West Seattle, Washington
West Seattle’s Mashiko is drawing regional attention and accolades for the recent revelation it’s about to focus on “sustainable sushi.” WSB photojournalist Christopher Boffoli had previously interviewed Mashiko proprietor Hajime Sato for this closeup look we’re sharing now:
Story, photos and video by Christopher Boffoli
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
About one in four restaurants will close or change ownership within their first year of business, according to a study cited in a 2007 issue of BusinessWeek. Over three years, that number rises to three in five. Even in the best economic times, opening a restaurant can be a risky venture.
But while the recession has taken its toll on West Seattle restaurants, cited in closures such as Ama Ama and Beato, many others continue to thrive.
This September, Mashiko will celebrate its 15th anniversary in The Junction. But ask Chef/owner Hajime Sato the secret to his success in the restaurant business, and he’s likely just to shrug his shoulders and smile. “I wish I knew the secret,” he told me recently. “Sometimes I wish I had a retail shop selling clothing. It keeps longer than sushi items.”
Watch and listen to Sato tell part of his story:
When Sato opened Mashiko in the heart of the Junction on September 1, 1994, he chose the location not as part of some artful business plan, but rather:
Two reports to share tonight – one about a break-in whose victims are “baffled,” another about people casing cars in a local alley – read on:Read More
From a Mercer Island gig last fall, that’s Swamp Soul, the Cajun/Zydeco band that’s on a double bill with Neil Young tribute band Ragged Glory at this Thursday night’s Admiral Neighborhood Association-presented Summer Concerts at Hiawatha show. Third one so far and both have drawn hundreds – it’s a big lawn, though, so plenty of room, even if you can’t get there till the last minute. 6:30 pm, east lawn of Hiawatha Community Center. Then on Friday night, Providence Mount St. Vincent starts its four-week Summer Concerts at The Mount series, and has rejoined WSB as a sponsor to promote the shows, which also are free. First up, this Friday, it’s the Duwamish Dixieland Jazz Band, seen here in a June performance:
The DDJB opened last year’s Summer Concerts at The Mount, too. Food goes on sale (as does beer/wine) at 5 pm, music at 6; special activities will be available for kids, too. Go here for the full schedule of the four-week series at The Mount, and here for the full schedule of the remaining four weeks of the six-week series at Hiawatha. (Bring your own chair/blanket for both.)
We didn’t see them on the job yet when we took that photo earlier this afternoon, but crews are expected back at Myrtle Reservoir (map) this week to resume pressure-washing to remove the leaky waterproofing “membrane” material (a problem first reported in this in-depth WSB report three weeks ago). A new update from Seattle Public Utilities says this will be done by Wednesday. The update also says the membrane removal is complete at Beacon Hill Reservoir, the other site with the leaky-waterproofing problem, and that the contractor will start “installing the new waterproofing system on the east half of the reservoir”; that work will be followed, according to SPU, by the waterproofing of Myrtle – which is much smaller than Beacon – and then the west half of Beacon. As SPU told us last month, the waterproofing they’ll use is a “hot asphalt” process. Once it’s done, it’ll be tested, then drain pipe and drain rock will be replaced, followed by topsoil and hydroseeding. SPU adds:
During the course of this work, either Myrtle or Beacon Reservoir may be taken out of service. Water service will not be impacted. Until the work is completed, the two reservoirs will remain fenced off.
The work is expected to be completed at the end of November. Myrtle Reservoir and the area over the Beacon Reservoir will be ready to be turned over to the Parks Department at that time. Construction of the Jefferson Park Expansion Project by Parks Department has already begun on the north end of the Beacon site.
As reported here July 24, the waterproofing re-do is expected to cost more than $4 million; the city has said it expects that ratepayers ultimately will not pick up the tab – though it hasn’t yet been determined who’s to blame for the leaks – and also has pointed out that the $150 million reservoir-covering program citywide is overall $15 million under budget. Meantime, the design for the future Myrtle Reservoir park can be seen here.
Thanks to Arbor Heights Elementary teacher Mark Ahlness for sharing photos from Sunday’s Camp Long memorial in honor of his fellow AH teacher Lynn Barnicle. As reported here last week, leukemia took Ms. Barnicle’s life a week earlier; she was just 50 years old. Friends, family and colleagues were invited to the park to share memories as well as music:
Many spoke about her caring and loving life, filled with passion for exploring, learning, teaching, and creating. It was truly moving to see and speak with so many who were touched by her life, and every person there felt blessed to have had that experience. Her brother spoke about one of her favorite poems, which she would be very happy to know that people were reading, “The Peace of Wild Things” by Wendell Berry.
You can see Mark’s Flickr set with other photos here; some have been added to this website where she and others had written during her leukemia battle. It’s expected that a memorial will be held at the school in the fall as well, so that students can pay tribute to the beloved fifth-grade teacher.
(February 2009 WSB photo)
West Seattle has two of the city’s two-dozen-plus red-light cameras (35th/Thistle and 35th/Avalon), and Seattle Police have just issued a news release pointing out — as part of “Stop on Red Week” — that those are two of many reasons why NOT to run a red light – read on:Read More
Thinking of a garage/yard sale, but no room at your house, not sure you want to advertise your address, etc.? Here’s an option: Jolene Williams sends word that the 1st annual Duwamish Community Garage Sale is set for Saturday, August 15th, and you’re invited to come “sell your stuff and make some extra money!” Spaces are free, first come/first serve; 10 percent of sales will go to the Duwamish Tribe Legal Fund (they’re fighting for federal recognition in Congress and in court). On sale day, tribal chair Cecile Hansen‘s famous fry bread will be available, as will the tribe’s legendary salmon lunch. 9 am-6 pm August 15th, Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center in West Seattle (4705 West Marginal Way SW; map); questions? Call 206-431-1582.
We mentioned this briefly as a side note in yesterday’s West Seattle Farmers’ Market update, after WSB’er John reported what he’d found out – but now we have confirmation directly from Skillet Street Food‘s Josh Henderson that West Seattle is off their schedule “for the foreseeable future”:
We are pretty swamped with private events, and Aug and Sept are just crazy…so we are leaving Sundays open for the foreseeable future…could change..but for now that is what we have to do… but thanks so much for checking in, we love the West Seattle folks and hopefully they can track us down in other parts of the city.
Elsewhere on the street-food beat, Marination Mobile is in its second month of Saturday 11 am-2 pm visits to High Point (35th/Graham; map). P.S. Since food is perennially one of the hottest topics in the WSB Forums, it now has its own section – West Seattle Food. It’ll take a while to recategorize all the archived discussions that belong there (previously they were part of Open Discussion) but from hereon out, if that’s what you want to talk about – and reviews are welcome as long as they are labeled as such – go here. (And to find archived coverage of West Seattle restaurants on WSB – go here.)
Two more notes from the city permit files this morning: The land-use permit has just been issued for the project shown above, 4502 42nd SW (corner of SW Oregon; map), which is planned as a 7-story building with 89 residential units over 20,000+ square feet of ground-level retail and office space, with parking for 121 vehicles. Four houses on the site will be demolished when construction begins; next steps include building and demolition permits. Meantime, the city has just published approvals for “shoreline substantial development” and administrative Design Review for the 2-years-in-the-works 2-story proposal (two residential units over retail) at the old Pegasus Pizza site (2758 Alki); the official decision notice explains how to appeal.
Thanks to John at Mary North Travel for the tip that demolition work is under way at one of their neighboring businesses in The Triangle, Lien Animal Clinic (3710 SW Alaska; map). Their old building is coming down, just one week after they opened their new 2-story building on the north side of the site. And as is sometimes the case with demolition sites, firefighters are doing some training on the section of the old building that isn’t down yet:
Once demolition is done, the area where the old building stood will become parking for the bigger new one. By the way, if you wonder what’s up with the nearby site where Harbor Properties plans to build Link – there’s been some partial site clearing as West Seattle Montessori School (WSB sponsor) moves to its new location, but Harbor tells us its work on Link isn’t scheduled to start till later in the year.
DEADLINE TO SIGN UP FOR NIGHT OUT: Tomorrow night, you can close your (non-arterial) street and have a neighborhood block party to celebrate Night Out – provided you sign up by 9 am today (extended from last Friday). Here’s where to do it online. (And if you wouldn’t mind us dropping in for a photo or two, e-mail us your Night Out party location – email@example.com.)
DUWAMISH KAYAK TOURS: Tonight’s the next in a series of twice-monthly summertime kayak tours of the Duwamish River, presented by the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, Alki Kayak Tours and the Seattle Aquarium Society. 6-8:30 pm, leaving from South Park, find out how to sign up here.
BOOK GROUP: Been thinking about that classic summer pastime, reading? Southwest Library‘s Evening Book Group meets tonight, 6:45, to take a look at this month’s book, “Behind the Scenes at the Museum” by Kate Atkinson – more info here.