You know what you DON’T want – so what DO you want?

In the discussion that followed our report on last Thursday’s Southwest Design Review Board meeting – the first look at early plans for two more major Junction projects (Conner Homes‘ buildings @ California/Alaska/42nd and Harbor Properties‘ building at 38th/Alaska) – the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce (whose executive director Patti Mullen and president Dawn Leverett, both profiled here recently, attended the meeting) was mentioned a few times. Some commenters were worried the C of C isn’t campaigning to attract the right types of businesses to West Seattle. Believe it or not, the C of C is truly interested in hearing what you DO want to see in terms of businesses for these new developments (and the rest of WS, for that matter), and asked us if we would throw that out to you for open discussion. So — what DO you want to see filling West Seattle’s commercial spaces?

92 Replies to "You know what you DON'T want - so what DO you want?"

  • L.G. April 14, 2008 (4:24 pm)

    A hospital! West Seattle could really use a general hospital on the order of the Northwest Hospital near Northgate. We really don’t need more townhouses and condos. I don’t really think we need any more grocery stores, especially after Whole Foods and Trader Joes.

  • L April 14, 2008 (4:48 pm)

    I’d love to see more hip, cultural businesses, art galleries, attainable yet unique clothing shops, natural foods, good restaurants, maybe even a few more nice social spots. Not another Capitol Hill, but something similar with a more focused, adult & family vibe. Other areas it would be nice to emulate are Queen Anne and Madison.

  • m2 April 14, 2008 (4:59 pm)

    I further L’s comments, and would add a mandate prohibiting chain stores. I’ve seen those big boxes suck the life and dollars out of communities. West Seattle needs to stay local and stay weird – and family friendly.

  • JE April 14, 2008 (5:22 pm)

    Keep the national chains out; keep local businesses here. If this is an issue of national chains having deeper pockets than local businesses, we need some kind of preferential or subsidy system to support the locals.

    We could use a great games store in WS (Curious Kidstuff is great for children’s games, but we also need games for older kids and adults–board games, dice games, card games, etc.) Gary’s Games in Greenwood is an example. An attached tea/coffee shop and gathering space to play games would be great!

  • charlabob April 14, 2008 (5:26 pm)

    So is TJs a chain :-)

  • Suits are not boring April 14, 2008 (5:31 pm)

    First-run movie theatre! Love Admiral and would still go, but it would be great to have a first-run house closer than downtown

  • TammiWS April 14, 2008 (5:33 pm)

    I know this might be controversial but I’d like to see a theatre that shows new releases. I dont want to drive to Southcenter and DT is too expensive. Itd be great to grab a good dinner and a new movie on occasion.

  • BobLoblaw April 14, 2008 (5:52 pm)

    +1 for entertainment such as a first-run movie theater. There’s only so many times you can go bowling or out to dinner in WS. Would also welcome a business for better quality home decor and single-serving furniture. Tired of gettin’ my Crate and Barrel on at U Village.

  • JimmyG April 14, 2008 (5:55 pm)

    No chains.

    Please, no chains.

  • John Sammons April 14, 2008 (6:06 pm)

    I agree w/ L. Has anyone been on 23rd in Portland? [Minus the chains, exclusive of a TJ (gee, do ALL of us want to see one here!?) of course.] A mix of interesting, one of a kind, not nail salon, dry cleaner, or something we already have 3-5 of in a square mile, businesses.

  • Wendy April 14, 2008 (6:36 pm)

    Trader Joe’s? DId they finally decide on a location? Maybe I am just behind the times or something…what’s the scoop on that?

  • BobLoblaw April 14, 2008 (6:43 pm)

    Funny the mention of Queen Anne. This has probably been pointed out, but we have many duplicates over here: Easy Street, Guadalajara (now in the past tense), and others I can’t remember, but do remember thinking, “Hey, we’ve got one of those in WS also.”

    For us, IMO, it’s a location thing. We are separated from the mainland, hence not a destination for those outside the community for things such as shopping and entertainment. Eating is a natural because of our views and the “let’s get out of the city, but not so far out of the city that we have to fight freeway traffic” thing. We are to Seattle what Coronado is to San Diego (yeah, yeah, yeah — I know: we lack similar hoity toity-ness. They lack a polluted harbor). But you get the idea.

  • Keith April 14, 2008 (7:24 pm)

    Based on the number of new residential units being built around the Junction, we’re gonna need a lot more restaurants! But I strongly agree with the preference for no chains, although I would make an exception for something like Pasta & Co. I would also like to see a wine bar open in our area. And more places with decks/outdoor seating and views.

    A first-run movie theatre in WS would be awesome, preferably a locally-based operation like Majestic Bay. Even a single screen like Big Picture or Columbia City Cinema would be great.

    Please, no Quiznos, no Subways, no Dominos, no generic chains that would only water down the uniquely West Seattle experience.

  • Trent April 14, 2008 (7:26 pm)

    A movie theatre would be awesome…just concerned about the traffic. If we have the monorail, it would have been perfect, oh well. :-)

  • TammiWS April 14, 2008 (7:30 pm)

    Glad there are votes for a theatre! All the land around the old Huling spot might not be a bad location. Or out at Westwood Village….???

  • WSB April 14, 2008 (7:35 pm)

    BL – Having come here directly from SD in ’91, we like to think of WS as more like Ocean Beach, the wonderfully funky beach area where we lived. Just a couple minutes’ straight shot from downtown, yet a world away … with both fabulous beach homes and low-income apartments just minutes apart.

  • Jeremiah April 14, 2008 (7:38 pm)

    How about a decent Chinese food restaurant?
    Yen Wor makes me yak.

  • nunya April 14, 2008 (7:42 pm)

    There was a large theater planned for Westwood just before Loews went belly-up. We need more well thought out regional businesses that have advertising budgets. This will attract customers to the Junction area and enable the samller businesses to thrive. TJ’s is a chain, I don’t have a problem with that and they would attract customers that would find their way to Husky’s and Capers. For myself none of what is in the proposed Connor site has much history or is worth saving. In the big scheme of things Rocksport is a newcomer and is long overdue for replacement. I would like to see a Pasta & Company, perhaps a small Sur La Tab, Sushi land to name a few. Jak’s, Husky’s Caper’s and Easy Street prove that a well-run independent store can do great in WS. A poorly run, poorly financed business will suffer no matter what the rent. Perhaps a Pacific Sun or a Zumiez. Most sites in WS are too small for a “big box” anyway.

  • DALYDBL April 14, 2008 (7:52 pm)

    An Emergency Room / small hospital. First run theater sounds nice. How about a new spot for West Seattle Montessori? Buffalo Exchange?
    No more grocery stores, chains or apartments…and please…no more cars!

  • MNGirl April 14, 2008 (8:43 pm)

    Nunya says a “small Sur La Tab” – check out J F’s WS owned and a whole lot of fun to shop in and they have whatever you need…

    Yes, theatre would be great… and please no more grocery stores. How about a quilt shop? Hancock’s is fine for notions and such but we quilters really really need a quilt shop!! IMHO

  • Kathy April 14, 2008 (8:52 pm)

    I vote for the movie theater, too. How about a restaurant like the 5 Spot in Queen Anne?

  • grr April 14, 2008 (8:53 pm)

    Personally, I want more OFFICE space. Branch offices of law firms, etc, from downtown..

    Sure…food/clothing/one-off individual merchants, of course… ya’ll KNOW what it’s like to try and open one??? Do you know how INSANELY difficult our lame-ass city govt. makes it to open a business? ESPECIALLY a food/drinking establishment.

    what we DON’T need is more nail salons and frame shops. And, soory..we don’t need a freakin’ Trader Joes. Go to Burien. It ain’t that far.

    I -STILL- expect to see WholeFoods back out of their deal. Just a gut feeling.

  • BobLoblaw April 14, 2008 (8:54 pm)

    WSB: The Loblaws love Ocean Beach (spent many weekends kicking around a lot of San Diego and Orange counties when the ladies were younger). How about this: We build a pier in West Seattle (ala OB) with a movie theater and Trader Joe’s!!

  • Peggy April 14, 2008 (8:58 pm)

    West Seattle does need a first-run movie theater like the Majestic Bay Theater, which is a local family owned venue. Has anyone spoken to them about considering opening a theater in West Seattle??

    Once Rocksport goes… there will not be a live music venue IN the Junction. How about a small live music venue – similar to the Tractor Tavern? As much as I love the Tractor – going out to Ballard is a real pain (especially if one must rely upon public transportation… it takes an hour each way!) Besides, I bet many of you would love to be able to just walk home after a night out listening to music, right?

    More art galleries, and places where people can learn how-to or just create their own art. A frame shop.

    A store like Gifted (locally owned and located in Ballard) would be fantastic! They have the best selection of (edgy, weird, and funny) cards!

    A quality consignment store (featuring household items, furniture and furnishings).

    A real shoe cobbler – who actually does quality work.

  • Peggy April 14, 2008 (9:04 pm)

    I’m sort of a “new” resident of WS… I just read one of the comments that said there are plenty of frame shops… in the Junction? If there is one, then I must have been walking around in a daze each time I passed it… which isn’t a stretch for me to do! ;-)

  • Gina April 14, 2008 (9:18 pm)

    NW Art and Frame and Geegaws.

  • TheVelvetBulldog April 14, 2008 (9:23 pm)

    Local, affordable office space. That alone would cut down on some of the bridge traffic if businesses located here. From lawyers to non-profits. Also, some decent clothing shops (for men AND women)–something that’s not an expensive boutique, but also not Target. I know people are all anti-chain, but man, I’d kill for an Eddie Bauer outlet. :-) And what will we do for car parts once Schucks moves away – that needs to be taken care of. (I’d also like to see a scooter service and shop!) Again with the chains, but one of those little T-Mobile (Verizon, ATT&T, etc.) storefronts so someone could get my !@#@!*! Blackberry working right!! And room for the WS Nursery to expand – so they can offer more variety and take down their prices just a wee bit. (I’m building my own little Utopia here!) And yes, more furniture options – Ethan Allen or Dania-style.

  • denny April 14, 2008 (9:37 pm)

    OK – here’s what I get out of our input so far:

    I read NO CHAINS, but I see tons of cars at the Target, Barnes & Noble and Bed, Bath & Whatever. Someone in WS likes shopping at chains.

    I see a lot of calls for a first run movie theater, but they don’t build 1 of these, they build 10-16 screens, and we don’t have that kind of inexpensive land (especially the way folks here want to park for free right in front of their destination).

    I read hospital, but there’s NO WAY we’re going to get one when cost consolidation drives health care.

    I see office space, but there are significant vacancies in most every building that has office space (Jefferson Square, GSA, pick a frontage on California)

    Furthermore, every meeting I go to about a new development the builders get their butt kicked for being “too big” and “not fitting in” to our burg. Then they get chewed for charging “market rate” and kicking out the folks who rented the shed of a building that was torn down to build the new place.

    So, let’s keep adding little restaurants & stores (and shop there), try to land some larger employers (when Huling/Gee left, there went 200+ local jobs), be willing to pay $1 for parking, more for space rental, and get over ourselves a bit.

  • stephanie April 14, 2008 (9:44 pm)

    How about a climbing gym, like Stone Gardens in Ballard?

  • WS Biz Owner April 14, 2008 (9:54 pm)

    I have lived in WS for 14 yrs, run a consulting business located in WS for 13 yrs, and buy WS whenever possible. I wish my fellow neighbors that work downtown and shop regionally had supported the monorail. As noted, many WS merchants run their businesses for the daytimer and not the worker that would like to spend their monies locally (meaning weekday after 6pm). I think that WS could use a few name brand stores as well as regional/local stores so that we dont have to vist Westwood Village, Southcenter and Bellevue. While I am not a fan of chains, to really be sustainable, we will need a few and more diverse restaurants. It would even be nice have a mini-mall (Pacific Place type, with theater, and some upscale stores). I use Pacific Place as an example as the underground parking makes this easy to access. The Triangle would be the perfect location for such a resource. All development MUST mandate 1.5 times current parking standards. Not even Jefferson Square has adquate parking, as people dont use the downstairs parking and the vertical transition between floors is not easy. Parking in the Junction has become impossible causing many to leave on weekends in favor Bellevue Sq.

  • Paul April 14, 2008 (10:31 pm)

    To grr, yes, dealing with the city when converting a space for food, liqour, etc, is a TOTAL PAIN! We have been working on our coffee shop (story last week Coffee at the Heights) and its been one story after another with the city. And we are not even putting in a kitchen! Its a simple coffee shop! We wanted to be open in March and its looking like June…

  • Jerald April 14, 2008 (10:56 pm)

    A good take-out hamburger place (closer to us in the south end).

  • AlkiResident April 14, 2008 (11:03 pm)

    I agree with a first-run movie house – small single/double screen would be great. Rumor has it no Trader Joe’s because that would take away Burien’s business. Enough reason for me to visit the TJ in Capital Hill (even has free parking). It’s bigger and nicer anyways. A live music venue gets my vote, too. Now, if they could just set up a nice public transportation loop from Alki to the Junction to Westwood…….if they don’t, no way people will get rid of their cars, so build enough parking.

  • Jerald April 14, 2008 (11:05 pm)

    We need GOOD take-out hamburgers, GOOD Chinese food, and somewhere to get coffee, desserts, food after 9:00 pm. Even after midnight!

  • chas redmond April 14, 2008 (11:40 pm)

    I’ll say it again, we need a 24-hour diner – good burgers, fries, shakes and grilled sticky buns at 1 in the AM – with good coffee and cold milk. No ice cream, except after Husky’s closes, then there’d also be a limited variety of Husky ice cream.

  • MellyMel April 14, 2008 (11:50 pm)

    I agree with grr. If people really want to have folks who can work *in* WS, there must be white collar offices. I love small boutiques and little restaurants. Great. But I dont work there, cant support my WS mortgage on that kind of income, and neither do most people I know. They have paper pushing OFFICE jobs. A few 10 person artitects offices doesnt cut it. Until we create the space for 50 – 100+ person offices and woo the business to be here, people like me will need to commute. Software companies, consulting firms, regional offices . . .

  • grr April 15, 2008 (12:11 am)

    Sorry to hear that, Paul. I hope you can get your biz up and running as soon as possilble!!

    _..we need a Red Mill Burgers joint in WS!!!!

    I sure wish Julias’ would open a WS spot…

    -I’d like an upscale Ethiopian joint here too (like Queen of Sheeba..droooool).

    Wonder if 13 Coins would come here….

  • acemotel April 15, 2008 (1:20 am)

    I second (or third) a late-night diner. This place rolls up at 9 pm, but life doesn’t stop then, believe it or not.

    If the fabric store is leaving, I would like to see another one someplace. You can’t find buttons, thread, notions in the grocery store. Or do people not sew any more?

    WSB: you came from South Dakota? Wow. never met anyone from there.

  • T.De April 15, 2008 (6:48 am)

    More independent clothing stores – I don’t like having to drive so far to find clothes… more small local restaurants… a small Subaru dealership in an out of the way corner – a close hospital would be great. And I agree that we’ve got plenty of grocery stores and condos… don’t need more of those. I don’t want to see West Seattle’s main streets turned into concrete canyons, eclipsed by tall buildings on both sides.

  • BobLoblaw April 15, 2008 (7:05 am)

    How about a Dick’s in West Seattle?

  • Paul April 15, 2008 (7:16 am)

    Hey, I am from SD too.
    We have looked into a Diner, so, for all the Westies, its kinda in the works. But it will probably take us a year or so to get a space and then get it opened up. And all of those foods mentioned above are planned.

  • Bernicki April 15, 2008 (7:56 am)

    Hancock Fabrics is coming back into the new buildings on its current space. That said, a more “boutique” fabric place or quilting place would be great. Hancock is nice to have handy, but it’s pretty utilitarian. I find myself driving to Northgate to Pacific Fabrics for stuff I want.

  • CMP April 15, 2008 (7:59 am)

    I’d like to see more affordable apartments and condos but that’s wishful thinking. In terms of necessities, a hospital would be great, mainly for emergency purposes. I’d like to see improved access to 99 north AND a southbound entrance from the bridge. That might help improve traffic a bit. Better and more frequent Metro service would also be helpful.

    As far as shops and restaurants, I’m quite happy with what we have already. BobLoblaw…I agree with needing a Dick’s over here, but am glad there isn’t one b/c that’s the last thing some of us need easy access to! I like going to other neighborhoods to hit certain bars and restaurants. We have the Matador, Endolyne Joe’s (to meet that 5 Spot request above), live music at Skylark every night, one of the last bowling alleys in Seattle. I love this neighborhood and don’t want to see it become overun with snooty, overpriced boutiques and shi-shi restaurants. If you want that, go move to Queen Anne or Bellevue.

  • Rick April 15, 2008 (8:00 am)

    As more and more peopole move into a desirable (charming) area many want to bring to it some of what they left. Developers notice. Buildings go up. More people move. Changes are made. Charm fades. Progress?? Oh, to turn back the clock. The bridge was the beginning of the end of West Seattle’s old charm. Look out Vashon!

  • coffee geek April 15, 2008 (8:15 am)

    Red Mill Burgers. Espresso Vivace or Zoka. TJ’s. More funky gastro-pubs. Another music venue (to complement Skylark). Wine bar. Boutiques that carry some men’s clothing/shoes. Carta La Oaxaca. Walk/bike-only retail/restaurant/entertainment area. Permanent Farmer’s Market area (like downtown Olympia’s).

  • Kitrit April 15, 2008 (8:17 am)

    An affordable fruit and vegetable stand like MacPhersons on Beacon Hill or the one at 35th and Barton. A great women’s clothing store like Horseshoe in Fremont or the amazing Andaluz clothing-and-fun-stuff store in Columbia City.

  • Al April 15, 2008 (8:43 am)

    Good, moderately priced restaurants (not over $15/plate!). We seem to be over-run by more expensive places and the moderately priced restaurants are usually packed.

    No box stores, or severely limit where they go and exactly how big they can be. Yes, for the ‘big box’ and the mall serve a purpose. But not in a community setting. Keep them where they are.

    The little theatre in Ballard (someone mentioned the Majestic?) is small and has first run movies. It’s a fantastic movie theatre and would fit in well here.

    AFFORDABLE clothing stores. Many of us cannot afford $80 t-shirts and $300 dresses, even though we drool over them in the windows. There’s no in-between. It’s either Funky Jane’s or more expensive stores. Portland has this down pat.

    MORE bus service. Improve the route #21 (more service and longer express hours). This does not mean RapidRide. A metro route that circulated from Morgan Junction (at the least) to Alki/Admiral would get me out of my car for WS trips more often. Imagine a bus that went up and down California Ave! This is a huge deal with all the condos/apartments planned.

  • Patrick the Sales Guy April 15, 2008 (9:15 am)

    A couple of date points here –

    Yes, Trader Joe’s is a national chain.

    Kathy – the folks who run the Five Spot also own and operate Endolyne Joe’s just up from the ferry dock.

    Bob – the glaring difference between WS and Coronado is our lack of a Navy air field which is attached to the SEAL training base.

    But other than that…

  • rgb April 15, 2008 (9:37 am)

    PLEASE no more artsy clothing shops that never have any customers in them, that charge $300 for a pair of shoes, $200 for a handmade purse, and $150 for a shirt. We have PLENTY of those eating up space.

    And also no more furniture shops that are similar to these overpriced clothing shops. Capers, the woodworking place (no idea on the name because I can’t afford $750 for a bench for my porch)…

    Basically I would like to see no chain stores, minus a TJs, but would like to see businesses that actually cater to West Seattlites, not Medina-ites.

  • call me naive... April 15, 2008 (9:43 am)

    a great coffee/dessert place that is not a cavern, is a bar alternative, to sit and chat and sip for those of us that don’t roll up in our blankies after 9pm

  • rgb April 15, 2008 (9:56 am)

    Oh, a hotel would be wonderful too. The closest hotels are downtown, so it’s expensive for your guests. And that hotel on 35th and Alaska doesn’t count. I wouldn’t send anyone I know there.

  • MW April 15, 2008 (10:27 am)

    Great comments – keep ’em coming!
    When it comes to developers and retailers, there are some very serious financial considerations. The smaller, local shops just have a hard time competing with the chains, especially in a place where they are used to paying relatively low lease rates.
    The inevitable outcome is that a mix is required…
    And I would echo the comments about different uses – hotel, office, medical, etc. All of these things combined begin to create a real small town where most of our needs can be met without requiring a trip across the bridge.
    The best path is to engage the developer and their real estate leasing agents to feed them ideas.
    Another consideration – as development begins to happen all over the Junction, current businesses will need to shift around, leaving older buildings and moving into newer buildings. So who should shift into the new building? Elliot Bay? Husky? Capers? Food for thought…

  • rgb April 15, 2008 (11:02 am)

    Off topic, yes, but – a West Seattle-only bus route would be so awesome. If I could take the bus to the Admiral Junction or Westwood Village or the Morgan junction from The Junction, I’d barely ever use my car. West Seattle’s big!

  • esdl April 15, 2008 (11:26 am)

    keep new businesses unique and locally-owned. a good bookstore with NEW books would be great and draw a lot of people on rainy days. A small first-run theater would also be great.

    Ballard Ave in Ballard is a great model for scale, storefront preservation and locally owned shops and restaurants.

    and more TREES!!!

  • nb April 15, 2008 (12:46 pm)

    A small hospital like the one in Ballard would be nice to have. It will be a lot more difficult to reach the hospitals on First Hill or UW Hospital once the viaduct is down in 2012. Also, a hotel seems like a necessity. It amazes me that no one has built a decent hotel in this neighborhood – everyone visiting must either squeeze into our small homes and condos or stay downtown.

  • chas redmond April 15, 2008 (1:54 pm)

    You know, a good combination map/navigation/optical/nautical store would work here, too. We’ve got tons of places where scopes or binocs would be useful (the optical) and plenty of interest in the coastline and forests and creeks (the maps) and plenty of places where someone playing geocache would have fun (the navigation) and plenty of launch-your-own beaches (the nautical). It’d be a somewhat eclectic kind of store but I think it’d totally make money – I know I’d be in there a lot.

  • SuitsarenotBoring April 15, 2008 (2:02 pm)

    rgb – you can take the 51 from Admiral to the Junction. It circles the neighborhood in between

  • seattle golfer April 15, 2008 (2:14 pm)

    Thanks for finally asking Chamber of Commerce!

    yarn shop
    golf shop
    sportsware shop
    A permanent Farmers Market facility
    A Big Picture Movie House
    Papyrus Stationary
    Shoe Fly shoe store
    Pasta and Company
    Ann Taylor boutique
    Drastically expand the YMCA
    Wine shop
    A BBQ restaurant
    Upholstery Shop with fabrics
    Furniture Consignment shop
    A pea patch
    Some restaurants on the upper floor or even roof to take advantage of all of the views

    When can you begin to market for a better West Seattle rather than the same old stuff?

  • grr April 15, 2008 (2:48 pm)

    wow..55 posts, and nobody thinks we need more nail salons and framing stores???


    We need another steak joint to compete with JAK’s and their lame no-reservation policy.

  • WendyHJ April 15, 2008 (3:00 pm)

    I am asking about TJs again – someone mentioned early on in this thread it sounded as if they knew they had picked a location finally. Trader Joes has been a rumor for years, the most recent at High Point, but the site is just not big enough for parking, and also they say there are too many grocery stores close to HP already, the closest being 9 blocks away at Thriftway Morgain Junction. Must look nice on a map – the reality is I don’t know ANYone who is going to walk UP the hill from Thriftway. Even empty handed.

    We really need a walkable food store close to High Point.

  • Paul April 15, 2008 (3:48 pm)

    Are any of the developers reading this? I sure hope so! Then maybe we can find a good spot, that the rent is not overly expensive and get the overly needed 24 hour diner open…..

  • barmargia April 15, 2008 (4:17 pm)

    I would just like more stuff that I can afford. Like rgb said, I can’t afford to shop at those cute little local businesses that have to sell things at such a high price. I’m not saying throw a Wal-Mart up. But maybe I’m the minority who can’t afford to shop in just West Seattle.

  • WSB April 15, 2008 (4:38 pm)

    Re TJ’s — No, they haven’t signed anything unless someone who is very very very good at keeping secrets is keeping that one. We continue to investigate every possibility that pops up. Eventually, I am sure they will be in WS because there will be the population to support it and Burien, which can draw from the growing south suburbs.

  • denny April 15, 2008 (4:59 pm)

    Having reviewed additional comments I continue to be surprised that the majority of requests are for businesses that would struggle to pay current rents, much less the market rates of newer buildings. Furthermore, they are primarily restaurant and shopping. Do I need one more place to buy crap or eat?

    I agree with MellyMel. We need to consider how we add employers with significant staff loads at decent wage jobs.

    At this point, who are the largest employers left in West Seattle? My guess would be nursing homes, restaurants & schools. How many of their staff can afford to live and work in our community? If they cannot live here, that’s more cars driving in and out.

  • jeremy April 15, 2008 (5:01 pm)

    The diner idea is a GOOD one! You’re right, it is hard to get late night food besides freaky fast food, Matador, Brewery or delivery pizza..

    How about a ramen/noodle house? not Pho – but other noodle varieties. Can be open late – these places stay open LATE in Japan.

    I agree with outdoor seating, restaurant/bar options. More communal gathering spots, watering holes, etc. Irish Pub?

  • JW April 15, 2008 (5:28 pm)

    Thanks for hosting this discussion.

    Besides echoing the calls for a movie theater along the lines of the Bay Majestic, an Ethoipian restaurant and a Vietnamese place along the lines of Tamarind Tree/Green Leaf, a few other thoughts:

    A smaller movie venue that serves food, like Central Cinema

    A small hotel with a banquet/conference facility…I think this would be well-used, particularly if it took advantage of views or if the owners took a good deal of trouble with the design to make it appealing – no cookie-cutter bland corporate hotel ballroom feel. Companies are always looking for new management-retreat facilities, and what would be more convenient than to get away across the bridge to WS…so close, but so far, and still pretty convenient to SeaTac. If you made it small but well-designed, and nice but keep the room price below downtown rates, I think you could get the neighborhood behind it too.

  • WSB April 15, 2008 (5:30 pm)

    Denny – don’t forget Nucor, and perhaps some of the other industrial/marine businesses on the eastern edge of WS. Those are also jobs for which you don’t have to cross the bridge.

  • SLK April 15, 2008 (7:17 pm)

    Love the idea of late-night dining and a movie theater! Also more office and medical uses. I think a few chain stores can act like the “anchor” stores at malls, and bring people to the neighborhood who will then discover/patronize the smaller shops. Personally I wouldn’t mind a department store. I recently went downtown just to buy pantyhose since I couldn’t think of a place in WS (except for possibly Target) to get them. I generally avoid shopping as much as possible, but it would be nice to have more “essentials” (such as a variety of moderately-priced clothing) available close by. Clothing and books are the main things I buy outside of the Admiral/Junction neighborhoods.

  • JW April 15, 2008 (9:13 pm)

    Oh…one more thing. When I look at those old Huling showroom buildings, I think that it would be really sweet if at least one of them was preserved and turned into something that the neighborhood would love. A restaurant in one of those places with all of that glass would have to be Truly Fabulous, but it strikes me that we could do with something kind of like The Garage on Capitol Hill – someplace with pool tables, say, someplace that it would be easy to go to with a bigger group of people.

  • denny April 15, 2008 (9:39 pm)

    WSB, you are right. NUCOR is a big and good employer for our community, and there are some solid employment options in the adjacent business park and along W Marginal Way.
    But in the bulky interior and hubs of West Seattle (especially growth around Alaska Junction) we lack spaces to draw larger companies that provide sustainable work to local residents.
    And yet, the next posting after mine will likely be about a quaint Thai food storefront or preserving some shack of a building.

  • Booger April 15, 2008 (9:49 pm)

    Hooters!! West Seattle needs a Hooters…

  • rgb April 15, 2008 (10:29 pm)

    For those saying “office space”… ok, I can see the need. But do we need to have it in the heart of a commerce area? Edward Jones, small dental clinics… those types of things, sure, love to have them in WS. But do we really want them in places that would bring in commerce? People milling around, supporting the local economy won’t patronize a natural medicene clinic when coming to shop. If we have more of these small office-y places, why not put them a little bit off the beaten path where WS people, the only ones who will utilize them, will know where they are, and not in the retail spaces that would draw in consumers from all over Seattle?

  • miws April 15, 2008 (10:35 pm)

    “Hooters!! West Seattle needs a Hooters…”




  • acemotel April 16, 2008 (3:02 am)

    Largest employer in West Seattle: I would think it’s POS and the maritime industry at Terminal 5 just down the road, with their well-paying family-wage jobs. Nucor also has family-wage jobs. Industrial lands must be preserved.

  • D April 16, 2008 (7:40 am)

    Please, a decent fabric store and Red Mill Burgers. An ice rink would be nice too!

  • Jerald April 16, 2008 (8:20 am)

    A reasonably priced hotel/motel, please please please!

    And I like the idea of rooftop restaurants. Going into any of the California Ave. places is like eating in a cave, not appealing except in winter.

    Something like our old Lamonts at Westwood — moderately priced clothing and shoes.

    Also a craft supply store, not just expensive yarn or fabric.

  • Jerald April 16, 2008 (8:22 am)

    Small, shuttle-type buses running a circuit through West Seattle. Could connect with regular Metro at the hubs. I’d use that all the time.

  • E April 16, 2008 (9:04 am)

    A movie theatre and an Ethoipian restaurant. Maybe not at the junction, how about closer to High Point or Westwood. Westwood would be perfect for a multi-screen movie theatre.

  • Indaknow April 16, 2008 (9:48 am)

    PLEASE put a multi-screen theater near Westwood! I would love a small hospital to be built in West Seattle as well. I still miss West Seattle Hospital, JC Penneys and Lamonts.

  • stinkypinky April 16, 2008 (10:12 am)

    For everyone who wants to see a “better fabric store”, do you really think WS could support a store that would have to charge $10/yard or more for quilting fabrics? ‘Cause thats what they would have to charge to stay in business. If you want a craft store up here e-mail Michaels or go to their stores and give them your zip code if they ask for it, thats how they figure out where to put in new stores.

  • SuitsarenotBoring April 16, 2008 (12:45 pm)

    As a person who often goes out to eat after 8pm, Mission, West 5, Shadowland, Elliot Bay, Puerta Vallerta, and Talarico’s are usually serving until quite late. Also, Celtic Swell is an Irish Pub and open late. There also already is a wine shop near Morgan Junction and Square One is a great bookstore with new books.

    How about a Fed/Ex Kinko’s and a place to buy auto stuff if Shuck’s closes?

  • rgb April 16, 2008 (3:29 pm)

    Yeah but when someone wants to just get a burger and a plate of fries at a casual (and that’s the key word here) place open until at least 2am. Mission, West 5, Shadowland, Elliot Bay, and Talarico’s are not cheap-y places to eat, drinks are expensive, and it’s not casual feeling. West 5 is like a meat market and I feel like I need to be dressed somewhat hipster-y when I go to those places.
    And there’s already another car part store right by Shucks – CarQuest is the name, I believe.

  • Jerald April 16, 2008 (9:45 pm)

    I’d like a coffee & dessert place open late, like after a concert or play. Remember The Pacific Dessert Co. anyone?
    Also, the other places listed above are generally over-21.

  • Paul April 16, 2008 (9:51 pm)

    this has been probably the most interesting thread that I have seen. And as I stated earlier, the 24 hour diner is in a research mode, so all of the comments above about food, they are being well noted. Lets just hope that our new developments doesn’t price us out of West Seattle.

  • Kat April 17, 2008 (8:15 am)

    Not to sound like a broken record … but I heartily agree with the diner idea. My husband and I have two kids, and places like West 5, Pailin, Matador, Jak’s, etc, are great for my husband and I but the kids need something with a little more “kid-friendly” fare and a kid-friendly environment. We’ve eaten at Luna Park and that’s fine, but it’s pretty cramped – both inside the joint as well as in the tiny parking lot.

    Is there some other family-type restaurant in WS I’m missing? I’m thinking a Red-Robin-ish (non-chain) place that served a menu with a kid-friendly food.

  • WSB April 17, 2008 (8:40 am)

    Kat, have you taken the family to Elliott Bay Brewery in The Junction? Very good burgers, fries, family-friendly. Everybody’s family is different, of course, but we have always considered West 5 family-friendly (before 9 pm or so, of course) … the BLT, mac ‘n’ cheese, etc. .. especially if you can get one of the big booths (or the big table in back).

  • Kat April 17, 2008 (9:04 am)

    Thanks for the tip about Elliot Bay; we’ll give it a try. We’ve taken the kids to West 5 before, and they’ve been helpful in accomodating our one kid’s frustratingly plain tastes (“Mom, I don’t like the green flakes in the grilled cheese!”), but when we’ve gone the seating’s been tough, and it’s still a safe bet the menu options are too “exotic” for him.

    Maybe the problem isn’t needing another family-style restaurant in WS. Maybe I need to trade in the kid.

  • Booger April 18, 2008 (8:16 pm)

    There is also

    Endolyne Joe’s over on 45th.
    The Rocksport is good for kids before 9.
    Pegasus and Spiro’s are great for Pizza.

    All good places to take the kids…

  • Barb April 24, 2008 (9:41 am)

    I second the vote for a Vietnamese restaurant – one that is NOT pho.

  • JoB April 25, 2008 (5:33 pm)

    i really want a trader joes in high point.

    it’s concept would fit in with the neighborhood and would make living on foot possible for the people in that neighborhood…

    i also want an interesting women’s clothing store that carries size 12 and up….

  • thelmasue75 April 28, 2008 (8:46 pm)

    wow, everyone wants more places to eat, more places to buy stuff, more places to drink, more places to consume. why don’t we just plow the junction under and grow crops there instead? makes more sense for the environment, community-building, and the physical health of the people living here.
    that may sound extreme, but frankly, piling in more and more palaces of consumption in this neighborhood sounds, well, stupid. why not just leave it alone? where is the law that says we MUST add 1000+ residential units over 200+ retail spaces, with the attendant drain on resources that all that construction brings, and the subsequent strain on our community that all those new residents bring? i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again: no matter how many new apartments/condos/multi-million dollar homes are built, the number of homeless people seems to go up every year. with our economy and planet crumbling around us, it’s time to stop the insanity. “if you build it, they will come” was for when there were only 3 billion people on this planet.

  • Yacman August 15, 2008 (2:51 pm)

    It was eye-opening for me to see the number of new developments that are either planned or under construction in WS. I’m sure this is a little off-topic, but it reminds me of the question of how all these people are going to get to jobs outside of WS when the viaduct is torn down–but I digress. I’m kind of surprised that although many have mentioned the absence of a first-run movie multiplex no one has mentioned the absence, at least to my knowledge, of inexpensive small live theater space, (smaller than Youngstown or Artswest) which is absent here and disappearing all over the city.

Sorry, comment time is over.