West Seattle, Washington
Story, photos and video by Christopher Boffoli
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Three years after Bakery Nouveau opened in The Junction, its ovens continue to churn out the products that have made the bakery both a local favorite and a foodie mecca. While some other West Seattle restaurants and businesses have come and gone in the same time, William and Heather Leaman’s bakery has thrived.
The secrets of their success? Surely decades of baking experience, quality ingredients, attention to detail and a focus on the customer have something to do with it. But according to William Leaman, the real key is to have small ovens:
“Back in 1999, I worked in France with (artisan boulanger) Éric Kayser and there was one thing in particular that he did that I thought was fantastic: He chose a retail space where there was nowhere to sit. They had garage doors that rolled up in the front. And they’d literally be shoveling baguettes in and out of the oven all day and night with a line out the door and down the block. The place wasn’t even 40 or 50 square feet and they were producing 5,000 baguettes a day. What that imprinted upon me is the importance of, if you’re going to be a baker and bake for your community, your products need to be warm and right out of the oven.”
Erin e-mailed to share word of “a very rude door to door meat seller” tonight at her house on Puget Ridge, saying, “After the incident, I searched (WSB) and found this thread referencing the same company. They may be legit, but they were beyond rude.” Read on for her report:Read More
As promised over the weekend, we checked today with Harborview Medical Center regarding the status of Jade West Cafe proprietor Wah Wong and his family, hurt two weeks ago when a suspected drunk driver crashed into them outside the family’s Beacon Hill home. WSB’er “Grr” — who put up a get-well card Saturday on the cafe’ door (photo) — reported the hospital told him Wah Wong was out, and indeed, that’s been confirmed, but 22-year-old son Jason Wong is still in the hospital, now listed in satisfactory condition; court documents filed in the case say his left leg was so badly damaged, it had to be amputated below the knee. Wah Wong’s wife Salina Wong was not admitted to Harborview, according to the media relations department, so we don’t know her status. The driver charged with vehicular assault for hitting them, 50-year-old Rodney James, remains in jail, his bail set at $250,000. From court documents, his history is described as follows:
The defendant is currently on a suspended sentence for an reckless driving (amended from driving under the influence) that was sentenced on 1/21/09 in King County District Court … his other known criminal and moving history includes NVOL (7/3/08), DWLS (5/9/03), and speeding (7/3/08). His currently known out-of-state history includes a Fresno, CA VUCSA (8/2/1990) and a Graterford, PA Escape-county prison (1/28/1981). Graterford is Pennsylvania’s largest maximum security prison.
NVOL is “no valid operator’s license”; DWLS is driving with a suspended license; VUCSA is a “controlled substance” (drugs) charge. Meantime, no new info yet on how long Jade West will stay closed.
In the past day, we’ve added a few more lost pets to the WSB Pets page (there as a West Seattle-specific resource if you’ve ever lost or found a pet) – and right now there’s a frantic search under way for a deaf Dalmatian, missing in Westwood – photo and contact number here. TUESDAY UPDATE, 2:38 PM: Rupert’s just been found.
12:42 PM: West Seattleite Grace Crunican, the Seattle Department of Transportation director who came under fire after last year’s snowstorm, will resign and go into business for herself, according to a news release just received from SDOT – read on (added 1:03 pm, mayor’s statement; added 1:14 pm, mayor-elect’s statement; added 2:09 pm, our conversation with Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who is taking over the Transportation Committee):Read More
The era of the small indie pharmacy is apparently not over after all. In our photo above, that’s Kenny Wolfe, hard at work cleaning up and fixing up the former Westside Pharmacy space at California/Brandon (map). We noticed “Coming Soon” painted on the windows, and then got a tip last night from Amy that somebody was hard at work inside, so we went by today to see what we could find out. The new proprietor’s very busy sprucing up the space but told us it’ll be called West Seattle Pharmacy when it reopens – they’re aiming for February. (The previous pharmacy closed in September when its owner moved operations to the new Junction QFC; here’s our original story on that.) ADDED 8:07 PM: The new owner’s added some more info in the comment section:
Thank you all for your comments. We are in the initial stages of opening… We would love feedback/input from all of you as to what products you would like to see in West Seattle Pharmacy. I kind of consider that each customer and patient is ‘part owner’ as the pharmacy, myself and Scarlett are here to serve you! Feel free to stop by…we would love to meet you. Oh, and for Ray: the phone number is 206-453-4388. Bear in mind, it is on FAX on even # days (i.e. 2nd, 4th, etc.) and voice mail on odd # days (1/3/5…) until we open. That way, we can catch most of the influx and still keep renovating :) . I hope all of you had a great holiday. We welcome the new year!!!
On Sunday, we shared news of two language courses in West Seattle starting early in the New Year – Spanish and Lushootseed. This morning, 2 more announcements of chances to learn something new:
GREEN CLEANING: On January 6, CoolMom invites you to a Green Cleaning Demonstration event at Bridge Park in High Point. From the flyer: “Make, get recipes, and take home a few Green Cleaning products and other tips to use with peace of mind – all while saving money and the planet! Please bring empty glass jars with lids and spray bottles for yourself or to share!” Suggested materials fee is $5; RSVPs are requested – you can do it via Evite.
LEARN BASIC FRUIT TREE PRUNING: City Fruit sends word that John Reardon (left), vice president of the Seattle Tree Fruit Society, will lead a class “at his home orchard in the Delridge neighborhood on Saturday, January 9, 10 am to noon. This is a rare chance to learn pruning techniques on well-maintained fruit trees and (fuzzless) kiwi vines.” In the City Fruit announcement, he is quoted as saying, “My goals are to encourage easy picking and to create productive plants. I encourage lots of questions and believe in learning by doing.” The class is $15 for City Fruit members, $20 for nonmembers. You can register by following this link to Brown Paper Tickets.
METRO TRANSIT SERVICE THIS WEEK: That swing week between Christmas and New Year’s can be confusing. Metro wants everybody to know it’s on “reduced weekday service” through Thursday – see what that means, here – then on Friday, not only will Metro run a Sunday schedule, fares also go up.
CHRISTMAS TREE RECYCLING, AKA TREECYCLING: This week and next, the city has two ways for you to recycle your tree – one via curbside pickup, one via dropping it off at a transfer station. The latter requires a little less pre-processing. Here are all the specifics; the nearest transfer station is just east of West Seattle in South Park – here’s a map.
And there’s more on the calendar today – check out the WSB West Seattle Events page.