Chaco Canyon Organic Café: Countdown to West Seattle opening

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Eleven months ago, we published Chaco Canyon Organic Cafés request for your opinion: Would their vegetarian/vegan cuisine be welcomed in West Seattle? The response was an overwhelming “yes” – and today, they are two weeks away from their April 1st opening in The Triangle’s new development Link (WSB sponsor).

Though finishing touches remain, we stopped in on Tuesday for the first sneak peek inside, courtesy of the same team we had interviewed at Chaco Canyon’s U-District location 4 months ago – owner Chris Maykut and West Seattle general manager Sarah Coyle.

They are excited and ebullient about West Seattle-homegrown components to the new café – from the soon-to-be-hung light fixtures (above) created “in a studio under the West Seattle Bridge,” to a staff with a significant number of West Seattleites, including two who also plan to live upstairs at Link (whose first tenants move in on March 25th).

This week, there were still decisions to be made – like, how many tables? The tables and wood trim (above) around the new restaurant are made with recycled materials, which thrills Chris to no end – recycled palettes, to be specific, “glue-laminated.”

They are also excited about the community room on the north side of the 2,800-square-foot space. It’ll hold between 30 and 40 people, and will be rentable for meetings and classes, Chris explains – when it’s not in use, it’ll be more space for people to sit down and enjoy Chaco Canyon food and drink.

Any changes since last time we spoke? They’ve decided not to be open Sunday nights, for now – Sarah added, “We want to grow into it.” On Sundays, they will be open for brunch, 9 am-3 pm. Mondays-Fridays, Chaco Canyon will be open 7 am-9 pm, and on Saturdays, it’ll be 9 am-9 pm.

Their staff already is in training, having done an orientation at the original Chaco Canyon and then a followup last Friday at the new location. Before they get into “friends and family” shakedown cruises the last few days before the scheduled April 1st opening, they are inviting you to a March 26th open house.

Even on official opening day, some parts of the new café – which you’ll enter from the southwestern corner of Link (38th/Alaska, above) – will be a work in progress. The retail space along the eastern wall – where you will eventually find cookbooks, among other things – will not be fully fleshed out. Chris says they need to “nose around West Seattle” to see what there’s a need for, particularly relating to vegan, organic, raw, gluten-free nutrition. They might sell art, as well – art will have a prominent place inside Chaco Canyon, as it does throughout the rest of Link (the Twilight Artist Collective curation for the main part of the building doesn’t extend into its businesses, but Chris notes he is a longtime friend of one of Twilight’s trio of founders).

They’re also reaching out to other Triangle businesses; Sarah says she’s been talking with the West Seattle Family YMCA (WSB sponsor) and is “really inspired” by what they are doing and offering.

But back to details. As we wrap up our chat, Chris is wondering about the light bulbs for the new glass fixtures (he pointed out to us earlier that many of the lights in the restaurant will be LEDs, with a major energy savings).

And as we all look out the window at what was at the time a rainy morning, he and Sarah mention there will be outdoor seating when the weather gets nicer, along the west-facing facade, 16 to 20 people.

That’s still a few months away. In the meantime, the doors will officially swing open at 7 am Friday, April 1st, after that March 26th sneak peek, which will be 7-11 pm, with appetizers, beer, and wine – no RSVP needed, “if 500 people show up, we’ll feed 500 people,” Chris promises.

22 Replies to "Chaco Canyon Organic Café: Countdown to West Seattle opening"

  • Machel Spence March 16, 2011 (5:03 pm)

    YAY!!!!!!!!!!! I love vegan cuisine! So exciting!! m-

  • Agen Schmitz March 16, 2011 (5:27 pm)

    Hot dog! erm… VEGAN hot dog!!!! we’ll be there after it officially opens.

  • Cynthia T March 16, 2011 (5:34 pm)

    YIPPY SKIPPY! I’m so excited! Finally some place safe to eat right here that covers the multitude of allergies/intolerances we deal with. I can hardly wait. I might get to take a night off cooking again from time to time.

  • Jsv888 March 16, 2011 (5:50 pm)

    Can’t wait for this place to open. So tired of all the restaurants in west Seattle!

  • Mookie March 16, 2011 (6:03 pm)

    I’m not tired of some of the wonderful restaurants already in West Seattle, but I am looking forward to welcoming Chaco Canyon to the list!

  • Judy March 16, 2011 (6:06 pm)

    I’m soooo there on the first!

  • Neighbor March 16, 2011 (6:47 pm)

    Man, I’ve been dreaming of this place for months! Yummmy!

  • JayDee March 16, 2011 (7:01 pm)

    Isn’t a Vegan Hot Dog called a “Not Dog”? ;-)

  • kumalavula March 16, 2011 (7:16 pm)

    talk about filling a void!
    even prior to opening, you have no idea how happy you’ve made some of us.
    welcome to the neighborhood :)

  • past long time resident March 16, 2011 (7:37 pm)

    wow- wish I still lived there – send me a ‘cybertaste’… good luck

  • S March 16, 2011 (8:46 pm)

    I’m thrilled that Chaco Canyon will be here in West Seattle soon! A local, healthy, and much-awaited ALTERNATIVE to run of the mill places that are so overly-focused on heavy, MEAT dishes.

  • Grant March 17, 2011 (1:39 am)

    Welcome to West Seattle and good luck to you! I’ve been hoping a vegetarian/vegan place would come some day.

  • Sue March 17, 2011 (7:09 am)

    I am SO excited! I live 4 blocks away and probably spend considerable time and money over there. I love that they have a binder with the full ingredient list of everything they sell, so there are no surprises for those who are allergic or avoiding certain foods.

  • Al March 17, 2011 (9:18 am)

    I hope there’s some bike racks installed – so easy to drop by on my way to/from work!

  • Cali101 March 17, 2011 (3:55 pm)

    Hooray! Can’t wait to be a frequent diner!

  • dayna March 18, 2011 (11:55 am)

    Yeah Square!!! (and chris) So proud of you for all of this!! :)

  • Marge March 20, 2011 (3:23 pm)

    please be open by mi birthday! then we can come here to celebrate! Also you should get Vivir Living Foodsin your place. YumYum!

  • alkira March 20, 2011 (8:15 pm)


    Vegan food!!! I love Chaco Canyon in the University District, but I live on Alki Beach. If you are nosin’ around – personally, I prefer vegan and organic. Raw and gluten free are fine, but not something I actively seek out. That’s my vote, but my neighbors might be totally different.

    Bowls! Soups! Elixirs! Oh My!

  • Jewel March 21, 2011 (3:25 pm)

    Yeah!!! No more taking the bus all the way to the U district for a yummy vegan/raw meal!!! Surely my paycheck will take a hit.

  • LyndaB March 26, 2011 (11:06 am)


  • Emilee March 26, 2011 (12:46 pm)

    Genuinely giddy with excitement—an entire menu full of options I can eat?! I’ve definitely grown weary of having only salads, one or two sides, or the occasional garden burger to choose from. Since looking up their online menu, I’ve been talking non-stop about Chaco Canyon Café. A welcome addition to the neighborhood.

  • CR March 26, 2011 (1:21 pm)

    WS vegans rejoice!!! Welcome to WS Chaco!!

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