Story and photos by Linda Ball
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
The green sign on the door at John’s Corner Deli (7500 35th SW) is a fond farewell to customers of Christina Yun and her brother Peter Choo. The pair bought the deli four years ago, their first venture into entrepreneurialism. With no other employees, keeping the store open from 7 am to 9 pm seven days a week, they’ve worked long, hard hours.
“I enjoyed it,” Yun said. “I learned a lot. I love my customers and my neighbors.”
But it ends February 1, since the owners of the property, Clearview Eye and Laser, have other plans.
The clinic is moving from its current location in Westwood Village to its new facility under construction just south of the deli. When partners purchased the property, which extends to the corner of 35th and Webster, two years ago, the deli site was included.
Yun said that in order for the store to stay, the rent would have been more than twice what she and her brother pay now. They received about four months notice, she said, so they knew it was coming. She had hoped to remodel and stay put, but now she intends to take a well-deserved break, and begin the next chapter of her life. The store is filled with inventory, but Yun has a friend with a convenience store in another Washington town who plans to absorb the goods.
Louise Coombes, controller for Clearview, told WSB they are negotiating with a brewer to occupy the space. Coombes said she didn’t know who the brewer is or what sort of food service might be offered, but we found an application in city files for a “change of use,” and the site plan in the file lists the future tenant as Best of Hands Barrelhouse LLC. (We have a message out to its proprietor seeking comment. [UPDATE – We received a reply but they are not ready to discuss their plans until they finalize their lease.])
Coombes said the bones of the deli building will remain, but it will need to be extensively remodeled for its new purpose. She said once the building is vacated, the partners will assess how much work is needed. She said the iconic cow on the roof would remain, as the future tenants have “embraced” it. Meantime, Clearview hopes to move into its new eye clinic – which includes an optical shop, ambulatory surgery center and medical clinic – in mid-March.
A brick house south of the deli that currently serves as the job shack for the new eye clinic will receive a new façade and cleanup. Their plan is to rent it out to a business. Another small building on the property will be demolished.
Thanks to everyone who tipped us about the impending deli closure.