefferson Square, just south of SW Alaska).

P.S. If you’re a food-truck fan, the Cheese Wizards truck is there until 4.

West Seattle Chamber of Commerce: 2014 review, 2015 vision

January 30, 2015 at 11:47 am | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | Comments Off

It was time for the changing of the guard at the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s annual meeting Thursday at The Sanctuary at Admiral – in our top photo, with Chamber CEO Lynn Dennis (center) are outgoing board chair Nancy Woodland of WestSide Baby and incoming board chair Hamilton Gardiner of Holmquist & Gardiner, PLLC. 2014 achievements reviewed at the meeting include a 10 percent increase in membership, to 165; more than 20 events presented, including lunch meetings featuring topics from business strategy to transportation issues (with guests from Metro, Sound Transit, and the Port of Seattle) to networking; and even a community cleanup, in the Walking on Logs area alongside the southwest side of the West Seattle Bridge. After lunch, attendees brainstormed for the year ahead:

Chamber leaders say members have made it clear that business networking and mutual support is the major reason they join and participate, so that’ll be an increasing focus for 2015. If you’re a local business owner/supporter and interested in membership, find info – and the schedule for upcoming Chamber events, including the monthly “After Hours” mixers at local businesses – at wschamber.com.

P.S. Other Chamber board officers for 2015 are vice chair Elizabeth Pluhta from South Seattle College (WSB sponsor); treasurer Ryan Letson from Jackson, Morgan & Hunt, PLLC (WSB sponsor); and recording secretary Paul Prentice from Prentice Design.

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