West Seattle restaurants: Bistro & ice creamery planned for The Junction


We finally have the answer to the most common question we’ve been asked in recent weeks: “What’s going into the former Westside Public House space?” in The Junction, which has been vacant since November. (That’s the space that was previously home to A Terrible Beauty, which followed Table 35, which followed Ama Ama, which followed Ovio Bistro, and that’s as far as WSB archives go.) Thanks to everybody who sent notes recently that they saw workers in the space – we’ve gone by almost daily and just never found the crew, and research didn’t turn up anything in public records to give a hint, either. Then finally today, the crew working in the space was still there when we headed over after a tip: They’re told us they’re planning to open Shelby’s Family Bistro and Ice Creamery, because they saw the need for something in The Junction that’s completely family-friendly. The proprietor kindly stopped to talk for a moment while carrying a TV, so we didn’t get tons of details, but his background in the industry, he mentioned, includes working with Schwartz Brothers Restaurants. As you can see in our photo, they’re making big changes to the interior; they’re hoping to be open within a few months.

66 Replies to "West Seattle restaurants: Bistro & ice creamery planned for The Junction"

  • Biankat April 2, 2016 (4:20 pm)

    Guppies before Ovio?

    • JanS April 3, 2016 (1:06 am)

      and before that Godfather’s Pizza?

  • Mike April 2, 2016 (4:23 pm)

    Best of luck trying to pry loyal customers away from Husky Deli’s legendary ice cream. #DontPokeTheBear

  • Tough love April 2, 2016 (4:27 pm)

    We like family friendly options!

  • PAR April 2, 2016 (4:31 pm)

    It’s great to hear something new is going in, but it seems odd that an ice cream place is going in when Husky Deli is right down the block and makes their own ice cream. Otherwise, hopefully this works out. Would be nice to see something stick around in that space.

  • DEF April 2, 2016 (4:38 pm)

    Sounds great, can’t wait to bring the family when the place opens. Good luck!

  • Rick April 2, 2016 (4:44 pm)

    The old Godfather’s Pizza place that was there for years was just fine but I guess it wasn’t hip enough.

    • dawsonct April 7, 2016 (6:28 pm)

      Maybe it’s the simple fact that Godfathers pizza really sucks badly, and always has.
      I’d suggest we have plenty of pizza in West Seattle, and if not quite mediocre is good enough for you, then Pizza Hut, Dominoes, and Pappa Johns ought to be enough to satisfy your needs.

  • WSLady April 2, 2016 (4:44 pm)

    Glad to hear a family friendly place is coming to the junction, but not too keen on another business moving in so close to Husky… Sorry, can’t mess with WS tradition and history… Husky Deli will always be a WS landmark!  

    • Rusty April 3, 2016 (11:03 am)

      Perhaps a “creamery” will also have sundaes?  That would be different than what Husky Deli offers.

      • dawsonct April 7, 2016 (6:35 pm)

        If I remember correctly, the Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop sold them.
        If B & J’s can’t make it up against Husky Deli, all I can say is ‘good luck’.

        Hopefully, the “family bistro” will have an extensive enough menu (and open early, closing late) that they will survive the head-to-head competition.
        My suggestion to them, with the size of their space and the size of the kitchen, they produce as much product in-house as possible.

  • DB Cooper April 2, 2016 (4:46 pm)

    Will be great to have a family friendly spot.  And can you really have too many ice cream shops with all these kids in WS?  I think no.

    Sounds great!

  • Alan April 2, 2016 (4:49 pm)

    It was Godfather’s Pizza for years.

  • Marnie April 2, 2016 (5:05 pm)

    Godfather’s Pizza before Guppies

  • Alki Bee April 2, 2016 (5:17 pm)

    Curious:  Does anybody have a theory (or, better yet, know the real reasons) for the demise of so many restaurants in that space and others in WS?  Some restaurants are around for years and years, while others come and go nearly overnight. And it doesn’t seem to have that much to do with their quality or their popularity.   Don’t the owners do enough research before opening, or do they just get tired of the business, or are some spaces haunted, or what?

    • Mark schletty April 2, 2016 (5:35 pm)

      Alki bee- all of your suggested reasons are probably partly true, but i suspect the main reason is that the south end of the junction doesn’t have the very close free parking available farther north.

    • Cecelia April 2, 2016 (7:41 pm)

       We loved the food at A Terrible Beauty  but we nick named it “A Terrible Service” and only went there when we were not in a super rush.  I think a lot of people gave up on it way before we did.

      I think that corner needs a little more effort to get people in the door because of where it is in the traffic flow.  I disagree with the parking issue though.  we just park behind husky, just like if we were to go to Elliot bay.

      I think once people come though they would stay if it’s worth it.  A Terrible Beauty was packed the first couple weeks but they never managed to improve the service and at the end they were really shoe stringing it.

      • Dunkin April 4, 2016 (2:49 pm)

        You must not get out after 5 o’clock…..the parking lot is always packed.

    • Paul April 4, 2016 (2:21 pm)

      I have heard that the rent for that spot is rather high, which makes it tougher for a business to succeed.    Plus a large percentage of restaurants fail in the first year or two, it’s a tough business to be in regardless.

  • Mark schletty April 2, 2016 (5:24 pm)

    Never noticed family friendly Husky Deli? Not very good due diligence. Even Ben and Jerrys could not compete. We love our Husky Deli!

  • Genesee Hiller April 2, 2016 (5:27 pm)

    I’ve had the theory for years that the reason restaurants/bars don’t do well there is because of the lack of parking in front of the space, and the 5 way intersection. Of course, there are restaurants all over without any major parking, so maybe that idea doesn’t float. I’ll go with Alki Bee’s idea of the building being haunted.

    • dawsonct April 7, 2016 (6:43 pm)

      Not certain if you’ve been inside, the space is HUGE, and if you don’t have a concept that keeps it fairly active all day, or attracts a large and deep-pocketed dinner crowd consistently, it will be VERY difficult to make money off it.
      I’ve heard rumors of $13K/month to rent the space.

      I believe Ama-Ama would have made it, the concept was sound, but the opening chef was horrible and quickly ran off all her experienced cooks.
      They temporarily righted themselves for a while after she left, but I believe by that time the damage had been done.
      And of course, had Eddy Montoia survived, Ovio might STILL be there.
      At the very least, every culinarian in the Nation would have known Eddy by this  time. A very sad loss

  • bfisch April 2, 2016 (5:30 pm)

    Personally, I think that location would be best as a more nightlife driven business, that isn’t just another bar. Dancing or something is what WS is really lacking, and with all of the new apartments going in, why not keep weekend activities in WS, rather than Cap Hill and other neighborhoods. 

  • Jerald April 2, 2016 (5:34 pm)

    I think it’d be nice to have an ice cream place with table service and fancy sundaes, like the old Farrell’s. Wouldn’t be competition for Husky’s, just a place to hang out with kids and friends. Don’t know if that’s what they plan.

  • WS for Life April 2, 2016 (5:40 pm)

    Alki Bee – no parking!

  • valvashon April 2, 2016 (5:47 pm)

    Husky Deli sells what is apparently great ice cream (never had it, lactose intolerant).  My kids and better half like it but it’s hard to find a seat sometimes among the jars of haggis and dusty packages of English biscuits.  I’m guessing they did do the research and found that an ice cream and bistro(?) place that was focused on food service (instead of being mostly expensive imported dry goods) might do well.  Bring on the hate; I’ve lived in West Seattle since 1998 but was just never blown away by what Husky Deli does.

    • Dunkin April 4, 2016 (2:52 pm)

      B&R is just as good and no long line…..never been a fan. Plus, have any of you Husk-ites ever heard  of competition. Good ice cream never goes out of style.

  • Trickycoolj April 2, 2016 (6:22 pm)

    You know if they’re open past 8pm they’ll get my ice cream business. I’ve been out to dinner at varying establishments with friends from other neighborhoods (north of the ship canal mostly) and they can’t get here for dinner until 7pm or later  so by the time we’re done eating and want dessert (usually they all want famous Husky Deli) they’re closed and we have to go get a quart at Safeway or QFC and circle up at my house which may or may not have been ready for 6-8 guests. Same goes for cupcakes wanted dessert after dinner at Matador recently and it was 8:05 on a Wednesday… Closed so we went to Starbucks (corporate is local workers I guess). Those apartments aren’t drawing families with 7pm bed times they’re drawing child free couples and single professionals that get dinner out at 7:00 and would like to spend time out until 9 or 10pm. 

  • Alki Guy April 2, 2016 (6:22 pm)

    Ovios did great in this spot until their young chef died unexpectedly. There just seemed to a string of bad choices in this place. It isn’t parking. They are just a few doors down from the Elliot Bay, the Thai restaurant,  who all seem to be doing fine. The title of this new place is Bistro and Ice Cream, so if they serve food along with ice cream maybe it will work. If they are thinking they will go head to head with Husky Deli, it will be another bad decision.  Maybe it is the building owner that is not pursuing the right tenants??? 

  • lvbebe April 2, 2016 (6:23 pm)

    Hopefully more bistro than ice cream shop. What we need is a wine bar/bistroesque place where people can hang out late night, grab a glass of vino, some dessert, and relax n

    • Kate April 21, 2016 (4:49 pm)

      LVBEBE – I hadn’t even thought of that but I love that idea. Very few wine-specific spots in WSeattle. Would love a wine bar since I’m not a brewery type. 

  • Jenny April 2, 2016 (6:25 pm)

    Guppies! Thanks, @Biankat! I had been wracking my brain the other day trying to remember!

  • Phil April 2, 2016 (7:20 pm)

    We could use a place like this in westwood, or froyo!

  • Rick April 2, 2016 (7:46 pm)

    Anybody remember Carlisle Furniture on that corner?

    • Wayne April 2, 2016 (8:22 pm)

      Absolutely.  Went there way too many times with my folks.

  • cj April 2, 2016 (8:10 pm)

    We will definitely give this a try when you open!   Especially after the less than stellar ice cream change at other local places.  Best of luck!

  • Fiz April 2, 2016 (8:12 pm)

    I remember Carlisle Furniture in that space!  My mother and dad furnished their modest home there.  Bought my hope chest  at Carlisle in 1962  (I’m sure I must have been in preschool then) and I  still have it. 

    Welcome to the neighborhood!  Even though it will take someplace very special to pull me and my grandkids away from Elliot Bay Brewing.  

  • Gina April 2, 2016 (9:47 pm)

    The more, the merrier! Husky’s did just fine back when The Menu up the street served giant milkshakes and hamburgers and welcomed kids. Husky’s is doing fine now, even with the Italian Market up the street, and the French bakery practically next door. They are all packed. Elliott Bay Brewing is always packed, and parking is crazy there. Ben and Jerry’s was just a plain ice cream shop without anything else. 

  • BMC123 April 2, 2016 (9:50 pm)

    two suspected reasons why business have trouble succeeding…insider info tells me rent in that space is 5 figures plus per month. Also apparently it used to be a mortuary so it’s probably haunted. 

  • Steve April 2, 2016 (10:01 pm)

    We miss Guppies!  It was a fun place and the business seemed to do great.  Then they supposedly lost their lease due to the planned/failed Monorail which was going to take out the building.

  • Zoezmom April 2, 2016 (10:31 pm)

     I agree with Jerald, I loved Farrell’s.  I don’t see a sit down restaurant as competition against Husky Deli. From what I recall Terrible Beauty was is a large restaurant, it would be nice to have more options to celebrate my grandkids’ birthdays.  NOBODY can ever replace the grab and go rocky road ice cream cone I’ve had at Husky’s for nearly 50 years now. I hope this is ( and I’m guessing it is) a great sit down place that will offer great meals and ice cream desserts!  Hopefully not a banging drum on your birthday tho!  Yay for family places!!

  • Jon Wright April 2, 2016 (11:02 pm)

    I do not think the supposed lack of parking was a factor. Recent failures in that space were due to recession (Ama Ama) or self-inflicted inconsistency (the others).

  • JennyL April 3, 2016 (7:13 am)

    Sounds terrific- can’t wait to try it!

  • Big Jer April 3, 2016 (9:25 am)

    There’s nothing to say that Shelby’s wouldn’t use Husky’s ice cream. Seems the best of both worlds!

  • MamaC April 3, 2016 (10:27 am)

    Thank you! Can’t wait for this to open! Family friendly is so needed for us with little ones that still love eating out and being able to grab a drink. Exciting!

  • JTB April 3, 2016 (12:12 pm)

     I’ll have the  cassoulet  and frisee followed by the double chocolate macadamia and mango coconut swirl with sprinkles.  

  • Steve April 3, 2016 (12:17 pm)

    What we really need is a place that has a kids game room. A place designed for kids 8-13 there’s no place that caters to the thousands of sports kids. There’s no where to go after soccer and base ball games that is fun for kids and adults. 

    • sam-c April 4, 2016 (8:36 am)

      Yes, that would be great. Especially if you could reserve it for birthday parties or something

  • Sarah April 3, 2016 (12:18 pm)

    You had me at family friendly! We’ll be there. It think this one’s a keeper!

  • Diane April 3, 2016 (1:19 pm)

    wonderful news; yes, family friendly; yes, sit-down ice cream; can hardly wait for the opening; in time for WS Summer Fest?  any info on hours, how late they’ll stay open?  do they have a website or a FB page yet for us to follow updates?

  • Beckyjo April 3, 2016 (2:45 pm)

    I Think a place that has Pinball, milkshakes, root beer floats , burgers and such that is also very family friendly would be awesome!

  • Jesse April 3, 2016 (4:53 pm)

    Nice to see a place with character going in instead of the recent trend of a new Starbucks and Chipotle in the Junction.

  • Kristina April 3, 2016 (8:49 pm)

    I welcome this business, but I find the comment that there is a need for something “completely family friendly” in the Junction to be….odd.  My daughter ate her first restaurant food at the age of 10 months at Azuma (where the owners welcomed her, and where I would often meet other moms and kids for lunch, and see all kinds of families enjoying a meal).  We have been long time patrons of Elliott Bay Brewery – their burgers have always been my daughter’s favorite.  Husky Deli ice cream is an institution, and a great place to run into a lot of friends on a sunny day.  Bakery Nouveau is a huge favorite among all ages.  Cupcake Royale will even host birthday parties. Kamei is our favorite these days, and we see kids in there all the time (including some really tiny ones).  West Five has a great happy hour for food not in the bar (my 13 year old loves the sliders and the quesadilla).  Taqueria Guyamos is a hit with kids and Pecado Bueno does school fundraisers and always has families.  Coastline is new and a great spot, filled with kids.  I am sure that I’m missing lots of people’s favorites, but my point is – there are lots of family friendly places that look like they’re doing solid business here.

    I am fully in favor of a good restaurant moving into that spot, and will certainly check it out: I wish it every success and I’m tired of the turnover in that location and hope this one really sticks.  I just hope that they’ve done their research and know how to be different and find their niche, because there are family friendly choices galore and Husky Deli Ice Cream managed to put Ben & Jerry’s under.  (It’s almost comical – talk about David and Goliath.  I love Ben & Jerry’s but refused to eat at the WS location under principle.)  Family friendly + different food choices than what is already available in the Junction + great service + good value (money vs what you get) + great atmosphere + not directly competing with Husky Deli = formula for success

    • Wsea98116 April 4, 2016 (10:59 am)

      Kristina, when  people  use the term family friendly,  they  are referring to a place that they can go with their kids, and relax a bit, and maybe there are some games or things kids are interested in, and kids can move about, and the parents need not worry too much about offending the other patrons or hosts, as this type of activity is customary.  Family friendly, in this context, does not mean children are allowed, and expected to behave like small adults. 

      While I prefer not to have children rushing past my table (and an occasional outburst) when I am out for a quiet dinner with adults, i do so enjoy being out with my child at a place where kids can be kids, and I don’t have to glare at them, and the other patrons don’t have to glare at me.  Family friendly means even parents with imperfect children can have a relaxing time. 

  • SGG April 3, 2016 (10:25 pm)

    Husky Deli

  • wetone April 4, 2016 (7:54 am)

    I agree with what others have said lack of parking which is getting worse by the day along with the high rents. That combo makes it very hard for anyone to stay in business long. Even with all the new apartments to area (tough to make it off same crowd every night) as parking goes away so does access for new customers or old ones that start going elsewhere having accessibility. Junction area will soon be franchise owned businesses as they can spread cost or costly establishments. Will be interesting to watch what happens over the next few years……   

  • sam-c April 4, 2016 (8:31 am)

    Looking forward to trying the new place and their ice cream. I hope they have some original and unique flavors like Full Tilt and Molly Moon’s ice cream flavors.    

  • JTB April 4, 2016 (8:59 am)

    Parking? Really? There has been ample parking close at hand to the site in question for years.    If people are too challenged to walk two blocks for free parking or to pay a couple of bucks and walk a half a block, I think they will soon find many many businesses in West Seattle rendered inaccessible. 

    • Qbert April 4, 2016 (10:39 am)

      I always laugh when I hear about lack of parking in the junction – Free lots, no parking meters, pay lots, tons of street parking off the main drag.. Maybe if walking a block is too much for someone, they should be doing something other than driving a car to buy ice cream and treats.. 

    • John April 4, 2016 (3:32 pm)

      You nailed it.  The horror of actually having to walk 2 blocks is more than some people can handle…  I see people at my gym drive around until they find the closest spot to the door.  You’d hate to walk across the parking lot when going to workout…oh the horror.

      There’s are plenty of places around the Junction to find a place to park within 2 or 3 blocks.   

      • wetone April 4, 2016 (8:09 pm)

        Must be the new attitude moving into the area. If your elderly, have health issues or not capable of walking a few blocks to bad ? The new WS, only for the young, and healthy.  How WS has changed……..

        • KM April 4, 2016 (9:18 pm)

          In the case of a health issue or disability, I suggest getting a disability placard and using the reserved spaces. There are dedicated parking spots in various points in the Junction, as there should be. There are also loading zones for a drop off of those who need it. I prefer that method with my disabled family members since they don’t need the additional loading space that some dedicated spots provide. The majority of people don’t need to park within 30 ft of the front door of any business they visit, nor is that a reasonable expectation in a major city.

  • Kellie April 4, 2016 (3:38 pm)

    Great location. So  Excited for this new restaurant to join the Junction. It was much needed

    and will do great. Welcome Bistro and Ice creamery!

  • Elizabeth MacKenzie April 4, 2016 (8:51 pm)

    I went to high school with Shelby. He is a wonderful guy who has long dreamed of running a restaurant and has shaped his career over the last 20 years to prepare him to do so. From what he’s announced on social media, they will be serving Ferrell’s style ice cream sundaes (without the bass drum, singing, and outfits), food, and beer/wine. This sounds like a sit-down place to me.  I don’t see it as having the same niche as Husky, which is better suited to a quick lunch or snack.

  • Elizabeth MacKenzie April 4, 2016 (8:55 pm)

    P.S. A room for meetings or parties is also included in the plan.

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