Original owner of Spanky’s sets the record straight

On each and every WSB post, there’s just no telling where you all will take the discussion — or if you’ll choose to discuss at all. Last month, we mentioned the addition of an ADULT DVD sign to a Morgan Junction market, with a headline citing Spanky’s, the adult retailer that closed on mid-Cali some years back. That led to some discussion of Spanky’s in the comments; tonight, its former proprietor wrote us (comments are closed on the original item since 3+ weeks have passed) to set the record straight. Here’s his note:


As the originator and owner of Spanky’s on California Ave. in West Seattle some years ago, I am amused by all these contemporary comments posted on this blog, including some very personal comments that aren’t so nice, from people who do not know me.  The owner of this blog has kindly given me space to reply. :-)

Some years ago I decided to open a toy, game and puzzle store in West Seattle. It seemed that there was no place in West Seattle to buy kid’s toys.  Folks were driving all the way out to West Wood Village or South Center to buy a Monopoly game, etc.  And so I opened Spanky’s on California, and stocked it with toys, puzzles and games, etc.  I recall that Trivial Pursuit as a big seller that first year, especially around Christmas.

Then another toy store opened in the Junction, and my business dropped off. To stay viable, I thought that if kid’s toys aren’t making it, perhaps adult toys might. It was a business decision, nothing more.  So I restocked with “adult” videos, toys and games.  Nothing really shocking or lewd, unless one considers a tube of KY lewd, and operated for several years primarily as an adult video store, meaning videos for rent or sale, and some other “adult” items like women’s Victoria’s Secret. and Kama Sutra
products. There was no viewing of videos in the store, or trying on of garments.

I can assure you that there was never a “glory hole” on the premises, or anything illegal going on there.  Several attempts were made to close me down, but those failed because I was breaking no law, and always had a valid business license, and passed all inspections.  Also I was at least a thousand feet from any school.  Eventually I retired. and sold the business to another. The new owners eventually went out of business.  But apparently the legend of Spanky’s in West Seattle lives on, not as an urban myth, but as a real memory, and as a thorn in somebody’s side.  Get over it…


7 Replies to "Original owner of Spanky's sets the record straight"

  • Jen V. September 16, 2007 (12:19 pm)

    people are WAY too concerned in this town over things that do not concern them. don’t like adult stores? don’t go there! works for me with WalMart.

  • Jan September 16, 2007 (1:18 pm)

    I totally agree, Jen…

  • Sage K September 16, 2007 (2:36 pm)

    Word about WalMart!

    And the thing. It’s a pretty simple life lesson, if you don’t like something don’t go there/do it/see it/ etc.

  • eric September 16, 2007 (4:11 pm)

    I will add one more comment about Spanky’s.

    The name Spanky’s referred to George “Spanky” McFarland, of “Little Rascals” and “Our Gang” fame. Nothing naughty about it.

    That old building is an eyesore, especially since it is boarded up, but my, does it have a history.

    Originally it was an open vegetable stand without a permanent front. Later it became a butcher shop, and one could tell by the wear on the original flooring just where the counter had stood. At another time it was a neighborhood grocery, and an entire family lived in the back. (During the Great Depression?) More recently it was an office for a moving and storage company.

    Then it was a piano store, and finally Spanky’s, which seems to be the end of the line for it. Dear old building…

    Some boys from Bellevue bought it some years go, and apparently are waiting for the corner lot next door to become availabe for sale. Thus a double lot on California, and probably yet another ugly high-rise condo..

    Is that progress?


  • G. Williams September 16, 2007 (5:58 pm)

    I wholeheartedly endorse Eric’s sentiments, except for the part where Westwood Village isn’t in West Seattle.

  • David September 16, 2007 (6:23 pm)

    I love hearing about the history of local places like Spankys. I even remember going in there during its adult incarnation. It was a nice place.

    I love how ‘sex’ store/shops sometimes get Americans all atwitter. This has to be the most sexually repressed country on the planet. Nearly every product is sold with a sexual innuendo, or an out and out sexual overture (hot young woman with cleavage leaning over a counter to sell a chicken sandwich or some nonsense). Yet despite those sexual ads (not to mention the huge porn market) the very sight of breasts in an ad or seeing a woman breast feeding…or god forbid 1/2 second of part of a nipple from Janet Jackson and the country faints like a 98 year old southern bell seeing two dogs humping. Its JUST SEX! There’s over 6,000,000,000 people on the planet…do the math. That’s just the heterosexual full intercourse that resulted in a final successful pregnancy. The ‘rest’ of the sexual behavior would come out to about 100,000,000,000,000 ‘acts’ in the last 100 years. So get a grip. :) It’s just part of life.

  • miws September 16, 2007 (6:24 pm)

    Thanks for the info on the building history, Eric.

    I couldn’t remember what was there before Spanky’s, although I walked by there every day some 40 years ago on my way to and from Lafayette. With your memory jog, I do remember the piano shop.

    I obviously remember Mac’s on the corner, and the old metal 7-UP sign (pre the painted on one) on the side of the building. We kids would walk by it, give it a hit, and exclaim “Blecchh, 7-UP!” (We were such pre-adolescent delinquents! ;) )

    Lew Daughters ran the store for many years, and was it’s butcher. My older brother, at around age 13 or 14 worked for Lew, sweeping the floors, etc.
    My brother, the big tease that he was, and as far as I know still is, (he lives on the other side of the country) loved to give Lew a bad time about his bald head!


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