Goodbye, guacamole; farewell, fajitas

The “hard copy” version of this week’s Herald has something you won’t find online — a big color ad from the folks who run Guadalajara Hacienda, on Cali between Morgan and Alaska Junctions. Says the restaurant’s closing as of this Sunday. We checked the city land-use system; you probably don’t even need to click this link to guess what’ll be built at the site.

33 Replies to "Goodbye, guacamole; farewell, fajitas"

  • The House February 14, 2007 (7:47 am)

    I’m always sad to see a local business person go out of business, but the Guadalajara down by the ferry dock is MUCH better in my opinion. The restaurants share a similar name, but have separate owners.

  • Eric February 14, 2007 (7:55 am)

    Not sure why this is listed in “overdevelopment”. This is a good thing – never really cared for Guadalajara anyway. High density development is the only way we are going to eventually (hopefully) support any kind of mass transit system.

  • Mark February 14, 2007 (8:05 am)

    We need to rise up as a community and put a stop to this overdevelopment. While the food there was just ok, the continued removal of area businesses hurts the community feel and beauty of West Seattle. How much longer will we allow this to continue and how long until California becomes an endless row of townhomes? Enough is enough!

  • chet_desmond February 14, 2007 (8:15 am)

    This just adds fuel to my fire, ire… This is a great family place that I have been going to for about 7 years. Nice people.. but guess they sold out? On second thought, I am not surprised. There have been so many condos built around this place that not as many people can park when visiting the restaurant. They probably had to sell. I don’t think there is a need to pack more people on California which is already congested and cannot be widened. I love living in west condo, uh, I mean West Seattle.

  • chet_desmond February 14, 2007 (8:57 am)

    Totally agree Mark. Sadly, it looks as though there is nothing we can do. If it’s zoned for XYZ then tough, legal or not. About a year ago I “wrote a letter to the mayor” letting him know about my development concerns. I didn’t expect Greg himself to write but thought someone from his office would especially with Greg being from W Seattle. Well, I got no response so I followed up a few months later. Diane Sugimura wrote basically saying “well, the mayors plan is to increase density.” She did not address any of the concerns I raised about population increases like infrastructure.

  • Rhonda Porter February 14, 2007 (9:24 am)

    Just what WS needs…more multi-family units to help commuting across the bridge in the morning.

    This restaurant has been a favorite of our family and I’m sad to see it go. The owners and staff are wonderful people. I hope they got big bucks.

  • mtnpeak February 14, 2007 (9:25 am)

    I agree with Eric as to the benefits of density along California. The road is a significant arterial and is being targeted by Metro for new bus rapid transit service, and is a great place to increase the housing stock. Personally I’d prefer this kind of smart development to the paving of east county farmland any day.

  • Jiggers February 14, 2007 (9:38 am)

    No worry’s, there’s so many Mexican food joints around W.S I’m not going to miss it.

  • Administrator February 14, 2007 (9:39 am)

    $910,000 according to King County property records online.

  • c_meezy February 14, 2007 (10:02 am)

    boo. I’m moving in basically across the street this weekend. No delicious margarita’s for me.

  • Eric February 14, 2007 (10:02 am)

    The fact of the matter is that the city must accommodate the projected increase in growth. Failing to do so means more urban sprawl, less affordable housing, and more traffic/pollution.

    Our leaders are right on the first part of the equation – embracing growth and trying to manage it.

    Unfortunately, there is little leadership on the point of infrastructure and transportation improvements.

    I personally feel the fact that Seattle elects all council members at large creates this lack of leadership. There is no councilperson directly accountable to the people of West Seattle. Instead, they all have to satisfy the exact same constituency – which is the city at large and likely the big power groups and people around the city.

    You would think with a mayor from West Seattle, a little more leadership would be taking place. Sometimes I long for the days when Charlie Chong was on the council.

    Growth is real. It can’t be stopped – only controlled (although just tearing down the viaduct and replacing it with a surface street might actually keep people from moving here at all). People who own property are happy to not have any more growth – that means the scales will always tip to the demand side – good for your house values, but not good for the region overall.

    Seattle’s leaders need to step up to the plate and act like leaders of the regions most important city.

  • Dorcas February 14, 2007 (10:48 am)

    I just discovered this restaurant…. I was thrilled to have good mexican food within walking distance of my house. Being able to walk to stores/ restaurants from my home is one of the things I value most about living in West Seattle and now they are slowly (ok, not so slowly) taking that away. Who is supposed to be keeping an eye on the big picture for us? Greed is running amuck….

  • Rhonda Porter February 14, 2007 (11:26 am)

    I’m all for growth.

    But to continue to stack people up in West Seattle where driving around the pot holes is an adventure and getting out of WS via the bridge is a true commitment–there is a total lack of planning.

    One of the many things I love about West Seattle are all of the small restaurants.

  • Dis February 14, 2007 (11:49 am)

    Electing council members by district is a bad idea. It would reduce West Seattle to only one representative, whereas we currently have nine who are equally responsible to everyone, and for the city as a whole. Budget and legislative decisions must be made in consideration of the whole of the city. I would not want to leave the fate of West Seattle to the strength or weakness of only one person. Our voice would be only as strong or as weak as that one individual and council members, being human, have strengths and weaknesses, biases and idiosyncrasies. Ward politics would not benefit Seattle.

    IN the meantime, West Seattle is fortunately the home of our best and most effective sitting council person IMO, Tom Rasmussen.

    We can currently use all of the council people to our advantage. If we want hot air and showboating, we go to Peter Steinbrueck. If we want thoughtful consideration, we go to Sally Clark. If we want feel-good affirmation, we go to Richard Conlin. If we want power, we go to Jan Drago. If we want to promote a novel or innovative idea, we go to Nick Licata. If we want nothing, we go to David Della. If we want to get something done, we go to Tom Rasmussen…..

  • Joel February 14, 2007 (11:52 am)

    Disappearing businesses? Huh? This blog has entry after entry publicizing all the new restaurants opening up, some close to this spot. Just a couple of blocks away from Guadalajara is a recently-opened (family-owned) Greek place that would probably be happy for the biz. Beveridge Place just bought a building and will be independent and on its own property before long.

    People gotta live somewhere, and, though I’ll be a little sad to no longer see that Mission-style facade on California Ave, I’d rather be in a living, changing interesting city with new people arriving than a living history musuem.

  • Todd in Westwood February 14, 2007 (12:05 pm)

    I sure hope that the city is putting a little money away in savings from all this development in West Seattle, because we are going to need a little more of it to repair California Ave. It is rough and full of crumbling asphalt.
    I have been thinking about trading my Saab in for a Baja truck.

  • chet_desmond February 14, 2007 (12:14 pm)

    I have always lived where I could afford to live, not where I wanted to live. Presently, I want to live in Medina or Hunts Point but I cannot afford it and I see no issue with that. No one has a right to live 4 miles from downtown or anywhere for that matter. Also, I just wanted to second the comment made by Rhonda.. packing people in, that the city cannot support, is my real concern.

  • dq February 14, 2007 (12:24 pm)

    Unfortunately, I’m going to have to disagree with Dis about Mr. Rasmussen. During the windstorm, he was kind enough to put a handwritten note on my door with his phone number, but never returned any phone calls I made to him.
    Back to the topic at hand… growth/change is inevitable. Let’s hope West Seattle sees RESPONSIBLE growth/change so we can continue to enjoy the place we all love to call home.

  • JE February 14, 2007 (12:58 pm)

    Eric is right; we need to increase density to avoid sprawl. Increasing density, paradoxically, can lead to a more livable city–if it’s managed correctly. Unfortunately, the city’s leadership (read, the mayor, in particular) is willing to increase the density but unwilling to invest in the infrastructure (especially transportation) that would make that density livable. We could have had the monorail to whisk some of that population downtown and connect it with the rest of the city, but he didn’t have the political guts to see it through. Now we’re going to have to see the traffic get worse before some other courageous soul is willing to lead on creating an actually rapid rapid transit system that people will use.

    If Guadalajara Hacienda had had better food, I’d have been sadder to see it go. I wish the one by the ferry dock had good food, but it’s pretty mediocre. The Greek place at the Morgan Junction is promising.

  • WSRenter February 14, 2007 (2:38 pm)

    I’d like to know where the market is for all these townhomes and condos that are sprouting on every corner of West Seattle. A number of them are lowering prices since they’re not selling. HighPoint is building still more. Almost 200 townhomes are being built on Sylvan Way. And now there’s rumor that West Ridge Park apartments on Delridge is looking into condo conversion – that’s another 200+ units. Where are all the renters going to go when they get tossed out for conversions and/or priced out of these ridiculously-high condos/townhomes? The Osborne on California has some units selling for upwards of $600k!

  • Eric February 14, 2007 (2:39 pm)

    It strikes me as odd that our local leaders – city, county and state can’t seem to perform in their basic duties, that being – running their city, county, state.

    Sure, the city council is good for endorsing the Kyoto protocol, and the state is hard at work coming up with an anti-troop surge amendment. The county is full steam ahead on researching global warming. Seattle will soon be voting in a pointless election that was pointless even before the state said no-way to a tunnel.

    What about schools, roads, transportation and crime? Let’s see – we have no real mass transit plan for West Seattle. The roads are in horrible shape – an seem to be getting worse. We’ve had three cops killed by people who just got out of jail. Auto theft is out of control. Schools are closing, then staying open, then closing – plans change depending on the volume of the criticism.

    *** Where are our LEADERS? ***

    Growth is coming – true leaders will plan to deal with it. If you think the impact is bad for our roads, what will it mean for our schools and for crime?

    Meanwhile, don’t touch the public outdoor art at our beautiful sculpture park – if you can find a way to get down there……

  • Jiggers February 14, 2007 (3:11 pm)

    This no newsflash but California Avenue between Morgan Junction and Alaska Junction has been in the plannings over the last ten years by people with money to look like a Condo/Townhome highway. The whole area is profitable. And now with the Monorail Project dead, yep you guessed it more Condo’s coming your way. The Guadalajara owners made money. That’s what its all about isn’t it?

  • The House February 14, 2007 (3:53 pm)

    Wow, lots of complaining here. In regards to the restaurant, it either fell victim to the natural selection of Capitalism or the owners simply wanted to sell to make money. Personally, I don’t have an issue with more townhomes being built in the city. The alternative would be to sprawl outside of the city limits, which would lead to destruction of a lot of the land that we as Seattlites play in (hiking, camping, etc). I personally don’t have an issue with more townhomes going up because it’s making this area more desireable and driving my property value through the roof (I own a house). There continue to be more and more businesses opening up everyday in West Seattle and hopefully these new residents will become just like us and enjoy supporting them! Stop whining and eat a cupcake….I’m at Coffee to a Tea and I’m seriously going to have one!

  • CandrewB February 14, 2007 (6:32 pm)

    I would not mind it as much if all the new town homes were not so bland and ugly. With exception to NoMo, everything built recently looks like it belongs in Federal Way. This is supposedly a modern city, construct units that reflect that.

  • flipjack February 14, 2007 (10:10 pm)

    Yeup just more pandering to developers wishes as would seem logical when Mayor Gridlock’s brothers just happen to be developers..geee what a coincidence. I can’t understand people who think density is such a great idea in a city with NO REAL PUBLIC TRANPORTATION!!!! Try taking a bus to work on the Eastside or even up to Wallingford and see how you like the 2 HOUR ride ONE WAY!! And you want MORE cars on the road?? When the viaduct goes down West Seattle will suffocate.

  • Jiggers February 15, 2007 (8:26 am)

    Exactamundo House:
    You start a business so you can make money. If you live down by Jueneau St and want to eat Mexican food, get off your lazy ass and go up to the Junction. There’s a dozen joints.

  • chet_desmond February 15, 2007 (1:20 pm)

    LMAO Jiggers. You are too funny. Cheers!

  • chet_desmond February 15, 2007 (1:29 pm)

    Jiggers – I almost sent a shout out to The House as well. Well put, House.

    Side note – If people cannot tell from previous posts, development has got me riled up pretty good. However, thanks to Eric, Jiggers, and The House, I feel a little better about it. I’m a home owner but still think the development cons outweigh the pros.

  • Rhonda Porter February 16, 2007 (7:12 pm)

    Our family just returned from a “farewell dinner” at Guadalajara…they (Guadalajara) did not sell…THEY LOST THEIR LEASE. This is also what happened to their Queen Anne location 2 years ago. They’re trying to find a new spot to re-open.

  • chet_desmond February 19, 2007 (8:37 am)

    Thanks Rhonda, hopefully they will re open. Sadly it will likely be in the bottom floor of a mixed use building somewhere on California Ave. I went with my family this weekend for one last time. :(

  • Roberto February 21, 2007 (10:14 pm)

    I will miss Trini and Carlos and Raney and the great salsa – the best in the USA – been going there since ’87 and to Luci’s downtown Guad since ’81.

  • Chet Desmond February 23, 2007 (9:27 am)

    Yeah, awesome crew and the best salsa!

  • McM Family March 3, 2007 (2:10 pm)

    Chris, Karen, Ellen, Kati, and Jeff want to give a huge thank you to Trini and Carlos and all of our friends at Guadalajara Hacienda. You have been our favorite family night out since our kids were brand new babies – 15 years. You are the reason we came back so often and we will miss you so much more than the great food and good prices (oh where can I find such great machaca!)

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