West Seattle Blue Moon Burgers confirmed for Alki Auto’s former beachfront site

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Now that Alki Auto has moved into its new Luna Park home, its former beachfront site’s future has been confirmed: Blue Moon Burgers is indeed opening on Alki.

As reported here last month – when we first learned that the auto shop was moving – although the city website said a restaurant was moving in, with BMB proprietor Charlie Olson‘s name on the permit, he wasn’t ready to comment on whether that was the plan.

Now he is, so we just talked with him by phone to get the details:

Alki will be the fourth Blue Moon Burgers location, after South Lake Union, Fremont, and Capitol Hill.

Blue Moon’s distinctive features, according to Olson, include:

*Many gluten-free options – even gluten-free onion rings and chicken tenders, from gluten-free fryers.

*Vegetarian options – homemade black-bean and falafel patties.

*While it will also be sit-down, if you’re interested in take-out, you can order in advance online (they have an iPhone app and one in the works for Android), and a parking space will be reserved out front for pickup.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

The location itself, Olson says, belongs to an old friend in the Strickland family, which once upon a time, he says, owned many gas-station sites around the area. This was a Signal Oil service station when built in the ’50s, and he says they’ll be painting it white to recapture some of its former look.

While they have had pre-application discussion with the city – that’s what we discovered on the DPD website in March – Olson says they don’t know how long it will take to get the permits for work, so he’s not ready to estimate a time frame for opening. Once the permits are in, he thinks the work will only take a few weeks, as they don’t intend to do too much to the inside. “It’s really kind of a cool building.” He’s not sure yet how many they’ll be able to seat once the renovations are done; that’s still being worked out.

(Answering a question someone asked in comments on our previous story, he says the old gas tanks on the site were abated way back in the ’80s, so they are not facing any environmental-cleanup work.)

A fence is up just to keep the site from becoming a hub of unauthorized activity during the time it’ll be vacant.

“We’re excited to be here – we’ve been wanting to be in West Seattle for a while.” (As pointed out in our previous story – there was even talk back in 2007.) Some of his management staff has West Seattle roots, he says, and he has long worked with West Seattle photographer Kelly Cline, who, he says, also has been lobbying for Blue Moon Burgers to open in this area.

The early plan is for the menu and other aspects of the operation to be similar to what they’re doing elsewhere, but Olson does say that once they arrive in a neighborhood, “we wait to see what customers in each area want,” so there’s always the chance for evolution down the line. “We’re waiting to get it open and play it by ear.”

Hours are expected to be 7 days a week, open daily at 11, closing at 11 pm Fridays and Saturdays, 10 pm the other nights.

SIDE NOTE – ALKI AUTO’S NEW HOME: As added to our previous story, Alki Auto has taken over the old British Auto Center spot in the Luna Park business district (2938 SW Avalon Way). Tim McMonigle caught this photo of the signage switchover last Tuesday:

Local writer Keith Creighton, working with Alki Auto on the transition announcement, says British Auto’s proprietor decided to close the bricks-and-mortar business so he could focus on his eBay store.

19 Replies to "West Seattle Blue Moon Burgers confirmed for Alki Auto's former beachfront site"

  • JanS April 7, 2014 (11:55 am)

    well, there will certainly be no dearth of burgers on Alki now, will there?

  • al April 7, 2014 (2:51 pm)

    I’m very excited for these guys to come to West Seattle. I love the jalapeno bottlecaps and maybe if we’re extra nice they’ll make their monthly special fried mac n’ cheese side into a regular menu item at this location…

  • JanS April 7, 2014 (2:56 pm)

    and according to my daughter, who is married to a gluten free man, they have delish gluten free burger buns, etc.

  • SGG April 7, 2014 (3:30 pm)

    This reminds me of years ago when Alki got all the mexican places around the same time. There was a Coyote themed place, a basic mexican place where Chupacabra is now, and then Cactus came in. Now it seems to be year of the burger.

    They won’t all last.

  • David April 7, 2014 (3:48 pm)

    Yep, it might not last, or it might. The magic of the free market. The restaurant “scene” on Alki is super healthy…sure individual places come and go. You better know your customer base and be better than your competitors. I mean Spuds been on Alki 50+ years! Pegasus has HUGE lines on the weekends. Cactus is doing great. Dukes has been going strong for a decade. Pepperdocks has been there for ages. Sunfish has survived all the trends. And Starbucks sure ain’t hurting. Yet other places have opened and closed. We’ll see!

  • sc April 7, 2014 (3:48 pm)

    will they incorporate the gas station into the restaurant design or tear it down?

    • WSB April 7, 2014 (4:12 pm)

      SC, no tearing down. Just a few weeks of interior work, said Charlie Olson, making it very clear that the intent is to have the retro ambience.

  • Colby April 7, 2014 (3:53 pm)

    I think Pepperdocks will be the odd restaurant out once the dust settles.

  • ScubaFrog April 7, 2014 (4:47 pm)

    Well said David… And that floating cow was awesome Tracy, I lol’ed at that! I live on Alki Colby, and I’ve always dug Pepperdock’s – good food and such nice owners. I’m hoping that Blue Moon will provide parking (it looks like they could fit some parking spots in there somewhere).

  • Andi April 7, 2014 (5:04 pm)

    I am very excited about this, their burgers are tasty!

  • JayDee April 7, 2014 (6:40 pm)

    At least it isn’t a hair/nail salon or wine bar selling merlot and reasonably locally owned. ;-)

  • miws April 7, 2014 (9:47 pm)

    Will they have palm trees? ;-)



  • Beth April 7, 2014 (10:20 pm)

    Let’s all cheer for the people who have the tea bags to open a small business, work their butts off and give it a whirl. God knows I don’t have what it takes to do that. I suspect that none of you do either!

  • ML April 8, 2014 (8:10 am)

    Yay! Love Blue Moon Burgers! I bet they will do well, there’s no shortage of eateries on Alki, true, but there’s also no shortage of crowds on Alki either, pretty big customer base they’ll be working with. Looking forward to having a Blue Moon so close to home, I crave them.

  • Lindsey April 8, 2014 (9:15 am)

    Yeah! I love Blue Moon Burgers, and now that I no longer work in South Lake Union, I haven’t had them as often. AND they have a burger named after a very talented West Seattle-based food photographer & stylist. It’s called Kelly’s Secret Squirrel Burger! Yum, now I’m hungry.

  • brandon April 8, 2014 (4:57 pm)

    Yeah! A TRUE gluten free option.

  • Burgerville April 8, 2014 (6:39 pm)

    Hmmm…old gas tanks? Does Getting It Right WS know about this? Will these burgers be flipped by hard-working, fair-wage earning citizens? I think we need a long, drawn out study and county/city council vote before this “meat haven” is approved! It’s the Seattle Way!

  • Max April 9, 2014 (12:17 am)

    So excited! This is fantastic news!

    Love Blue Moon Burgers!! Live on Alki so I don’t get over to the other BMB locations often, but the few times I have been there burgers and shakes are amazing.

    This is a great addition to an already awesome restaurant line up we have down here. I can’t imagine them not doing well down here! Hopefully they are able to get it opened up in time for summer!

    (may also be trouble for me, as in…going there TOO often!)

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