We got the first tip from Rick (thank you!) earlier this week but couldn’t share the news with you till we got it confirmed after the lease was signed: Zeeks Pizza is coming to West Seattle, in the Morgan Junction spot (shown above) where the Corner Inn abruptly closed three months ago. We just talked with Zeeks vice president Greg McClure (a former West Seattleite) – read on to see what he told us, and one question you might be able to help answer:
Zeeks is best known in North Seattle – until the company-owned West Seattle restaurant opens, its southernmost location will be the one at 5th/Denny downtown (just south of Fisher Plaza – we first tried Zeeks there, while working in the old KOMO-TV building on the same site; here’s a list of current Zeeks locations).
McClure says Zeeks, which has been in the Seattle pizza business for 15 years, has actually been looking for a West Seattle location for three years. Now, within the past 24 hours, they just signed the lease for the Corner Inn building (where interior items were auctioned in late July), where he guesstimates they’ll be able to open within 8 months or so, depending on how the permit process goes: “We’re probably going to have to do quite a bit of work; we want to restore the original look to the exterior as much as possible, the interior as well – that building has so much original charm that’s been covered up over the years, we want to work with the owners to get it buffed up.”
He says that’ll include, among other things, plans to remove most if not all of the drop-down ceiling and expose some high-up windows that have long since been covered (although he adds, “There’s a cool bar in there now that we’d like to keep the look of” — not as a full bar, however; Zeeks serves beer/wine).
The Fauntleroy/California corner location is ideal, he says, because Zeeks offers delivery — “that’s a big part of our business,” McClure notes — as well as sit-down and pickup, and the site has parking. This will be the locally operated chain’s seventh store; if you’ve been to other Zeeks locations, McClure says this one will be most like “Denny, Phinney, and Kirkland.”
So why West Seattle, aside from McClure’s ties here? “We just think that neighborhood is screaming for a Zeeks. I know there are pizza options everywhere – a lot of great restaurants have been in West Seattle for a while, a lot of new restaurants are popping up, (but) we think people in West Seattle would totally dig a neighborhood pizza joint, the old-school pizzerias are hard to find.”
We also asked about the hours they’re likely to be open: “Typically we close at 10 pm; there might be a couple nights when we’re open later, till 11.” Now, here’s the big question: They haven’t decided yet whether to offer lunch, or just dinner. “We’re not so sure what the lunch business is going to be like there – our current stores are open for lunch, but we’re not sure if the neighborhood (in West Seattle) wants another lunch place, so we’re going to look carefully into that.”