West Seattle beverage news: Locöl, wine & beer bar, on the way

Story and photos by Mary Sheely
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Kyle and Kristi Duce love living in West Seattle.

Kyle manages Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor) on weekends and spent a year tending bar at Shadowland, where he got to know and love the regulars. Kristi is a graphic designer for Prentice Design on Alki Beach. The couple enjoys sharing beers and barbecue on summer nights with their neighbors in the High Point community where they live. But that’s also where they realized that something was missing.

“We’d start talking about how nice it would be if we had a place we could walk to to get a beer or a glass of wine,” remembers Kyle. “There’s 1,600 homes in High Point — it’s huge — and the whole area is such a dense residential area. The demographics are phenomenal and there’s nothing like that there.”

So Kyle, who currently manages the Oakley store in Bellevue Square, Kristi, and their friend Shane Whittall, a bartender, decided that not only should there be a place like that, they were the ones who should open it. Seven months later, the lease has been signed on 7902 35th Ave SW (map), a narrow storefront between Sharon’s Westwood Florist and Kenyon Hall.

The liquor license has been applied for, the dumpsters arrive this week, and construction is about to begin on Locöl, “West Seattle’s premier wine & beer bar.”

As you might imagine, there’s a story behind the bar’s name. “‘Loc’ is the abbreviation for the word ‘locality,’ but mainly it means pride in your neighborhood,” says Kyle, “and ‘öl’ is ‘beer’ in Swedish.” Kyle, who grew up in Wisconsin, is of Scandinavian descent. He adds that Locöl will be similar to the bars in Sweden: “nice and cozy because winters are so long.”

It’s the “loc” part of the name that’s most important to Kyle, Kristi, and Shane. “I’m excited that we’ll be in West Seattle, working just six blocks from my house,” Kristi says. Kyle says that Lou Magor, who manages Kenyon Hall next door, “has been so ecstatic since he heard. Once he caught wind we were doing this, he was leaving messages every day offering to help us out and promote any events when we open.”

That kind of neighborhood camaraderie helped prompt the Duces’ plans for Locöl. When Kyle worked at Shadowland, he met “phenomenal people in their 80s and 90s who have awesome stories. I want to educate new residents about the people who made West Seattle what it is and love it.”

Plans include a projector that will rotate through slideshows of historical West Seattle photos and regular history nights where longtime West Seattle residents can share their stories. Peder Nelson, a history enthusiast (he coordinates West Seattle-themed trivia nights at Beveridge Place Pub and put together the Frances Farmer tribute in 2008 at Admiral Theater) and friend from Kyle’s Shadowland days, will help put together historical displays and events.

Drinks and food will be local, too, with as much originating in West Seattle as possible. (“I’ve already met with the guys from the Swinery,” Kyle says.) The food will be simple — Locöl will be too small for a kitchen, so there will be no hot food — and chosen to accent the real stars of the bar, the beer and wine selection.

But don’t expect Locöl to look like it’s out of a history book.

Kyle and Kristi walk around the former tanning salon, pointing out where garish tanning booths will make way for a bar that runs the entire length of the space, where a modern fireplace will be built, and where they hope to add new windows and an outdoor patio. “There will stained glass, polished concrete floors, a lot of artwork, kind of an earthy modern feel,” Kyle says. “It’s not that big of a space, which is what I wanted — small and cozy and intimate and romantic. We’re ripping it out to studs and starting from the ground up.”

He means that literally — Kristi is in charge of design, while Kyle and Shane are going to do as much of the renovation work as they can, working with Brian Okroy, whose construction work on Matador and Shadowland speaks for itself. The target for opening is in early April.

One thing that Locöl won’t have is a TV. “I hate TVs in bars,” Kyle says adamantly. “I go into a place to have a conversation with my wife, friends, bartenders. I don’t go to watch sports; I can do that at home.

“I have always been very, very meticulous with the atmosphere of places I like to frequent,” Kyle continues. “If I have great service, I don’t care if it’s in a barn, I’ll go back. But if you can nail all those things — good drinks, good service, good atmosphere — that’s where I want to be.”

72 Replies to "West Seattle beverage news: Locöl, wine & beer bar, on the way "

  • Karlynn Rossetti January 17, 2010 (1:39 pm)

    Yeah! This is awesome! Another cool place w/in walking distance! So great to see such creative, young energy in West Seattle! Best of luck!

  • Kelly K January 17, 2010 (1:46 pm)

    Oh my goodness I am so excited! I live close and I can’t wait for a new neighborhood destination. And one with local food and no TVs? Heaven.

    Maybe you can partner with Kenyon Hall to do a karaoke night–I’ll pay extra to sing with the wurlitzer :)

  • Gini Johnson January 17, 2010 (1:49 pm)

    Sounds wonderful. No TV…fabulous. I’ll be there.

  • Amanda January 17, 2010 (1:57 pm)

    Awesome. That is a perfect location, we’ll be there!

  • Rick January 17, 2010 (2:10 pm)

    I live one block away from this spot. I can’t wait for this place to open, it sounds great.

  • westwoodmom January 17, 2010 (2:21 pm)

    So cool, about time, there is such a need this way!

  • tmarie January 17, 2010 (2:22 pm)

    This could be great! I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

  • The Duces January 17, 2010 (2:48 pm)

    Thanks for all the support neighbors! Make sure you check out our website for updates at http://www.locolseattle.com. See you in April!

  • Mr. Cozy January 17, 2010 (2:54 pm)

    Can’t wait for this to open. Been waiting for something like this in the neighborhood. Kyle sounds like a real cozy ambiance connoisseur and I can’t wait to feature Locöl on the Cozy Blog.

  • Andrew January 17, 2010 (3:05 pm)

    Wow! No TV, blocks from my house, in an area badly underserved by walkable businesses. I’m so excited!

    But WSB, you buried the lede on this one! It’s obviously: “Local tanning salon to close.” This is hopefully just the first step in the general de-saloning of WS.

    • WSB January 17, 2010 (4:25 pm)

      @Andrew – The salon’s been closed a while. New one (different chain) opened recently in QFC, though.

  • carolyn January 17, 2010 (3:08 pm)

    Fabulous! Thanks for thinking of building up this community instead of taking your idea elsewhere! We’ll be there to support you.

  • allison January 17, 2010 (3:28 pm)

    I’m so excited for this place to open! I know all 3 of these wonderful people and am sure this will be the perfect edition to west seattle, especially in that area!

  • Heather January 17, 2010 (3:37 pm)

    We CANNOT wait. I’m so glad someone is taking initiative like this, since we aren’t in a position to. We will be there, and we will bring friends.

  • Lou January 17, 2010 (3:46 pm)

    WoooHooo. I’m thrilled to have something so close. Can’t wait to meet everyone there.

  • Phoebe Underwood January 17, 2010 (3:50 pm)

    I expect this place will be quite full/busy/enjoyed by Highpoint (Gatewood/Westwood/Sunrise Heights/Fairmont) neighborhoods (and all the other near-by n’hoods :-) ) There aren’t ANY places to sit & eat & have a drink on 35th SW (south of Legends of course ;-) ) and it will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood!

  • Sage January 17, 2010 (4:11 pm)

    Another very excited neighbor very ready to have a cozy spot in easy walking distance! Yahoo!

  • JimJ January 17, 2010 (4:25 pm)

    I give this place 9 months before it fails.

  • matthew darling January 17, 2010 (4:50 pm)

    Kyle and Kristi are super awesome people! Yay for their new business! that area could use a little “oomf”.

  • Diane January 17, 2010 (4:56 pm)

    @Andrew, @WSB; I also did not know this tan salon had closed; it took me awhile reading this piece and clue of small corner of sign in pic to get where this is located; surprised to see this tanning shop closed
    I did know about new Desert Sun and change of ownership at Fast Tan at 35th & Fauntleroy, and lights still seem to be on at the one near me at California & Hinds

  • The McDowells January 17, 2010 (5:36 pm)

    Kristi and Kyle are a bright, honest, hardworking, fun, and creative couple. Locol will definitely be an asset to the community – one we hope to visit when possible.

  • add January 17, 2010 (5:51 pm)

    Great idea and location – can’t wait to patronize this place!

  • kevin January 17, 2010 (5:58 pm)

    Wow, just their one page web site is enough to show they have a real creative streak. This sounds like it will be a real success! I can hardly wait.
    And what a win/win with Kenyon Hall being next door. The two establishments will compliment one another nicely.

  • Mike D. January 17, 2010 (6:08 pm)

    Be careful about the TV thing! A seperate area may get you more business; one for TV and one for quiet. Good luck! Folks who like sports like good beer and wine too!

  • Bob Loblaw January 17, 2010 (6:52 pm)

    Back in 1975, JimJ gave Microsoft a year before it failed. And I remember in the ’60s when he said, “The Internet? That’ll never catch on.” And who can forget his prediction that nobody would want to go someplace on four wheels when they could use a horse instead. Keep up the good work, Jim. Can’t wait to raise a toast to you at Locol in 2015!

  • Steve-o January 17, 2010 (7:19 pm)

    My wife and I are super excited to have this in our neighborhood! A relaxing environment with good local fare and drink sounds fantastic. I know Kyle from both Shadowland and Feedback and I’m sure he will take great care in crafting a great place to relax and enjoy good company.

  • JanS January 17, 2010 (7:37 pm)

    jimj…why would you think they’d fail before it’s even open? nice…real nice…

  • Mandrew January 17, 2010 (7:52 pm)

    Really looking forward to hanging out there this summer! Congrats – Andrew M from HP

  • JanS January 17, 2010 (7:53 pm)

    LOL @ Bob Loblaw :D

  • DBurns January 17, 2010 (8:12 pm)

    So great to see energy and positive moves in 2010!! Best of luck!

  • Amy January 17, 2010 (8:14 pm)

    We live in Westwood and can’t wait! The Westwood area really needs something like this. We are looking forward to another fun artsy local place to chill on the weekends. Sip some goodness and enjoy life. Yay for West Seattle!!!!!

  • Erik January 17, 2010 (8:15 pm)

    Jag dricka öl.
    That was the only Swedish I remember from 30 years ago at Wazzu.

  • Bryan January 17, 2010 (8:15 pm)

    Sweet, super stoked that’s it’s a few blocks from my house!

  • a parent January 17, 2010 (8:54 pm)

    Super excited! Thanks for opening in this neighborhood!

  • d January 17, 2010 (9:07 pm)

    Sounds good to me too. Double the anticipation with being next door to wonderful Kenyon Hall…such possibilities!!! Woohoo!

  • coffee January 17, 2010 (9:12 pm)

    WELCOME WELCOME WELCOME! And can I say it again, WELCOME! And you are on the way home for us, we are super excited!

  • dq January 17, 2010 (10:28 pm)

    @Erik- close, but maybe because du dricker för mycket öl, you forgot how to spell it correctly. :)

  • JimJ January 17, 2010 (10:32 pm)

    Jan & Bob: You are probably the same people who think Table 35 has a great menu. Enjoy their sushi, steak and pasta while you can because it won’t last long. Sorry but your kool-aid is spoiled.

  • rob January 17, 2010 (11:15 pm)

    ah, timing is everything. up until november we lived across the alley from this place. had there been a pub there i probably wouldnt have moved :)

  • miws January 18, 2010 (12:21 am)

    Bob Loblaw FTW!



  • Leroniusmonkfish January 18, 2010 (2:15 am)

    No TV’s? How will I entertain myself? Board games, stray cats, swimming with Orcas?

  • waman January 18, 2010 (8:10 am)

    Awesome – a new bar! I for one, Can not wait for our 1st cannabis cafe!

  • Annie H. January 18, 2010 (8:20 am)

    Finally! A WS bar to look forward to away from California Ave. Kristi, Kyle & Shane are definitely onto something. Can’t wait!

  • val January 18, 2010 (8:53 am)

    can’t wait to see it! This is awesome.

  • rockhills January 18, 2010 (10:48 am)

    Good news! Can’t wait to check you out. Love the webpage.

  • kindermusik mamas January 18, 2010 (11:07 am)

    Congratulations on your new venture. Speaking for the dozens of caregivers who bring children to classes at Kenyon Hall, we were really hoping for a hangout spot for the times we drop our kiddies off for music with Lou. While a glass of while at 10:30 a.m. does sound appealing, we do need to stay awake for the rest of the day. As the business becomes successful, please consider some daytime hours to accomodate the moms, dads, and grandparents who currently nap in their cars, especially during rainy, cold days! thanks!

  • JumboJim (the other and original Jim) January 18, 2010 (11:19 am)

    May I suggest we make JimJ the official anti-patron saint of Locol? We could start every special event, happy hour and every anniversary with a toast to the JimJ’s of the world (who it seems are really in need of some liquid cheer). Perhaps a dart board with a composite sketch of an imaginary JimJ face? And of course at Christmas we patrons could stage a production of ‘A Westside Christmas Carol’ with JimJ in the role of Scrooge….

  • JanS January 18, 2010 (5:50 pm)

    JumboJim…thanks for the smile. Oh, and haven’t been to Table 35 yet, so have no opinion. JimJ hasn’t been to locol yet, either, so I’m still trying to figure out how he knows so much in advance. He must have some sort of super power :)….either that, or he’s just…oh, now that wouldn’t be nice…nevermind :)

  • Faith Beatty January 18, 2010 (6:52 pm)

    I wish you the very best. We do need more establishments all along 35th up until Arbor Heights. Thank you. It sounds darling and I wish you the best in your endeavors. Keep everyone posted. Bless you, Faith Beatty

  • pam January 18, 2010 (7:20 pm)

    that is fan-freaking-tastic. let these pioneers be the first of many successful new businesses in the gatewood/35th avenue corridor, making our ‘hood more walky and more friendly. hooray!

  • Gatewood Bandito January 18, 2010 (8:13 pm)

    Can I trade in my Stein Club cards from Prost?
    Also, don’t make the mistake that the ‘Bev made… Please put in something to absorb sound!

    Can’t wait!

  • Kim January 18, 2010 (9:51 pm)

    So glad to see options coming to this area of West Seattle. I’m tired of seeing all the retail options focused on The Junction or Admiral.

    Am looking forward to being able to walk to this place. Hopefully more entrepreneurs take note that there are people in High Point/Westwood/Arbor Heights who are interested in neighborhood establishments too.

    Best of luck to you!

  • Dana January 18, 2010 (10:04 pm)

    A bar 3 blocks from my house!!! Dreams do come true!!!! Yay!

  • (required) January 18, 2010 (10:24 pm)

    I have a thought for this “JimJ.” Even if you had any kind of a clue about what will and will not be a successful start-up, you have REALLY bad blog etiquette. Stunningly bad, in fact. I dare you to go meet the good folks who are pouring their hearts and their wallets into opening this business, so that you can, face-to-face, let them hear your deep insights — and without the cloak of anonymity that your “JimJ” moniker gives you. Frankly, I’m not sure you even exist beyond perhaps the bottomside of a heavy, wet, slimy rock. Because I’m not sure what other kind of person would get a thrill from anonymously poo-pooing these folks’ dream before their doors even open. I mean, these folks are investing in our community. Maybe you have a better idea? Maybe you are one of the people who would prefer another McDonald’s there? I don’t know. Maybe you have a thing against these people, I don’t know. But I do know that if we don’t at least welcome and cheer on good-spirited entrepreneurs with the courage to try, we’re telling the non-corporate titans of the world not to even bother investing here. My suggestion to JimJ? Just move someplace else. I, for one, won’t miss you.

  • JimJ January 18, 2010 (11:04 pm)

    You know what, you’re right. I’ve decided to move to Bellevue. Best of luck to you all and I hope you get drunk at this joint before it goes under!

  • Michelle January 18, 2010 (11:07 pm)

    Can’t wait to have this place open! We live close to High Point, and I agree: there is no place to hang out!! I’m hoping you’ll have coffee and maybe dessert too? Plleeasse??

  • miws January 19, 2010 (8:02 am)

    (required) FT2ndW!


    JimJ, enjoy Bellevue!



  • Rrrick January 19, 2010 (8:03 am)

    Wow! I will fully support this place. The coziness of northern European bars, no TV’s and right down the street from my house! Exactly what I have been wishing for. I keep thinking that that area of 35th all the way down to Roxbury has such potential for awesome local businesses to cater to a community and neighborhood spirit. Good work guys.

  • PAPS January 19, 2010 (9:18 am)

    Full speed ahead Kyle & Kristi! See you @ 7902 35th ave in April! Cheers & Beers!

  • Brandon January 19, 2010 (4:44 pm)

    Well, I for one, enjoy looking at the scores while I slurp my beers. I’ll go for one and done. But, ban texting and you might be on to something ;)

  • Lou Magor January 19, 2010 (10:30 pm)

    Kyle & Kristi, thanks for the sweet shout out. Our Kenyon Hall show patrons are eager to sample your wares. And it sounds like you’ll get some attention from the Kindermusik moms and dads, too! Welcome to the neighborhood!

  • Gigi January 20, 2010 (2:07 pm)

    I am pleased to hear about this new bar. Really like the idea of on TV!

  • Aja January 20, 2010 (3:11 pm)

    A cozy bar so close to home? Sounds great! Can’t wait till you open!

  • Sasquatch January 21, 2010 (10:47 am)

    I will definately go to this place as a Gatewood resident living near the current fire station 37. What a brilliant idea to have a good beer/wine bar in walkable distance.

  • GreenSpaces January 22, 2010 (1:25 am)

    I can’t believe I don’t know these High Point neighbors – they must not have a dog (since that seems to mostly be who I know, fellow dog owners0>

  • Steve January 22, 2010 (8:46 am)

    Kyle and Kristi….thanks for opening your business here in Westwood. I am looking forward to being there in April when you open…and hopefully, many time after. When the Westwood Village shopping area was going through its remodel the community requested that a friendly pub become part of the mix of new stores. Unfortunately, that never came to pass. Looks like we might finally get that place now.

  • LaVonne January 22, 2010 (6:12 pm)

    Having known Kyle his entire life, I know that if anybody can make this happen Kyle and Kristi can! Our 91 year old Grandma Nina came from Sweden to America when she was 4 years old after her Mother died. She is still a strong pillar of support to our family, and everybody that knows her.
    Long Live Locöl!!!

  • J + J January 24, 2010 (5:00 pm)

    Looking forward to walking to a cool place and one which will be a proud addition to the community.

  • Aunt Sheree January 29, 2010 (1:03 pm)

    Hi Kristi and Kyle- Just talked to Gwynn and she had me check this out. I’m so excited for the two of you. This sounds like an awesome opportunity and I’m sure the place will look great if Kristi is designing it.

  • Stephanie January 31, 2010 (7:04 pm)

    Hi there! I am so excited and happy for your new business. You guys have so much experience in this industry and such an amazing work ethic, this place is going to be fabulous. I look forward to the opening!

  • Jeremy February 9, 2010 (8:54 pm)

    I am so excited for my buddy for doing something he loves and will thrive at. I can’t wait to get up there to meet the people he is in this amazing adventure with. Good luck and best of wishes!!!!!

  • lil bro February 20, 2010 (11:59 am)

    Giv” R more cheers more beers, that’s it that’s all! Cya soon fella!

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