Followup: Vegetarian restaurant Chaco Canyon Café in Link?

Almost three weeks ago, more than 200 people voiced their opinion in the comment section when we reported that the vegetarian restaurant Chaco Canyon Café is considering a West Seattle expansion in the Link project now going up – fast! – along 38th SW in The Triangle. We invited Chris from Chaco Canyon to provide an update on what happens next – click ahead to read the update, which includes a few more questions if you are interested in informally assisting their research:

We finally set up the link for people to go to if they want to join a very occasional email list of progress updates for the project – assuming it gets going, of course – as well as some chances for WS residents to be part of the collaborative creative process of the cafe and voice what they would like to see.

As far as where things are now, we are in the midst of a feasibility study and discussing leasing options with Harbor Properties. We should know by July if we are going forward with the project. Three areas we’re very curious about with regards to business are:

* Whether this location is too far off the beaten path to depend on a steady morning espresso/baked goods/breakfast crowd or not. Our offerings are unique not only in the organic sense, but also we make them ourselves and many are gluten-free.

* Whether a large section of pre-packaged lunch items would be a big attractor for people commuting downtown to work. We don’t currently have a section like this in the UW location, but thought this might be a good way for people to bring healthy, yummy food to work (as well as pick up some morning espresso!)

* How attractive a kids area/kids menu would be to WS folks. We don’t have either of those in our current location, but thought this might be an attractive option for the stay-at-home parents between 10am-4pm, as well as families dining out in the evenings.

… Mainly, I’d just like to thank everyone for their impassioned and extremely positive response to your original posting and see if they would like to join the e-mail list so we can make this into a community effort.

21 Replies to "Followup: Vegetarian restaurant Chaco Canyon Café in Link?"

  • MJ May 3, 2010 (12:05 pm)

    Chaco Canyon would be a fabulous addition to West Seattle! I am fortunate to work only a couple of blocks away from their cafe in the U distrcit. I visit often and even though I am not a vegetarian nor do I have special dietary restricitions – I LOVE their food and drinks! Everything is incredibly fresh and homemade. The juices are made to order and are the perfect pick-me up at any time of day. I love to eat healthy and organic and these folks know how to make this food delcious! Their snacks, drinks and meals are so wonderful – I crave them. I am so thrilled they are considering to open in West Seattle where I live! The staff is also very friendly and helpful – they even know me by name on the phone and in person! Welcome to West Seattle Chaco Canyon! :)

  • d May 3, 2010 (1:12 pm)

    I had the artichoke melt at U District shop a couple of weeks ago after this was reported. First time there. So tasty. Neither boring, nor bland. I am now a convert to vegenaise; I threw out and replaced the regular mayo in my frig, for goodness sake! Had an awesome good blended drink too. Noticed they served Elliot Bay organic beer!

    The staff was also nice and went out of their way to check on my satisfaction.

    Hope this works out for Chaco and WS. I think a kids’/family area would be picture perfect for scads of WS patrons.

    I’m not so sure about pre-wrapping lunches. As for drawing a lunch crowd here in WS, peeps will show up if lunch prices are kept reasonable and quality is consistent. Also, I’m guessing many folks here will appreciate a few rotating, innovative entree-type menu selections for dinner to keep the menu from being too static.

    You will have the customer base you seek here. Believe!

  • timh2o May 3, 2010 (1:15 pm)

    Hopefully Chaco Canyon would mitigate the bad effects of the Wing Dome joint going in the Junction…..

  • Jennifer May 3, 2010 (1:27 pm)

    West Seattle is dying for a vegetarian/vegan restaurant! There are zero here and they are missed. WS has a lot of healthy minded people that would support a place like this. I hope it becomes a reality!

  • kb May 3, 2010 (2:18 pm)

    Would love love love a veggie option in WS! Would love it even more if it were down in the Morgan Junction!

    Chaco – please consider being close to Beveridge Place, where people like to bring takeout.

  • MAS May 3, 2010 (2:39 pm)

    I expect to get blasted on this, but I’m genuinely curious. How can sourdough (or a regular yeast bread) be considered vegetarian when thousands or millions of creatures give their lives in the creation (and are not removed, you eat them…)

  • Kelly May 3, 2010 (2:49 pm)

    Vegetarians avoid food products from the animal kingdom, but they eat foods from the plant kingdom and the fungi kingdom (of which yeasts are members).

  • MAS May 3, 2010 (3:29 pm)

    Thanks Kelly. The active creatures in sourdough are actually lactobacillus bacteria, rather than yeast (which are fungi as you mention) neither of which qualify as animalia.

    It’s what I get for using the Wikipedia definition of vegetarian – being a “plant based diet” where the correct definition seems to be everything except animalia.

  • rudy May 3, 2010 (4:32 pm)

    Kid area YES!!! I think catering to the mom crowd during the day, especially so close to the YMCA would be AWESOME. After playtime at the Y, we could stroll over for a healthy lunch, or hit the place for snacks and such to fuel up before we head to Y to play. I crave more healthy options to grab for my kids when we are on the go. If you have a kid friendly atmosphere it makes it more likely that will take the time to unload everyone from the car and come in to take advantage of what you offer. Super great idea!

  • Kelly May 3, 2010 (5:04 pm)

    I guess it just depends what kind of vegetarian you are. This conversation reminded me of a timeless quote from the classic Simpsons episode, “Lisa and the Tree Hugger”
    “I’m a level 5 vegan — I won’t eat anything that casts a shadow.”

  • Heinz57Mom May 3, 2010 (6:42 pm)

    As a family (with 2 young children) who keeps organic and has a multitude of food allergy issues we would provide generous support.

    We’ve been anxiously awaiting this update and are now waiting with baited breath to see a hopefully happy announcement of an impending arrival.

  • DC May 3, 2010 (7:28 pm)

    My 2 cents:
    1. No I don’t think it is too far off of the beaten path at all.
    2. YES — I think prepackaged lunch ideas are an excellent idea and I would love to pick some up — and some espresso too
    3. No kids – so no opinion on this one!

  • Andrew May 3, 2010 (9:33 pm)

    Gluten Free guy likes the Choco Canyon. Let’s do it!

  • klk May 3, 2010 (9:56 pm)

    Yes to a kids area! I’m one of tons of stay at home parents looking for a place to hang on rainy days. Coffee to Tea has a toy area but also has a reputation for filthy worn out toys. You would have to be prepared for the upkeep but this would definitely be a great way to bring in business. WiFi goes a long way too. I really hope it works out for you to come to WS.

  • Kayleigh May 4, 2010 (9:41 am)

    Of course, MAS, yeast organisms have brainstems, beating hearts, nurse their young, are filled with saturated fat…why, they’re exactly the same thing as a cow or a pig. I’ll never eat sourdough bread again. Why didn’t I see it before?
    Meanwhile, yay for Chaco Canyon (and people who use their brains)!

  • jesuit_grl May 5, 2010 (6:04 pm)

    I drive from WS to Cafe Flora or Carmelita’s now for veggie food. My sweetie and I go out for dinner 1-2 times a week, love to support local business, and for this WS native, it would be *great* to have a veggie place in WS. My mom and a friend also must have glutten-free products so that would be a huge hit, too. Thanks for thinking of WS as a new home. Fingers crossed!

  • grr May 5, 2010 (10:09 pm)

    good and bad:

    I recently found myself in the U and stopped by. Had one of the ‘bowl’ things and a pretty tasty fresh juice blend. $15 total. Didn’t try any of the gluten-free goodies in the case, as tasty as they looked. Can’t wait to go back and try a few more things. The juice was invigorating. The bowl was quite tasty (could have used a bit less rice and more spinach..but great flavor!!).


    I honestly don’t know how well that ‘ overtly granola U-District/Cafe self-serve kinda vibe’ will work over here. I was there at a pretty normal dinner hour..Didn’t see a lot of ‘families’ hanging out. Just lots of UW students on laptops.

    If it were MY business and I was looking at a WS shop. I think I’d try and find a way for Chaco to keep (and expand on even some more ‘elegant’ types of dining/food prep) , table wait service and vibe for their WS place…more like a Cafe Flora type of atmosphere and setting. I think it would really help if the Chaco people came over for a few nights and checked out the general vibe of dining atmopheres in WS and figured out what they could offer to compliment it.

    and, if the empty tables at Table 35 just about any night I walk by there are any indication..that space might be available WAY before the new building is completed. just sayin’.

  • grr May 5, 2010 (10:12 pm)

    for MAS and Kelly… Ya’ll need to watch the “LIFE’ show that’s been on Discovery. You won’t be eating plants any more, that’s for sure.

    no damn different than eating animals, imvho.

  • Charles Cox May 9, 2010 (6:19 am)

    I am also a vegetarian and my body has never been in a very good shape. Being a vegan can really make you much heathier.;”‘

  • Meghan May 17, 2010 (10:57 am)

    For someone who currently works at a kid-friendly restaurant here, I can assure you that parents would be ALL OVER your idea of a kid area in the cafe. Some nights my work sounds more like a daycare center than a pub :) I strongly recommend a kid’s menu too with lots of promises of no dairy/nuts/peanut oil, etc. and parents will flip–I am asked constantly about the ingredients in our food.
    As for to-go sandwiches, I am not sure as to whether that would be popular because I think a lot of people who lunch in WS also work in WS so it’s probably a 5-minute drive or less to get to wherever they’re eating anyway. However, with the total absence of organic/veggie/healthy lunch options here, aside from PCC, it might be a huge hit for those that don’t want to go out to eat for lunch.

  • NN May 21, 2010 (7:52 am)

    Yes, I have been waiting for a vegan/vegetarian restaurant to come to West Seattle for a long time! I love Chaco Canyon, but it’s too far away to go there often. Would love the casual atmosphere, not formal. Not sure if I would take things to go, but I have a niece and nephew who might use a kids area if it was there. If you keep the prices reasonable, I will be a regular when money starts pouring in. There are plenty of locations to choose from if your first choice doesn’t work out. We need a healthy restaurant here so badly. Get here as quick as you can. Thanks!

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