Seacrest Boathouse contract-controversy followup: Marination revealed as ‘new operator,’ and more

(File photos of Seacrest and Marination, both by Christopher Boffoli)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Multiple developments today on the story we reported yesterday, picking up on a report by our partners at the Seattle Times that the city-owned Seacrest Boathouse‘s longtime operator, owner of Alki Crab and Fish, lost the contract to run the site:

We’ve just confirmed with Seattle Parks that the operators of the popular food truck Marination Mobile, which has been visiting West Seattle weekly for more than a year, are the people to whom the city intends to award the contract. There’s also an online petition circulating to “save Alki Crab and Fish,” as first reported in comments on our Sunday story – and (added) one in support of Marination.

First – From Parks spokesperson Dewey Potter, in response to our inquiry this morning:

Alki Crab and Fish finished second to Marination by a score of almost 45 points. Going beyond the normal evaluation process, Parks staff had oral interviews with the top two candidates and that did not change the outcome.

We had actually sent a note to Marination last night after various things we’d heard led us to suspect they might be the winning proposer; we have not yet received a reply. However, Parks has included both the grading from the evaluation and Marination’s proposal – while we read through it to summarize, you can see the document here (PDF).

Second – The online petition is here. Diver/photographer Laura James created it early this morning. As of right now, more than 240 people have signed it. Parks says they are expecting a written protest from Alki Crab and Fish’s owner by the end of today; the formal procedure calls for that to go to Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams, who would have the final say (pending City Council approval early next year). The pro-Marination petition (also from WSB comments) was created in early afternoon, here.

ADDED 1:03 PM: Regarding the fate of Alki Kayak Tours, which has been a subcontractor at Seacrest, renting watercraft, skates, and bikes, and leading tours (with some of those services called for by Parks) – Parks spokesperson Potter acknowledges AKT owner Greg Whittaker “expressed concern that he would lose out as a result of the evaluation of the proposals Parks received … Parks staff have talked with (him) and advised him that renting boats for recreational fishing and general boating activities will continue to be an integral part of the operation at Seacrest moving forward, and that once the protest is resolved, the newly selected operator, assuming that decision stands, is interested in subleasing that side of the operation and that he is welcome to engage in that discussion about that possibility.”

ADDED 1:53 PM: Key points of Marination’s proposal, and some background for those who aren’t familiar with their operation (and ADDED 3:33 PM, more reaction including theirs plus the current contract-holder):

Marination is run by Roz Edison and Kamala Saxton, who launched it as a food truck two and a half years ago. Earlier this year, they opened a bricks-and-mortar location on Capitol Hill. Their proposal includes a long list of awards, including their spotlight on TV’s “Good Morning America” in 2009 as “Best Food Cart in America.” Their truck’s schedule has included Saturdays at 35th/Graham, 11 am-2 pm, since July 2009, not long after their business began.

They write in their proposal for taking over Seacrest, “It will take much more than a seasoned restaurant owner to transform and enliven Seacrest. It will also require new community partnerships, positive marketing and public relations, and some strong operational efficiencies. The Marination team has these skills.”

They describe their philosophy as “SAUCY – Simple, Authentic, Uncontroversial, Connected, Youthful,” and match each member of their four-person management team, including the two owners, to various qualities on that list.

Regarding what food they would serve: “We will keep our current menu and add some additional items,” they write. “In keeping with our street-food roots, we will keep the atmosphere, pricing, and format of our food service accessible to virtually all budgets, family-friendly, and speedy.” The additional item, they write, would be a nod to the current operation: “We respect that the Seacrest Boathouse has been serving fish and chips for the past ten years and there are surely patrons who would be very disappointed not to have this option on the menu. So we plan to offer one fish and chip option – with a Hawaiian-Korean culinary twist, of course.”

Their operating hours are proposed as Monday-Thursday 6 am-10 pm, Friday 6 am-11 pm, Saturday 7 am-11 pm, Sunday 7 am-10 pm. They say they would hire some additional employees beyond the more than 20 their company now employs.

Regarding the infrastructure itself, they say they are ready to invest $100,000-$150,000 in freshening up the look inside the restaurant and also bringing the boat rental area into something more closely relating to the restaurant, though they do write that they expect to subcontract out the boat-rental part of the business.

ADDED 3:33 PM: We’ve just talked by phone with Alki Crab/Fish owner Eric Galanti, and have received a comment by e-mail from Marination’s Kamala Saxton. First, from our conversation with Galanti: He says he is “dumbfounded” by what has transpired. “We’re trying to figure out why a business with longterm employees – two that had been there longer than I have – (would lose to) a gamble, to put someone else in there … I’m not sure that the folks involved with the selection process were as familiar with the location and what goes on there as they should be.”

He says he was offering a 12 percent cut to the city, which had asked for a minimum of 10 percent, which was in Marination’s offer. He says there are two areas in the grading sheet where they came in below Marination – one, because of an apparent failure to include some financials/projections that he says the city should have had already, and another one regarding whether loans/investments would be needed (in his case, he says, they wouldn’t). He says one big thing he was proposing is something the building desperately needs for winter success – installing one indoor restroom, instead of having to have patrons go out to the two restrooms on the south side of the bathhouse.

Galanti says he received the letter last Wednesday saying the contract would be awarded to someone else, and that the city would have his protest letter by the end of the day. “I’m just dumbfounded that they can say they want to try someone new, and risk, with the extreme failure rate of restaurants, someone new coming in … We’ve had a great working relationship.”

He also says he had “tons and tons of letters of support” from entities with operations there, including Metro, the King County Water Taxi, Alki Kayak Tours, and notes that his business and the latter have teamed up for a lot of work on “sustainable tourism … all focused on what Parks wants.”

While he said he initially committed to invest up to $100,000 into the building, “we’ve spent closer to $300,000 over time.” He also is concerned about having “20 employees on my shoulders, that have come back, stuck with us through the lean winters … We’ve tried to grow our sustainable tourism, and the kayaking and boating,” far beyond the powerboats the city had required for possible fishing use (this past year, he notes, the bay didn’t even open for a fishing season in which someone could have used those boats). “I feel like that’s being overlooked by the Parks Department … the agencies [including Metro etc.] aren’t even talking to each other” about what’s succeeded and what’s needed at Seacrest.

Besides Admiral Pub and Alki Crab/Fish, Galanti owns an establishment in Kent. Meantime, here’s the PDF of his proposal, which we obtained from Parks this afternoon. Note that he was proposing adding some new menu items – “fresh large prawn cocktails (and) ceviche,” as part of a commitment to increase the offerings of fresh foods.

As for Marination – co-owner Saxton says they’re excited but also surprised by how it turned out in one respect: “We are thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to strengthen and deepen our roots in West Seattle, but by no means was it ever our intention to get into a battle with an existing small business, and certainly not to take another small business ‘out of business.’ Based on the information presented in the RFP, we honestly assumed that we would be “competing” with all new concessionaire bidders. We respect Alki Fish and Crab’s decision to appeal the Parks decision, and we have faith in the Parks due diligence to look into this matter.”

We have one component left to today’s multifaceted followup: We’ve asked Parks about the opportunity, if any, for public input in the process at this stage. We’ve been promised a reply, and will add it when we get it.

160 Replies to "Seacrest Boathouse contract-controversy followup: Marination revealed as 'new operator,' and more"

  • clark5080 December 5, 2011 (12:43 pm)

    Sorry to see Alki Crab and Fish go

  • SarahScoot December 5, 2011 (12:46 pm)

    I think this is pretty awesome news for West Seattle as a whole, but it’s obviously not good for Alki Crab & Fish. I’d love to know what is reviewed during the evaluation process, but I would guess that Marination is in better fiscal shape than AC&F, plus they have a very large and loyal following.
    I’ve always wanted to like AC&F, but their food has always been mediocre and expensive for the quality. I’m very excited at the prospect of having our own Marination Station here in WS!

    And as an aside, I was put off by some of the comments in response to yesterday’s story; people were saying that a Korean restaurant doesn’t “belong” there, which comes off as pretty closed-minded.

    • WSB December 5, 2011 (12:54 pm)

      Sarah – I have just noticed that the Marination proposal was included in one of the documents the city sent us, and I have uploaded it and linked it in the first take of the story. I will be reading through it to write a summary into our article, but for those who just can’t wait, our philosophy is of course to share documents as able/available/appropriate. = TR

  • sam-c December 5, 2011 (12:54 pm)

    omg !, I am so conflicted right now. on the one hand, I don’t have to go to cap hill (or wherever) when the mood strikes me (which is fairly often), on the other hand, I do like the current Alki Crab and Fish and think fish n chips fits at that location.

  • Brian December 5, 2011 (12:58 pm)

    Is there a petition for support for Marination? I agree with Sarah’s sentiments and am stoked to have Marination here all week!

    • WSB December 5, 2011 (1:06 pm)

      Not that I’ve heard, but if you start one, post the link here or e-mail and we’ll include it in our coverage as well … TR

  • Kim December 5, 2011 (1:07 pm)

    Yeah Marination! Maybe they will add a fish taco. Yummmmmm!

  • Jtk December 5, 2011 (1:10 pm)

    Their food is barely edible and the prices are very expensive for what you get. It’s not the type of food people drive out of their way for. It’s there, so people eat it. If there were different choices near there for the “divers” would you still go there?…. Change is good… Embrace Change!

  • Anne December 5, 2011 (1:15 pm)

    Sorry Sarah-totally disgree about food being mediocre & prices too high,-but folks often have different expeiences. Have nothing at all against Marination Mobile-but why do they have to displace a wonderfully warm & family friendly place that has been part of our community for so long? I am signing the petition & hope this decision gets reversed

  • bebecat December 5, 2011 (1:18 pm)

    Oh yes a 10 yr business…let’s just kick them to the curb. What a shame.

  • Kyle December 5, 2011 (1:18 pm)

    Congratulations Marination!

  • Colleen December 5, 2011 (1:21 pm)

    Interesting – no longer surprised of those results after reading that whole proposal.

    Tracy, if the city shares the Alki Crab and Fish I would be interested to read that as well – some of the Marination projections seems a little aggressive to me, I’d be curious to see that compared to what Alki Crab and Fish put out.

    While I do think a Korean restaurant does belong anywhere in West Seattle (or elsewhere for that matter) I do think its not the typical “I want to eat at the beach I am visiting” food and that coud hurt them.

    • WSB December 5, 2011 (1:26 pm)

      Please note that (while I haven’t finished reading the Marination proposal to see what they proposed, will summarize it as fast as I can when done) – they are not a “Korean food” provider FWIW. Hawaiian-Korean is one term they use, at least for what made them famous, “primarily tacos, sliders, and rice bowls,” as described on the first page of their proposal, again, describing what they do now, because of components like kim chi and kalbi. They also opened a bricks/mortar location on Capitol Hill earlier this year, in addition to continuing to run the truck, which is at 35th/Graham 11 am-2 pm on Saturdays. More to come … I am indeed inquiring about Alki Crab/Fish proposal too (and we are still working other angles) … TR

  • Laconique December 5, 2011 (1:23 pm)

    Peace out, fish and chips! HELLO tacos and sliders!!! So excited about this! Sorry for the fishy folks, but HUGE and enthusiastic welcome to the wonderful ladies from Marination!!

  • Ambivalent but.... December 5, 2011 (1:29 pm)

    I noticed in reading through the proposal from Marination that they are offering a discount for all Seattle DPR official functions on food and rentals.

    I don’t know if this is a current practice of Alki Fish and Chips but it seems to be a little unethical that the winning bid is offering discounts to the same government agency requesting bids.

  • SarahScoot December 5, 2011 (1:33 pm)

    Just wrote the petition to support the Parks Department’s decision to give the contract to Marination: . I plan to post on Facebook and Twitter when I get home from work (can’t access those sites here, and it’s a pain to accurately type in a long URL on an iPhone).

  • 2 Much Whine December 5, 2011 (1:49 pm)

    It’s pretty funny to look back at the posts from yesterday and see all the misinformation that people guess at and automatically assume is fact. Marination is NOT a large chain, it’s not Ivar’s. It is 100% minority owned and 100% woman owned. From looking at the proposal it looks like their proposal team made what appear to be valid assumptions based on historical performance and they presented a better business model. It was reviewed by several city employees with consistent high scores. I would welcome Marination to the hood with open arms. I also feel sorry that Alki Crab and Fish didn’t submit the winning proposal but they didn’t. Can’t we just let this die and let the city get back to other stuff or do we need to petition/sue/argue about every blessed decision the city makes?

  • Darren December 5, 2011 (1:55 pm)

    I think it’s unfortunate that they are changing the business. The AC&F has been providing a great service for a while. Many local divers and residents thoroughly enjoy eating/drinking there. I don’t really see why they need to change.

  • WSB December 5, 2011 (1:57 pm)

    Will add that to the story. I have just added some of the key summaries from the proposal and updated – TR

  • bestbets December 5, 2011 (1:58 pm)

    I am curious to hear what the final outcome is.- which includes the petition and written protest. I thinks it’s cool for everyone that this is generating so much interest, it shows how much we value the existing owner(s) but also are willing to consider change if it is judicious.

  • Frank December 5, 2011 (2:19 pm)

    Full disclosure: Marination has sponsored the Franklin HS ultimate teams. I coach those teams and admire Roz and Kamala.

    So it’ll come as no surprise that I also welcome Marination with open arms to West Seattle permanently. Although I will miss the proximity of the Saturday 35th St location which was a five minute drive from my home.

    For the person who believes that a restaurant with Hawaiian roots doesn’t have a place by the beach… Really?

    It’s not like Alki no longer has fish & chips options… We still have Salty’s and Dukes and Spuds.

    More power to locally-owned, minority-owned, women-owned, socially-conscious (they contribute greatly to Susan G Komen) businesses with reasonable prices and amazing food!


  • JanS December 5, 2011 (2:21 pm)

    2 much whine..I’m thinking that I agree with you. What’s done is done. The 10 year lease expired in June. Plenty of time for the AC &F people to come up with the winning bid. One should never assume one has it in the bag because one has tenure. Marination is a great business, and should be welcomed. The owners of AC & F also own the Admiral Pub. A business just across the street from them just became available. Maybe they could move the fish and chips business there. Just a thought…although I’m not sure it’s the right type of place for it…

  • Laconique December 5, 2011 (2:21 pm)

    This is a fascinating debate. Now that more facts are in, and wrong assumptions have been cleared up, I’d be curious to hear from people who signed the petition. Given that the winning bid (which did go through what sounds like an expectedly competitive process) came from another small, successful, locally-owned business- is your complaint still as strong? Should Alki Crab & Fish get to stay just because they’re the incumbent business?

  • Kingofalki December 5, 2011 (2:35 pm)

    WELCOME MARINATION! Hip, delicious, fusion perfection marination. Will do great here for the water taxi folks and in the summer is going to be a hit for beach goers! Yes, fish a chips are more “expected” but I need two hands to count the fish and chip establishments on alki, so this is a fresh new option brought to us. It’s hard to see things change and see old friends go, but change is necesary and natural. If we want our comunity to keep up we need to welcome change, diversity, variety and quality… and Marination brings that to Alki. I will be there for opening day and will become a regualr for sure!

  • questionable December 5, 2011 (2:40 pm)

    Of what relevance is the gender of the owners of a business? Are there people who are specifically anti male-owned businesses who would care?

  • Casey December 5, 2011 (2:41 pm)

    If the fish and chips doesn’t stay I’ll be boycotting marination: first of all there are many other places to eat fish and chips, but none that compare, which means I’ll go without. I do like the idea of a minority woman owned company, however, I’m reading they have a mobile version as well as a Capitol hill location. Why kick out someone that has one location and has been successful for so long?!! I’d welcome them to a different location

  • Brian Makar December 5, 2011 (2:46 pm)

    I am glad to see that the Marination option will have at least one “fish and chip” option. I think this will add continuity from the current theme, while introducing some new food options to the area’s patrons.

  • CandrewB December 5, 2011 (2:46 pm)

    To just up and renew a contract with a private party to profit on city-owned property would be considered a gift of public resources. It is illegal. Thus the RFP. You should be thankful of this.

    • WSB December 5, 2011 (3:03 pm)

      I’ve just spoken by phone to Alki Crab and Fish’s owner and also received an e-mail response to the note I’d sent yesterday to Marination’s co-owner. Plus we’ve received a copy of Alki Crab and Fish’s proposal. Give me 20 minutes or so to add to the story and if you’re interested in these additional developments, check back! – TR

  • Alki girl December 5, 2011 (2:56 pm)

    I’m a woman business owner of 26 years in west Seattle . And these people should have some dignity to back down and not distroy a long time successful , family run business for there gain. And anyone who’s from west Seattle knows that were close nit and don’t take well to change!!! This place is a Seattle icon . Not kimchi and the water it’s fish and chips and the water . You won’t have my business and many others shame on them karma

  • Mel December 5, 2011 (3:04 pm)

    I’m a Marination frequenter, and think it’s some of the best food that I’ve ever eaten. Aloha sliders in West Seattle every day of the week!! I couldn’t be more pleased.

  • Desertdweller December 5, 2011 (3:17 pm)

    I have to say that I’m appalled by the tacitly racist comments that have been by many people on this forum. It’s horrible that instead of reading the ins-and-outs of the story and understanding that there doesn’t seem to be a “fault” (other than the city choosing one restaurant over another), people are more inclined to be bigoted.

    This type of behavior makes me very sad to live in West Seattle.

    • WSB December 5, 2011 (3:23 pm)

      DD – we don’t tolerate racism here and I have probably deleted at least a couple dozen racist comments in the six-year life (so far) of this site (luckily people have generally known better than to even try). Unless a comment has gone through that I haven’t seen, while I wish it wasn’t a matter of a cuisine tied to an ethnicity, I did interpret what I’ve read as people taking issue with a particular cuisine, not the ethnicity itself, which again, we wouldn’t tolerate. If anyone thinks I’ve missed something or am blind to something that seems obviously racist here, please advise (and you are free to e-mail me OR post here,, maybe in working so hard to try to get more info I have failed to review something closely enough – TR

  • Alki girl December 5, 2011 (3:20 pm)

    I’m a woman business owner of 26 years in west Seattle . And these people should have some dignity to back down and not distroy a long time successful , family run business for there gain. And anyone who’s from west Seattle knows that were close nit and don’t take well to change!!! This place is a Seattle icon . Not kimchi and the water it’s fish and chips and the water . You won’t have my business and many others shame on them . karma!!!!!!!!

  • MB December 5, 2011 (3:22 pm)

    Alki girl, what’s your business’s name?

  • keden December 5, 2011 (3:32 pm)

    I signed the petition to keep AF&C. They worked hard and built a community asset from the ground up. They deserve to keep their business and receive a return on their investment of time and money.

  • vincent December 5, 2011 (3:42 pm)

    oh WSB, how I love your thinly veiled racism and pearl clutching in the same thread.


    damn kimchee eaters.

    Marination has been very faithful to wsea and are willing to work hard and commit to make it better. Alki fish shack was mediocre at best.

    but way to stir the pot!

    • WSB December 5, 2011 (4:12 pm)

      Vincent, I’ll let your comment through only so I can respond to it. We police our comment section more closely than ANY news site in town and in much of the country. And not just for racism, sexism, and a variety of other -isms, but also for name-calling and also just for sheer idiocy. (Subjective, of course, but we do the best we can.) We don’t engage in “pot-stirring” in any way, shape, or form, and I’m no racist. For otherwise being a middle-aged, middle-class white woman, I am lucky to have had a unique perspective that helped … having spent formative years in Hawaii, which unlike the mainland is minority-white. Anyway – We’re reporting this story from as many angles as possible. Thanks for surfacing to make an offensive allegation, though, haven’t heard from you in a while. Meantime, since no one has answered my request yet to please point out which comment(s) they found offensive, I’m re-reading to see if there’s something unreviewed that went by, now that I’ve added all the existing components to the story (except for excerpts from Alki CF’s proposal, which I’ll add in a bit).
      To the questions about, why does it matter who owns the company and what does gender/race/etc. have to do with it … another layer of context possibly missing for people not familiar with the city bidding/procurement process … here is some city background on the inclusion process:

  • Thistle December 5, 2011 (3:42 pm)

    Thank you WSB for all of the follow up… I really am thankful for the quick postings of documents. As a loyal fan of both establishments, I am really trying to keep my mind open to this turn of events until all of the proposal information is posted, that said, it’s a tough break either way.

    On a side note, I am personally disappointed at some of the comments that seem to imply that Marination is somehow a better choice simply because it is ran by “locally-owned, minority-owned, women-owned, socially-conscious” people, as if to imply that the current business was not a locally based, family ran establishment with strong community/social ties who have donated to community/non-profit events in the past. As a minority women who grew up supported by my mother’s small business, I LOVE supporting local entrepreneurs of any stripe and feel its a huge disservice to start rating their worthiness on anything BUT the quality of product/service and community contribution they provide.

  • April December 5, 2011 (3:43 pm)

    I don’t think this is fair or right. These two small businesses (Alki Crab & Fish and Alki Kayak Tours) that have served our community well and spent so many years building up their businesses, will now be put out of business by the government. (Way to go government… like you didn’t already have enough bad press.) This shouldn’t be a debate about which type of food you like better. Think about it for a minute from the perspective of these small business owners. If these folks have been keeping up their side of the contract, i.e. paying their rent, keeping the place in good condition, they should have first dibs on a renewal to their contract. It is not fair that a brand new business gets to step in here and take over a location that has been built up (and improved!) If these businesses do find new spots, it will not have the same advantage that this spot has with all the traffic from the Water Taxi and tourists. Not fair and bad karma on the City of Seattle and Parks Dept. for this. However, i know, life is not fair and the world is not fair. But “if i were in charge”… sigh. Two more small businesses bite the dust, and probably several people put out of work. Way to go City of Seattle.

  • clark5080 December 5, 2011 (3:44 pm)

    umm Alki 12% to City Maranation 10%

  • JuddysDad December 5, 2011 (3:48 pm)

    Yes to Marination!!! Their food is delicious. They are good folks who know how to run a good business. They will be a welcome addition to Alki!!

  • Dave December 5, 2011 (4:00 pm)

    From a business perspective I think this would be a huge gamble for MM. They serve a very niche type of food that might have enough regulars in a place like New York or LA but Seattle diners are very transient. In West Seattle at this location I think the novelty will wear off fairly quickly as there are very few people who want Korean/Hawaiian hybrid food on a weekly basis. Good luck to them but there is a reason they started in a food truck.

  • Denny December 5, 2011 (4:06 pm)


    I take your comment to pertain to the posters of comments on WSB and not to the operators of WSB? If so, must agree a bit with you.

  • Lamont December 5, 2011 (4:13 pm)

    My loyalty to Alki Fish and Chips has more to do with Yvonne giving my dive buddy (Laura) bottles of hot water when I got massively stung in the face by a Lion’s Mane Jellyfish.

    All the divers like Yvonne a lot. That’s something qualitative which is missing from the AFP process (and goes beyond the food or the finances or the improvements).

  • Neighborly December 5, 2011 (4:20 pm)

    I do hope that they will continue to sublet to Greg, uninterrupted, so his business doesn’t suffer.

  • WS Neighbor December 5, 2011 (4:31 pm)

    Alki Girl, you, and your poor spelling, poor grammar, and xenophobic tendencies absolutely do NOT represent this West Seattleite. I suspect the same goes for many others in our community.

  • Colleen December 5, 2011 (4:40 pm)

    So Alki CF was offering a bigger percent but still managed to “fail” finances…only in Seattle

  • Frank December 5, 2011 (4:44 pm)

    Thistle – I can’t speak for everyone else but I wrote about Marination being women/minority-owned and socially conscious b/c of multiple earlier remarks arguing AFC should stay b/c they were local and family-owned. And as Tracy said in 4:12pm comment – the city takes this into account.

    Clark5080 – I’d like to hear what AFC brought in each year. Yes 12% is more than 10% but it’s not that simple to say the higher % is better. Marination projects a $423K profit for 2012 giving $42K to the city. If AFC’s profits for 2011 weren’t in that range, two percentage points aren’t going to help.

  • Tyler December 5, 2011 (4:46 pm)

    mmm marination!!

  • bebecat December 5, 2011 (4:52 pm)

    Will never eat Marnation

  • TammiWS December 5, 2011 (5:00 pm)

    Do so few people know how the RFP process works when bidding on govt. work? Any company has a right to bid on this business when the contract is up. Pure and simple. Gov’t encourages women owned, minority owned, Veteran owned businesses to respond. Family owned isnt a designation as far as I’m aware.

    From there various criteria in the response need to be met – only one of them being price. I’m sure they take into consideration already knowing the area, clientele, etc. but all things being equal it comes down to who had a better proposal and probably better price. The sections of the RFP response are weighted and a committee reviews it.

    As CandrewB said, its illegal to not go out to bid and in this case sole source wouldnt likely fly. You dont just get to keep the contract because you were awarded it once – doesnt work that way with govt. contracting – at least proper govt. contracting. Those who hold the contract have to respond to the RFP, and win, to keep it.

    Its fair, people may not like it but its fair. Think about it in reverse – if longevity and such were criteria you’d get cronyism, and you’d have companies you DIDNT want holding the contract able to hold it for years without others being able to bid and take over the business, and maybe conduct it better.

    Finally, some of the comments that people make on the blog about local businesses are just so nasty – way to welcome a new company to the neighborhood. I’ve told companies I frequent that some folks in WS can make or break you by their reviews. Its sad to me they dont get a fair shake out of the gate. Marination played fair and square and won.

  • toddinwestwood December 5, 2011 (5:02 pm)

    And Marination couldnt find any other spot? Hmmm maybe any of the OTHER closed business spaces in west Seattle?


  • jchadd83 December 5, 2011 (5:10 pm)

    Clark5080, AF&C’s offered percentage may be larger, but the financial situation of Marination may be stronger, which would provide more money to the city in the long run.

  • newnative December 5, 2011 (5:10 pm)

    Interesting this issue has come up. The other week I almost asked about the relationship between the restaurant and local government. It’s a for-profit business and the city has already decided Alki Fish & Crab is done.
    I am glad. I hope the new business will take pride in the property and keep the restrooms clean. Hopefully the prices will be reasonable and the food served promptly.
    FWIW, I did sense some element of veiled racism in the anti-Korean food comments. But mostly unfounded animosity towards a restaurant that is being falsely accused of displacing another.

  • Lance December 5, 2011 (5:11 pm)

    I’m surprised at the folks posting ignorant comments such as “Marination is displacing Alki”. The Parks is the entity doing the displacement.

    At least based on the information presented, my view is that the Parks placed this opportunity for bid and simply put – Alki Crab and Fish lost the bid.

    I certainly feel that if Alki feels that if the bid process wasn’t fair, to appeal it. And it certainly sounds like Marination has no problem with that either.

    As pointed out – Marination is not a Korean eatery. It is a Korean-Hawaiian influenced cuisine. Regardless of any ethnic eatery wanting to open a business in the neighborhood, you can not simply shoot that down because of that.

    I’m a big fan of Marination and a regular at the WS stop. I’ve also been to their brick and mortar shop. Both cleanly run with friendly staff and flavorful food that is priced reasonably. The gals running Marination are well regarded in the food truck industry.

    I’ve ate at Alki a few times. To be honest, I feel that Spuds and Sunfish are better quality for the dollar. That’s my opinion and taste buds. I can say for sure, if Marination does take over, I’ll be a regular.

    Is the cuisine sustainable in that location? It’s a good question and yes, Alki Crab has the advantage of being there to know the track record. However, what is not known is if Marination has the right ingredients to succeed better. You can’t fault Marination and the Parks for trying that. Hopefully a couple seafood dishes spun with Nunya and love will work well, which I think it will.

    It makes good business sense for Marination to work out an arrangement with Greg and agree that hopefully that will work out.

    What is also not said is that Marination could certainly bring in Alki Crab’s staff for the location too. It may be premature to play the displaced workers card at the moment.

  • CandrewB December 5, 2011 (5:14 pm)

    RFP’s (request for proposal) takes into account many factors, one of which being cost/price. ITB’s (invitation to bid) takes into account best responsible cost/price. What would not be fair is to allow a private enterprise to profit off of public resources in perpetuity.

  • DiverLaura December 5, 2011 (5:16 pm)

    I believe that type of action from Eric’s employees is a reflection of him as the owner of the establishment…

    It seems that Eric Galanti is very active in things that help our local area.

    a couple examples… … 15689.html … ily-aug-21

    I do not know him personally, but i have only had excellent experiences with Alki Fish and Crab Co. They have gone above and beyond for many of us who frequent the ‘coves’ as we call it.

    if you take a moment to drop in at Northwest Dive Club’s thread on this topic, you’ll see a bit of the impact this is having..

    this is about community as much as anything. I have no issues with the marinate folks, but they have their business, part of it is about being mobile and bouncing between different communities… It is harder to be brick and mortar, and harder still to become a truly integral part of a local community. It simply takes time… years of constantly being a welcoming hub for a local community…

    The combination of fish and chips, and the Kayak outfitter is outstanding. Of all the beaches in Seattle, i think this water access probably gets the most use year round – kayaking, cyclists, runners, walkers, passenger ferry, scuba diving, so much so that its become almost a tourist destination! It is my feeling that the city should listen to US, the users, the VOTERS in addition to their scoring process.

    In addition to the folks at the Fish and Crab Co. I have no doubt that Greg Whittaker’s operation will also be impacted, in addition to making it a fun ‘destination’ for Seattlites and Tourists alike, Greg supports the Duwamish water way cleanup events every year by letting the citizen stewards interested in conserving our amazing natural resource use his kayaks for the conservation projects.

    Sometimes we need to look beyond the $$ matters and go with our hearts.

    We have just clicked over 400 signatures on our petition, and the comments are wonderful… Take a look and see the impact this business has on the local community….

    this isn’t about food… this is about community…

  • J December 5, 2011 (5:18 pm)

    I like the casual, old-fashioned simplicity of Alki Crab & Fish–and their excellent halibut, which beats the other fish & chips I’ve had around here hands down! I’m not excited about replacing an old friend with something trendy.

  • cakeordeath December 5, 2011 (5:37 pm)

    Do we know if the kayak rental place is also out?

    I am torn on this. I want to like AFC but their food sucks. I’m sorry, but it does. They are nice people and if one of you protesters wants to go down and give them a better business model and help them improve their menu, and find a new location, that’d be wonderful. I think it is very short sighted and narrow minded to accuse Marination of ousting them. Wouldn’t they be staying if they were a successful business? If they are such a community staple, why is their business not holding up?

    When I moved her five years ago, I gave them every chance I could. I have been several times and have never, and I mean NEVER enjoyed their food–and I am not that picky, people. It’s a restaurant BUSINESS!

    Also, I do not at all appreciate the thinly veiled racism on here at all. To go after the people at Marination in this really dumb mob mentality, based on their menu–because it contains kimche, is just the most asinine thing you could do. Seriously.

    As somebody who practically lives down there all summer, I am ELATED to have a food option I can eat. As somebody who does not eat gluten and does not relish deep fried greasy non tasty food, I am very excited. Marination should not be punished for their success. They are successful for a reason: their food is absolutely killer. They have a successful business model and they are doing everything right. As far as I’m concerned, they are an inspiration to small business owners everywhere.

    Welcome, Marination!

    • WSB December 5, 2011 (6:24 pm)

      Cake – To recap where Alki Kayak Tours stands in this: They are a subcontractor to Alki Crab and Fish. Parks says that Marination indicated they would subcontract out to someone, as ACF did – the document seems to say as much, going into much detail about sustainability, environmental friendliness, and community involvement, which have been hallmarks of AKT (leading the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition tours, among many other things) – but again, if this all is finalized, there are no guarantees. We haven’t followed up with AKT today but did have a quote from proprietor Greg Whittaker in yesterday’s story (linked atop this one) … we’ll be following up with all parties here to see how it goes.

  • TB December 5, 2011 (5:38 pm)

    Thanks for explaining TammiWS
    And thanks WSB for all your work and fairness (love WSB)
    I’ve been to AFC a few times and didn’t care for it at all, so welcome the change. Can’t say anything about Marination as I haven’t eaten there. Yet.

  • 2 Much Whine December 5, 2011 (5:47 pm)

    Wait, let me get this straight. We complain about cronyism and government corruption but when an extensive open bidding process selects a winning bid we complain. We complain about mobile food trucks because they are not fair to the established businesses but when one attempts to establish a permanent address and become established we complain. There are a plethora of fish and chip places but when one will be replaced by something different and unique to the area we complain. We complain about big chains (but still shop there) but when a small, successful local company legitimately wins a bid we complain. When “other” people are speeding up Admiral Way or 35th we complain but when we get a ticket for speeding up Admiral Way or 35th we complain. I get it now. You know I don’t like the way this post is turning out, I’m going to complain to WSB that whoever wrote it should be banned from the blog. . . . . oh wait, never mind.

  • GreenGirl December 5, 2011 (5:47 pm)

    TammiWS – well said!

  • WS Fish and Chips lover December 5, 2011 (5:57 pm)

    WHY? Alki Crab and Fish is my favorite in WS! What’s wrong with our City of Seattle? And the Parks Department? And where is common sense?
    The City shoud not be in the business of private enterprise and making these kind of decisions. So sad…I’ll eat at Alki Crab and Fish every week until they are forced out!

  • WsBoB December 5, 2011 (6:10 pm)

    Did everyone miss what Mr Galanti said? He did not submit a complete bid process by not enclosing financial statements/projections. There really is not much more to say. Case closed.

  • Peggy December 5, 2011 (6:46 pm)

    Business owners clearly know when they sign a 10 or 20 yr contract, that when its up for renewal there is no guarantee they will be awarded the contract.

    West Seattle has changed so much in the 20 yrs since I moved out of state. All of the condos that line Alki versus the beach homes, the skinny houses that now dot Pigeon Point, and elsewhere. So this is changing, too, its what happens.

  • Aa December 5, 2011 (6:48 pm)

    As a former resident of West Seattle and a regular visitor to the WSB, this is the first news out of Alki that I find incredibly exciting. A new and motivated food vendor at Seacrest? Yessssss!!! And from what I’ve read, it does seem that they are community- and environmentally-oriented enough that they’ll honor the relationship with AKT, which has done so much for the area.

    Three cheers from me!

  • dd December 5, 2011 (6:56 pm)

    2 much whine, I Heart You!

  • Lamont December 5, 2011 (6:58 pm)

    All the defenders of replacing AFC seem to still be responding in primarily three ways:

    1. That the food sucks, and they’re happy to see them out of business. Which is certainly your right to your own opinion.

    2. That a few people have made some thinly veiled racist statements about kimchee. Which is certainly a mischaracterization of the vast majority of supporters of AFC, but it does let you play the race card. Its completely useless to let the debate degenerate into an argument over racial politics that is wildly out of focus here.

    3. Largely impersonal comparisons between the businesses — how many fish and chips places do we need? female owned, minority owned, change is good, etc.

    All of these are talking past that point that at least 500 people have signed the petition simply because they’re loyal patrons of AFC and have a connection with the business and the people who work there. And, again, the RFP process clearly misses that — and which is why its a bit more suited to selecting who is going to pour your concrete when the government builds a building, and has a serious flaw in this situation. Not a lot of people have emotional connections to who operates their local concrete mixer.

  • Alki girl December 5, 2011 (7:07 pm)

    This isn’t racist it’s business ! A good well run one. we no what were getting at alki crab and fish, is the community really ready to gamble with this ? There’s many other business spaces open in west Seattle take a look around people every other spots open why ruin a great thing. It’s too much to gamble!

  • Mot December 5, 2011 (7:35 pm)

    My son and I have ridden our bikes there almost every weekend for the past 10 years to eat and hang out. He refers to it as his ‘favorite fish food restaurant’. I’m not sure I’d go that far, but the fish was always decent, the fries crisp, and the women at the counter friendly and efficient. Somehow ‘my favorite Spam and kim-chi restaurant’ doesn’t seem like the stuff of childhood memories. Oh well, things change.

    One thing I haven’t seen mentioned here is that the City often awards extra points to women and minority owned businesses on RFP’s. Does anyone know what part that played in the decision? Just asking.

  • JimS. December 5, 2011 (7:39 pm)

    All of you worrying about “gambling” on Marination Station– just go try them! $4 spent on a couple of their tacos or sliders would clear up any doubt you have. I’m in no way disparaging AFC–but Marination Station will be an overwhelming success there, no doubt about it.

  • JanS December 5, 2011 (7:48 pm) all are asking the city to, in this one instance, ignore the RFP guidelines, and go with cronyism, because it’s West Seattle, and that’s just the way it should be? Even if the guy at AC&F admits that his proposal was lacking? You’re really seriously willing to give him a pass? To ask the city to not follow the legal guidelines?

  • nadj December 5, 2011 (7:48 pm)

    everyone needs to read what tammiws posted at 5pm. government RFPs are not always the most pleasant way of going about things, but thats just the way it is. as an employee of a WS business that heavily relies on these kinds of things for work, i can tell you it takes quite a bit of work to put together, and hats off to whomever put together the best package.

  • Button Head December 5, 2011 (7:55 pm)

    When one falls another comes along, this is my new fish and chip joint way better!!

  • Grognardo December 5, 2011 (8:04 pm)

    … and how much will this new trendy food cost?

  • mrsB December 5, 2011 (8:06 pm)

    Frank, you omitted Sunfish when citing other fish and chips restaurants at Alki, SHAME!!!!

  • RW December 5, 2011 (8:20 pm)

    If there are so many other places available in WS, well, I guess this Alki fish place can go there next. Right?

    Not to beat a dead horse, but there was a contract on the place, the contract is up, and they didn’t win the bid. That’s the way the chips crumble. Time to move on.

    All this hand-wringing and weeping is actually something to behold. With all this support, they should do quite well in their new location.

  • resident3 December 5, 2011 (8:21 pm)

    Really wish the kayak rentals and tours could be made seperate from the restaurant. Greg and his staff should not have to suffer because AFC’s didn’t have their bid ready. I don’t think the kayak rental entry is weak as the rfp states – I found that place right after moving here. Low key and functional.

  • Dan December 5, 2011 (8:29 pm)

    Are they still going to have that great new little cocktail lounge with the $4 happy hour, and the fun outdoor bar this past summer? That’s what I want to know :)

  • AIDM December 5, 2011 (8:38 pm)

    I am personally not a big fan of Alki Crab and Fish and am a huge fan of Marination Mobile, so am very excited for this change! This spot claims one of the best views in West Seattle (its essentially the Salty’s view), so deserves a great restaurant like Marination Station. I look forward to eating galbi beef tacos and drinking beer on the deck while enjoying the views of the city.

    I agree with previous posters’ calls to just let the issue lie. No business has a right to vend in a particular park location forever and Alki Crab and Fish has been serving lackluster food for a while now. The owners can submit a competing proposal in the next go around if they so desire, or can rent one of the vacant spots down the street if they want to.

    Finally, I will go on the record to predict that Marination will get along swimmingly with Alki Kayak Tours and the latter will continue to thrive in their current location.

  • CisforCookie December 5, 2011 (8:56 pm)

    WHY put a long time small family owned business out of business when there are TONS of places sitting vacant in West Seattle that Marination can use? There are parts of West Seattle that would really benefit from adding Marination as a neighbor. Many locals I know practically avoid driving down to Alki in the summer since you can’t get anywhere to begin with. Wouldn’t you want Marination in a more central location?

    Yeah sure, there are a lot of Fish and Chips. I love Sunfish, some people like Spuds, some like AC&F. They are all still open!

    I have seen small businesses try to expand and they sometimes find it hard to juggle everything or things happen that are beyond their control. I.E. Bird on a Wire having to close the second store.

    There is room for everyone. The incumbent successful business should get to stay. Love Marination! But they can find another spot! Maybe one that serves the West Seattle community even better.

    Look at Meanders! They have a small place in a somewhat less known part of California and people come in droves and seek them out. What if Marination was near the new Pan African Grill? Would that add some vibrancy to that part of Califronia? What about all the new spaces that have been built and sit empty?

    I guess I just feel it could be a win/win and isn’t that always a better choice for everyone?

    BTW, AC&F said they would match the 12%

  • Eaglelover December 5, 2011 (9:00 pm)

    Liked having f&c place down by the water, while I hear the Marinatation is good but having a f&c place place there makes more sence IMO.

  • datamuse December 5, 2011 (9:04 pm)

    When did the definition of “common sense” become “suited to my personal preferences”? Good lord, people.

  • Jehu December 5, 2011 (9:28 pm)

    Congrats Marination! It will be wonderful having you here more than once a week. Diversity on Alki is a good thing.

  • KBear December 5, 2011 (9:28 pm)

    “WHY put a long time small family owned business out of business when there are TONS of places sitting vacant in West Seattle that Marination can use?”
    BECAUSE a small family-owned business that happens to be a city concessionaire has to play by the same rules as any other business that relies on government contracts. The city isn’t putting them out of business. They put themselves out of business by not submitting the winning proposal when their contract was up. THAT’S BUSINESS. Alki Crab & Fish chose to be in that position when they entered into a contract with the city. They had a fair chance, and they didn’t win the new contract. The city’s obligation is not to any single small business, but to obtain the best deal for the taxpayers, and to do it fairly.

  • AJP December 5, 2011 (9:39 pm)

    2 Much Whine you are so dead-on. All this whining is why I nearly weep with envy when I go to Portland or Vancouver BC. Seattlites are awful when it comes to resisting change and setting up counter petitions for things they don’t want in their backyards, but West Seattlites are worst in the city. When I first moved here I told people I used to live really close to Gasworks Park–a lot of them had never been there. Or heard of it. Or had any idea where it was, because they rarely leave their peninsula.

    Anyway I’m off-topic. I don’t actually care one way or another when it comes to the restaurant.

  • Lorelee December 5, 2011 (9:49 pm)

    YAY! Open at 6 am — for coffee while I wait in the cold for water taxi!

  • Bob December 5, 2011 (9:54 pm)

    Will Marination still visit 35th & Graham? Or will High Point be left behind?

  • West Seattle Sun December 5, 2011 (10:06 pm)

    If you’re in Westwood and looking for a newer Fish and Chips joint then check out West Seattle Fish House.

    The owners are motivated and the place is clean.

    Positive reviews so far.

  • Alki girl December 5, 2011 (10:21 pm)

    If you think a buiness that operates a mobile food truck and a restaurant on Capitol hill can maintain 4.00 tacos you are mistaken. The cost of doing business on the water is going to be more. From insurance, higher labor running an operation like this as well as having 10% of EVERY DOLLAR go toward rent regardless of gross sales prices will be higher. Once you reach a certain threshold in most leases you have covered that monthly rent. With a concession agreement you spend .40 of every 4.00 taco with Seattle parks. You can’t even get a 4.00 taco at taqueria guymas on California ave! In a taco truck yes much lower cost of doing business. So the next time you want take a guest to show them what the northwest is all about, our beautiful water, amazing views from alki and great northwest seafood please tell them that it used to be here but enjoy the kimchee.

  • Scuba Steve December 5, 2011 (10:36 pm)

    City Parks are for public use funded with public money. And since this is getting a lot of attention, perhaps the democratic process would best serve to resolve an issue like this?

    I would really miss Yvonne, and the seafood does make sense for the location. But if the community wants to change a community icon then I am all for it. If the City rams it down our throats against our collective will then perhaps it’s time to occupy Seacrest ;-D Kidding, sort of . . .

  • datamuse December 5, 2011 (10:38 pm)

    I like kim chee…

  • Ron December 5, 2011 (10:46 pm)

    I, for one, welcome our new Marination overlords!

  • j9 December 5, 2011 (10:49 pm)

    i love kimchi. Viva la difference!!

  • ZippyDogs December 5, 2011 (11:04 pm)

    Welcome Marination! We know the 2 owners of Marination and have watched them grow their business one sandwich at a time. They are hard working, innovative and smart business women. When opportunity knocks they jump.

    I am really saddened by the mis-information that is being written and the racial slurs thrown around. Very inappropriate. For those of you writing those words – shame on you. West Seattle is much more welcoming than I have read in the comments above. Most of us don’t know the whole story of what went down – but we jump to conclusions and whip up a fury of words that hurt and bash.

    I will quote one of my favorite quotes: “If you didn’t see it with your own eyes or hear it with your own ears, don’t invent it with your small mind and share it with your big mouth.”

    Welcome Marination. West Seattle really does love you and you will do fantastic!

  • AIDM December 5, 2011 (11:11 pm)

    Does AC&F even want to stay in this location? It would appear from page 3 of this document ( that they have taken almost $500,000 in losses during the last 3 years. Or is it that they now have a liquor license and are hoping to make a lot more money from this point forward?

  • Frank December 5, 2011 (11:14 pm)

    MrsB – My bad! Never had Sunfish but I will try it for sure. :)

    For all of you hating on the kimchi. Only two items on the whole menu has kimchi: the kimchi fried rice and the kimchi/pork quesadilla (which is heavenly). There are 4 tacos, 2 sliders, macaroni salad and spam musubi that all don’t have kimchi. That’s 20% of the menu!

    And for all of you who think the first business should have the right to stay let me remind you of the original occupiers of West Seattle – the Duwamish tribe. I’m sure the ancestors of the Duwamish did not dine on English fish and chips on this waterfront.

    Heck, if I remember my geography correctly – Native Americans originated from Beringia (across the Bering Sea) in Asia. So maybe the Korean/Hawaiian food has more of a cultural right to this spot than the English fish and chips?

    Just a thought.

  • Dano Beal December 5, 2011 (11:34 pm)

    Wow…. These new folks have a real uphill climb ahead of them….. In order to experience any success, they will have to have REALLY inexpensive food that is REALLY delicious, be open REALLY early, keep the bathrooms REALLY clean, be REALLY careful about showing too much appreciation to the DPR, and, (to top it all off) be REALLY involved with the community…. GOOD LUCK.

  • Kristian December 5, 2011 (11:37 pm)

    Grow up, West Seattle! Marination won fair and square and will enliven that lame stretch of beach.

  • WS Born & Bred December 5, 2011 (11:46 pm)

    Wow. I dont know what to think. Marinations food is way better and I am a supporter of their growth out of the food truck, but I’ve been a patron of Alki Crab and Fish for so long that I really hate to see them go down tbis way. I guess it doesnt surprise me. The food was mediocre and overpriced and the coffees horrible but it won’t seem tbe same without them.

  • Justin December 5, 2011 (11:57 pm)

    I am so excited to see Marination taking over that spot.

    The thinly veiled racists comments are a little troubling though. Some people like a bit of racism with their coffee I guess.

  • Lance December 6, 2011 (12:20 am)

    I’m not sure how you came up with that Alki girl. The taco’s are $2.25.

    There’s no difference is spending $10.00 on fish and chips, giving the parks department $1.00 vs a customer buying 3 taco’s for $7.75 and giving the parks department $0.77. 10% is 10%.

    Many locations will sometimes charge a % of sales on top of a lease, so this location is no different.

    Obviously, Marination did enough homework to merit the work submitting their bid. And based on the information provided, it sounds like Alki Fish made some assumptions and did not include a complete RFP.

    To those thinking Marination should find a different West Seattle location… If you were opening a business and determine a location is best for you and it’s available, would you realistically ignore that choice and pick something else or just don’t open? Can you really say that the majority of business owners really care about the fact that prior tenants of a property were evicted, had to move or had to close? No.

    I certainly appreciate Alki’s involvement in the community, however, a RFP is an RFP. If it was that important, ducks would have been in a row and it would have been taken more seriously.

    And by the way – I like supporting our West Seattle residents work are concrete workers and contractors whenever possible. I think they deserve our support just as much as eateries or other businesses.

  • Caleb Conley December 6, 2011 (12:29 am)

    It seems like people are taking great care not to step on any middle ground here. Both sides have valid arguments, but I don’t know if either one disproves the other. To summarize:

    1) AFC has great food and reasonable prices, or their food is terrible and overpriced. This is a matter of personal opinion and no one is going to be persuaded from their own. I personally think AFC has the best fish and chips of any I’ve tried in Seattle, but you may disagree. I will only say that some folks who’ve written here to complain about the food at AFC also can’t or won’t eat meat and/or gluten etc. That’s about as credible as someone who is lactose intolerant talking about how bad the menu is at Dairy Queen.

    2) Marination has wonderful food and will be a welcome change from the monoculture of fish and chips in West Seattle, or funky fusion cuisine just does not make as much sense down on the waterfront as good ole fish-n-chippies. If you hate the food at AFC and/or really love the food at Marination, then you’ll be happy to out the old and in the new. On the other hand, if you think AFC has the best fish and chips in town, then you won’t care how many other fish joints there are along Alki you don’t want to see them go. Personally I have never eaten at Marination, but I think the menu looks great and if they move in to Seacrest I will give them a try. But I also think AFC has the best fish-n-chips in town and I don’t want to see them go.

    3) There’s something shady going on here and The City is on a mission to find whatever it is that brings joy to the lives of her people…and crush it, or Marination simply submitted a better bid and the rest of you also-rans need to quit yer sniveling already. I have what I think is a very healthy distrust of government at all levels, but I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the Parks Dept here. From all I’ve read there is no reason to suspect some kind of back-handed dealing. It just sounds like Marination brought their A-game to the bidding table and AFC did not. Marination submitted a better proposal, won fair and square, so it’s all over but the crying.

    Except for one other point that many have raised…Alki Fish & Crab is a big part of this little community. The people and the place are loved by many here, and they simply don’t want it taken away. Yes Marination is also a small local business (West Seattleites would probably be more galvanized if it was McDonalds moving in) and in time they might also get woven into the fabric here. But the numbers right now seem pretty clear. The petition in favor of keeping AFC has over 600 signatures while the petition in favor of Marination presently has 37 (although one person who “signed” that petition apparently did so just to be able to post the comment “NO NO NO stay in your truck” but let them have the count). Even if you allow for the fact that the AFC petition was started several hours earlier, it seems clear that public opinion is overwhelmingly in support of keeping AFC in business at Seacrest. So there really is only one relevant question to ask: what influence, if any, does public opinion have in determining how the city will award this contract, especially this late in the process?

  • Noelle December 6, 2011 (12:37 am)

    Well Said JanS! It is the end of an erra but the new people should be welcome! ALKi Crab & Fish should be able to find a new home in plenty of time.

  • steve December 6, 2011 (1:29 am)

    I actually think Alki fish n chips are better than sunfish (for sure) and spuds (definately).

    I wasn’t too impressed by the asian fusion tacos, I can see how others may think they’re exciting but i’m familiar with the flavors and like them in their original form.

    Isn’t there a business saying, never produce a play with your own money?

  • JanS December 6, 2011 (1:29 am)

    hey, alkigirl..when’s the last time you had 4 buck fish and chips at AC&F? But no one says a word about the prices at AC &F. I’m betting they might be 6 buck tacos…and well worth it…

  • Lisa Smith December 6, 2011 (6:20 am)

    Alki Crab & Fish was terrible (food quality, prices, service). Very much looking forward to the new leaf!

  • rw December 6, 2011 (6:59 am)

    Both vendors are good, and one happened to be a better fit for the location by the city’s criteria.

    If Alki Crab and Fish has such a strong following (as this thread suggests), then perhaps they can move into one of the alternate locations people are referencing. I like their fish and chips a lot, but I also really like Marination’s fare — very fresh, healthy, tasty, and affordable.

    One other thought: I never could figure out why Alki Crab & Fish was not more aggressive about serving the morning water taxi crowd with options such as egg sandwiches, bagels, muffins, etc. Include coffee and make them “grab and go” specials. This always seemed to me like a natural business opportunity wasted.

  • Alki girl December 6, 2011 (7:30 am)

    Let the public decide what’s best for west Seattle parks, let the public vote !!!! Not 3 or 4 people reading promises. But these marination owners hopfully know that this building isn’t on wheels! And a couple slow days and they can’t just roll away to a new location. Just saying !

  • Really? December 6, 2011 (7:57 am)

    April says…”they should have first dibs on a renewal to their contract. It is not fair that a brand new business gets to step in here and take over a location that has been built up (and improved!) If these businesses do find new spots, it will not have the same advantage that this spot has with all the traffic from the Water Taxi and tourists.”

    It *is* an amazing location. A *PUBLIC* amazing location. Why should one business preferentially get use of it? That “advantage” was put up for bid, and the incumbent lost. Complain all you want, but the process, well, it’s the LAW.

  • ARE YOU KIDDING? December 6, 2011 (8:04 am)

    Is there any reason why Alki F&C and Marination can’t share the spot? Give up 2 parking spaces, bring in the truck, share the rent, 2 options for food–win–win!

  • TammiWS December 6, 2011 (8:10 am)

    To add a bit further to the RFP process – it’s a complex series of steps everyone who responds has to take and EVERYTHING needs to be in order.
    You can see the City spelled out number of pages, 1side/2sided, order of the sections of the response, due date, time due, binding of the proposal, what a cover sheet should look like, copies needed etc… if you are missing anything in your response – i.e. pricing and budget – you can get disqualified immediately. It’s up to the responder to submit all of this in full – that the City had Alki Fish’s budget isn’t relevant – that alone probably cost them the 12 points.

    Plus you need to be able to write well and convey your whole business idea on paper – you don’t generally get interviewed so that the City took that step is outside the norm.

    And to complicate it further there is generally a VERY small window of time you can ask any clarifying questions about the RFP – and it’s in writing. You don’t get to talk to anyone in Gov’t about the RFP. If you have questions after the question window is closed – oh well. All of this is done so the reviewers are able to compare apples to apples but makes for a lot of pressure on the responder.

    My company has a TEAM of people who respond Gov’t RFP’s and it’s a stressful process! If Marination has a team of 2-4 owners and they pulled this together kudos to them. And yes, likely being women/minority owned worked in their favor.

    Now the hard work starts – Marination now has to deliver on the contract terms – regardless of if they are profitable, the City gets their cut first. I wish them luck and hopefully Alki Fish can find another spot in WS to serve its loyal customers.

  • Alex December 6, 2011 (8:18 am)

    Sorry to AFC, but I’m glad to see Marination move in. I consider myself a fish and chip connoisseur, and AFC was always ‘just OK.’ Marination on the other hand, makes some of the absolute best fast food anywhere. They are a better restaurant, plain and simple.

  • Kayleigh December 6, 2011 (8:35 am)

    It seems the RFP process is as fair as it gets (somebody wants a VOTE? Really?)
    This reads to me like a battle of Old West Seattle vs. New West Seattle. The Marination stuff is trendy, and the whole food truck thing (along with Asian fusion) may well be past its prime in a couple years. I’m pretty sure my grandparents weren’t eating kimchi tacos on that pier, and if they were alive (my grandparents, not the tacos), they would not be interested.
    As someone who is mostly veg, I crave fish and chips only about once a year, and then it’s always Spud. I have no interest in kimchi, which is a food product, which, like all food products, it’s sensible to either like or dislike. Kimichi is not an actual person of a particular race.

  • Bryan Hollister December 6, 2011 (8:50 am)

    I really don’t want my fish & chips to have a “Hawaiian-Korean culinary twist”.

    There are other buildings where Marination can set up a shop anchored to Earth. Leave Seacrest alone.

    Be careful flinging that “racism” charge. It’s often used to just shut down a valid opinion, and is really a reach in this situation!

  • Lynne Flaherty December 6, 2011 (8:55 am)

    There are a lot of people who use SeaCrest Park. There are runners and bikers and kayakers and dog-walkers and divers and many more. What has got the diving community up in arms is that AFC has a long history of being welcoming to ALL users of the park. You can see cold diving students in there, drinking coffee and warming up, and parents with small children getting ice cream cones in the summertime. Do we have any guarantee that a replacement business would have the same, people-friendly feel or operation? I could see another Salty’s in there (or anyplace that was more of a “restaurant” and less of a hang-out) and it would change the entire experience of that part of the park for all users.

  • Ben December 6, 2011 (8:56 am)

    i admire and appreciate WSB for keeping us all so well informed and offering a forum for this discussion (and many, many others). thank you!

    i’m definitely somewhere in the middle on these events – one of (i assume) many WS residents who aren’t staking out an extreme position but instead really like BOTH businesses and are torn about what’s happening.

  • Paulie December 6, 2011 (9:14 am)

    Alki Girl, you think crappy fish and chips is representative of our great northwest seafood? I like to think the northwest is a melting pot of cultures and we are lucky to have such a vibrant Asian American community here. Anyone that thinks water and beaches can only be combined with a certain type of food (British pub fare?) is going to have a very hard time in this new evolving world. It’s time to open your mind.

  • Yeah-me December 6, 2011 (9:14 am)

    Reading this makes me wish it were Saturday so I could cruise on over to the Marination truck and nosh on some Spam Sliders. YUM!!!!!

  • datamuse December 6, 2011 (10:09 am)

    Alki Girl, you seem to be under the impression (or maybe assumption?) that Marination doesn’t know what it’s doing. I find your vehemence on this point a bit startling, frankly, given the lack of evidence to support it. Did you have a bad experience with them or something?
    Considering that Marination already runs a bricks-and-mortar operation (and you even acknowledged this in a previous comment–and what on Earth gives you the impression that it’s cheaper to run a location on Capitol Hill than on Alki? I used to live up there and everything was far, far more expensive than in West Seattle) and the process they had to go through to get this one, I think it’s safe to say that they “know that this building isn’t on wheels,” as you put it. I mean, wow.
    Caleb, I was with you up until your point about the petitions–frankly, I don’t think they prove a damn thing. The West Seattle Blog is a very high-traffic news site, but that doesn’t mean that the opinions being represented here speak for all or even a majority of West Seattle. Most readers never comment. AND, considering that amount of traffic, even 600 signatures on a petition is nothing.
    You’re welcome to disagree with me on that, of course (though, if you do, you’ll have a much greater chance of convincing me if you can point to a single instance where an online petition changed anything of significance). But I just looked at the petition linked to by WSB above and I can tell you right now it doesn’t have a chance of changing anything. Why? Because the information in it is now inaccurate since the recipient has been disclosed. How can you state that some of the signers haven’t changed their minds in light of that? Additionally, a significant portion of those signers don’t even live in Seattle. It’s SEATTLE Parks. Why should they listen to someone in Totem Lake? Or Eugene? Or North Carolina? Is AF&C really that much of a destination? Didn’t look like it any of the (numerous) times I’ve been there.
    It’s not like how Seattle Parks does their partnerships is a big secret. It took me, literally, seven seconds of Googling (yes, I timed it) to find this page which details the entire process. In the time it took some of you to accuse the Parks department of backdoor dealing or whatever you could’ve found out exactly how the process works. Take issue with that if you like, though personally I don’t have the kind of free time that would be required to vote individually on everything that Parks does.
    As far as quality of food goes, I like AF&C but it won’t make much difference to me one way or the other if they go, because there are other places I like just as well. I haven’t eaten at Marination because I’m out of the neighborhood most of the times they’re around (which is why I like the idea of a permanent location–at least for 10 years–so I can try them!), but I LOVE Korean tacos, and everything I’ve read tells me theirs are good.
    My point is, of course you can be mad that AF&C is going away. But the assumptions I’m seeing here in light of that, that Marination doesn’t know what they’re doing, that Parks doesn’t know what they’re doing (really? They’re the ones who awarded the previous contract to AF&C in the first place, so you’re effectively saying that THAT was a mistake too), that the RFP process is unfair (funny how that accusation is only coming from people who disagree with the results)…well. It just all seems a bit small-minded to me.

  • Mac J December 6, 2011 (10:11 am)

    Alki is well served by fish and chips vendors, two of which have a longer history in the community and occupy private space. If Marination made a competitive bid, they get to lease the space. That’s the law. If Alki Crab and Fish is successful on its own merits, and not just benefiting from location, they can succeed in a new location. Porterhouse just shut down, maybe try the Admiral district and intercept the summer crowds on the way to the beach.

  • Elise December 6, 2011 (10:16 am)

    Alki Girl – what is the name of your business that you have run for 26 years? Curious. You could get some great press on the WS Blog.

  • DQ December 6, 2011 (10:21 am)

    I’m also pretty sure they’re going to sell coffee too so all us divers can still warm up. And as a diver I welcome their proposed extended hours! Night dives during the week are the best way to see Alki! And being able to grab some terrific food afterward will be an awesome treat.
    Also, while it’s unfortunate, AFC really shot themselves in the foot with their RFP response. My biggest hope is that Marination realizes what a treasure Yvonne is and hires her away!

  • 2 Much Whine December 6, 2011 (10:34 am)

    datamuse FTW!

  • JoB December 6, 2011 (10:58 am)

    So.. a local business puts $300,000 into improvements for a local concession, creates and supports local tourism including both the sea kayak business and local divers, submits a plan that includes an indoor restroom and a larger cut for the city…

    and you think this is all about the food?

    my comment from yesterday stands…

    this is not the way to encourage local concessionaires to invest in our community

  • MaryCooks December 6, 2011 (11:06 am)

    Wait, Porterhouse shut down? I must read more.

    I hope ACF can get going in a new location. They have nice folks working for them.

    Marination has been on my list to try for a while. They need to get bumped up on my list!

  • DiverLaura December 6, 2011 (11:21 am)

    The petition with now over 700 signatures is valid, it’s not about Marination vs. AFC. It is about loosing a community hub that is loved by many. (and I’d argue that after the first 100 or so signatures, those who signed are well informed with regards to the name of the other business)

    I don’t believe it would have mattered WHO the parks department issued the new lease to, A fair number of folks feel that ACF is a community treasure. If anything Marination has far more support than say a Jimmy Johns or Subway.

  • Elizagrace December 6, 2011 (11:24 am)

    Welcome to the hood Marination!

    Folks who will miss Fish and Chips, I assure you that there are plenty of places to get them on the Alki strip, no less than 4-5(Salty’s, Dukes, Spuds, Sunfish, Bamboo etc).

    If the owners of any business have such a strong following, and people are yelling and cheering their praises as they are here, then I am sure the fans would have no problem following them to a new location – maybe up the hill where a place just opened up…

    We are all hungry enough for many businesses and it is nice to have variation. I look forward to this change.
    Welcome again!!

  • Mot December 6, 2011 (11:30 am)

    I looked at the Marination website and these are obviously a couple of smart and savvy women who know how to run a business and submit an RFP.
    One recent food trend I don’t get though, is sliders. To me it conjures up slime, particularly in the context of meat. When the food in my refrigerator starts to slide I know it’s time to get rid of it. And the thought of sliding Spam actually triggers my gag response.
    That said, I’ll bet the food is quite good.

  • Alki Observer December 6, 2011 (12:14 pm)

    First off, I am glad to see this getting this level of attention as its a significant issue for us on the beach. I also think government should consider public comments on unique RFP items like this. Personally, I fully support Alki Crab & Fish and Alki Kayak and hope they both continue on as the concessionaires at Seacrest for many years. They both are terrific stewards and community members. I also wish Marination success in their endeavors—just not at the Seacrest Boathouse. I agree with WSB that I can’t see any of these purported racist comments others have suggested. Plenty of negative comments about the food from either operation but no veiled or outright racist comments. Just seems like some are using the suggesting a convenient hysteria button to push in the comments.

    • WSB December 6, 2011 (12:22 pm)

      I am still awaiting info from Parks on whether there is any role for public comment in this before it gets to the council. Of course, it being a public agency, there is always at least an informal role – and as I noted someplace else, key decisionmakers here would be Christopher Williams (superintendent) and Sally Bagshaw (councilmember who chairs the Parks Committee). For pretty much everyone in city government, them included, you can get their e-mail address by … TR

  • Kingofalki December 6, 2011 (12:30 pm)

    I love me some Marination!!!

    It’s very simple, zero is the times I have gone to AFC after 9 years of living here; zero is the days I will let pass before buying food at Marination after grand opening. (That is how the City has probably figured out this is better business for the city and in the best interest of the community. No Financial Projections AFC, really?)

    The contract is over. AFC knew that. They invested knowing that. They preformed and served knowing that. And they reapplied KNOWING THAT! They seem to have a following, so by all means reopen somewhere else.

    This location is fantastic, and that is why there are bids when a contract is over. Good for Marination for being on top of the game and submitting a “winner” bid.

    I am so disgusted by people who say “you better do this or do that if you want to be successful in WS” or “this is not community business and it’s wrong”.

    WELL, I am happy I moved here, because I will make it my personal vendetta not only to support but to initiate measures of change, diversity, variety and universality in this neighborhood, beware West Seattle, I’m after your step-child complex!

  • No Suprises December 6, 2011 (12:30 pm)

    From a business prospective it might have been a smart financial move for the Parks Department to increase revenue from the spot by putting in Marination; a hip, well publicised, on an upswing eatery company which might produce increased traffic to the locations and in return increase sales with its current social buzz. I understand there are plenty of fans and friends out there for AF&C, but they had their time and if they couldn’t find ways to increase traffic, sales, or even if they had a sour relationship with the department that we might not be privy to, then the Parks Department made the correct business decision. The restaurant business is all about Location Location Location, just throwing Marination into any old empty spot in West Seattle probably would not have worked. As a previous patron of AF&C I am definately not suprised the city went in this direction. The place is constantly empty when I go in or even walk by on a random occasion (I have lived in W Seattle for 18 years), and not to say Mr. Galanti is not an effective owner or civic leader in the neighborhood, but I feel the Admiral Pub has gone downhill in quality and atmosphere as well since he has taken ownership. This might be the motivation he needs to take a closer look at the quality of product and establishments and update his business model to a newer/fresher approach. I am sure AF&C will be reborn in a new location which just might be the spark it needs to thrive.

  • Kingofalki December 6, 2011 (12:33 pm)

    Someone knows if there is or how to start a petition supporting Marination?

  • NAMErequired December 6, 2011 (12:54 pm)

    Don’t care who ends up running the food shack in the end, but learning some interesting lessons learned from this thread:

    * Most of us do have a really hard time with change

    * When we don’t follow the rules (of the RFP process), lose in the process and don’t like the results, we don’t acknowledge that we indeed did NOT follow the rules (or maybe just a little lazy with following the rules) and start to complain about the process not being fair

    * In not following the rules and not liking the results, we start to throw out irrelevant arguments (“the city had the numbers”, “this is an institution”, “they’ve been here 10 years”, “we were here first”, “we warm up the divers”) that detract from the point (it was a contract and it was time to re-compete the contract).

    * Somehow, when we don’t follow the rules, lose in the process, don’t like the results and start to complain, we make the actual winners the “bad guys” (not nice) and we make the people who made the rules the “bad guys” (not nice, but complain directly to them about changing the rules then)

    * “Fish-n-chips” can be associated with water and waterfronts but Hawaiian and Korean are not as easily associated (interesting, as one is a series of islands and another a peninsula)

    * Kimchi is apparently both a food item and an ethnicity

    * When we don’t like how something comes about, we complain often, some loudly and some not so nicely

    * When we are neutral or happy with the results, we have less or not as much to say until we feel the compaining starts to get out of hand

    * Winners can be gracious and open to making sure “the process” was fair and fairly challenged
    I’ve got a lot to teach my children.

  • sam-c December 6, 2011 (1:04 pm)

    I don’t know what wrong assumptions you assumed ‘everyone’ made when they signed the petition Laconique maybe you can clarify. And it wasn’t a bid, it was a proposal. Say Seattle parks asks for bids for a new playground. They get hard numbers and pick the lowest bidder. Proposals are written by people who respond to the requirements by predicting what they will do if they win. The people reviewing the proposals review it based on their opinions of what COULD happen in the future. Nobody has a magic crystal ball to know what business would be like for either entity in the years to come.

    Yes I am familiar with RFPs Tammi, without my office responding to them, I wouldn’t have a job.

    Why is it so wrong to have an opinion ? DPD allows you to express an opinion when your neighbor wants to sub-plat their lot into 4 lots, METRO allows you to express your opinion when they propose to cut bus service….. Since when is it not ok to provide an opinion that a fish and chips place should be the concessionaire at the boat landing? I can’t sign a petition based on my opinion ? where do we live again ? i don’t know why everyone is saying that all the people who’ve expressed support for ACF are racist, not sure where that came from.

    Duke’s and Salty’s are not comparable to Alki Crab and Fish. Totally different price range, atmosphere, pace.

    In my OPINION, ACF fish and chips are better than spuds. At spuds, 8 times out of 10, the fish inside the fried outer covering is slimy, gooey and seemingly undercooked. Reminds me of a raw oyster. Sunfish is OK in my OPINION. Except I hardly carry cash, and the BECU is gone, oh well, that’s my own problem and I can make it work. FACTUALLY, neither serve beer~ what is so wrong with wanting a beer with your fish and chips, for friggin sake.

    ACF has done so much work recently to improve the space, they converted the under-used gift shop to a bar, they built the exterior bar, etc, etc.

    If ACF didn’t include required items in their proposal, then that is their mistake and of course they should lose points on that. But many of the categories in the points systems are based on OPINION, otherwise, the 4 different evaluators would have the exact same scores. Evaulator 4 gave ACF and marination the same score, and Evaluator 3’s scores are off by one.

    If Marination moves in, we will be there. We eat there so much, (mobile and in cap. hill) that they know what we order. My son loves the pork sliders; it’s nice to see him eat something other than mac n cheese, chicken fingers, or grilled cheese when we go out. My favorite are the tofu tacos. (It seems like maybe they’ve been a little light on the nunya sauce lately, but maybe that is preferred to raising prices.) I’ll be happy whatever happens, but I will miss Alki crab and fish, because in my OPINION, the place is good, and its fish and chips are good. Caleb Conley summarized many of those points much better, but Laconique asked the question.

  • KBear December 6, 2011 (1:30 pm)

    To those who worry about West Seattle losing its “small-town” feel: As long as stuff like this can erupt in controversy, that will never happen.

  • Scuba Steve December 6, 2011 (1:37 pm)


    Very well stated! Excellent compilation of the thread.

    I look forward to a new cuisine and I wish the new proprietors the best of success.

    Do we know if they will sustain some type of bar? Perhaps they could build on that concept just a bit . . . or something . . . with a happy hour – please!

  • Caleb Conley December 6, 2011 (2:41 pm)

    Datamuse- Thank you for a very reasoned response to my comment. I agree that there is no way to know whether the competing petitions (currently 61 people pro-Marination and 743 people pro-AFC) are in any way representative of the feelings of West Seattle at large. There may be a silent majority who would be pro-Marination, but that’s the way it goes anytime anything is put to a vote in this country. You can’t ever really claim to know what the majority wants, only what the majority of those who are motivated enough to voice an opinion wants (which is usually far less than half of the people in whatever group is being represented). So it can be said that of those who care enough sign a petition one way or the other in this matter, the vast majority wish to see AFC remain at Seacrest. And by the way, the pro-AFC petition was updated to indicate who the selected bidder is, however as DiverLaura points out for those who are trying to save AFC it isn’t about one food menu vs another as much as it’s a desire to maintain something in the community which they love. What remains to be seen is whether the weight of public opinion will be given any consideration in the Parks Dept decision.

    • WSB December 6, 2011 (2:44 pm)

      I just got a reply from Parks on that point and will be parsing it shortly for a followup that I hope to publish by 3:30 pm – TR

  • M December 6, 2011 (3:02 pm)

    If Marination is such a hot place it maybe in for a surprise when they find out how limited the parking is, especially when the diving crowd is there. I once had a guy in a wetsuit stand in an empty stall I was pulling into try to tell me he was saving a parking spot, LOL

  • GreenGirl December 6, 2011 (3:08 pm)

    I was just looking over the RFP
    and is anyone else curious about why AFC would want to continue with this business when they lost $490,000 in the last 3 years?! OUCH.

  • questionable December 6, 2011 (3:13 pm)

    The comments here are insane. Either eat there or don’t, nobody gives a crap about your opinion.

  • datamuse December 6, 2011 (3:47 pm)

    Point taken, Caleb. And I agree; to be honest, I think it’s why online petitions are generally disregarded. (A paper petition seems to carry more weight simply because one must put forth a bit more effort to sign it; I definitely signed the one requesting a deputy for White Center!) And thanks for the note on the petition being updated, the last time I looked at it it hadn’t been.
    I really do have sympathy for the folks for whom AF&C is a beloved institution. I’m interested to know what Parks tells WSB about opportunities for public comment, because that is a component that I didn’t see in the description of the RFP process I linked to above. If there is such an opportunity I’d wager it has a greater chance of being effective than a petition.

    • WSB December 6, 2011 (3:54 pm)

      OK, here’s the new story. I was about to publish it when Marination sent a statement, longer than the comment we’d included in yesterday’s story, including their reaction to the discussion in these comments. So it’s part of this story: – TR

  • Laconique December 6, 2011 (4:40 pm)

    Thanks for responding to my question, Sam-c. I didn’t say “everyone”, I was curious to hear from people who signed the petition before all the facts were in. I found the way the story evolved online to be interesting and people were reacting emotionally without hearing all sides of the story. In the original story, people were speculating about the legitimacy of the process, lack of transparency, the potential that a large corporation was taking over, etc. And yes, I said bid when I should have said proposal. Mea culpa.

  • DiverLaura December 6, 2011 (4:54 pm)

    There is a paper copy of the petition now at Alki Crab and Fish Co. for those who prefer to sign that way…

  • Bestro kl December 6, 2011 (10:04 pm)

    Read all posts again still saying, let the public decide !!! And as you can see west Seattle wants ACF to stay marination to keep driving .that’s what they do. Parks get real !

  • Gone fishing December 7, 2011 (1:53 pm)

    The parks has made a mistake, in more ways then one and the petition is now well over 800 if that many people care in a 48 hr or so period can you imagine what it will be like if the truck moves in. Maybe they should park there and see just how the locols like the change! I would be very very leery to move into this space if I was a business of this kind . They have some big shoes to fill don’t you think? West s blog when will parks respond?

    • WSB December 7, 2011 (2:10 pm)

      When will Parks respond to what? I published another new story (linked here, higher in the comment thread) with the last round of info I was seeking from them, including their explanation of where the appeals process goes. I’m not expecting anything more from them at this point until that plays out …

  • Debra G December 8, 2011 (11:36 am)

    I’m smelling something fishy in the concessionaire award to Marination (no pun intended!). First, if you look at the reviews, a whopping 34 of the point differential was attributable to ONE individual (Dan J). It’s pretty obvious that ol’ Dan did his best to skew the results. Second, the Parks & Rec group must have gone fishing (pun intended) when it developed the questions for the Request for Proposal. Did it ask two of the MOST IMPORTANT questions? Did it ask about the length and depth of the track record of the companies? How long has Marination been in business? (not long) How much depth is there in “successes”? When you compare a food truck to people who have run many, many successful restaurants in the Seattle area over many years, are we talking equals here? Is the city getting into bed with a novice? And most importantly, why didn’t the Parks group ask the most important question–what does the city/Parks GET BACK from the proposed concessionaires? Never is the return to the city (in the form of gross sales payments or sharing of profits) ever considered. The amount the city stands to “earn” from Alki Crab and Fish so greatly exceeds that of proposed “earnings” from Marination that it seems as if the city/Parks doesn’t need revenue. Come on! The Parks group did not adequately perform their fiduciary responsibility. The whole RFP process smells fishy!

  • DiverLaura December 8, 2011 (8:48 pm)

    I asked about the losses that were printed today, as I was honestly curious if they were loosing money hand over fist.

    The answer i got was as imagined… In the past couple years, it sounds like ACF has paid off all the loans they’d taken out for renovating and growing the original boathouse and then put even more cash into the recent upgrade such as “the Deck” and the interior… you can see how this would look bad on paper, but the reality is only seen if you have been a patron of ACF for the past several years and watched the consistent continued improvements over time.

    For those who are interested, this upcoming saturday at noon a number of folks from the diving community are leading a rally in support of ACF on the grassy areas between Salty’s and ACF. We are NOT there to protest and this is nothing negative towards Marination.

    Quite simply, We will be there to say Thank You, to show our appreciation, to celebrate the community that Eric and his father, Yvonne, Denise, etc… have built from the ground up and been a hub for over the past decade. We will be there to show our gratitude for every fin, hood, hat, etc… they held for us in the lost and found corner (there is a purple fin there now if you are missing it), every coat we forgot and Yvonne chased after us with and gave to our friends to drop off… Every note or item we needed to get to one of our diving friends and asked if we could leave it at the register for so and so, and could rest assured it would be delivered.

    it will be divers, and fishermen, and hopefully anyone else who has enjoyed the opportunity to sit back and relax with a cup of chowder, ice cream, or brew or even just the view…

    Never once were we made to feel unwelcome despite the fact that we took up seats (and parking places) for hours on end with our diving classes and groups who convene from all over. For these and so many other reasons… WE LOVE YOU ACF!!!

    If you love ACF, the people, the community, please join us…

  • Karen December 10, 2011 (10:07 am)

    We tend to stick with incumbents in politics and look where that gets us. I am happy to welcome someone new at the location; maybe I will be motivated to head out there to eat. Currently, ACF is never a destination for me or my friends.
    I wonder if this is also a divide between young and old??

  • KJones December 10, 2011 (10:14 am)

    At best, over-priced, less-than-average fish and chips served by the same people who own the Admiral Pub. (As I understand it.) I just don’t understand people sometimes. Face it, you don’t want it to change because you don’t want anything to change. Ever. As a West Seattleite, it is sometimes embarrassing how much we resist change even if it is needed, warranted, or justified. The city made a decision. Live with it.

  • casey December 10, 2011 (1:03 pm)

    One thing people keep saying is that Alki Crab and Fish have lost money over the last 3 years. Do people realize that they’ve put money into the building and would continue to do so, LOVE the outdoor space now! Marination says that they also plan to put more money into the space, so perhaps their first years they will also be in the hole!

  • alki_2008 December 10, 2011 (6:36 pm)

    Wow, this thread was quite a read!
    Seems funny to hear folks say that ACF is so great because of the things it does for divers and the kayak rental facility. As if a new concessionaire (whether it was Marination or someone else) wouldn’t do the same things.
    The owner of ACF owns the Admiral Pub and a business in Kent. THIS particular business of his is closing, not like he’s losing his entire livelihood. If you’re so anxious to support the owner’s income, then visit the Admiral Pub or go out to Kent. At least ACF out-scored the third potential concessionaire…Cowboyz.
    I also found it interesting that “alki girl” wouldn’t disclose her business, after her multiple (almost “hate”-ful) comments against Marination.
    Now…off to read the follow-up story at

  • drb December 15, 2011 (2:20 pm)

    I agree..change can be good West Seattle…and I’ve had fish and chips and the Alki Fish & Crab Co. a few times. Most of the time I was really disappointed. The only place that makes GREAT fish and chips on Alki is Sun Fish..(unless you like a ton of batter and oil on your fish) Lets give marination a try…

Sorry, comment time is over.