By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
After a little more than three years in business, Alki Fatburger has closed.
Thanks for the tip that sent us over to look for the telltale sign on the door. But with this restaurant closure, unlike many, we know what’s going to follow.
First, the backstory: Fatburger, part of an international chain, opened at 2738 Alki SW in October 2013, not long after the closing of Bada Bistro, which was in business for less than five months. The bistro had been a rebranding of the space that its then-owners operated as Beachside Café for about two years. That in turn was the successor to the abruptly shuttered Alki Bakery, a corner fixture for 25 years, until November 2010.
Back to the present – the sign on the door at the now-ex-Fatburger promises “an exciting new concept.” And we have just spoken to one of the co-proprietors who will be opening it within a few months.
Deborah Borchelt and her husband Ryan Borchelt are new West Seattleites who moved here from Indianapolis, where they founded B’s Po Boy, which she describes as “a Cajun-themed restaurant with authentic po boy sandwiches.” They will open its second location here.
How authentic? “If you’ve ever been to New Orleans, what really makes a po boy is the bread. We were thrilled to find out we’ll be able to get that bread here in Seattle, the same bread we use in Indiana.”
The menu – slightly expanded from what they have in Indianapolis, because the kitchen is larger – also will include gumbo, red beans and rice, beignets, salads, and other sandwiches. Also, she says, “vegan options.”
They’ll have “beer, wine, and spirits,” too.
They’re keeping the Indianapolis restaurant open as well as opening on Alki. So how did they wind up in West Seattle? It’s a love story – they fell in love with our area while visiting good friends here last summer. Those friends, she says, “said you’ll love it here …and we did fall in love, head over heels.” The friends, at the time, were renting on Alki, and had discovered another restaurant for sale. Deborah and her husband started talking and realized they could do business anywhere – so they pursued the idea of moving here and opening another B’s Po Boy.
It took four trips before they settled things, she says, and they were adamant that both their home and restaurant had to be in West Seattle – “that’s how much we love (it).”
So they have been in their home for a month and, this Friday, they close on the now-ex-Fatburger space. They will be working with the design-build firm Mallett to renovate it – nothing major, she says, “we’re not moving walls, but it will have a totally different look and feel.”
They hope to open within two months of closing but realistically, she says, it might be more like three. The hours will be similar to what they do in Indianapolis – opening daily at 11, closing at 9 Sundays-Thursdays, 10 Fridays-Saturdays, during the winter, adding an hour in summer. Maybe later, she says, depending on what they discover about business at the beach.
It will be a full table-service restaurant, with carryout too, and probably some catering.
Borchelt says they’ve seen lots of signs that things were meant to be. Even, she laughs, Alaska Airlines starting nonstop Seattle-Indianapolis service this spring!
She says they’ve talked to some West Seattle “merchants and neighbors” – without divulging their future location until now – and says “everyone’s been welcoming … we feel like we made a great decision.”