West Seattle restaurant news: Ex-Beato space to become Eness

(Hat tip to the WSBers who e-mailed to say the for-sale sign was down and activity was afoot at ex-Beato)

(11/2008 WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli; the Beato-logo awning has remained up since then)

By Mary Sheely
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Another new restaurant is soon to open in West Seattle, this one at 3247 California SW (map), the space formerly occupied by restaurants including Beato, O2 and Ovio.

Achour Belambri, along with his wife, Khadidja Romari Belambri, just filed for a license to serve beer and wine at Eness, a restaurant that will specialize in food from the Belambris’ native France and, according to Khadidja, the entire Mediterranean Coast.

“It’s not 100 percent French,” she says. “Some dishes from Italy, France, Greece. Well, not too many from Greece.”

The restaurant is named for the couple’s nine-month-old daughter, who babbles happily in the background as Khadidja talks.

“Her real name is Ines, and just to make it simple in terms of pronunciation, we converted it to Eness,” she says.

The couple first moved to the US in 2003 for Khadidja’s job as a scientist. She is now the director of algae production for Targeted Growth, developing new biofuels and bio-energy, and as such will only play a peripheral role in the restaurant.

Achour, who worked for many years in restaurants in France, is currently renovating the new space and will serve as the Eness chef.

The couple live on Capitol Hill, but began planning a move to West Seattle six months ago.

“I heard a lot of good things about this area,” says Khadidja, “and we had this opportunity with the Beato restaurant that was closed and we were interested in that.”

West Seattle, she says, “seems to be kind of like a village, and people interact pretty much together, and it sounds like a very, very special area.”

An official date is not set, but the couple hopes that Eness will open by the end of February.

37 Replies to "West Seattle restaurant news: Ex-Beato space to become Eness"

  • CB January 26, 2010 (9:00 am)

    Sounds good… best of luck with your new venture.

  • Eliza January 26, 2010 (9:21 am)

    Yeah French food!! I am super excited! Any word on a potential menu…. I would be thrilled if there was anything from the basque region… just putting that out there.

  • PeterT January 26, 2010 (9:31 am)

    The former Beato (O2/Ovio) site is a great little space. I always thought it would make a very cool and intimate little jazz performance room. Hope to find more French than Medi on the menu, as West Seattle could use a local French spot to compliment Bakery Noveau, and rival Le Pichet and Presse.

  • NGKL January 26, 2010 (9:36 am)

    Sounds great. How about some Provençal food on the menu? Yum!

  • meg January 26, 2010 (9:44 am)

    yeah! I’d love a french spot (and walking distance from my house, too). Now my fingers are crossed they will offer delicious crepes- as a main dish, not dessert! I’m so hungry for good french crepes.

  • mike January 26, 2010 (10:31 am)

    Yay! So glad to hear something is moving in over there (finally). Just curious, do you know if these guys bought the building or are they leasing it from the previous owner? (I thought that the owner of Beato had bought the building.)

    And hopefully their wine list will be as interesting as Beato’s was.


  • onceachef January 26, 2010 (10:46 am)

    Yes, good luck…that area of WS seems to be a “no man’s land” (for restaurants) but I loved Beato and liked the prior tenants as well…I hope WS-ites support you!

  • Zgh2676 January 26, 2010 (11:05 am)

    Awesome. Good luck.

  • Anne January 26, 2010 (11:44 am)

    French food in West Seattle – excellent!! Can’t wait to try the new place. Good luck!

  • Traci January 26, 2010 (12:52 pm)

    YES!!! I can’t wait to see how this turns out!

    mmmm French food.

  • JoB January 26, 2010 (1:04 pm)

    i am hoping that this new restaurant will stick to mediterranean versions of french food… something not generally presented here in America…

    it’s not just the ingredients.. but the novel approach to them that is so interesting.. and healthy:)

  • Randall January 26, 2010 (1:10 pm)

    dreadful name, but best of luck!

  • Meghan January 26, 2010 (1:31 pm)

    West Seattle desperately needs a French bistro. There is lots of other Mediterranean food, but nothing like a Cafe Press, Cafe Campagne, or Le Pichet. I wish them lots of luck! That great little space has been so many things through the years.

  • dawsonct January 26, 2010 (1:35 pm)

    Agreed Randall, kind of clunky. They should just go ahead and use their daughter’s name, which has a much more elegant spelling, even if the pronunciation is similar.

    I hope Tunisia and Algeria aren’t ignored. Their culinary ties with France are much deeper than their recent colonial history. Would make for a much more interesting menu than just another plate of pasta or risotto.

  • barobot January 26, 2010 (1:35 pm)

    Oui, Oui! Very excited- thanks, Mary for the post!

    (And I think the name is sweet, once you know what’s behind it.)

  • nbp January 26, 2010 (1:40 pm)

    I am hoping for some Tunisian influenced food as well.

  • Click! January 26, 2010 (1:40 pm)

    It’s great to see that stretch of California — very close to where we live — continue to improve in recent years with Prost, the Bohemian, the new location of smallclothes, and The Swinery.

  • Laconique January 26, 2010 (2:02 pm)

    Quelles bonnes nouvelles! Nous aimons la cuisine française, de toutes les régions de France et les pays francophones. Bienvenue à West Seattle!!

  • margaritaville January 26, 2010 (3:03 pm)

    Maybe after they put their name on the awning they can hire Christopher Boffoli to take another photo of the building similar to the one of Beato – that photo is fabulous.

  • Baba January 26, 2010 (4:03 pm)

    I’m so perplexed! Did Wall streets irrational exuberance reach West Seattle lately? There are more restaurants in West Seattle now then it was in 2007! What are all the new owners thinking taking that much risk? Do people really have such short memory? We are in deflation folks, it’s a long and painful process. I’m all for entrepreneurship though, but now seems like such a wrong time to open a restaurant.
    Good luck nevertheless!!!

  • mark January 26, 2010 (4:17 pm)


    Some say now is the best time to take a chance. Rents are cheaper and the market is flooded with great used equipment. Did you try find a good tradesman (carpenter, plumber, electrician) 3 years ago? They didn’t even return calls they were so busy. Now they will actually bid to get your business!! Might be a great time to get in!

  • Yardvark January 26, 2010 (4:36 pm)

    Yes, yes…a nice Frech restaurant will make a great addition to West Seattle.

    But imagine what an algae-powered restaurant could do!

  • Baba January 26, 2010 (4:50 pm)

    My favorite saying about the Great Depression times is: stupid people lost money in 1929, smart people lost in 1930, very smart people lost in 1931 and very, very smart people lost in 1932…

    I wish them luck though, time will tell.

  • Michelle January 26, 2010 (6:02 pm)

    A great spot – I wish them luck!!!

  • EmmyJane January 26, 2010 (6:45 pm)

    WOOOHOOOOO!!!! Please have fondu. And more fondu. And some sides of fondu. Fondu.

  • Mary T Sheely January 26, 2010 (8:47 pm)

    EmmyJane, I’m a little confused — do you like fondu?

  • dawsonct January 26, 2010 (9:22 pm)

    Hard to argue with a pot of melted cheese, bread, lots of wine, and a nice fruity brandy, but I don’t really think of fondue being Mediterranean French. More Swiss, really.

  • grr January 26, 2010 (11:46 pm)

    sheeesh baba..you gotta be a republican. :) Life is all about risk.

    While many people are putting off buying MAJOR expenditures, they still want entertainment in their life. Eating out is one of them. I wish these guys nothing but the best of luck.

  • NGKL January 27, 2010 (9:53 am)

    I second the requests for fondue and dinner crepes! Yay, French food! Also, please don’t be one of those French places that costs $50 per plate. A nice low-key, inexpensive bistro would be fantastic.

  • Travis January 27, 2010 (10:08 am)

    I too am excited and would love to see a casual bistro. Best of luck! We’ll be sure to try out whatever Eness becomes. And I for one find the name delightful.

  • Randall January 27, 2010 (11:24 am)

    Sure, if you know the story behind the name, it’s fine, but if you don’t, which will be most people, you’ll think either Roscoe P. Coltrane’s deputy, or some weird attempt at hip techno-speak. “Just get into the E-ness of the age,” which reminds me of the Aussie failure “iSnack 2.0”

    I, too, would wish they’d just have kept the spelling of the daughter’s name. ‘Ines’ is much better, in my opinion.

    Still, as long as you don’t try to put a limit on coffee refills like a neighboring joint, I won’t be put-off enough to avoid trying it.

  • FoodLover January 27, 2010 (11:58 am)

    Man, some of you people are really tiresome. Just be happy that an empty building will now be occupied and that someone is following their passion.

  • thd3 January 27, 2010 (1:54 pm)

    Right up the street from us. Beato – too fancy and way too pretentious. Make it a fun place to come with your partner on a date. A great place to sit at the bar by yourself. A nice spot to meet up w friends and relax and have fun. Perhaps bringing a very well behaved child there for an early supper is nice idea too. Good and mid-range wine by the glass (not Yellow Tail etc) and PLEASE desserts that do not look like postage stamps sitting on a fancy plate but something you look forward to coming back for again and again. Cannot wait to meet you all and I will be there on one of your first days!!

  • haveityourwayatBK January 27, 2010 (2:38 pm)

    RIP Beato. i loved it, and i still miss having a place i can walk to with great wine, a retail license(!) and handmade pasta.

    i wish the owners of Eness nothing but the best. i look forward to supporting them and their dream without trying to make it into my own, without trying to influence their pricing, their portions or their menu.

  • grr January 28, 2010 (12:23 am)

    holy crap…34 comments WITHOUT the ‘will there be vegetarian/family freindly fare?”. I think I might pass out.

    :) :) :)

  • DaveB January 28, 2010 (9:33 am)

    Your wish list for the new business is made up of items that describe Beato. I went there often, sometimes alone, usually with my wife, often with friends, and even once with my 10-year-old nephew. The food was fresh, high quality, and well-prepared; the staff were pleasant and knowledgeable; desserts were never lacking in quality or quantity.

    But I don’t want to Beato a dead horse (rimshot), I wish the best to the owners of the new place and look forward to their opening.

  • poppy January 30, 2010 (4:58 pm)


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