West Seattle businesses: Alki Bakery to become Beachside Café

1:52 PM: Two and a half months after the Alki Bakery closed, its future is finally clear: The owners of the neighboring Alki Café, John and Sharon Bang, tell WSB they signed a lease yesterday for the Alki Bakery space. Sharon says they’re planning to call it Beachside Café on Alki: “We want to keep good old favorites from Alki Bakery and add new and exciting items to the menu.” They hope to open sometime next month.

ADDED 5:12 PM: Replies to a few followup questions – for those who were wondering, this is NOT a replacement for Alki Café; the Bangs will operate both. Beachside will work the same way Alki Bakery did – ordering at the counter. “We want to offer a variety of dessert items, pastries, quick breakfast and lunch items we can’t provide at Alki Café,” Sharon explains. Their hours aren’t finalized yet but she says they’re thinking about 7 am-5 pm weekdays, later closing on weekends.

43 Replies to "West Seattle businesses: Alki Bakery to become Beachside Café"

  • flow February 1, 2011 (2:03 pm)

    Hmm, seems like they would own two businesses that would compete with each other.

  • jo February 1, 2011 (2:17 pm)

    Did they give any hint as to what the menu will be like?
    It does seem strange that they will be competing with their Alki Cafe right across the street. Unless the menu is radically different.
    More coffee shop/grab-n-go salads and sandwiches ???
    It’ll be good to see the space filled again.

    • WSB February 1, 2011 (2:19 pm)

      We’ll be asking some followup questions. Just wanted to get the first word out, as they’d said this was in progress and we’d continued checking in to ask that they let us (and you) know when the lease was signed. Remember, the Alki Bakery and Cafe USED to be under the same ownership (not sure how many Alki Café owners that was ago, though). – TR

  • Sue February 1, 2011 (2:24 pm)

    I suppose they could be using it as a way to expand the business and have more seating than they can in the current place. We go to Alki Cafe a lot for breakfast, so it’ll be curious to see how the two differ.

  • Franci February 1, 2011 (2:56 pm)

    Way back when… I seem to recall that both spaces were operated by Alki Bakery for a time.

  • cjboffoli February 1, 2011 (3:47 pm)

    Well Starbucks seems to be able to compete with itself by opening stores across the street from one another :-)

  • JanS February 1, 2011 (4:22 pm)

    everyone is assuming…is the Alki CAfe also going to stay open? Maybe they will close it so there’s no competition…just wondering, as it doesn’t say in the story..

    • WSB February 1, 2011 (4:39 pm)

      I’m doublechecking along with other followup questions but in our previous conversations, it was going to be an additional operation for them, not a replacement.

  • Brad February 1, 2011 (4:29 pm)

    The name alone makes it seem as if they’re competing with themselves, when they should be competing with Sbux. The Alki Bakery gave us a local option to the corporate coffee giant.

  • WSB February 1, 2011 (5:15 pm)

    *update – added followup above … TR

  • NicePerson February 1, 2011 (6:05 pm)

    This is great news! Hope they have better hours than Alki Cafe. I used to eat dinner there at least once a nite, but now they are closed for dinner. A real loss for the ‘hood. Hope The new Beachside has evening hours!

  • Alki Area February 1, 2011 (6:38 pm)

    Alki Cafe IS staying open. That’s the sit down full “restaurant”…were a waitress takes your order and brings you your meal.

    The new shop they’re ALSO going to run in the old Alki Bakery space is a coffee shop/snack thing. Pastries and small foods at the counter, coffee, and sit yourself down.

    Two ENTIRELY different places. They don’t compete with each other…any more than Starbucks “competes” with Dukes or Phoenicia .

    • WSB February 1, 2011 (6:40 pm)

      Please re-check the story, I added that info late today … TR

  • Bob Loblaw February 1, 2011 (6:51 pm)

    Dangit. I was hoping for a tire store :-(

  • JanS February 1, 2011 (6:58 pm)

    thanks for the clarification, TR :) It’ll be nice to have a bakery there again…and oh, so much better than an empty storefront :) I’m sure it’ll be popular!

  • Sharon February 1, 2011 (7:14 pm)

    Thank you for everyone’s comments. Beachside Cafe is giving us the opportunity to offer menu items we can’t at Alki Cafe. We thought about name “Beachside Pastry ..” to give more distinction, but since we are going to be serving lot more than pastries we decided to go with Beachside Cafe. We will continue to have more traditional sit down breakfast and lunch menu at Alki Cafe while serving quicker and simpler items that can be taken to go easily at Beachside. We’ll keep you posted with menu items more in detail soon. Thanks. Sharon/Alki Cafe owner

  • AlkiRagdoll February 1, 2011 (7:28 pm)

    7am-5pm… Won’t succeed IMHO. I agree with NicePerson. These hours are not conducive to my lifestyle, as AM coffee can be had elsewhere… Evening non bar atmosphere is so badly needed. I miss the old dinners at the Cafe.

  • Sharon February 1, 2011 (7:39 pm)

    What would be the ideal hours of operation for the location? We would love to find out what our locals really think. The hours we were mentioning was for winter season. Also, does name “Beachside Pastry” sound more fitting than “Beachside Cafe”? Thank you all in advance for your input. Sharon/Alki Cafe owner

  • Eaglelover February 1, 2011 (7:53 pm)

    I agree with Alkiragdoll, it would be more beneficial to all if it was open until 7pm atleast…maybe later on Fridays?? Miss the Alki Cafe, which was also a landmark for club bike rides, this shouldnt be overlooked-but they normally occur on weekends.

  • elikapeka February 1, 2011 (7:54 pm)

    How about Beachside Bakery, or Beachside Bakery and Cafe? I’d also suggest staying open a little later, maybe 8:30 or 9:00 or so….maybe adjust for the seasons…..you could probably close early in the winter season, but I’d think you could do a pretty brisk evening business in the summer.

  • CitizenR February 1, 2011 (8:02 pm)

    Sounds nice! I like the name you chose Sharon! And as far as hours … wait and see when and if it’s busy enough to extend hours! Sometimes long hours when something is new is expensive for the owners!!! Can hardly wait!!! Best to ya’!!

  • Ryan February 1, 2011 (8:10 pm)

    I live a couple blocks away with my wife and two kids. What I have been dreaming of is a kid-friendly, Hippie-ish coffee house. Does anybody remember the surrogate hostess.

  • sassy February 1, 2011 (8:19 pm)

    Ryan – this is what I was hoping for myself. A groovy coffeeshop could do well in the neighborhood. People are always itching NOT to go to Starbucks.
    Wishing them well, Beachside Bakery sounds good, but closing at 5pm doesn’t.

  • coffee February 1, 2011 (9:21 pm)

    For everyone asking for later hours please remember to stop by regularly. Keeping a place open later costs money.

  • Alki Area February 1, 2011 (9:27 pm)

    It’s PERFECTLY understandable to have reduced “winter” hours. I mean there’s simply far less traffic on Alki in Jan than there is in June. Simple business sense.

  • AlkiRagdoll February 1, 2011 (9:55 pm)

    Wow thanks for listening Sharon. I would not open so early. Let the existing Cafe meet the Bkfst demand during the week but even in Winter stay open until at least 7pm. Summers I think you’d have a solid market until maybe 10. Weekends I have not come to the Cafe as last time it was too crowded so then Beachside could fill the Weekend Bkfst overflow. There are also small groups seeking coffee/dessert meeting locations that would likely patronize your new place ifthe knew they were welcome. Right now my group goes to Uptown as other places discouraged us from meeting at their establishment (a language group).

  • Sharon February 1, 2011 (10:14 pm)

    You have no idea how much I appreciate all the ideas and input you have given. It’s been almost 2 years since John and I took over Alki Cafe. People of West Seattle/Alki have been so welcoming and generous to us. John and I want to hear your voice, and we will do everything we can to meet your expectation. We want to make Beachside Cafe a family friendly and a group meeting friendly place. As far as hours are concerned, it may change from season to season. Unlike coffee places serving just coffee and simple baked goods, we will have much more selection of food to choose from. That means a larger staff we have to carry to open later hours. We plan to give more thoughts about that and share with everyone. Thanks again everyone.
    Sharon/Alki Cafe owner

  • dolly February 1, 2011 (10:29 pm)

    HMMMMMMM. I am an afternoon, evening person and have often told friends how I wish there was somewhere that did not fold at 8PM to get coffee/espresso, light meals and great desserts. We too were once dinner customers at the Alki Cafe and seldom go any more. To be honest, (and my apologies to Sharon, you sound like a nice person) we almost never go in there any more. We were so unhappy with the previous owners lack of commitment to quality. Good luck to the new Beachside _______!

  • WS fan February 1, 2011 (10:54 pm)

    Sharon: You sound like a delightful person. Admire the risks you are taking to form a new eating establishment on our Puget Sound shores! I truly wish you the best!

    I can’t wait to try your new establishment. I KNOW how tough it is to be a small business and make it through these rough times. You sound like a lovely person trying to help the local community. My guess is that you have a passion for serving your neighborhood.
    Look forward to coming in and having a delightful meal.

  • David February 1, 2011 (11:53 pm)

    West Seattle DESPERATELY needs a respectable food & beverage establishment (other than a bar/lounge) that is open well into the evening. I have been saying this for years and we already see several comments on this post that are asking for later operating hours for this new business. In fact, digressing a bit, a 24-hour cafe (probably located in or near the Junction) would be very profitable! Please, Beachside Cafe, seriously consider later hours, at least to 8:00 PM and potentially to 10:00 PM on Friday and Saturday’s. Thank you!

  • lenguamor February 2, 2011 (12:53 am)

    A night spot for coffee and snacks, with wi-fi and *no* TV/sports bar feel would be a welcome addition to WS. Hope it’s feasible…either way, the very best to you!

  • Jack Loblaw February 2, 2011 (7:18 am)

    The operating hours do not work for the majority of the people who work 9-5 Monday through Friday. The breakfast restaurant is never open when I have time to be down on the beach. The owners pay rent 24 hours a day on the new property so they should probably think about actually being open for business a majority of those hours. Good luck making this work financially.

  • stb February 2, 2011 (9:02 am)

    Yes, I loved the old bakery when it stayed open late so a person could pop in for a nice dessert and coffee later in the evening. So here’s definitely another vote for evening hours, especially on weekends.

  • Kristina February 2, 2011 (9:05 am)

    I certainly welcome this – sounds great! And I second the vote for “no TV.”

    Please make this a great spot for lunch. Not just some pre-made sandwiches or some soup-from-a-corporation, but some real food, some healthy options, at reasonable prices. Make this a place where I say to my girlfriends “Let’s go for a walk along Alki and through Schmitz Park and then have lunch at the Beachside!”

  • Sharon February 2, 2011 (9:51 am)

    This is what I got so far; Longer hours, especially during weekends…Healthy food options…No TV but have wifi…Family friendly and meeting friendly…Great place to just hang out and enjoy the view. Did I miss anything? My boys, 15 and 12,are very impressed that so many people care about our new venture. Please keep the ideas and comments coming. We are all very excited! Thanks!!! Sharon/Alki Cafe owner

  • lina rose February 2, 2011 (10:12 am)

    I am so excited and thank you sharon for being so open to feedback, I know it will be impossible to please everyone!

    i am thinking lovely evening walks on alki followed by tea- am all for longer hours where seasonally possible (meaning where you will get enough business to make it worth staying open) @ jack loblaw – while business owners pay rent 24 hours/day – they still have to staff a business/pay additional utilities etc when it is open to the public making it more expensive. I hope that everyone that asked for longer hours is ready to back up that request by actually going there on the weekends to make it profitable enough for Beachside to keep the hours everyone is begging for. i imagine there will be a little trial by error – try out different hours and see how they work.

    definitely agree with no TV and healthy options, a place where people could really hang out. ample comfy seating-maybe not just table options but some cozy chairs as well. that is one of the things that keeps me going to tully’s – the fireplace and chairs. but i would much rather be at a small local business with better music and no annoying constantly running video screen.


  • Opportunity February 2, 2011 (5:09 pm)

    This is great news. I believe the spot and Alki is a prime spot to have a chill place to listen to live music (not necessarily big bands and the size limits that anyways, but some local artists or the like), enjoy a treat, and perhaps a microbrew. I encourage the owners to go above and beyond the basic pastry and coffee shop and provide WS with a much needed place to enjoy edibles and drinkables while attracting people from around town to specifically come to the shop for unique options. A place like Local Color in Pike Place comes to mind.

  • Noelle February 2, 2011 (8:46 pm)

    Wow WONDERFUL!!!

  • NotMe February 2, 2011 (9:57 pm)

    Hey, best of luck with the new spot. I also think later hours on Friday and Saturday nights is a good idea – especially in the warmer months. Alki is PACKED those nights. All I ask is – have GOOD, quality coffee. If you are opening packets to dump into the filter tray on the drip machines, then you are doing it wrong.

  • David February 3, 2011 (11:59 am)

    To: Sharon | I have been a West Seattleite since the mid 1990’s as well as a former GM in the hospitality business for several years, managing such establishments in downtown Seattle during some very arduous economic situations. I understand the necessity for cost reductions and as a local I also see the dire need for what many here have been expressing. We truly need a “healthy” night-spot where the community can go to enjoy quality coffee in an inviting space. Perhaps later opening hours (opening for lunch) and stay open later in the evenings. You already have a breakfast venue, so consider saving some labor and open the Beachside at 10:30 or 11:00 AM. West Seattle used to have Café Ladro open to 11:00 PM seven nights a week but no longer; and they would frequently have several guests in the coffee shop up until closing. There is a lot that you can do with this concept and Alki is a great neighborhood. I genuinely wish you all the very best in this endeavor.

  • nuemes February 3, 2011 (12:43 pm)

    Ditto what lenguamor said: night spot for coffee and snacks, with wi-fi and *no* TV/sports bar.

    Unsweetened icead tea, healthy vegetarian and gluten free options would keep me coming. And good music: no commercial radio. Just playing KEXP or KPLU all day would make me happy.

    This would be a welcome juxtaposition to the oft unpleasant Bamboo scene and I think get a bunch of us back out on the Ave on weekend eves.

    Glad to see this space getting filled by a local; thank you!

  • Sharon February 3, 2011 (9:09 pm)

    I’m so grateful for WSB. I wouldn’t have known what the local residents were looking for without this page. Thank you all. I realize we may not be able to fulfill everyone’s expectation. I just want all of you to know that we will consider all ideas suggested here, and do the best for the location within the budget we have :) Please stay tuned for menu for Beachside to come in couple of weeks.
    Sharon/Alki Cafe owner

  • Ron February 9, 2011 (9:17 pm)

    Really nice to see a new cafe take shape!
    That location is excellent on Alki, right in the middle of everything.

    It would be nice to provide some of the pastries from Bakery Nouveau, their pastries are amazing good.

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