West Seattle restaurants: Alki’s Bada Bistro to open next week

(Photo courtesy Sharon Bang)
Almost four months after announcing new plans for the former Beachside Café/ex-Alki Bakery at 61st/Alki, its owners say they’re hoping to open next week – Wednesday, March 20th. They’ve changed the new name a bit; now it’s Bada Bistro. “We will open for dinner the first week, add happy hour the following week, lunch will follow, and brunch to be added for weekends in April,” co-owner Sharon Bang tells WSB. Dinner will start at 5 pm; happy hour at 3 pm. She adds, “I realize that many were wondering what is going on in the space with no updated news for a long period of time. We really wanted to bring something special to the location, and it took more time getting things ready.” Here’s a notice Sharon says they’ve posted on the door, announcing their chef, and more about their menu and beverage plans:

John and Sharon Bang, local family restaurateurs, knew they wanted to open a Pacific Rim inspired American bistro with Chef John David Crow in mind. John David, a graduate of the California Culinary Academy, is a native Seattleite with an impressive and eclectic background. He spent years as the Executive Chef of the Space Needle as well as the Executive Chef of the Union Square Grill. He also opened The Brooklyn with Alvin Binuya, chef and partner of Ponti Seafood Grill, a mentor from whom Chef John gained much of his early knowledge of Pacific- Asian cuisine.

Most recently, John has served as Corporate Executive Chef at The Moorings Resort in the Florida Keys in addition to opening a popular Nashville restaurant, 360 Bistro, before returning to Seattle to start Bada Bistro here on Alki Beach. We describe our food as a beachside bistro, Seattle in flavor, with a definite Pacific Rim influence.

Bada is also a craft bar; we are the only scratch bar on Alki. We infuse our own spirits, use only fresh juices, and make our own syrups and bitters. Our wine list is well balanced and eclectic. We don’t chase labels, and we don’t serve merlot. We support our local brewers, while promoting global peace with a diverse line-up of tap handles.

At our Bistro we want to provide you with the opportunity to try new things, travel outside your comfort zone and enjoy a new seasoning, hop or grape. We want to make varietals the spice of life; we want to mix and match ingredients that have crossed all seven seas as well as those born and raised right here in the Northwest. The world is our oyster, and we have the best oysters on the beach.

It’s been two years since Sharon and husband John Bang, who also own Alki Café across the street, took over the ex-Alki Bakery space, whose former ownership closed it abruptly in November 2010.

144 Replies to "West Seattle restaurants: Alki's Bada Bistro to open next week"

  • dhg March 12, 2013 (1:37 pm)

    “We don’t serve Merlot” …. um, excuse me? Isn’t that the varietal Washington State is known for?

  • sunshine March 12, 2013 (1:39 pm)

    I was really interested until I got to the “and we don’t serve merlot”. Pretentious much?

  • Hmmm March 12, 2013 (1:51 pm)

    Way to go all ‘high brow’ on the neighborhood. Not sure I’m all that interested in checking this place out now…..

  • Bonnie March 12, 2013 (1:53 pm)

    I say we all go there and ask for merlot.

  • Gary Jones March 12, 2013 (1:56 pm)

    Yup – and they won’t let Miles “drink and dial”. See the movie “Sideways” for the merlot reference.

  • Sean March 12, 2013 (1:58 pm)

    Yeah what’s the deal with the Merlot comment- is that homage to the movie “Sideways”?


  • Angry Hippie March 12, 2013 (2:01 pm)

    There’s two things I hate in this world.
    1) people from Ballard
    2) people who don’t serve Merlot.

  • JanS March 12, 2013 (2:14 pm)

    that was my thought. I LIKE Merlot…a good one…and there’s nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t make me a lesser person, or not cool enough, for goodness sake. I understand wanting to present the best of things, but , Please, this is West Seattle, , we are worldly, and there’s no need to be snobbish.Merlot is NOT the poor , second class stepchild of wines.

  • old timer March 12, 2013 (2:14 pm)


  • sc March 12, 2013 (2:26 pm)

    Sounds like Frasier Crane would like this place!

  • sacatosh March 12, 2013 (2:29 pm)

    Esoteric reference that nobody got? Fail.
    Annoy the locals before even opening by coming off as snobby? Succeed.

  • azmatazz March 12, 2013 (2:34 pm)

    Who cares, I think they are being funny. They also said they are pursuing world peace with beer… I am excited to have a craft bar on Alki, there is no ambiance down here. Lighten up, its wine.

  • 33Pete March 12, 2013 (2:34 pm)

    Let’s all chill a bit on the Merlot comment – clearly a reference to Sideways and I am sure meant to be funny, not snobbish. I like a good Merlot too (although prefer other varieties with a bit more robust flavor).

    The concept sounds great and the online menu looks fantastic. I am looking forward to trying it out opening weekend (and then again after they get their legs under them).

  • JG March 12, 2013 (2:38 pm)

    I saw the notice and the new furniture and layout yesterday and was far less excited than I was when I originally heard about the place.

    The Merlot Line is a joke from the movie Sideways.( I presume)> I was more put off by the whole craft cocktail thing. It sounds like they’re trying to be way to hipster friendly for that spot.

  • JanS March 12, 2013 (2:43 pm)

    also…looking at the website. No menu prices. I hope that changes. I like to know before I go if I can afford it or not. Money spent on luxuries like eating out is very precious to some of us. No prices keeps me away, because it’s a sign that it’s overpriced. JMHO

    The menu looks yummy…

    • WSB March 12, 2013 (2:57 pm)

      No prices on websites is NOT often because it’s overpriced. Believe me, dealing with restaurants’ online presence since we have a restaurant guide on the site that was years in the making … it’s often because they can’t keep up with updates to prices and offerings – they pay somebody to make a website (which is good) but not necessarily to frequently update it – and putting an old menu on a website is worse than putting no menu on a website. Believe me. It’s why other companies (like review and reservation sites) make ZILLIONS, because they have people to throw at the problem.
      Anyway, our advice to people who have restaurants is to never mind the fancy website, just put up a free WordPress.com blog-format site (we use WordPress but NOT the free software fwiw), which you CAN update yourself.
      And I would bet the Merlot thing is indeed meant to be a joke. Really. Especially in light of the movie reference that’s been brought up. I never saw that movie and I can’t drink (would fall asleep after about three sips) so I didn’t even think twice about it when publishing the story including the notice they sent, but it appears there are other attempts at humor in it too. – TR

  • Sue March 12, 2013 (2:47 pm)

    JanS writes: “Merlot is NOT the poor , second class stepchild of wines.” She’s right: that would be white zinfandel. :) (And before anybody flames me and my joke, white zin is my preferred wine.)

  • Mark S. March 12, 2013 (2:50 pm)

    Simmer down folks. I’d be surprised if the merlot thing weren’t a joke.

  • DTK March 12, 2013 (2:56 pm)

    Not to fear! You can just go to Poggie’s after and get some of their fine house Merlot.

  • Cait March 12, 2013 (3:02 pm)

    I guess it would help to look at the menu and see if there’s a merlot on it before passing judgement. If there’s merlot there – I like their style joke-wise. If there’s not – I’m no down for that.

  • sharon bang March 12, 2013 (3:03 pm)

    Hi everyone, the phrase “we don’t server Merlot” has seemed to have upset many of you reading this. We were not trying to be pretentious and we agree Merlot is the wine of Washington and a valuable varietal. However, our Pacific Rim influenced cuisine simply doesn’t pair well with Merlots, which is why Merlot is not a wine that we chose to serve. We were trying to express the effort we put into pairing our wine and food selection by letting you know that Merlot was not going to be there, but some new tastey matches were available instead. We were going for a unique experience when we said we don’t serve Merlot.

  • hipster! March 12, 2013 (3:04 pm)

    I was thinking the merlot comment was a joke too and not meant to be taken literally. I’m surprised at how intense the responses have been. anyway, i for one, am still looking forward to trying out a new place. I think every new place deserves a fair chance. Just my two cents.

  • Jallabab March 12, 2013 (3:14 pm)

    Soooooo excited for this place to open. :)

  • Bekind March 12, 2013 (3:15 pm)

    Lets welcome this new restaurant with open arms and help them celebrate this new addition to west seattle instead of crucifying them before they even open the doors for business. Looking forward to trying the new restuarant no matter what you serve :)

  • Alex March 12, 2013 (3:16 pm)

    I’m a local that is really looking forward to having another nice restaurant option in Alki.

    I didn’t take the Merlot phrase as being pretentious or read too much into it.

    I hope the restaurant is a great success, and has the best oysters on the beach.

  • snodayy March 12, 2013 (3:17 pm)

    Today on the WSB I learned you should never Eff with Merlot!! Haha, simma down now. I think the place will be a good addition. I don’t care about wine enough to get my feathers ruffled though.

  • Bfin March 12, 2013 (3:17 pm)

    I think this is great news. The previous operation was poorly run….the food was poor quality, service undesirable and the espresso was something you would find in the middle of Texas. It will be nice to have another option on Alki that provides a diverse food and drink menu. Sorry, but Bamboo Gardens doesn’t qualify as quality pan-Asian food. Welcome Bada Bistro.

  • datamuse March 12, 2013 (3:17 pm)

    Sideways is esoteric? Since when?
    I like the sound of those cocktails. Fresh juice and homemade infusions? Yum!

  • Eric March 12, 2013 (3:18 pm)

    The write-up sounds very aspirational. Yes, monied and affluent West Seattleites abound, but Alki Beach is a popular destination for many from all walks, all-year round.

    The tone of this bit of PR seems a bit classist, and from all accounts, who knew that merlot was so common. I guess I’m a bit embarrassed now to admit that publicly.

    It’s good to set your sights, but at the risk of coming across exclusionary and elitist? Bada-boom, bada-bing! Good luck with that.

  • eyeThink March 12, 2013 (3:21 pm)

    Lot of sensitive people here. If they don’t want to serve merlot, then ok, good for them.

    If they don’t serve nachos . . . that’s fine too. No need to take offense.

    Variety is nice and I hope this place does well.

  • Sunny March 12, 2013 (3:22 pm)

    What blessed lives people lead when a joke about not serving Merlot can command such vigorous protest! Oh generous (first) World, thy abundance humbles and gladdens me!

  • WSB March 12, 2013 (3:25 pm)

    In case you’ve been frequently refreshing the comment stream, please note Sharon Bang has responded re: Merlotgate:
    The filter caught about half a dozen comments including hers since last time I checked so I wanted to make sure nobody missed it.

  • Keith March 12, 2013 (3:27 pm)

    Thanks to Sideways, it’s actually more impressive and eclectic to find & serve a nice Merlot than to say you never would. So I would say the joke’s on them!

  • MikeRussellFoto March 12, 2013 (3:30 pm)

    Love the idea of a craft cocktail bar on Alki. And btw, you don’t have to be a “hipster” to enjoy a well-made cocktail.
    Looking forward to checking it out soon!

  • cjboffoli March 12, 2013 (3:32 pm)

    Jesus! I didn’t realize there were so many merlot super-fans in West Seattle. I figured people around these parts leaned more towards beer drinking.
    Though I think merlot’s reputation as a simple-tasting, somewhat sweet varietal is a bit over-stated, I did think Sideways was right on the money in reference to California (where the story is set) as they’re knee-deep in really lousy Merlots in the Golden State. You’re almost always better off going for a cabernet or a pinot there.
    On the other hand, if you’re going to have a merlot, Washington State is the place to have it as the climate and soil in some of our AVAs seems to be particularly well-suited to producing really extraordinary merlots. Some of them are a really great value too. But personally, I’d always more readily choose a syrah over just about anything else.
    PS: Paul Giamatti should have been nominated for his performance in Sideways. His reaction to Victoria – in that scene near the end where she tells him that she’s pregnant – gets me every time. He tries to pretend he’s happy when you can see he’s crushed inside. Just a brilliant piece of acting there.

  • MikeRussellFoto March 12, 2013 (3:33 pm)

    After reading Sharon Bang’s comment, I’m even more excited to try it out. A restaurant that is taking the time to curate a wine list that pairs well with their food!! Excellent!

  • HelperMonkey March 12, 2013 (3:39 pm)

    BADA RAMEN. That is all. I don’t care what else is on the menu, Merlot or not!

  • sharon bang March 12, 2013 (3:47 pm)

    Oh, I forgot to mention that the prices for our entrees will be going up on website as soon as it’s completed. Many locals were inquiring about our menu, and we wanted to have it available on our website as soon as we could. Thank you for all the support and encouragement.

  • onceachef March 12, 2013 (3:51 pm)

    It looks promising…one comment – can’t you put something other than an image of sliced fruit on your homepage? Seems a little…under-garnished :).

  • Diane March 12, 2013 (4:00 pm)

    “Merlotgate”; funny

  • Sonoma March 12, 2013 (4:07 pm)

    Wait – we’ve got the Bang Bar on California Ave., now Sharon Bang is opening the Bada Bistro on Alki, so can we combine the two and make it the Bada Bang Bar Bistro? I’m sooooo confused. Let’s just keep it simple and call it the Bada Bing, in honor of Tony Soprano’s place. Not a bad-a idea!

  • sharon bang March 12, 2013 (4:09 pm)

    Yes, our pictures are coming on our website :) A lot of work to be done over the week, but almost there.

  • miws March 12, 2013 (4:11 pm)

    *Starts working up Business Plan for opening of a Merlot Bar in West Seattle*



  • sam-c March 12, 2013 (4:20 pm)

    while i usually don’t like commenters telling restaurants what to do or how to run their business (aka, all the comments on the WSB story on the upcoming Chinese -fusion restaurant that everyone wants to be just Chinese food), I do have one request:

    can you put an asterik and warning thingie next to the beef carpaccio for idiots like me that don’t know it’s raw meat?
    MY husband and I went to Cask for the first time. they were out of what I wanted (mac n cheese). the bartender suggested the beef carpaccio and some other stuff, I debated with my husband- he said, uh, you know that’s raw meat right- you can’t eat that, you’re pregnant. Uh, oops. I didn’t know that.

    looking forward to a new place to try!

  • squareeyes March 12, 2013 (4:21 pm)

    So NOT a hipster, more of a blob really – but a fan of great food, wine, cocktails, and atmosphere. Look forward to trying this out!

  • Jeanine March 12, 2013 (4:22 pm)

    So no Bordeaux then!?

  • anonyme March 12, 2013 (4:41 pm)

    Both the announcement and the menu are hugely disappointing IMO. Previous posts led me to believe Bada would be serving Korean food, which is clearly not the case. This Pan Asian thing has gotten very tiresome, and I see nothing on this menu that warrants a special trip – merlot or no.

    “Bada bing” – funny!

  • smokeycretin9 March 12, 2013 (4:41 pm)

    “We support our local brewers, while promoting global peace with a diverse line-up of tap handles.”


    If drinking beer supports world peace, then I am freakin Nelson Mandella!

    Visualize Wirrled Peas!

  • Ajax March 12, 2013 (4:46 pm)

    I’m sure it’s a horrible feeling to spend a huge amount of time, effort and money to get a new business ready and then be attacked over a non-issue before even opening your doors. I guess they had to find out what West Seattle is like at some point anyway.

  • NWryan March 12, 2013 (5:14 pm)

    This group has an amazing reputation for outstanding restaurants. Who cares about merlot.

  • Kathleen March 12, 2013 (5:17 pm)

    Agree with Ajax. I kind of raised my eyebrows too with the Merlot comment, but hey, try the food or not. I think the menu looks great, with a nice variety. Sharon and her crew are working hard on this, and she is taking the time to read these comments and respond. I plan to support the place. If the food and prices are not to my liking, I won’t go back. I am certainly not going to pan it before she even gets the chance to show us what she has….good luck Sharon!

  • Peter on Fauntleroy March 12, 2013 (5:21 pm)

    I just don’t know why anyone would want to have a business in West Seattle considering the vitriol so many of you have against anything new. Do you people only read WSB looking for something to be upset about? Sad.

  • WSLisa March 12, 2013 (5:27 pm)

    I’m looking forward to the opening! Great name :)

  • NWryan March 12, 2013 (5:35 pm)

    Peter, Ajax and Kathleen..AMEN

  • anti-obstruction March 12, 2013 (5:37 pm)

    Ajax…NO DOUBT!
    The restaurant business is tough and challenging in the healthiest of economic conditions.
    To pillory a burgeoning new business, restaurant or otherwise, in the current economy, is shameful.
    My husband and I will definitely give Bada Bistro a try, especially in light of the vitriol and hostilty they’ve endured thus far based on one innocent statement.

  • canele March 12, 2013 (5:39 pm)

    I echo anonyme’s sentiments. While I wish Bada Bistro success, I am hugely disappointed that it chose to go Pan Asian rather than Korean. Won’t someone please open a good Korean restaurant in West Seattle?

  • Traci March 12, 2013 (5:51 pm)

    I think it will be a great addition to Alki, welcome! We’re excited to visit when you’re open.

  • JanS March 12, 2013 (6:14 pm)

    Thanks for the comments, Sharon Bang. I haven’t seen the aforementioned movie, but will certainly try your new venture. Hope it ‘s a wild success. Cream ale? Yes, I know…I will try what you have. :)

  • sharonbang March 12, 2013 (6:32 pm)

    Thank you so much for all the kind comments :). As much as Korean entrees are awesome, we were not sure it went with the beach scene concept… However, it is something we would like to bring at some point. I knew we were going to disappoint some of you. Sorry.

  • Hooray new restaurants! March 12, 2013 (6:36 pm)

    I think it sounds great. I was really excited when I saw the menu — looking forward to trying it! Thanks for adding a new and interesting option for dining on Alki! And I’m not a fan of merlot, so I won’t miss it a bit….

  • sgml March 12, 2013 (6:47 pm)

    The menu looks great! I can’t wait to try it!!!

  • leroy March 12, 2013 (6:47 pm)

    i wish them luck. if its good its good. if its not its not.

  • Benjamin March 12, 2013 (6:56 pm)

    Seriously folks. Be happy someone is making an effort to create an exciting new place for us all. Some of y’all need to start out pulling a few of those world peace tap handle’s.

  • Chris W March 12, 2013 (7:11 pm)

    Cream ale? Oh, I’m there!

  • Alki Lover March 12, 2013 (7:22 pm)

    Yes, agreed – Benjamin. Can we just be fortunate that an establishment is trying to step it up in this area? Given we still have the Bamboo Grill around, it is the small victories we must praise.
    Best of luck. Will be there on the 20th!

  • MercyMe March 12, 2013 (7:27 pm)

    Wow, one person mentions something and everybody runs with it, an honest response is given and more choose to find something else to bicker about. The Merlot comment was intended to be funny but came off as (insert your wording), either you will go this place or not, I doubt that the Merlot comment will keep you away, if it does, then grow up. What is going on here, more comments about this new business than the cameras,has that become too tiresome already WS? Too much time to devote to that cause? Seriously, pick your battles, voting on issues you agree with is not enough, continue to fight for what you believe in, just focus your anger elsewhere. And no, I will not be trying this new restaurant but I would not have before reading this article anyway, allergies and whatnot.

  • Billy March 12, 2013 (7:47 pm)

    Best of Luck ! Sharon :)

  • Jason March 12, 2013 (7:50 pm)

    It may be true that merlot doesn’t pair perfectly with all (or any?) of your dishes. However, stating that you are excluding it for that reason implies that all of the beers on tap and cocktails do. Or, will you refuse to serve someone a beer that does not pair with their meal on the same principle? I’m sure that there are many items you’ve chosen to leave off the menu because you don’t feel they belong, but by pointing out merlot specifically it seems a clear attempt at either humor (Sideways) or proving sophistication. Claiming otherwise seems like damage control.

  • Kate K March 12, 2013 (8:05 pm)

    Welcome to the neighborhood! Will be checking you out when you open :)

  • John March 12, 2013 (8:09 pm)

    Sounds to me like these folks need to consult a publicist. So many inconsistencies in the message.

  • Westy4life March 12, 2013 (8:17 pm)

    When did West Seattle get so uptight?

  • onion March 12, 2013 (8:33 pm)

    One of the funniest West Seattle threads ever. Good luck, Sharon. Perhaps run a merlot special in a month or so?

  • Carl K. March 12, 2013 (8:37 pm)

    I agree with Jason about the pairings. You should let us decide what we liked paired together. If we order white wine with a steak, will it not be served if you don’t think it will be a good fit?

    Will you be excluded any beers from your list?

  • Guacotaco March 12, 2013 (8:43 pm)

    I am really glad a someone is trying a new concept on Alki, it’s so tired down here. They get a little cheeky and everyone is all up in arms, I think it’s cute. I’m totally there.

  • Lolaleah March 12, 2013 (8:55 pm)

    I had no idea a restaurant could be reviewed before it even opens. Sheesh.
    Alki is a beautiful stretch of waterfront and I love te thought of new food and hand crafted cocktails down there!
    Don’t listen to all the negative nellie’s. I wish for you success! Congrats!

  • bridge to somewhere March 12, 2013 (9:49 pm)

    That menu looks great! Welcome!

  • JanS March 12, 2013 (9:56 pm)

    Unfortunately, while many of us support this new venture, the humor went over some of our heads, Humor sometimes doesn’t translate in the written word on here…it’s happened quite a few times in the forum. And, if we have never seen “Sideways” and can’t use it as a frame of reference, it truly flies over our heads. (For those who think we’re uncool because we didn’t “get it”…sigh…

    I’m glad Sharon came on here to explain…and very glad that she’s coming here to check things out.

  • WSGIRL March 12, 2013 (10:17 pm)

    Sounds like a cool new startup for Alki, but Merlot comment should be taken out. Time will tell.

  • DogsofAlki March 12, 2013 (10:24 pm)

    Excited to try a new restaurant down here. More Korean sounds great too. Bada Bing!

  • anita March 12, 2013 (10:29 pm)

    I’m looking forward to trying this place. And I hope you do have some lovely oysters – what a treat with that view!

    And for those of you who wanted Korean food – have you tried Ma Kai? Not pure Korean, but awfully tasty anyway.

  • rb March 12, 2013 (10:38 pm)

    I dont see this as a matter of being uptight or not wanting change, it’s just what was written seemed hipstery and exclusive. I will still try the place and I hope its good. The more options on Alki the better as far as i’m concerned. However this is the place to voice your opinion and if you think that parts of the write up sound pretentious then I understand the comments.

  • sharon bang March 12, 2013 (10:45 pm)

    I honestly didn’t expect our announcement of opening was going to get this much attention:). Negative or positive, I do appreciate everyone for reading our story and taking time to leave comments. I do learn from reading them. We were going for a playful and unique concept while offering high quality product. Our Chef worked very hard to come up with what he considers “a very thoughtful menu”, and we are doing our best to ensure that your experience at Bada Bistro will be enjoyable. I thank you again for your kind words of support.

  • lyndab March 12, 2013 (10:47 pm)

    I wish them luck. Can’t be cheap to reinvent everything again. Though i can’t help but say in the back side of my head “i hope it really works out”.

  • Carl K. March 12, 2013 (10:47 pm)

    The owners comment appeared to not be about the movie “Sideways” at all. It was merlot didn’t pair with their food offerings.

  • a March 12, 2013 (11:33 pm)

    So I was thinking of opening a fancy, merlot free wine bar in Ballard. It will be very classy place since it will be full of people from Ballard. Angry hippie can I count you in as one of my customers?

  • RPH March 13, 2013 (12:33 am)

    It’s not the grape, it’s the winemaker. “And we don’t serve (fill in the blank)” is totally “grape-ist” and ignorant. Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it. Just returned from Oregon wine country and every winery had a different style Pinot Noir, and all overpriced. Thank you “Sideways”.

  • sarauni March 13, 2013 (12:34 am)

    1. I think the menu looks great!
    2. I think you should start a marketing company for figuring out how to get so much attention by saying FOUR WORDS
    3. Can’t wait to come in
    4. Bar sounds awesome
    5. Haters gonna hate

  • jack March 13, 2013 (12:40 am)

    Yay! Looking forward to it.. please add some korean flare..a lil kimchi and spice here and there, had some really good korean fusion. Happy hour until 7pm will set you apart from the rest…when i get thru rush hour its 6:30 and living in Alki makes it hard to get home from downtown before 6. Good luck!

  • westseattledood March 13, 2013 (12:41 am)

    A !


  • jack March 13, 2013 (12:44 am)

    Just looked at the menu..looks great…korean chicken wings rock!!!! See ya soon.

  • Sad about ws March 13, 2013 (12:45 am)

    Tools abound in the ws blog. Including myself…

  • HLM March 13, 2013 (12:56 am)

    Lol! You think they are keeping merlot off the menu because they haven’t tried it RPH?! This is Washington, maybe is has been done to death, or maybe, it’s just like the owner said and it’s hard to pair with her cuisine. Bravo Sharon, and to your Chef, be bold.

  • Jason March 13, 2013 (1:08 am)

    @ Westy4life: I don’t think this shows West Seattle is ‘uptight’. Quite the opposite. People are trying to keep it real and were rejecting a comment that seemed uptight and pretentious.

  • D.C. March 13, 2013 (4:53 am)

    “We don’t chase labels, and we don’t serve merlot”
    I cringed at that quote (before reading any comments here) because it really rubbed me the wrong way. When marketing a local business, especially a bar or restaurant, you want to paint a picture where the reader/viewer can visualize a welcoming environement where they fit in perfectly.
    How could anyone think that saying “and we don’t serve X” could come across as anything but casting aspersions on X? It makes me think, “Wow, why would they hate X” then “Damn, would they think less of me for liking X?” and suddenly I am feeling judged and maybe even slightly put on the defensive. Either way, it creates a mental image of the place NOT being someplace I feel welcomed and will fit in.
    Maybe I am just a punk, but like another poster commented, it really did make me want to go in and order merlot on principle.

  • eigenwijs March 13, 2013 (6:30 am)

    Oh the irony of so many people complaining that a restaurant choosing to not serve a particular type of wine is uptight and prententious!!

  • miws March 13, 2013 (7:30 am)

    Is “Bada” branded merchandise going to be available?


    You know, Bada Bling? ;-)





  • howty March 13, 2013 (7:33 am)

    these comments are merlotannoying me…

  • Cjl March 13, 2013 (7:37 am)

    Getting upset about no Merlot = First world problems.

  • Amrakx March 13, 2013 (7:57 am)

    The menu offerings look enticing! I hope the Bada Ramen lives up to expectations. Please no MSG in anything! Also please keep the cilantro in the pico de gayo, optional, as there are a number of us who are allergic to cilantro. How about offering a Miso Black Cod, $, for those of us who will spend some $$$??? Having said that, I am excited to welcome this scratch bistro! It does not fit the cookie cutter Alki fast food mold and that alone will set it apart. Keep the prices reasonable to sustain local regularity. I’m a little leary about a place that fuses so many different Asian cultures under one roof, I know, “fusion” allows that to happen. We sill see what we will see, good luck, we will definitely be there to give you a try!!!

  • shabooey March 13, 2013 (8:05 am)

    Jason the whole thing seemed tongue in cheek to me, like they were winking at the end of each sentence. I don’t think they really believe their beer is saving the world, and the oyster thing… cut them some slack. We should all be happy a new local joint with some personality is going up instead of am Applebees, quiznos, or some other nightmare.

    Secondy, who are we to “reject” an unoffensive statement. Are any of you Merlot farmers? Is West Seattle known for it’s sprawling Merlot Vinyards….. NO. So chill out. They did not insult us as a community. They did not say that anyone who drinks Merlot was classless and not unwelcome at there restaurant they simply said “their wine menu is well balanced and eclectic, they don’t chase labels, and they don’t serve merlot,” which I take to mean that they had a well thought out wine list that does not have many of the usual Seattle suspects on it…. what’s wrong with that?? Too exciting for ya? Your heart can’t take it?

    You want to through the phrase pretentious around perhaps try the person who is getting all bent out of shape over a grape.

    I can not wait to try the RAMEN! Give peace a chance, these people seem awesome. I will see you all on the 20th!

  • RPH March 13, 2013 (8:11 am)

    @HLM – “Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it” is a universal statement. No two wines made from the same grape by different producers, vineyards, vintages, etc. are identical, just
    as no two kids are identical from the same parents, so to malign any wine varietal just ain’t right. There is no definitive “it” in Merlot. And, on another note, Bada Bistro sounds like it just might be an exceptional restaurant. Can’t wait to give “it” a try.

  • Ken March 13, 2013 (8:14 am)

    Guess we aren’t likely to see John Boehner there. That’s a plus in my book!

  • Morekoreanpls March 13, 2013 (9:03 am)

    Best of luck! Please add more Korean dishes. Tired of driving 20 to 30 mins for Korean comfort. Atleast more of the staples like tofu soup, kalibi, and bi bim bap.

  • Last53BusRider March 13, 2013 (9:04 am)

    I don’t understand the obsession with food…..

  • Kayleigh March 13, 2013 (9:15 am)

    I opened this wondering why a new restaurant announcement had 98 comments. I’m less worried about West Seattle becoming pretentious (it already is; just look around) than I am about West Seattle becoming as dumb as this thread.
    Best wishes, Sharon!

  • Chris March 13, 2013 (9:57 am)

    Considering the condition of this planet / country / state / city. We are here debating a wine selection. The undue attention to this article is cause for concern. And here I am adding to the insanity.

  • Mark G March 13, 2013 (10:04 am)

    I truly welcome any new venture that has the promise of great food on Alki. Try it ya might like it.

  • datamuse March 13, 2013 (10:09 am)

    How could anyone think that saying “and we don’t serve X” could come across as anything but casting aspersions on X?
    It came across to me as they don’t serve X.
    Am I not thinking about this too much, or something?
    West Seattle may not be pretentious, but we’re awfully fond of teapot tempests. For heaven’s sake, this post has more comments than the coverage of the surveillance cameras meeting and the microapartments development in the Junction COMBINED. I’m impressed.

    • WSB March 13, 2013 (11:11 am)

      Just got a reminder e-mail that elsewhere on Alki, Salty’s (WSB sponsor) quite coincidentally is sponsoring a murder-mystery dinner that the merlot fans might appreciate, so I can’t help but share it here:

  • beachcomber March 13, 2013 (10:24 am)

    this is bananas…..

  • margaritaville March 13, 2013 (11:33 am)

    This entire thread reads like a Portlandia script.

  • biankat March 13, 2013 (11:34 am)

    ^^Ha! Indeed.

    Stay classy, West Seattle.

  • no March 13, 2013 (12:24 pm)

    HUNGRY !!!!!!!!!!!

  • Giulio Rocco Pellegrini March 13, 2013 (12:42 pm)


    Your concept and the new menu sound fantastic. House-made craft cocktails? Yes, please! I love West Seattle (my family has a restaurant or two here) and I whole-heartedly welcome any establishment that tries to bring something new and fresh to the area. Particularly when the establishment is committed to supporting local producers.

    The effort required to keep a restaurant open in West Seattle is staggering. Please, people of West Seattle, try to put down your guns for a minute and welcome something new from someone who’s already given years of service to the area.

    Best wishes, Sharon! Wishing you much luck and perseverance.


  • Last53BusRider March 13, 2013 (12:49 pm)

    Would you care to look at the whine list? ;)

  • NotMe March 13, 2013 (1:04 pm)

    Just what we needed… a Pan Asian bistro (without Merlot). West Seattle is a tough crowd to please. Not too many eateries survive here for the long term. Particularly on Alki.

  • Guy March 13, 2013 (1:16 pm)

    I’m pretty excited for this new place! Alki Cafe is great, so I’m guessing this place will be too. Thanks for opening a new spot on Alki. Please have a cheap beer on the menu.

  • helridge March 13, 2013 (1:27 pm)

    Probably no one would have even noticed the lack of Merlot on the menu if the owner hadn’t made such a pretentious comment.

  • Ian March 13, 2013 (1:55 pm)

    Oh gawd! Someone call the police! We got a badass ova here not serving merlot! What are we going to do without it??? Oh yeah, go to TJ’s and get a bottle of terrible wine, call it good, and drink it in a night while complaining until ears fall off about some new “pretentious” restaurant on Alki. Forget that most bars don’t serve Rainier on tap, these guys don’t serve merlot! Get over it, you will all be eating there anyway. Whine, whine, whine, have you tried their …? Its delicious

  • Carl K. March 13, 2013 (3:35 pm)

    Perhaps we can bring in our own bottles of merlot since it is not on their wine list. What is the corkage fee?

  • dhg March 13, 2013 (4:47 pm)

    D.C. explains the issue eloquently. I think the people here who think this is bashing a new business are off-base. The issue was raised because it is startling to see that comment in the press release. It does not set the right tone. I saw Sideways but I don’t remember that line. Also, if you want to emphasize the local goodness, that would include one of the varietals that has done so well in the state, which is the Merlot. So, it fails on two counts. That is not to say that this restaurant won’t be a great addition to Alki. It is only a desire to alert the owners that obscure movie quotes that bash local wines is not a smart move.

  • Jill March 13, 2013 (5:12 pm)

    Ha ha, I can’t wait to go there knowing my experience won’t be marred by all if the incessant whiners and self-important people who choose to take the owners’ choice as a comment about YOU! Good god.

  • Eric March 13, 2013 (5:20 pm)

    A look at the menu and thematic focus is a nice safe bet. It fits in with Alki’s popular setting for fish-and-chips and familiar sports bar bites offered at places like at Celtic Swell and Duke’s. It also mixes it up a bit with Pan-Pacific flair with offerings like satays and ramen, which are fine, but doesn’t travel too far from many diners comfort zones.

    However, I think a Korean dining menu would be very appropriate for a beach side atmosphere. Grilled mackerel, cod fish stews and kimchi hot pots would all beckon on damp afternoons and summer weekend days. It would also save some travel time down to Federal Way for a good Korean lunch or dinner, and make Alki Beach a go-to destination closer to home. Serve a dish such as these with a crisp soju or Korean lager, and you have a winner.

  • dawsonct March 13, 2013 (7:34 pm)

    Wondering how it is that having and expressing an opinion on this subject precludes any ability to simultaneously have an opinion on a much more serious subject.
    Maybe those reminding us that this is a “first-world problem” should take a break and chew some gum. Don’t you dare mix your activities, though.

  • jack March 13, 2013 (8:14 pm)

    Drove by, decor looks good and the menu looks delish. Fingers crossed for a solid happy hour! Will be there for the grand opening.

  • Susan March 13, 2013 (9:11 pm)

    Menu looks like something from a Gordon Ramsay restaurant. I’ll pass..

  • Marieka Freestar March 13, 2013 (9:11 pm)

    ¡Good Luck John & Sharon! and Thank You for all the effort, time, attention to detail and desire to bring to our beach community something special. It looks beautiful. I truly look forward to stepping in your doors and enjoying the entire experience!

  • Curtis March 13, 2013 (10:37 pm)

    Funny thing I was just checking back to see if anyone else took the merlot comment the way I did. Ha! looks like I’m not the only one put off.

  • D.C. March 14, 2013 (3:06 am)

    It came across to me as they don’t serve X. Am I not thinking about this too much, or something?

    Not to beat a dead horse, but it saddens me that thoughtful discourse is shunned and dismissed as whining. You certainly aren’t thinking about it too much.
    Ever hear of an elevator pitch? You only have a short time to get my attention and sell me on your idea, whatever it is. So you need to make everything count. In the case of this new establishment, they have about two paragraphs to convey to me the most important information I should know about their new place.
    Had I walked in there unknowingly and tried to order Merlot, the only outcome would be me drinking a Cab or a Pinot instead. I never would have thought twice about it.
    But instead, with their precious two paragraphs of mindshare they had to sell me and everyone else on their establishment, they elected to point out that they do not serve merlot. A little bell goes off in my head that says, “Hmm, this must be important for some reason, I wonder why?” The don’t serve waffles, but they didn’t mention that. They don’t serve cheeseburgers, but they didn’t mention that either.
    If you have 8 sentences to tell me the 8 most important things I should know about your new Bistro and you decide to waste one of them to tell me what you do NOT serve, I’m going to weight that statement accordingly and form my initial opinion based on it. Just like many people in this thread here did.

  • RPH March 14, 2013 (6:18 am)

    Thanks, D.C., for making the most sense out of all this captivating discussion, which is obviously more about the comments than the restaurant. I applaud your clarity. For me, it underscores the pomposity of wine industry marketing, and the suckers that succumb to it. It’s grape juice, people!

  • RPH March 14, 2013 (7:07 am)

    And, just for the record, the prized wine that the character, Miles, drank at the end of “Sideways” was, ironically, not Pinot Noir. It was a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc, a Bordeaux comprised of 57% Cabernet Franc, 40% MERLOT, 3% Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Bob H March 14, 2013 (7:07 am)

    I’d like to see a good sandwich shop on Alki. Maybe a bakery…

  • Jason March 14, 2013 (8:19 am)

    Well said D.C. Many people keep trying to relate this back to ‘Sideways’ and claim that it is a joke the we either don’t get or are missing that it is intended as a joke. The fact is that when the comments first began the owner, Sharon, responded and said that the comment was intended as a reflection of their philosophy. Her quote: “We were trying to express the effort we put into pairing our wine and food selection by letting you know that Merlot was not going to be there, but some new tastey matches were available instead. We were going for a unique experience when we said we don’t serve Merlot.”
    So, put the reference to “Sideways” to bed because it is not, per the owner, a joke or tongue in cheek. If it were, she had the opportunity to say “hey, it was a joke!” But she didn’t, she confirmed it was serious. As D.C. pointed out, as I did earlier, the fact that they chose to single out one item they will not serve out of principle comes off as stuffy. Again, nobody would care, or perhaps even notice, if Merlot were simply left off the menu. But choosing to include the statement in their brief release appears to have been in an attempt to make a statement of some sort. The movie successfully made laugh out loud fun of an existing snobbery surrounding Merlot. I had many friends that, after watching the movie, became too good for Merlot. They were no more knowledgeable about wine than before, but they learned that ‘sophisticated’ people frown upon Merlot so they thought it made them more ‘hip’ to reject a wine they were happy to drink just a day before. The Movie did not create the pretentious attitude about the wine, they used it for laughs, lampooned it, and at the same time brought it to people’s attention. The owners’ statement, and re-statement, seems to be a wink at the “we know Merlot is pedestrian” crowd rather than an homage to the fun poked at that crowd in the movie.
    On a personal note, my mom’s favorite wine is Merlot. I prefer Cabernet. When we go out to dinner, and she loves to support local (West Seattle) restaurants and does often, if a Merlot isn’t available she doesn’t blink an eye. She simply asks for a suggestion. However, if she knew a restaurant made a point of saying they don’t serve Merlot it would make her feel out of place and uncomfortable. Not what you want your customers to feel. Obviously many other drinks you will serve (beer, cocktails) won’t pair well with your menu so please don’t claim that excluding Merlot, and using that fact in promoting your restaurant, is for that reason. It’s not genuine.
    It might not seem like it, but I really hope Sharon and her team succeed. This sounds like a great menu and a terrific addition to Alki. I suggest making lemonade out of lemons and make fun of this great publicity. How about inviting a high end Washington wine maker to create a wine maker’s dinner with your awesome chef, creating special dishes for Merlot pairings. Also, maybe it would be fun to have ‘Sideways’ projected on a wall (without sound) during early and late happy hour. I think the West Seattle crowd would appreciate the humor.

  • wizwiser March 14, 2013 (8:39 am)

    It amazes me that everyone continues to try to make sense of this comment about merlot. Why would they say such a thing about merlot. What is going on!!! Does no one understand that the joke is on us, this restaurant announcement has more comments than any thing else on the WSB, and if they had not have put in a few little jib jabs here and there it would have just gotten lost in the wash like all the other post and announcements on here. Sharon actually posted an announcement with some attitude that got the community talking about her restaurant and looking at her menu, which looks damn tasty. Have we never seen a television add, to we not understand advertising after being subjected to it for this long. I’m intrigued,and I am going to go check them out. Getting upset over this restaurant announcement is akin to getting upset over any other commercial, you fell for it.

  • Happiness March 14, 2013 (8:45 am)

    I appreciate D.C.’s thoughtful summary, and dawsonct’s comment as well.

  • datamuse March 14, 2013 (1:16 pm)

    As a matter of fact, D.C., I have heard of an elevator pitch. Part of my job involves listening to them. But I only have so much discourse in me on any given day, and I’m afraid I’d used it all up on other things.
    But thanks for the veiled insult anyway! Have a nice day.

  • hipster! March 14, 2013 (1:48 pm)

    So glad to see that beautiful eloquent writing still exists (homage to DC). Very refreshing.

  • Jack March 14, 2013 (8:28 pm)

    Sharon is a marketing genius. Hundreds of people are now aware. Well played Ms. Bang, well played indeed. See ya on grand opening! Korean Chicken Wings FTW.

  • anomie25 March 16, 2013 (5:16 pm)

    The menu looks great–nicely done on the website! But since the owner made such a point with her comments about wines, you’d think they would post the wine list (even a sample or what they have in development) on the website so we can judge for ourselves how “well balanced and eclectic” it really is for our taste.

  • pjmanley March 18, 2013 (4:24 pm)

    I find this thread hilariously entertaining, with plenty of irony, hypocrisy, silliness, pretentiousness, seriousness, and of course, drama. All make for good humor and satire. Good luck to Ms. Bang & all, but against the backdrop of the Alki Tavern shutting down around the same time, I’m a little sad that we’re on our way toward less diversity and character in West Seattle. Some days I want a steak at Jak’s or high-end food somewhere else, while other days, I want a basic omelette or cheap tacos and beer at the Alki in torn jeans without showering first. I’d like to have A through Z over here, but I think we’re on our way toward something more M through P. It won’t be long before suits and bikers have no place to commingle anymore, and I’m going to miss that. All the Sideways references pretty much confirm my fears.

  • sharon bang March 19, 2013 (3:12 pm)

    Hello West Seattle,

    We are opening tomorrow at 5pm, and all the menu items are posted on our website, http://www.badabistro.com. Hope to see many of you this week, and thank you for all the support!!!

  • Vinsanity March 20, 2013 (10:25 am)

    As a NW native I can confirm that under every rock in Seattle is a controversy. Provincial is the byword. If you like Merlot and Sophistication, try Vancouver BC.

  • Rin March 21, 2013 (5:55 pm)

    Sharon-so excited you are coming to alki, it is a much needed addition. Disregard all the crazy comments. A little pretention is need on alki. We have been waiting for some decent food. You negative people need to seriously lighten up…or just stick with bamboo.

  • Pete March 30, 2013 (9:10 pm)

    Great food and staff. Will be returning often.
    Recommend the Calamari and the Bada Ramen.

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