West Seattle, Washington
Thanks to Desiree, first to send a note tonight about a sighting in the Junction block we’ve been talking about most of the week – east side of California, north of Edmunds. The former HQ of Liberty Bell Printing – which is still in business elsewhere in West Seattle, without a retail storefront – has a new tenant. “Coming Soon: The Sneakery,” say the signs (as you can see in our iPhone photo at left) – a shoe store. (Datapoint – you might recall, Volume/Payless Shoe Source was in that block some years back.) Desiree even pointed us to a website for The Sneakery, currently based in Ballard. We haven’t reached the proprietor yet, but the city business-license database confirms the West Seattle location has the same owner, and checking The Sneakery’s Facebook page, a cryptic post a few weeks back asked where “fans” might want to see a second location … half of the 12 respondents mentioned West Seattle. We’ve got notes out to see if we can find out how soon they plan to open.
Two proud Schmitz Park Elementary parents forwarded this to us to share with you – word of double honors for their school, announced to them via e-mail from principal Gerrit Kischner:
Schmitz Park has been awarded the Washington Achievement Award from the State of Washington. In addition, we were one of just three elementary schools in the State to receive “special recognition” for math, one of just two Seattle Schools to receive special recognition in any subject area. This is an award that recognizes the tremendous efforts of our entire staff and our entire community. It recognizes achievement in a matrix of 10 categories over two school years, 2008 to 2010.
Here’s the full statewide awards list; note that Concord International Elementary School in South Park, which Seattle Public Schools considers to be in the West Seattle area, also won an award for overall excellence.
Not far from where the Kingdome demolition drew a massive crowd 11 years ago, the start of Alaskan Way Viaduct demolition drew a much-smaller — albeit high-powered — crowd tonight. Our video from about an hour ago shows the first bites coming out of the northbound onramp from 1st Avenue South, which was part of the Viaduct mainline when built in 1953, as we were reminded by the viaduct south-end-replacement project’s leader, West Seattleite Matt Preedy (seen below to the right of Ron Paananen, who leads the entire Viaduct project):
Also watching from 1st Avenue South by Qwest Field, along with us and the citywide media – City Councilmembers Sally Bagshaw, Tim Burgess, Richard Conlin, Jean Godden, and Tom Rasmussen, as well as Port Commissioner Rob Holland. (Apologies to any dignitaries we missed.) Preedy tells us that if all goes well, it will only take till tomorrow morning to bring down the entire ramp; then a new ramp will be finished and connected, feeding traffic onto The Viaduct northbound from Royal Brougham, by April 1st, preparing for a longer detour while south-end-replacement work proceeds. (More info-links in our preview from earlier today.)
SATURDAY UPDATE: Looks like all went as planned, according to the state’s update. And Preedy got a souvenir:
(Photo courtesy Fiona Preedy)
The background on the ramp work is here.
Something new, three and a half years after Chuck and Sally’s Tavern in Morgan Junction closed without fanfare (as we reported in early September 2007, the original note on the door just said “Closed for a few days/Cooler problems,” and it never reopened): Driving by late today, we did a double-take after spotting the huge FOR LEASE signs in the windows. Owner Jim Jacobsen told Seattle Weekly seven weeks ago that he was looking for a tenant, but the marketing effort appeared to be low-key – till now. Jacobsen told the Weekly the building’s been owned by his family for almost 70 years.
For the past few days, neighbors/passersby have kept us updated on the sinkhole next to the Fairmount/Forest traffic circle (map). After getting a note late this afternoon saying it’s grown significantly since the original report, we went out for another look and also called SDOT to ask about their plans. Marybeth Turner on the SDOT media team hasn’t able to track someone down for an update on the official plan yet, but did tell us that they’ll send an emergency crew out tonight to re-evaluate it, since it’s growing. (One person we talked with while in the neighborhood told us he had called about it and been told it was Seattle Public Utilities‘ problem.) We’ll keep following up. Good idea to avoid that area if you can, even though it’s cordoned off – that’s right at the south, uphill end of Fairmount, through the ravine. (Added) For perspective looking into it, here’s a photo Craig took this afternoon:
When we first reported on Tuesday that the Junction liquor store was moving to Capco Plaza at 41st/42nd/Alaska, we were also trying to confirm that another Junction business planned to move into that building too. This afternoon, that confirmation has just come through: Petco will leave its California SW storefront (photo) later this year and move into Capco Plaza.
We originally had checked a few days ago with Petco and with Capco’s owner/developer Leon Capelouto, after a WSB’er pointed us to this real-estate listing for Petco’s current California SW spot. The listing page says “tenant relocating” – something many had expected was inevitable, based on the fact it’s been known for more than three years that Petco wanted a new West Seattle location. (You may recall the proposal that fell through three years ago at the site of the Charlestown Café.)
We subsequently found Petco mentioned on this city webpage for the Capco Plaza space. Though no one was ready to confirm it a few days ago, the lease has since been signed, according to Petco, whose media-relations department just called WSB to say it’s official: They expect to open their new West Seattle store in Capco Plaza this fall (the space once was planned as an Office Depot, but that fell through). No date set yet for when the current Junction store will close.
West Seattle Elementary School is in the middle of the first year of its mandated improvement plan – and new principal Vicki Sacco tells WSB there are encouraging signs, but they need a bit of help. First, her update on the progress:
The winter MAP assessment results came back and our school is soaring! Data in both math and reading have exceeded expectations and typical student growth for every grade level.
We recently visited WSES and will be reporting on some of the ways they’re evolving. But one thing they desperately need for those inspired young learners – more books:
We’ve spent over $20,000 of Title I funds to purchase classroom libraries this year and our students are devouring the books. To maintain this momentum we need more books for our students.
What kind? “Any and all appropriate books for elementary aged students would be welcomed. In particular we need biographies, chapter books and early learning books. Our older students (4th and 5th grades) enjoy non-fiction books as well.” If you have books to donate, call the school literacy coach, Brenda Ball, at 206-252-9450. Or drop them off (next week is midwinter break, so you’d likely have to wait till a week from Monday) at the front office (6760 34th SW).
It’s had a few past lives – but what matters most is its future, and next Thursday is the day that 4439 35th SW will open as “The Bridge.” At right, meet Rita Dixson and Trevor Garand, both West Seattle residents; you might know them from Talarico’s and Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), respectively, or someplace else.
Rita and Trevor are longtime friends (more than 20 years!) who always wanted to go into business together – and now they have. This past Wednesday morning, they made time in their frantic pre-opening schedule to let WSB in for a chat and a look around. (In the photo, they’re standing next to the northwest corner of the 1,800-square-foot patio they’re particularly thrilled about, looking ahead to summertime – a place where they hope to have live music as well as people enjoying beverages and food in the sunshine.)
We brought you first word of The Bridge more than three months ago – first a brief mention, then a little more shared by Rita. That’s actually a relatively quick turnaround time for a restaurant/bar type project. And while your editor here never made it into Redline (the space’s last incarnation), we’re told this is quite the makeover.
“It needed a lot of TLC,” smiles Rita. Above, that’s the cozy, natural-light – through opaque blinds, since the bus stop is right outside and not much of a view – northeastern corner (which doubles as a stage). It’s right next to the big, homey brick fireplace:
Other homey touches include a beautiful rug under much of the main seating area. The Bridge is 21-and-up only, so its food will be “casual American bar food, with a twist” – a spirited twist, you might say, with treats including Jack Daniel’s-tinged berries and cream; then there will be the chicken caprese and French dip sliders, bacon-wrapped tenderloin, and other savories … “Come in and have a little food on your way home to dinner,” as Rita suggests. The tables are all in place now, most of them barstool-high, with a few booths in the back.
Photos over the booths pay tribute to The Bridge’s name – different angles of the West Seattle Bridge, to which the new establishment is so close, they are hopeful of becoming a favorite stop for commuters:
They also are proud to be in The Triangle, as it changes and evolves. And yes, there was a development proposal on the Huling-owned site, but The Bridge has a long-enough lease, its proprietors say, that they’re certain it’s not proceeding any time soon (don’t worry about falling in love with The Bridge and then losing it). So they’re getting ready to welcome you for a drink (18 draft beers!), a snack, and even – a game of table shuffleboard:
As for TV sports – The Bridge has four screens (one behind the bar), and while they don’t plan to have the sound up for everything, if there’s a big game, you bet. They’re planning to open at 4 pm Mondays-Fridays, probably earlier on weekends. Again, Opening Day/Night is next Thursday, February 24th – and if you stop by, wish Rita a happy birthday – for her, it’s a double reason to celebrate. P.S. You can find “The Bridge” on Facebook, here.
For those tracking the future of the Alki Homestead (historically known as the Fir Lodge) and owner Tom Lin‘s new plan to restore it – the project is scheduled for another review before the Landmarks Preservation Board‘s Architectural Review Committee, a required step before the full board votes on the project (their approval is required because the Homestead is an official city landmark). The agenda for the meeting has just arrived. It’s open to the public, with this item scheduled at 10 am next Friday (February 25th) on the 40th floor of the city Municipal Tower downtown. (Here’s our recent coverage – last month’s committee meeting here, a look into the city files regarding the restoration plan here; our Homestead coverage is archived here.)
Sebastian says the Delridge ramp off The Bridge was icy when he drove by this – a car on its side earlier this morning. On the 911 log, the call “closed” fairly quickly, with no medic unit dispatched, so that would tend to mean no serious injuries – no formal info available yet (we’re checking). But it provides an excuse to remind us all that winter’s not over yet. Next week, in fact, it’s supposed to get even colder.
(WSDOT graphic showing the ramp configuration when the work that starts tonight is done by 4/1/2011)
A milestone tonight in the ongoing Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project: The current stadium-area 1st Avenue South onramp to the northbound viaduct closes forever at 7 pm, with demolition beginning immediately. It’s being replaced by a new ramp from the detour zone in the stadium area as part of the south-end replacement work, which is proceeding full speed ahead, separate from the tunnel-or-no-tunnel central-section project. The state promises the new ramp will be up and running by the start of April. Other related street closures in that area this weekend that might affect you, all listed here.
(Photo by Chris Bennion, from “The New New News“)
A topic close to our hearts, the changing nature of the news business, is the topic of a play you can see this weekend at South Seattle Community College‘s Olympic Hall. It’s called “The New New News,” with performances at 7:30 tonight and tomorrow, 2 pm Sunday – you can read all about it here; tickets are available online (The photo above features cast members Jordan Williams, Brian Thomas Gould and Tammy Batey) … Need an excuse to get out in the sunshine this afternoon? Here’s the perfect opportunity: The Nature Consortium‘s free monthly guided eco-hike, 1 pm, RSVP to 206-923-0853 or email@example.com for directions … Then back indoors as the evening chill sets in, Highland Park Improvement Club begins its third-Fridays free, family-friendly movie series! Doors open at 6:30 pm, movie at 7 pm, folding chairs for seating, or feel free to bring blankets and pillows or non- floor-scratching chairs. HPIC notes: “Our movie copyright license does not allow us to advertise the movie title so here’s a hint: Classic 1982 kid and adult friendly sci-fi blockbuster starring Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore” (12th/Holden) … Friday night skating is on as usual at Alki Community Center, 6:45-8:45 pm, $3, BYO skates or borrow theirs … More on the calendar!