Plan for ex-Bohemian finally revealed: ‘Simple neighborhood dinnerhouse’

The #1 question we’ve been asked in recent months finally has some answers.

It’s been more than a year since first word that an “experienced restaurateur” purchased the former Bohemian space at 3405 California SW.

Our efforts to get more information about the buyer and the plan for the space started then. Eventually, we learned it was the same ownership as Bick’s Broadview Grill in Greenwood. Then we published a short update last January, when a name for the West Seattle space turned up in online files for business and liquor licensing: West City Sardine Kitchen.

Our efforts to contact the ownership continued, since people kept messaging us asking what’s up with the space and what kind of restaurant will it be. Phone messages, site visits, notes under the door. Most recently, when a permit application for a sign turned up online, with the sign described on the DPD page as “Westcity Kitchen,” we contacted Western Neon, which was listed on the permit application. They confirmed the name but said they couldn’t discuss it further without the owner’s permission.

The community interest has continued, with various WSB’ers even sending us tips if they spotted someone working in the space. But every time we went over, either the worker(s) were gone, or (once) we found a worker who said they had no details to discuss since they were just there to work.

Then finally today, our postal-mail box yielded a letter, on letterhead for Saltoro in Greenwood. Ahead, the transcription:

Greetings West Seattle Blog!

Recently, friends of ours helping us out at 3405 California SW (between Prost and Spiro’s) said that you had dropped by and left a note politely asking for some information about what’s happening there. Thanks for your interest.

It is basically a do-it-ourselves project, just as were Bick’s and Saltoro, so it goes slowly, as time and money allow. It will be months before we finish and get permitted. We are not making any changes to the building, just assembling some plain wooden booths and partitions to help separate the tables. We plan a simple neighborhood dinnerhouse, just like Bick’s and Saltoro. Both of those restaurants have a core menu that rarely changes, and a large chalkboard menu that continually changes, depending on seasonality, availability, kitchen interest, and what our guests like! We plan the same for West Seattle, with the menu ultimately determined by what our guests will order.

There isn’t much more to tell, at this point, but as we get closer in the coming months we will let you know what’s up. And please, if you are ever in the north end, stop in for dinner at either Bick’s or Saltoro, or both!

Thanks again for your interest,

Dan, Brad, Kevin, Kristy, Jay, Cesar, Angie, Kristin
Bick’s/Saltoro/West Seattle (we hope!) Partners

So now you know. Though we confess we do go to restaurants outside West Seattle on occasion, we haven’t been to Bick’s or Saltoro – have you? They’re less than three miles apart, both on Greenwood Avenue N. In case we don’t get up there any time soon, we’ll be postal-mailing the partners a thank-you note for sharing the info.

19 Replies to "Plan for ex-Bohemian finally revealed: 'Simple neighborhood dinnerhouse'"

  • vraxvalhalla September 10, 2012 (2:23 pm)

    Went to Bick’s when I lived in Greenwood. Certainly not bad, but nothing to write home about either.

  • Audrey September 10, 2012 (2:24 pm)

    I’ve been going to Bicks for years and have also been to Saltoro several times. Love the food and atmosphere, so I’m really excited for this great addition to our neighborhood!

  • Klk September 10, 2012 (2:25 pm)

    Bick’s is great! Really tasty, satisfying and healthy food. They have good vegetarian options too. Never been to Saltoros though.

  • Erin September 10, 2012 (3:56 pm)

    Before moving to West Seattle we lived up north and were frequent patrons of Saltoro (and occasionally Bick’s too). Great restaurants, and exciting news that the team is bringing a bit of that to West Seattle too.

  • LG September 10, 2012 (3:57 pm)

    Saltoro’s is a great neighborhood place with consistently good food and great service. I’ve been there several times for dinner. Bick’s is also good…I’ve been there for lunch a couple times and it’s always been good. haven’t tried dinner there. Funny, I like both places but didn’t know they were under the same ownership. Now that I know that I can see the similarities: cozy neighborhood ambiance, casual comfort food, reasonable prices. Imagine a slightly more upscale Circa. Looking forward to their West Seattle place!

  • Mark September 10, 2012 (5:08 pm)

    Glad it’s not a sardine house!

  • 2 Much Whine September 10, 2012 (5:25 pm)

    I’m disappointed it’s not a sardine house!

  • Mary September 10, 2012 (5:29 pm)

    I used to live about equidistant between Bick’s and Saltoro’s. Bick’s didn’t particularly thrill me though other people rave about it–seemed sort of pricy for a not entirely pleasant dining experience–a little loud, I think, is my dim recollection. Saltoro’s, on the other hand, never disappointed. Not the most beautiful interior (a bit dark and sort of cavernous) but the food was always good. While it wasn’t cheap, it wasn’t overpriced for what it was. To address the classic WSB restaurant question, both restaurants seemed to attract more adults going out without their children than with, but I think I also occasionally saw well-behaved children at both locales. Both have full bars.

    I think the new restaurant will be a great addition to the neighborhood and perhaps be the place I can take my father (on a very restricted diet) for a nice dinner. (Recommendations from other readers for such restaurants currently open in from Morgan Junction north much appreciated!)

  • Biggmouth September 10, 2012 (6:21 pm)

    I’ve checked out the Bick’s and Saltoro menus on line. Looks like we got us another Endoline Joe’s. Good luck with that, fellow West Seattlites!!!

  • Michelle September 10, 2012 (7:04 pm)

    I miss the Bohemian!

  • miws September 10, 2012 (8:15 pm)

    Glad it’s not a sardine house!

    I’m disappointed it’s not a sardine house!


    Probably denied by the Fire Marshall, citing building occupancy limits.



  • waterworld September 10, 2012 (8:50 pm)

    I am thrilled that another in the Bick’s family is opening in West Seattle. I lived near Bick’s back in the 90s, before moving to West Seattle. It was our kitchen-away-from-home. In fact, not having Bick’s five minutes from my home anymore was one of the more difficult aspects of adjusting to life in WS! The food was consistently excellent and there was always a great selection of reasonably-priced wines. Also, many people who worked there stuck around for years or moved on to Saltoro after it opened, which I think speaks volumes about the owners. Saltoro’s came along shortly before we moved, so we only went there a few times. It was nice, but not as comfortable to me as Bick’s.

  • Pman September 11, 2012 (1:16 am)

    This is really great news. Saltoro is a wonderful neighborhood restaurant — similar to Blackboard or Circa.

  • Ray West September 11, 2012 (5:24 am)

    I wish them luck, but the name leaves something to be desired.

  • 44th Neighbor September 11, 2012 (7:06 am)

    Thanks for the news, TR! I’m excited to try this place out, as Bohemian was my family’s go-to eatery.

  • Diner September 11, 2012 (7:09 am)

    Bick’s is one of my north end favorites for casual dining. Good food, good service, pleasant space. West Seattle could use a Bick’s style place.

  • Ms. Picky September 11, 2012 (12:26 pm)

    Haven’t been to Saltoro’s, but recall Bick’s as a good, solid neighborhood eatery with pleasant (if, yes, a bit loud) ambience. I’m glad experienced neighborhood restaurateurs are taking over the space. My one concern is parking …

  • diane September 11, 2012 (6:21 pm)

    When we lived up north a few years ago we would go to Bick’s all the time and loved it and sometimes we took our then toddler. I think since moving to West Seattle we feel it is more child friendly in the restaurants here. We never did go to Saltoro’s.

  • Ginadotcom September 11, 2012 (9:04 pm)

    I also miss the Bohemian… we live just a few blocks away and it was becoming one of our favorite local haunts. But I must tell you: I’ve been in the new place and it is beautiful. One one occasion while walking by, the door was open and the carpenter was working his magic. He is a marvelous craftsman. I stuck my head in and he was gracious and gave me a mini tour. The woodwork is beautiful, the new floor is very nice. They moved the bar east — closer to the front door — and it makes a huge difference. It has beautifully crafted “booths” and nice touches. Overall, for a work-in-progress, I’d say it’s very impressive and I’m really looking forward to its opening. And if you haven’t noticed, the front windows are hinged now — so they can open to fresh air. And based on the “food” reviews on this post, I think we might have a winner in the offing. I wish them the best of luck!

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