It’s been almost two months since the sudden death of Phoenecia at Alki proprietor Hussein Khazaal (here’s our original report; here’s coverage of his Alki memorial). His family said at the time that they would take a while to decide the fate of the restaurant that he had so lovingly operated for so many years. Now, they’ve made the decision. We talked today with Hussein’s son William Khazaal, after many people had e-mailed us to ask if the exterior work at the restaurant (the photo at right was taken yesterday) was an indication a decision had been made. William says yes – they’ve decided to reopen, so that’s why they’re doing some work, inside as well as outside. He says they spent a lot of time considering what might be the right course of action; they talked about selling the restaurant, but came to the conclusion they just didn’t want to see the space turned into something else. William says the staff remains, and a chef who left a few months back is returning to help out. According to William, he and his sisters plan to be there to manage each night. He says they will bring back the same menu, along with several dishes his dad had been experimenting with in the months before his death. They believe they can provide customers with good food and great service, but the atmosphere will be a bit more casual, he said, and a bit more affordable. Most of all, William told us, they want to thank the hundreds of people who sent e-mail and other messages of sympathy and well-wishes after their father’s death. They currently hope to reopen the restaurant in early December.
West Seattle, Washington