“West Seattle: We Have That!” – but will we always?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Earlier this year, WSB started a series of stories about independent local businesses and why they matter more to a community like ours than you might realize. Then, the West Seattle: We Have That” campaign launched at midsummer. Starting today, WSB will continue publishing the series – and inviting you into the conversation. Many of the reports, starting with this one, will be underwritten by the West Seattle Junction Association, but not as ads – it’s their contribution to an issue of importance from Alki to Westwood, Fauntleroy to Highland Park, and all over WS.

By Keith Creighton
Special to West Seattle Blog

Demolition is under way on the southeast corner of Alaska Avenue, California Avenue SW, and 42nd Avenue SW, on properties that were once anchor points of the West Seattle Junction. While the buildings have been empty for more than a year and life has continued as normal, many of us have taken comfort in knowing interesting restaurants and shops will return to the corner someday.

But what if they didn’t return?

Two-dozen other boutiques still line The Junction. For some West Seattleites, these stores are rich with treasures: Home décor to fashion, shoes, eyewear, music, wine, and beer, pet supplies and more. Store regulars know the shop owners and clerks by name and enjoy the personalized service only stores like these can provide.

For a greater percentage of area residents, West Seattle shop windows are just eye candy, gazed upon as we stroll the avenue and duck into our favorite restaurants. Window shopping is a difficult task to monetize, so the futures of many of these stores might be passing them by as well.

Do you “Buy Local” in West Seattle – not just The Junction, but other areas as well?

Please share your story in the comments section below, including: If you prefer to shop at malls or online, would you miss West Seattle’s locally owned stores if they went away?

The discussion isn’t merely about supporting a few dozen retailers. It’s about preserving the way of life that sets West Seattle apart from other corners of King County.

To spark retail support from Alki to Endolyne and beyond, the West Seattle Junction Association launched “West Seattle: We Have That” in partnership with a coalition of local retailers and the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce.

“Independent retailers and businesses need to feel the love and patronage of the community to keep their doors open and make West Seattle feel like West Seattle,” says Susan Melrose, director of the Junction Association. “This campaign sheds light on the robust selection of affordable goods and services that can be found every day on this side of the bridge.”

In the coming weeks, these reports will take a closer look at the impact locally owned stores have on West Seattle’s financial future, real estate values, environment, schools and non-profits and our overall quality of life. And if you think you know everything West Seattle businesses have to offer – you might see cause to think twice. So stay tuned, and let us know what you think.

Keith Creighton is a West Seattle-based writer.

61 Replies to ""West Seattle: We Have That!" - but will we always? "

  • E October 13, 2013 (4:45 pm)

    I just got home from a trip to buy a couple household items at the Junction True Value. I love being able to shop locally. For me it’s a lifestyle perk of living in a city.

  • Kgdlg October 13, 2013 (4:53 pm)

    I really appreciate this focus here. Too often, I think we blame the loss of certain stores just on redevelopment, when in reality, we all control a potent weapon when it comes to keeping local businesses – our pocketbooks.

    I will be the first to admit (and take the body blows here) that there are some things Target is my go-to for (diapers, little random non-toy kid items like wipes, socks, etc)

    But here are the things we try to always buy local in the junction: kids toys (curious kidstuff is the best and they wrap for free!!!) and clothes (again and again is great for consignment clothes and shoes), pet stuff (love pet elements they special order for us and keep it stocked so we never run out of dog food), coffee (we try to buy beans at ladro when we can), tires (love les schwab and am about to get new tires there), bike accessories (too bad Aaron’s moved farther from us), picture frames and cards (NW frame), music (easy street, although fewer and fewer of my friends have CD players)…

    The list could go on. We could get almost all of these items at Target but we choose not too, and often pay more, because we view this as an investment in our community and jobs. We are by no means perfect – like I said, there are some things we go big box for. And honestly, we have the privilege to make these choices as a dual income household.

    What I wish is for everyone who can, try to make the “local” choice at least “most” of the time. There will always be some items that feel so much more expensive local to me (new kids shoes, for example, I can only bring myself to spend 50 bucks on new shoes for my 3 yr old kid once in a blue moon) but even this is better than nothing.

    West Seattle is literally great because of its business districts, lets keep it this way.

  • Fire Ball October 13, 2013 (5:06 pm)

    West Seattle may have everything…but nowhere to park your car. It’s looking more like Ballard everyday.
    Any and all my comments are under the First Amendment.

  • Kgdlg October 13, 2013 (5:26 pm)

    Per my comment above, I shop in the junction all the time. And I cannot remember the last time I had trouble finding parking. For goodness sake, there are at least three very large FREE lots for cars on either side of the district.

  • carole October 13, 2013 (5:41 pm)

    I purchased several large appliances from Wiseman’s this summer. Service was fabulous and prices were the same or less than the big box stores. I like True Value, Curious Kidstuff, all the shops from Genesee to Edmunds, farther south the nursery and yarn shop, and get my pedis from Rose. And of course the area restaurants are great.

  • Jeanine October 13, 2013 (5:44 pm)

    Agree with Kgdlg about parking. Unless it’s Sunday morning and the farmers market is going on, I have always spent less time looking for parking here in west Seattle than any other part of the city. That may change after all of the new apartment buildings have filled, but still…. better than cap hill or ballard

  • Molly October 13, 2013 (5:45 pm)

    Yes for local stores! Carmilia’s boutique is my favorite – they have amazing taste, the customer service is warm and friendly and never pushy, the clothes are lovely and surprisingly comfortable, you can find more here in 10 minutes than 3 hours at the mall, and many of their goods are made in America! I would like to see more of our local retailers providing made in the USA products, (and I’m willing to pay more). On a different note, I’m fairly involved in politics, and again and again I see that small business owners tend to advocate for policies that will benefit our community in the long run – as a small business owner you feel every shift in the tides of the local economy, and it makes you very invested in the short and long term effects of decisions on issues like transit, taxes, education and employment opportunities. (big developers and national chains often push for policies that benefit them, but not necessarily the community they intend to do business in).

  • NW October 13, 2013 (5:47 pm)

    I am glad to see the junction is a lot cleaner than I have seen in the past that defineatley makes it more inviting to shop there the one distinct corner ,so popular to the junction, is unfortunately still the least clean nw corner of Alaska and California. Come on guys get out there with a broom. I just got back from a trip to Mexico and each morning you could see the retailer owners or employees sweeping and washing out front.

  • valvashon October 13, 2013 (5:50 pm)

    In the past week I have bought grocery items at Great Harvest Bread Company and spent money on services at The Locksmith in the Admiral Junction. My wife bought two kids birthday presents at Curious Kidstuff. Plan on getting some CD’s at Easy Street this week after I put my CD Club card in the wallet. Like the above poster said, Target and the like for sundries, stores in the Junction for the good stuff.

  • Kgdlg October 13, 2013 (6:03 pm)

    My hope is that the new buildings will bring more walkers than drivers to the junction. However, I am really glad to see Transport Coaliton forming, as I think the bridge will be impacted more than anything else by new units being added. The rapid ride is already to the gills!

  • trickycoolj October 13, 2013 (6:15 pm)

    I was just pondering this morning where in West Seattle can I find a decent selection of beauty products. Skin care, makeup, hair products etc. I have two things to return to Sephora right now but there isn’t even a Clinique counter anywhere in WS that I know of. Even the Ave in the U-district has a Clinique counter tucked away in the bookstore. I’ve tried all 3 Bartell’s in WS and WC and none of them has the beauty section that compares to the UVillage Bartell’s. I’ve been struggling to adapt and change my skin care routine as I approach 30 and I’m facing new skin challenges and suddenly my old products are too harsh. But I have to hop from drug store to drug store and our small Target to find the items I have researched online.

    I browsed the junction this afternoon, grabbed some flowers at the market, looked at lovely shoes in hopes I might find my dream winter work shoes locally but nothing really fit my needs or budget despite having very cute things. I got several birthday cards at Click (so hilarious!) but as I walked by all the other store fronts they all screamed gifts for my girlfriends and mom not, every day household shopping. So I hopped over to True Value and got my grass seeds and heaps of advice on overseeing and weed control products and made my way home to clean up my lawn.

    Maybe it’s because I grew up in the suburbs of Pierce and Thurston counties, or because I spent 5 years living across the freeway from Northgate Mall but I miss brewing able to swing by Ulta or Nordstrom. Since moving to West Seattle, my online shopping has increased exponentially.

  • Men who obey cats October 13, 2013 (6:19 pm)

    I do at least 99% my food shopping and eating in the Junction. Target for odd ball stuff I cant get nearby. Sears a couple times a year. Oh yah and Amazon for stuff I cant find or want to pay triple price for. Unless I’m doing a large remodel or something like that I walk up the hill to True Value.
    I’ve lived in areas where I had to do monthly and weekly shopping by car but now I get off the bus and hit the bakery and grocery stores before walking home. I love my WS lifestyle. I hear of the parking problems but think the people that are complaining are just trying to park right in front of the stores their trying to shop at.

  • ANW October 13, 2013 (6:32 pm)

    The Sneakery has been our go-to place for birthday gifts for my preteen daughter’s friends–socks and shoelaces are the best! Zamboanga is also good for gifts. We can always find something special for friends and ourselves at Capers, Click, and NW Art and Frame. Local is where it’s at!

  • transplantella October 13, 2013 (6:36 pm)

    We don’t have a car so I do nearly all of my shopping in west Seattle.


    #1-True Value. Good for all occasions, and the staff is fab. Love this store.

    Frequent the natural pet food store, love the beauty supply with all the delicious hair products, been to the toy store and the dry cleaners and the bakery. I shop at QFC and Trader Joe’s and the vegetable place.

    The liquor store and smoke shops too.


    Sadly we don’t eat in the Junction often as we find it very high priced and the food fairly pedestrian. But that’s true in most of the rest of Seattle as well.

  • SaraS October 13, 2013 (6:45 pm)

    Regarding clothes shopping: I’m 29 and think of myself as fashionable, or at least I love to shop for clothes. I think this department is really lacking in West Seattle.

    I’ve gone to the stores, and I see why a place like Sweetie closed. The clothes are overpriced for the value ($42 for basically a t-shirt? etc.) and in many cases not trendy. The fabrics and prints aren’t cute or flattering.

    And it’s not that it can’t be done: go to a boutique like Meadow in Queen Anne. She purchases cute, unique clothing and household items for her store, it’s comfortable and relaxed to shop in, and they are AFFORDABLE and REASONABLE prices. I will drive out of my way to shop there, but I still shop online most of the time.

  • Kma October 13, 2013 (6:46 pm)

    I like shops like Click!, NW Art & Frame and Capers. I always buy gifts from them. But these shops have unique items. If, say, a camera store opened here there’s little chance it could compete with Internet prices.

    I was saddened to see Subway open on Alki…it’s only a matter of time ’till other chains move in. Hope that doesn’t happen in the junction.

  • Fregirl October 13, 2013 (6:48 pm)

    Just stocked up at the junction pet store today, bought a books at one of the two awesome used bookstores we frequent often, bought some delicious dinner items at the new butcher in the old bakery space and had coffee at hot wire this morning. Oh, and dropped by the local business wedding expo and got lots of great ideas. Love West Seattle!

  • Susan October 13, 2013 (6:52 pm)

    Today I shopped the West Seattle Farmer’s Market, Junction True Value, and Clementine Shoes. My friend and I ate lunch at Fiddlehead Cafe (have the BLT on the freshly baked biscuit) and stopped in Quadrato, a new pizza/sandwich/salad place right next to the Fiddlehead. My friend bought salmon at the fish market. And I find the prices at the Junction restaurants comparable to other Seattle restaurants.

  • Karin October 13, 2013 (6:52 pm)

    Would love to be able to not have to leave our little island aka WS; but the sad truth is, that there are no cute Boutique clothing stores for neither women, male or kids. Besides that we make do with All of our shopping needs here in WS. We stay loyal to our community and would love to even spend more money here if the opportunity arises-;

  • Susan October 13, 2013 (6:58 pm)

    Try Pharmaca for incredible skin care products and cosmetics. They have an aesthetician on staff.

  • sc October 13, 2013 (7:01 pm)

    My husband and I enjoy eating at several restaurants in West Seattle. High Strike Grill, Spiro’s, Angelina’s, Kyrokos and Lee’s Asian to name a few. And the best part is the short drive home!

  • Thunder Road Guitars October 13, 2013 (7:32 pm)

    As a small business owner and someone who has spent my entire life here I believe we are really lucky to live in a community with such a large variety of locally owned businesses. The more the better.

  • Lura Ercolano October 13, 2013 (7:33 pm)

    No clothes?

    Half of my wardrobe is from Zamboanga. And accessories from Vain.

  • Sonoma October 13, 2013 (7:40 pm)

    I agree with Susan. Pharamaca is fantastic for skin-care products. The brands they carry are far superior to Clinique or anything you’ll find at department stores. Plus the on-site aestheticians aren’t all about earning commissions or upselling.

  • Krystal Kelley October 13, 2013 (7:56 pm)

    As a newer small business owner I. West seattle and a supporter of the arts, I was sad to see Alki Arts close, but please remember Twilight in the Junction and us, Mind Unwind Art in Admiral who support all out local artists that are very alienated and make great gifts when thinking about holiday shopping.

  • Anne October 13, 2013 (8:14 pm)

    Second the rave for Zamboanga- but more clothing stores- one or two anyway would be great. To Mr. Creighton- how do we know interesting shops & restaurants will return to that corner. Perhaps whatever goes there will be more interesting than what has been torn down- but really all we hear with these new builds is ” retail on the ground floor” like what???
    To Kgdlg- I guess then that those West Seattlites that aren’t within walking distance- or physically have a hard time walking – should just go elsewhere?? There are always those commenting that they have NO TROUBLE PARKING in WS- well there are plenty that do. The Junction is the heart of the WHOLE WS community- not just for those that live within a few blocks N-S-E-W!

  • Desirae October 13, 2013 (8:15 pm)

    I love West Seattle and I am proud to call this part of the city my home as well as a great place to shop. As a local interior designer I have made it a point to find as many local vendors as possible when doing projects. I consider the area down on 1st and close to the Design Center a part of my local research and places to go, as well as West Seattle (a “usually” short trek off the bridge) and I have found many local artisans doing wonderful things for the design community. It’s growing and my hope is to find many more local places to resource items for my projects: furniture, upholstery, fabrics, art, lighting and handmade custom pieces you can’t find anywhere else. In fact, if you are a local vendor I would love to add you to my list and come check out your work-you can email me at: dw.moidesigns@gmail.com
    This is a great discussion!

  • Only 11 weeks to shop! October 13, 2013 (8:28 pm)

    West Seattle isn’t just about retail stuff to buy. It is also about services.

    Anybody out there a certified, devoted Iyengar Yoga teacher with a real hardwood studio?

    We need a real Iyengar teacher and studio here. The only others are in the Roosevelt District and Shoreline.

    Bring your asanas. We will come.

  • Ducky October 13, 2013 (8:36 pm)

    I love West Seattle’s eclectic mix of businesses, and I’ll gladly shop here over going to a mall any day. And Alaska Junction even has a new local bicycle shop–yay! Shopping local is about so much more than finding the cheapest price around; it’s about supporting our community and interacting with our neighbors, it’s about appreciating the uniqueness of West Seattle and wanting to perpetuate that. It’s worth it to me to sometimes pay a little more, than to see our lovely ‘hood taken over by the chain store(front)s of Anytown, USA.

  • Kgdlg October 13, 2013 (8:45 pm)

    Anne: I don’t live within walking distance of the junction. All I was saying was that I drive there all the time and never have a problem finding parking. We have more ample free parking than any other business district in the City.

  • SS October 13, 2013 (9:18 pm)

    Pegasus Books is my favorite place in West Seattle, or anywhere in the city for that matter. Tons of selection and wonderful staff. Easy Street has a great music selection as well.
    I have never had to park more than a block away from the Junction, even on Sundays during the farmer’s market.
    I rarely leave West Seattle except to work, and getting to know our local stores and restaurants is one of the things I love about living here.

  • Belles October 13, 2013 (9:46 pm)

    I love W. Seattle, and I frequent the grocery stores, kid stores, and restaurants quite frequently. I do wish, however, that there were more storefronts that catered to a younger crowd and/or different interests. A perfect example would be Vain Salon: although they are of course a hair salon, they also offer really trendy jewelry and accessories that you can’t really find at any other boutique in W. Seattle. It seems that the stores in the Junction are a direct reflection if the main/target demographic of this area, and although I understand wanting to support the current vendors who’ve been based out of this area for years, it would be nice to see a little more diversity. Being a late-20-something myself, diversity like this would definitely prompt me to shop local a lot more frequently.

  • Belles October 13, 2013 (10:03 pm)

    I love West Seattle, and I frequent the grocery stores, kid stores, and restaurants quite frequently. I do wish, however, that there were more storefronts that catered to a younger crowd and/or different interests. A perfect example would be Vain Salon: although they are of course a hair salon, they also offer really trendy jewelry and accessories that you can’t find at any other boutique in W. Seattle (I also shop at their Downtown Seattle location since my boyfriend gets his hair cut there). Although I understand the need and importance of supporting the current local businesses, it would be nice to see a little more diversity. Being a late-20-something myself, storefronts that also catered more specifically to my age group would definitely prompt me to shop local a lot more often.

  • ttt October 13, 2013 (10:10 pm)

    I only leave WS to visit friends outside of WS and go to the Dr. I always buy all my gifts from the junction stores and amazon if I can’t find what I am looking for. I’m really hoping the new retail spaces in these new giant buildings will be interesting stores and not mass marketed, strip mall retail…

  • cj October 13, 2013 (10:34 pm)

    We shop at the Junction and downtown at the Pike Street Market alternating weekends. West Seattle has been a very special place for me the 12 years Ive been here so it would break my heart to see its homey personal atmosphere disappear and be replaced by big franchise and sun blocking tall shoebox living/shopping. It may be an economic dream for the promoters and contractor owners living far away in a much higher income bracket but I don’t like it being imposed on us down here. I don’t think whats coming in here is diversity, I think its what might be mowing diversity down.

  • Jack Carson October 13, 2013 (10:51 pm)

    We shop at the Junction two or three times a week and have never spent more than a few minutes looking for parking. At the times we have had to park down the block from a store or restaurant it is only about a half a block or so.

  • trickycoolj October 13, 2013 (10:59 pm)

    Second the comments about needing more things for late 20-somethings. I love gift shopping in the junction, but there isn’t much for me clothing wise to consider work or age appropriate as I try to climb the corporate ladder. Zamboanga has super cool jewelry that I have gotten compliments on as far away as Disney World, but their clothes are not for my age group. I grab stuff locally as much as I can, unique gifts, groceries, beverages, dining out, I make my friends all visit here for dining out because we have such amazing options. Parking is a breeze as long as it’s not Friday dinner hour or a member of Pearl Jam playing at Easy Street (oops good thing my dad’s wife was patient and had a handicap sticker for her illness). But it definitely falls short for the late-twenty something single crowd style and schedule wise. Last week I tried 3 times to visit the shoe stores after work but if I get off at 5 or 5:30 there is no way I can get to the Junction by 6 or 7. I’ve longingly looked in your windows walking off a great dinner or happy hour thinking gee, don’t you want my money? Easy Street does. I’ve bought albums cruising through the 2nd floor with after dinner coffee in hand and I don’t even have a record player. The after dinner crowd is easy money.

    It’s important to remember that there is a younger non-family element attracted to West Seattle. We’re done partying, but we don’t have spouse or child obligations in the evening and there’s lots of apartments that are going to attract more of us, it would be wise to consider this demographic as the Junction continues to evolve in the future.

  • alki forever October 14, 2013 (12:49 am)

    The Junction would be a better place without any of those bars..

  • JoB October 14, 2013 (7:02 am)

    parking for the handicapped is not plentiful in the junction. if it was, i would shop there more often.

  • LBJ October 14, 2013 (7:13 am)

    For almost 40 years my mother and I have our family motto, “If you can’t find it in West Seattle, you don’t need it.” This has been proven true repeatedly over the years.
    Even now, my 70+ year old mother, who hates to drive, it still content and lives by our motto.
    Change is inevitable, but it isn’t always bad.

  • Mr Elliott October 14, 2013 (7:28 am)

    I love Sweet Anthem. Meredith is creating a custom fragrance for me and I don’t know of any other place in Seattle that can provide a similar service.

    I wish WS stores carried more men’s shoes. Edie’s is a nice shop but it doesn’t always offer what I’m looking for. To echo other folks’ comments, I would gladly spend more money in the Junction if there were stores that catered to clothing made in the USA.

    I appreciate the local stores for home décor but our tastes aren’t whimsical, antique or shabby-chic. I would love to see a store that sells modern furniture but I suspect the client base isn’t strong enough to WS to support such efforts.

  • muralgirl October 14, 2013 (7:49 am)

    My husband and I are late-20-somethings-early-30-somethings with no kids yet also no desire to party, and we love living right off the Junction. We don’t have a TV, so we do enjoy going someplace to watch football games (really the only thing we miss about not having a TV…), however now that the Rocksport is gone we go a little farther away to The Bridge. Not a long walk, but if it were raining sideways we would likely opt to drive. We like it, but I will never forget growing up going to the Rocksport with friends and family for big games. An actual sports bar with a menu we can eat as well as good drink selection is the only thing missing from the Junction in my opinion.

    Sure I’ll head to Westwood Village for a Target run once in a while, but Bartell’s has and always will be my go-to for all the basics…and now that I’m in the middle of West Seattle, Pharmaca, Next to Nature, True Value, JR Henry, etc are great alternatives to me driving all the way to Target and fighting with that parking lot.

    We walk and use public transportation whenever we can; although we do have two cars for the purpose of getting us both to work – Burien and Bellevue. I think with the expansion of multiple-family residences in West Seattle, the absolute most important thing will be to refine public transportation to meet the population demand. I know this is a controversial topic, and as someone who grew up in the area I do remember how it used to be and have great memories of a time when it was a smaller community in terms of population. However, growth will come in urban areas…I would rather see it happen than see everything shut down like in Detroit, to be quite honest.

    On the topic of local businesses being driven out of the area due to more residential housing…economically, they can’t survive without a growing population to demand their products and services. A lot of us window-shop more often than not, and a larger population of people who need things will help support these small local businesses. I am concerned with the idea that a CVS or whatever has been suggested on Fauntleroy where two great local businesses currently exist…we have two Bartell’s stores, Pharmaca, two Safeways and QFC already (and Walgreen’s at Westwood) – what is not there that a CVS would satisfy? Nothing. Whole Foods across the street from Trader Joe’s, on the other hand…not something I’m worried about. I personally enjoy the farmer’s market and PCC far too much to be willing to walk into Whole Foods and be judged by patrons and employees, just like at the one in Bellevue. No thanks.

    Sorry this has been long, and thanks for reading if you still are. My point is that whether we are glad or angry to see the population of West Seattle grow by way of apartments and condos and relatively young professionals, it’s happening. I think the important thing is to make sure we keep the local businesses that exist here, support the new ones coming into the first floors of the new buildings, and make sure they will stick around for much longer. And by doing so, hopefully we are fostering that sentiment with new residents who will move into the area, so that they too will enjoy our local businesses and help them survive.

  • Second Gear Sports October 14, 2013 (7:59 am)

    My husband and I opened a business in West Seattle because we believe so heartily in the loyalty of the community that we’ve loved and patronized as residents for the past 10 years. When we started our hunt for commercial space (very hard to find!) this summer and learned about rent, we saw West Seattle in a very different way. We feel even more grateful for and inspired by our fellow business owners. That said, in the five weeks we’ve been open, we feel incredibly supported and welcomed by everyone.

  • Kate McMullen October 14, 2013 (8:02 am)

    Just yesterday, my husband and I went in search for a new helmet for him. West Seattle Cyclery didn’t open til noon and has a spendy vibe but he got a great helmet for $40, max he was hoping to spend, 50 ft. from our apt.

    We were all set on bussing to Target b/c we knew they’d have one but I’d urge everyone to try and shop local 1st before turning online, etc. You may be surprised what you find!

  • muralgirl October 14, 2013 (8:08 am)

    Another quick little note: we love the WSB and the sense of community (albeit digital…) that is here on the blog. For the most part, people are civil here and this is a good forum for discussion that gets a lot of different opinions shared.

    We just moved back to the area after being gone (far, far away) for a few years, and where we were living had NOTHING like this sense of community, whether digital in the form of the blog, or physical in the form of local businesses and activities. Chain stores and restaurants, strip malls galore, HUGE expanses of parking lots, cinderblock walls between houses, major lack of useful public transportation…so we have it pretty good here in West Seattle. We may have more development coming in these days, but at least we’re not looking at miles of parking lots on street level, at least we can look over our fences to talk to our neighbors, and hop one of several buses heading straight downtown, and know our shopkeepers and baristas and servers in restaurants. And still let kids walk or ride their bikes to school, and go to the closest park or beach or walking trail (which is SO CLOSE no matter where you are in West Seattle!) at least every week. There is something to be said for all of that, regardless of the number of apartment buildings.

    • WSB October 14, 2013 (8:48 am)

      Welcome back to West Seattle, Muralgirl! – TR

  • Anne October 14, 2013 (10:49 am)

    Kdgld- get your point- get mine please. For as many that say they have no problem finding a place to park- many others DO. That’s all I’m saying. I have lived in WS all my life- over 60 years. Have ALWAYS shopped locally first- & most times can find a place to park. But I also can shop off hours- which makes it a bit easier for me. Have also on many occasions have not been able to park– so I just give up. I would love to have more shops & restaurants in the Junction- that cater to a variety of ages- but without better parking availability the Junction will just be one big mall- for those that live within walking distance. Now — for me– that would be very sad.

  • anonyme October 14, 2013 (11:11 am)

    We shop regularly at Tru Value, Next to Nature, PCC, West Seattle Nursery, Capers (although I wish they had more affordable furniture options, as well as more practical utility items). Eat often at Lee’s, Chaco Canyon, Elliot Bay Brewery, Bang Bar, etc. I agree with CJ about not wanting to lose the WS vibe to mainstream corporate retail. Even though I’m 60+, I would like to see more young boutiques like the ones on QA and in old Ballard. I do shop at Lucca in Ballard and KOBO in the I.D., but those shops help those neighborhoods retain their OWN flavor.

    I usually take the bus to the Junction, but when driving have never had a problem parking.

  • Kayleigh October 14, 2013 (11:14 am)

    Thank you for the reminder about supporting local WSEA services and stores.
    We ALWAYS buy CDs at Easy Street, nowhere else, though we buy only a handful a year. Just bought a new handbag at NW Art & Frame; they are great for unusual gifts as well. Love Bakery Nouveau, Great Harvest, Zeek’s, and Elliott Bay. Rent my snowshoes every year at Mountain to Sound–super nice guys, tons of gear, affordable. My dentist, doctor, and massage therapists are all here in WSEA.

  • kgdlg October 14, 2013 (12:38 pm)

    Anne, I am sorry if you find parking difficult. I was just stating my experience. You can state yours too and we can agree to disagree, no problem.

    Question: Who legally owns the free parking lots on either side of the Junction?

    • WSB October 14, 2013 (2:06 pm)

      KG – re: parking lot ownership, West Seattle Trusteed Properties is the legal entity, explained by HistoryLink.org: “Faced with increasing competition from suburban shopping malls in 1960, local merchants and property owners organized Junction Trusteed Properties to develop off-street parking. By 1962, the corporation had opened three free parking lots. When Fire Department Company 32 moved from the Junction to a new location in 1967, the old fire station was torn down to make way for a fourth Trusteed parking lot.” These are the “three hours free” lots, three off 44th behind parts of the Oregon to Alaska and Alaska to Edmunds blocks, one off 42nd behind the Oregon to Alaska block. Local store owners continue to pay assessments to keep them open and free to customers – TR

  • W Sea Neighbor October 14, 2013 (12:56 pm)

    “many of us have taken comfort in knowing interesting restaurants and shops will return to the corner someday.”

    There weren’t any “interesting” restaurants or shops in those spaces before. Whatever replaces them can only be better.

    Awesome to see new places like Terra Cole and Quadrato opening up with fast-casual dining options and great quality meats.

  • A October 14, 2013 (1:34 pm)

    As much as I’d like to shop local, I just can’t bring myself to overpay! The prices are ridiculously high at these stores. I’ll stick to Target and Amazon. Sorry WS.

  • Rain City West Screen Printing October 14, 2013 (2:30 pm)

    This is why my family loves West Seattle. There is so much support for local businesses and the community. As a young, small business we have seen this firsthand. As a West Seattle family of four, we support the local economy about 90% of the time. West Seattle Baseball, Bakery Nouveau, West Seattle Cellars, Curious Kids, Budget Cuts Salons, Pure Hair, PCC, EATs Market, Tru Value are just a few of our faves. And of course the Highland Park Improvement Club for their monthly Corner Bar.

  • westseattledood October 14, 2013 (4:18 pm)

    fyi, Pharmaca is a five-state corporation.
    That is not local in my, or maybe most people’s “360 miles=local” book.

    PCC, on the other hand, is truly locally owned and sources only “local”, including amazing boutique (organic lotions and potions companies amongst them). PCC really does make a consistently outstanding effort to walk the talk. One can feel pretty good about purchases there.

  • Chacha October 14, 2013 (5:03 pm)

    There are many great shops in the Junction area but for my money, True Value and NW Art and Frame are absolutely the best for service and value. They are practical and stock much-needed inventory. I love all the restaurants but I think A Terrible Beauty is a really great addition to the Junction–lively, welcoming to all, great place to take family or friends any day of the week. We need more clothing stores in the moderate range (like a Bolten’s in NYC). Outside of the Junction, Alki rest/shops great and at the Triangle there is a good opportunity to add some businesses that would really fill in the holes: we lost a really great cobbler on 42nd street–hours and service top-notch. Of the two cobblers left (on Faunt. and in Admiral), neither one makes the grade. Hours inconvenient to workers most of all. And we need a first-run movie theater. (I was hoping the Big Hole) would be that. Alas and alack, LA Fitness will be there. Not excited about that.

  • kgdlg October 14, 2013 (5:12 pm)

    TR, thank you as usual for doing all the hard research that I am apparently too lazy to do myself. Seriously, you are a treasure trove of vital info.

    WoW! I just am amazed at the foresight of this group back in the 60s. Amazing assets to have today.

  • kj October 14, 2013 (6:28 pm)

    Love shopping locally and getting my produce from West Seattle Produce. As far as grocery stores, why do we need Whole Foods? We have QFC, Safeway, Trader Joe’s, Thriftway, PCC, Metropolitan Market….

  • alkistu October 15, 2013 (12:59 pm)

    I am glad to see the comments directed toward businesses in the Admiral District. It is true we certainly have all that the heart would desire in the Morgan to Admiral corridor of California Ave.. The easy access is another bonus to shopping local especially by foot, bus and bicycle. Why would anyone drive out of our area through congested corridors to find the parking may be worse at that destination. Try parking at Costco sometime.

  • Kate October 15, 2013 (8:44 pm)

    We bought a house in Seaview in August after a year of apartment living in West Seattle, and the local shops, restaurants, bars and theaters were a big reason I wanted to stay (and live close to the Junction).

    We LOVE everything the Junction has to offer – we’re at True Value several times a week, frequent Shadowland and Elliott Bay for drinks, shop for groceries at QFC and Trader Joes, buy gifts and home decor at many Junction stores, and eat dinner out at least once a week – we particularly love Matador and Mashiko. The Bartells at Lincoln Square has everything we need in a drug store and their pharmacy staff is excellent.

    I take all of our dry cleaning and clothes for alterations to West Seattle Cleaners and my shoes to Choi. When we have a sweet craving, we go to Shoo Fly or Luna for a milkshake. When I have guests in town I always take them for brunch at Fiddlehead. On Sunday mornings, you can always find us at the Original Bakery.

    I could go on and on, but point being – we love shopping and eating locally and I very much hope that West Seattle will continue to maintain these amazing services and community feel.

    I agree with an earlier comment that it’d be great to see some stores targeted toward younger shoppers. There is certainly an influx of 20 and 30 somethings who do not have children yet, and though there are plenty of bars, not quite as many shopping opportunities unless you’re shopping for food.

  • Christine October 22, 2013 (10:23 am)

    We love the ‘We have that!’ movement. We even have the Office Junction, our very own West Seattle Coworking space housing lots of local small businesses, like writers, editors, web designers, graphic designers, nutritionist, retirement coach, event planner, contractor, non-profit consultant, private chef, marketing specialist, social media producer, author, computer programmer, web consulting, salesmen for hardwood flooring and allergy test kits, …plugging away – just to name a few. The question is, what don’t we have. ;-)

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