WEST SEATTLE RESTAURANTS: Great American Diner and Bar on the way to ex-Shelby’s space

Thanks for the tips! Four months after the abrupt shutdown of Shelby’s Bistro and Ice Creamery at 4752 California SW in The Junction, a new restaurant is going to give the space a try. After a text about signage in the window, we went down and found what you see above – signage saying Great American Diner and Bar is on the way. We also talked very briefly to a man who said he’s the new proprietor; he was pressure washing out back and said all he could tell us right now is that he’s hoping to be open in a few weeks. We’re not finding a liquor-license application or business license online yet, but we’ll be going back in hopes of finding out more. Great American will be the sixth restaurant/bar in 10 years in the California/Edmunds space.

139 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE RESTAURANTS: Great American Diner and Bar on the way to ex-Shelby's space"

  • Jon Wright May 7, 2017 (8:51 pm)

    Make the NE corner of California and Edmunds great again!

    • John May 8, 2017 (7:52 am)

       Enjoyed that!

    • RayK May 8, 2017 (7:47 pm)


    • Glen Quadros May 9, 2017 (11:34 am)

      Absolutely …thanks .

  • Huck May 7, 2017 (9:09 pm)

    It has never been great.

    • WS Guy May 8, 2017 (12:33 pm)

      Ovios was great.  Until the chef died and it closed.

      • Sarah May 8, 2017 (2:21 pm)

        Ama Ama was great too!   

      • Sparkles May 8, 2017 (3:45 pm)

        Is that what happened to Ovios?  I never knew – I loved their Lemon Drop martinis…

      • Huck May 8, 2017 (9:32 pm)

        I take it back. Ovios was great, now that I think about it. 

      • RayWest May 10, 2017 (5:32 am)

        I think Ovio closing had more to do with the husband/wife owners divorcing rather than the chef dying.

    • Glen Quadros May 9, 2017 (11:35 am)

      We will try our very best …Please give us a chance .Thanks

      • JanS May 11, 2017 (12:37 am)

        Glen…welcome :)  Make me a great burger, and I’m yours :D

  • High Hopes May 7, 2017 (9:28 pm)

    I’m going to have dinner here nightly from the day it opens until the owner retires and closes the doors. So, eight times.

    • TODD MARTIN May 9, 2017 (11:39 pm)


  • FJ May 7, 2017 (9:58 pm)

    Maybe they should just save time and announce their closing date when they first open. 

    • Pelicans May 8, 2017 (4:43 am)

      FJ, Are you a Debbie Downer by choice or birth?

    • Glen Quadros May 9, 2017 (11:39 am)

      Dear FJ please wish us luck as we will do everything possible to succeed as this is an owner operated venture with the chef and manager working partners with a lot of restaurant experience.Thank you /.

  • kw May 7, 2017 (9:58 pm)

    Bad luck corner! 

    • JVP May 7, 2017 (10:37 pm)

      The corner is fine.  The building owners don’t know how to bring in a decent tenant and obviously want way, way to much rent for this space.

      Are we taking bets on how long this current restaurant lasts?  Based on their name, I give them 8 months.

      • Katie May 9, 2017 (7:43 am)

        Shelby’s was decent!  I was so sad to see it go. Good luck to the next restaurant. 

        • Glen Quadros May 9, 2017 (11:43 am)

          Thank you Ms Katie ..looking foward to your support ..Please stop by Regards to you and family

      • Glen Quadros May 9, 2017 (11:41 am)

        Dear JVP we will do everything possible to succeed .We need your blessing and good wishes p.Please do stop by sometime .Thank you . 

  • AMD May 7, 2017 (10:04 pm)

    I loved Shelby’s so much and was so sad when they closed.

    I don’y know if I can handle the emotional roller-coaster that is the 6-month life cycle of the restaurants in that space any more.

    Tell me the building has a new owner rather than just new tenants and I’ll get my hopes up.

    (Yes, of course I’m going to try it and I hope it’s great, but no attachments!)

  • Kschu May 7, 2017 (10:19 pm)

    RIP Shelbys- may the new place do him justice!!! Will definitely check it out!! 

    • Glen Quadros May 9, 2017 (11:34 am)

      Thankyou very much for your interest.We wont let you down.

  • JVP May 7, 2017 (10:34 pm)


  • heylady May 7, 2017 (10:36 pm)

    This movie gets me  every time. 

  • ACG May 7, 2017 (10:55 pm)

    We will definitely give it a try. I’d really like something to make it at that corner. Best of luck!

  • Jesse Fox May 7, 2017 (11:49 pm)

    They should just tear down all the buildings and make it a parking lot for Talaricos and Elliott Bay. Great American Diner. Now I know where to find all the senior citizens of West Seattle

    • JanS May 8, 2017 (2:50 pm)

      Jesse Fox…I’m 70, and I resent that. Good grief, don’t generalize (you little whippersnapper!) You , too, will be old one day, remember that. And, I would much rather Jak’s, Blackboard, Cactus, Mission, or various other places. And yes, I like diner’s , too. Maybe you need to look inward as to your own biases and proclivities. Have a great week :)

      • Glen Quadros May 9, 2017 (11:49 am)

        Dear MS Jans we look forward to your visit to our new restaurant when we open .Everyone will be pleasantly surprised at what we have in store.Its going to be wonderful, I promise .Please ask for me when you do come in,
        Its you and your generation that has made this the best country on the planet.Glen. (new owner.)

    • Bored in WS May 8, 2017 (3:16 pm)

      Talarico’s is a meat market with a one-trick-pony menu and Elliott Bay is overcrowded during meal rush, while closing too early at night – especially on weekends. Plus late night happy hour starting a 9pm – sign me up! I for one welcome a new dining (and potentially nightlife) option in the Junction which will offer something we don’t have readily available in the area. And that’s as a 30-something. 

      Don’t believe me that a place like this can cater to a younger crowd? Go check out the North Star Diner in Greenwood. Great for all day parts.

    • Katie May 9, 2017 (7:45 am)

      You sound pretty old yourself if you don’t know how fashionable retro stuff like “diners” have gotten.  And the seniors of West Seattle are a stylish bunch apparently. 

    • SueY May 10, 2017 (7:15 pm)

      I would rather eat at an establishment frequented by senior citizens then skinny-pants wearing Seattle hipsters any day of the week.  I’m hopeful that because the word “diner” is in the business name, that it will have comfort food (burgers, sandwiches, etc) and not highfalutin, Seattle pretentious food (i.e. kale, organic, free range b.s.)

      • WSB May 10, 2017 (8:18 pm)

        It’s going to be fresh but not pretentious, the co-proprietors told us. Classic American food, a few “ethnic dishes” too; the menu’s not finalized yet. But they hope to have something for everyone – seniors (we were telling them the legend of the Charlestown Café) as well as younger adults, kids, etc.

  • littlebrowndog May 8, 2017 (4:18 am)

    When Shelby’s closed I posted that I thought a place like Websters would be a good option here, and with this place offering all 3 meals plus apparently late hours maybe this is like that.  However, it seems as if the owner of the building is a big factor in the failure of previous efforts. Just yesterday as we drove by it I was thinking to myself that surely the loss of rental income in between occupants should be a motivator for the owner to charge a reasonable rate.  It is hard for me to comprehend his logic when there is a definite pattern here.

  • valvashon May 8, 2017 (5:44 am)

    The Helvetica Font and clip art signage doesn’t give me much hope…

    • CLGatewood May 8, 2017 (12:59 pm)

      I thought the same thing!  First impressions are critical when launching a new business in the competitive restaurant field, especially when that location has had so many failed attempts.  We keep hoping someone can make a success out of it!

    • Glen Quadros May 9, 2017 (11:52 am)

      Sorry …thanks for the suggestion .will take them down ,I was in a hurry to announce to all what we had in store while getting things done…

    • SueY May 14, 2017 (9:38 am)

      Wow, please tell me more on your theory of the correlation between choice of fonts  and how tasty the food will be.  I’m sure it’s riveting. :-( 

  • onion May 8, 2017 (6:20 am)

    Best wishes. If the food is high quality and the prices are right, people will support them.

    While we’re on the subject, I walked by the former Alki Bakery yesterday. Any word on when the cajun restaurant will open there?

    • WSB May 8, 2017 (7:04 am)

      Last time we checked in with them, they said it was looking more like June. But they are definitely working – on an Alki stop last week, we saw the door open to ventilate for floor work.

    • Glen Quadros May 9, 2017 (11:33 am)

      Thank you so much ..promise to have a great product….

  • Gene May 8, 2017 (6:43 am)

    The restaurant business has got to be a hard one- I can’t imagine the stress. But also can’t imagine not going into it without your eyes wide open. The rent for that space is not some secret that tenants find out 3-4-5 months in. Whether or not – we- the public think it’s outrageous – it is what it is. Personally I think a property owner would prefer to have their place leased- bringing in money – as opposed to standing empty & would set the lease price to keep it that way. 

    If I remember right- Shelby’s in their good bye letter at least intimated that they had overestimated how much business they would bring in. I expect Great American Diner & Bar  have given their venture much much thought. It looks as though they will have something that appeals to all ages- especially the Bar- which will bring in late evening business- crucial I think for survival in the Junction. I wish them well & look forward to giving them a try. 

    • Glen Quadros May 9, 2017 (11:32 am)

      Thank You Gene for your kind words and wishes ..We will make this place a great one with something for everyone.Please stop by and say hi…Glen ..the new managing partner.

  • TheKing May 8, 2017 (6:48 am)

    This corner still suffers from The Godfather’s Pizza curse 

    • vincent May 8, 2017 (7:15 am)

      Losing access to taco pizza is traumatic on many levels, the building may never recover.

  • Junction Lady May 8, 2017 (6:50 am)

    Best of luck…it can be a rough road🙃

  • Miles May 8, 2017 (7:10 am)

    The font is Frutiger, not Helvetica      :)

    • North of Admiral May 8, 2017 (8:25 am)

      I’m shocked given the name of the place they didn’t use Comic Sans. 

      • JanS May 11, 2017 (12:44 am)

        well, now, that was rude…

  • Brian Feusagach May 8, 2017 (8:13 am)

    Recently, the terms “America(n)” and “Great” together have had some rather polarizing connotations (to put it mildly).  A suggestion to the new owner:  A slight tweak of your business’ name might help minimize this connection …. unless that was indeed your intentions. 

    • dawsonct May 9, 2017 (10:03 am)

      Screw you pal. We may have a LOT of problems in our country, not the least of which is the Cheetolini Cabal running the circus right now, but my Nation, We, the People, ARE a great Nation.
      We’ve certainly temporarily lost our way with too many Americans smoking the corporatist opium, but we have a way of recovering and re-inventing ourselves that few other nations demonstrate.
      Have some faith in the better natures of your fellow citizens.

    • RayWest May 10, 2017 (6:32 am)

      I agree with you about the name.  Not so much about the current political climate, though that came to mind when I first read it. Mainly,  the name sounds generic, like an unimaginative, corporate-inspired, restaurant chain moniker found in countless shopping malls. I would tweak it bit to reflect nostalgic Americana rather than a feeling of: USA! USA! USA!

  • Cerutta May 8, 2017 (8:19 am)

    I don’t know why business owners persist to build on ancient indian burial grounds…;)

  • Bbb May 8, 2017 (8:24 am)

    Great America dinner???? 

    I wonder…. 

  • cjboffoli May 8, 2017 (9:13 am)

    Corner locations seem particularly well-suited for diners.

    • KBear May 8, 2017 (9:54 am)

      A truly great American diner. No boring fonts; no clip art flag.

      • Jethro Marx May 8, 2017 (5:07 pm)

        Only three patrons present, though. Maybe they should’ve put a flag on it, too. Or maybe Hopper prefers blunts to pop-patriotism with his pancakes.

        • RayWest May 10, 2017 (7:04 am)

          Considering Hopper’s painting is titled, “Nighthawks,” we can assume these are a just few late-hour patrons and not dinner-time customers. 

  • Ruprick May 8, 2017 (9:22 am)

    To be fair, Shelbys did not seem to know what kind of restaurant it wanted to be.  Totally unfocused. It tried to do too much and ended up not being particularly good at anything.  Not bad, but just kind of blah.

    • Sarah May 8, 2017 (2:20 pm)

      Agreed.  Menu was all over the place.  They should have had the bar set up like a real soda fountain.  The atmosphere was not warm, the space too large. 

  • Seavieu May 8, 2017 (9:36 am)

    In case the owners are reading this depressing thread of naysayers and curmudgeons, we wish them all the best and look forward to checking the diner out.

    • Glen Quadros May 9, 2017 (11:57 am)

      Thank you Seavieu ..Need your support .Appreciate it a lot.

    • RayWest May 10, 2017 (5:42 am)

      I don’t  necessarily think commentators are naysayers.   It’s just honest feedback. Many restaurants have tried and failed to make it here, and anyone going to be the next one should look at what went wrong with those. Eventually, someone will get it right, but it’s really about understanding drawbacks of the location and what customers you can attract and sustain over the long-run.  Good luck to the new owners. 

  • Question Authority May 8, 2017 (9:57 am)

    Sadly the wood bar was painted in the last go around, never to be seen bare again. 

    • Hopeful May 8, 2017 (1:03 pm)

      The space was beautiful when T.B. was there. Shelby’s could have used a bit of help with the design and look of the bistro. I think it may have done better with a stronger sense of what to start with and then expanded. Restaurant’s with high ceilings need to have sound muting material on ceilings and wall’s. When we went in to Shelby’s the first time, it was hot, noisy and way too open. Even diners need that for all three meals. We could use more breakfast or brunch places, so glad to hear they want to do all three meals. Someone with a good design sense could bring it to fruition. Endolyne Joe’s has that down pat. They even have a small room for private parties. Hope this diner works out. I agree with those that say to do your research before jumping in to that spot. Best of luck.

      • datamuse May 8, 2017 (2:36 pm)

        That’s a good point about Endolyne Joe’s, which has figured out how to make a large space work. I’m not always the biggest fan of their food–I’d guess we go there a few times a year–but the space is really nice, large but cozy feeling.

      • Glen Quadros May 9, 2017 (11:58 am)

        Dear Hopeful ,Thanks for your wishes and look forward to your support…

  • GlynB May 8, 2017 (10:11 am)

    I think they need to sell alcohol and cocktails. That’s how most restaurants sustain themselves. It’s the alcohol sales and not so much the food that brings in the money. I know this has the potential to make it less kid friendly, but they can have a separate bar or have a section of the restaurant that caters to 21+. Without alcohol, I don’t have high hopes. I do wish this new restaurant all the best.  It would be great to see them do well. 

    • Jon Wright May 8, 2017 (12:39 pm)

      Hmm, sign on the space says “Diner & Bar ” (with picture of cocktail glasses).

      • dawsonct May 9, 2017 (10:06 am)

        I noticed that to Jon. I wonder what it means??????

    • Glen Quadros May 9, 2017 (12:01 pm)

      Thank you for your suggestion.This is exactly what we aim to do ..and more .Looking forward to meeting you soon.

    • Gorillita May 9, 2017 (2:45 pm)

      I agree, Glyne, even though I don’t drink.  I went to TB all the time.  I never went to Shelby’s because the name said “family,” and I prefer places that don’t cater to/allow  kids. (like Matador)  Just me . . .

  • Peter May 8, 2017 (10:26 am)

    The corner is not cursed and the problem is not the landlord. The problem is a series of business with poor concept, poor quality, poor service, and poor/no management. They all failed on their own merits.

    Godfathers: just awful.

    Ama Ama: killed someone.

    Table Random Number: looked like a Belltown nightclub, wrong market and stupid name.

    A Terrible Beauty: bad food, bad service, overdone “plastic paddy,” and the “slutty schoolgirl” outfits all contributed to it’s well deserved failure.

    Generic Sports Bar: recycled from ATB, but with even worse food and service (which should have been impossible).

    Shelby’s: had the look and feel of a day care, it had no appeal to anyone not toting children.

    My fear with something popping up and opening on such a short timeline with a generic name and concept is that it sound like another recycle, like the sports bar that followed ATB. I hope they do better, but I won’t hold my breath.

    • sw May 8, 2017 (11:12 am)

      Terrible Beauty was actually a great place in its early days.  Good food, great service – and was packed a lot of the time.  Their trouble began when they opened another location in SLU and pulled all the good staff and cooks to work the new spot.  Then things dropped like a rock and all three locations (including the original in Renton) closed.  Be this a cautionary tale on overreaching without ability to scale.

      The verrrrrrrry loosely termed “sports bar” was a total “bro joint” situation by one of the ATB-associated folks.  It was never a serious business venture, with the proprietors and help routinely consuming on the job and having shots with fellow patrons.  

      • Peter May 8, 2017 (5:27 pm)

        That’s interesting stuff and could explain a lot. Although I have to dispute the statement that ATB was ever great; it had terrible food and service from the day it opened. And by terrible I mean among the worst I’ve ever experienced in my life. 

        • RayWest May 10, 2017 (5:53 am)

          I totally agree about ATB. From day one I called it “A Terrible Restaurant.” Food was mediocre at best and went downhill from there. The server babes in their tarty tartan get-ups were a turn off for anyone other than testosterone-infused males. Was not sorry at all to see them go.  I miss Ovios and liked Ama Ama, but everything else were disappointments.  I ate at Shelby’s one time and thought it way over-priced, the menu disjointed and not reflective of the theme, and the decor looked unfinished.

    • JVP May 8, 2017 (12:12 pm)

      It’s the landlords primary job to find a tenant with a good concept. That often means asking for less rent, which ends out bringing in more in the long run.  The string of failures is 100% on the landlord.

      • Peter May 8, 2017 (5:03 pm)

        I’m sorry, but the claim that all business failures are 100% because of the landlord is totally absurd. 

    • Smudge May 8, 2017 (1:17 pm)

      Great recap, Peter. You nailed it with the “slutty schoolgirl” comment for A Terrible Beauty. What were they thinking when they asked their middle-aged staff to wear that get-up? I digress.

      I actually have a bit of hope for this new venture. I think they are wise to appeal to the morning/breakfast crowd. From what I hear about the rent, they need to maximize every possible hour for bringing in patrons. If The Bridge Tavern can do it with their sub-par brunch and other fare, these folks can. And, with the neighborhood population expanding exponentially with the addition of the Whitaker and others, I think they stand a fair chance. Oh, and to the person I saw on FB who stated they should “burn sage in every square inch of that place,” yeah, do that too. Good luck!

    • seaopgal May 8, 2017 (4:45 pm)

      You forgot Ovio Bistro and Guppy’s. 

      • Peter May 8, 2017 (5:32 pm)

        I actually never went to those two. 

        • seaopgal May 9, 2017 (9:59 am)

          Just thought your list should be complete for historical purposes. We’ve lived a block away for 30 years and only went to Godfather’s (1x) and ATB (maybe 2x). 

    • dawsonct May 9, 2017 (10:14 am)

      As a former cook at Ama Ama, I’d sure be interested in knowing how we killed someone, and how it managed to slip so completely under the radar. Something like that usually gets some notice. Links please.
      The opening chef at Ama Ama was in way over her head and not suited to be a leader/manager of people, and they kept her around long after that became apparent to the owners (and MUCH longer after it became obvious to her crew). By the time they brought in a professional chef to take her place, their epitaph had already been written, despite the fact their menu instantly was improved markedly.

      • Jon Wright May 9, 2017 (11:42 pm)

        I still miss Ama Ama. When I was courting my now-wife, that was our go-to place. Loved gorging on happy hour oysters. Sarah the bartender always took good care of us.

  • KT May 8, 2017 (10:30 am)

    …”all he could tell us right now is that he’s hoping to be open in a few weeks”…  Not a great way to  promote your new business!  

    • WSB May 8, 2017 (10:51 am)

      To be fair, he was pressure-washing, it was Sunday evening, and co-publisher Patrick showed up unannounced – someone texted us a pic of the flyer and P went over to confirm, and noticed the door open, and wandered in, hoping to find somebody. We left a card in hopes of hearing from him when he wasn’t in the middle of something involving loud equipment. We can’t force people to drop everything and have a detailed conversation – usually the first we hear of new restaurants/bars is via a liquor-license application (such as 2 Fingers Social last week) and those conveniently include name(s) and phone numbers. – TR

  • SueG May 8, 2017 (11:52 am)

    The name does not thrill me, but a good breakfast place is hard to find, plus a bar, sounds slightly promising?

  • Joan May 8, 2017 (12:03 pm)

    I wish them well, but the name does not inspire me. I’ll be curious to see the menu. We need food to get us out of the house, not things we can make at home!

    • WS Guy May 8, 2017 (12:46 pm)

      I wonder if he’s going to court the hipsters in the apartments, or the nearby families.  I could see either one of those working, maybe both.  (There are some hipster families in the area now.)

      I hope he does have a target customer in mind though.  White Center ambience at Junction prices would be a tough way to go, for example.

    • andy May 10, 2017 (6:39 am)

      I find it odd that the name, “Great American,” does not, as you put it, “inspire” you.

  • Jason May 8, 2017 (1:37 pm)

    They need to bring a spiritual cleanser into the property before opening.  I’m picturing the woman from Poltergeist.  Something to help ward away the evil spirits that seem to plague the building.

  • JanS May 8, 2017 (2:52 pm)

    So, I googled “Great American Diner”, and came up with a few of the same name , but instead of “and Bar”, they said “and pub”….I wonder if this is part of a chain/franchized, or is that’s just a coincidence…

  • WS Lifer May 8, 2017 (3:32 pm)

    Wish them luck…give them time when they first open to figure things out. And jeez, knock-it-off with the bad vibes. So unneighborly. Give ’em a chance! Wouldn’t you want a chance if you were opening a new business?

    Hope my font is okay with y’all.

  • Boats May 8, 2017 (4:07 pm)

    I also have an opinion on the font!

  • Trickycoolj May 8, 2017 (4:56 pm)

    The name “Great American” makes me think of the All American on the Ave circa 2003-04 before Earls moved into its current spot.  

  • sc May 8, 2017 (4:58 pm)

    My husband (West Seattle native) is trying to remember what it was before Godfathers.  He thinks it was something else in the 70’s.

    • miws May 8, 2017 (5:14 pm)

      SC, in the ’70’s it was still Carlisle furniture.  I believe Godfather’s was the first restaurant there after the space was split into two, with, IIRC, Volume Shoe Source, being the first the first business to occupy the other half, now Bang Bar. 


      • JanS May 11, 2017 (12:55 am)

        Mike…I remember it being a Payless Shoes…

        • miws May 11, 2017 (5:27 am)

          Jan, yeah, it eventually became that. It started out as Volume, then they merged, or had already been under the same ownership, just two different names, (maybe regional, like “Hellman’s in the east, Best Foods in the west” sort of thing?) Anyway,  I was actually trying to remember if it had evolved from Volume to Payless, or just stayed Volume until closing the location. 


  • BJG May 8, 2017 (5:00 pm)

    Thanks WS Lifer. You made me laugh. All the crankiness was making me wish for new neighbors. So unfair to prejudge a new business before the door even opens!

    • WS Lifer May 8, 2017 (7:15 pm)

      Happy to oblige.  :)

  • Swede. May 8, 2017 (5:48 pm)

    Hopefully they got a deal on the rent, or they won’t be long lived either. Because contrary to what people think I believe you got to sell LOTS of shakes and cheese burgers to cover the $13000 rent and not worry to much about curses that doesn’t exist. I will for sure check it out! Never made it to Shelby’s before they closed…

  • Mamasuze May 8, 2017 (5:50 pm)

    My FSA guy told me the rent in that spot is $10,000 per month……… how could an ice cream parlor think that is a reasonable rent ?

    • WSB May 8, 2017 (5:54 pm)

      More than that, according to the listing earlier this year, although that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what it’s being rented for now.

  • wsgal May 8, 2017 (9:27 pm)

     I will expect 3 meals served all day, 26-page menus, desserts spinning on carousels at the entryway, cheap food and butter mints at the pay register. After thinking it through, a diner is sort of a lot to live up to. Maybe this owner has more then 3 months worth of bills socked away and a vision for this restaurant. If you open something with a wide range of food, booze and GOOD SERVICE it seems it would be hard to fail with this many people in WS eating in the junction. I mean, the lodge is still there and I can’t decide whether the food or service is worse. 

    and the rent is more then $10,000/month

  • Brent May 8, 2017 (9:47 pm)

    Does anyone know the story on the Hydrant in the Junction? It seems as though that place has been “coming soon” for almost 2 years now.

    • Wsgal May 9, 2017 (5:04 pm)

      She’s in no rush- soon.

  • J May 8, 2017 (10:28 pm)

    The name is not compatible with the neighborhood. It’s quite a turn-off.

    • West Seattle Hipster May 9, 2017 (7:20 am)

      I happen to think the neighborhood is great.  To each their own.

      • RayWest May 11, 2017 (6:21 am)

        I don’t think “J ” was disparaging the neighborhood and meant that the name was not reflective of West Seattle’s “family-friendly” reputation.  “Great American” just sounds a tad too generic and contrived to me.

  • dawsonct May 9, 2017 (10:46 am)

    A diner, open as long as possible, making as much from scratch in house as possible (it’s a HUGE kitchen), serving a quality product, with professional servers, it shouldn’t have a problem succeeding.
    And by open as long as possible, I’d suggest maybe closing the restaurant from 3-5 AM for cleaning, though keep the kitchen open baking the next day’s breads, pies, and cakes.
    Advertise the late hours extensively. Promote the in-house produced food. Sell a LOT of prepared meals and to-go food for all the new apartment dwellers, and others, in the neighborhood. Be diverse without losing focus on the food.
    Remember that cheap equipment is more expensive to run and produces an inferior, inconsistent product. Inconsistency in the restaurant business is one of the major reasons for failure. Looks to save your pennies (okay, thousands of dollars) elsewhere. 

  • kg May 9, 2017 (10:59 am)

    The name is awesome and is a great match to the neighborhood.

    • Glen Quadros May 9, 2017 (12:06 pm)

      Thank you KG ..Appreciate all the good wishes and the not so good ones too .

  • Glen Quadros May 9, 2017 (12:14 pm)

    Hi I am the new owner of Great American Diner & Bar.Thank you all for your valuable feedback and look forward to your love and support for years to come.

    We are owners/ operators having several years of experience in the restaurant business .We will; be completely involved in all aspects of the operation and aim to make it a fun place for families for breakfast lunch and dinner and also operate a bar with a great feel for adults .We will have a great happy hour from 2 to 6 pm and 9 to close.I would like to personally invite each one of you on this thread to our restaurant and give us a chance, We want to make the junction a happening place .

    • Christian May 10, 2017 (12:14 am)

      Thanks Glen. I for one, am looking forward to checking out your new restaurant when you open. 

      I would also also be interested to hear the back story and be able to share it with our WS community on my local podcast… give the Sea-Town Podcadt a listen & let me know if it’s something your interested in. Thanks  


      • andy May 10, 2017 (6:22 am)

        I, too, am looking forward to the opening of the Great American Diner and Bar. As opposed to at least one comment, I love the name,  “Great American Diner and Bar.” West Seattle desperately needs a restaurant and bar where you can get a cup of coffee and a piece of good old apple pie and maybe a shot of Jack Daniels for a chaser.

  • Jenny May 9, 2017 (12:27 pm)

    Go get ’em Glenn & team!  Please do not let this thread dishearten you.  With the right product, service and location, you will do very well.  Looking forward to dining with you.  A diner is just what the junction needed!  Good luck!  

  • Mike J May 9, 2017 (2:36 pm)

    Shout out to Glen for jumping on here, with a very skeptical crowd, and engaging with everyone.  That in itself will go a long way.   Thank you for bringing another family-friendly option into the Junction for the West Seattle community.  Looking forward to your opening and giving it a try!

    • WSB May 9, 2017 (2:40 pm)

      It’s been a busy day for us behind the scenes but in seconding what Mike J said, I also want to note that as promised, we will have a followup story -we were able to make contact with Glen after he came here to respond to comments. Lots of other restaurant news this week, both reported already and in the works. – TR

  • jfk May 9, 2017 (4:03 pm)


  • Jason May 9, 2017 (7:53 pm)

    Good luck to the new owners.  We live down the street and the kids for sure miss Shelby’s.  Hopefully this place is family friendly with a decent kids menu, otherwise we will pass after a few gracious attempts.  We do support local business.  Owners, get dialed in with advertising on all social media outlets.  This includes beer/wine apps.  Think outside the box to make your place known.  If you tap good beers, they will come.  If you tap good beers and keep the kids happy with good food, they will come again.  Good luck!

  • Gary May 9, 2017 (8:44 pm)

    With American warmth I welcome you to be a Great success at the corner space. I feel you will be supported by everyone on this blog as we wish you success and to be aware of the expectations of each one of us. Look forward to your opening

  • Jim H May 9, 2017 (11:19 pm)

    The main thing that space needs is an exorcism.  There have been many wonderful restaurants there, most of which I loved when they first opened. Even Ama Ama was fabulous in it’s early days.  There is a bad spirit in that corner that causes good businesses to make bad decisions that take a great concept and eventually flush it down the toilet.  Please do a serious spiritual rejuvenation of that space before you start you new venture. You will succeed only if you have a serious plan to maintain whatever you achieve initially into long term consistency.  Look at what lasts in WS:  Jaks, Husky Deli, Elliott Bay.  Consistency, good service, commitment to our community.  

  • TODD MARTIN May 9, 2017 (11:47 pm)

    I am surprised at those posters. A logo or signage for the place should have been used. Unfortunately they look like poorly made signs on a computer with stock photos.   I wish them luck but..unless the landlord stops thinking he is the  Beverly hills Hotel… the places can not stay around too long… I heard 14000 dollars a month rent. That’s a lot of business you have to do.

  • 2 Much Whine May 10, 2017 (7:48 am)

    I always welcome new businesses with open arms and give them several tries before declaring success or failure.  With that being said, I’m also willing to provide feedback that could (or could not) help.  My initial impression of the name invoked thoughts of patrons sitting around with red “Make America Great” hats talking about all those immigrants ruining ‘Murica.”  Probably an unfair mental picture but that’s what the name made me think of.  I think, as was previously suggested, the words Great and America together now create a visceral response that is hard to overcome.  Perhaps “Red State Cafe” or “Trump Diner” might be better if that’s what they’re shooting for. . . . .Hopefully they’ll give me a reason to change my mind.  It is a great neighborhood and the spot is not cursed – that’s simply ridiculous. 

  • newbie May 10, 2017 (8:25 am)

    @Todd Martin…OMG really who cares what sort of signage they used! To be as picky or should I say petty as you are it must be hard to live even with yourself.


    GOOD LUCK to the new restaurant! 

  • RP May 10, 2017 (8:29 am)

    Oh man, I hope they are able to make it!  Everyone loves a great diner!  But two words of advice:

    1) Change the name.  I can’t imagine saying “want to meet for brunch at the Great American Diner?”  Terrible name.

    2) CUSTOMER SERVICE.  Please train your wait staff in HOSPITALITY.  So many restaurants seem to neglect teaching their staff the basics…I just don’t get it!  The thoughtfulness of service totally makes or breaks a restaurant! 

    *And I agree with other comments that Shelby’s needed to focus in and do a couple of things well.  And the service was terrible in my two visits.  

  • WSNeighbor May 10, 2017 (9:40 am)

    I have to say that reading these comments I am disillusioned about the level of negativity and haters commenting.  People who hate businesses with kids?  Really?  Maybe you should move to Capitol Hill.  People who complain about food prices, when our City has the highest minimum wage in the country and someone has to pay for that – maybe you should just order your food on Amazon and help complete the destruction of Main Street.  People who are tearing down the owner’s business dream before it even opens.  Wow.  Clearly a bunch of people who like to troll and have no business experience of their own.

    As a small biz owner I know how much passion and hard work it takes to make a business successful in this terribly overpriced city we live in.  No one opens a small business here to get rich, that’s for sure.

    I wish Great American Diner all the luck in the world and look forward to checking you out when you open!

  • waikikigirl May 10, 2017 (10:58 am)

    OH GOOD GRIEF you people complaining about the FONT that they used for their signs have you nothing else to worry about?!

    Get a life and worry about how you can correct your self righteousness instead of a business trying to let people know who and what is happening in this building let alone trying to get up and going. 

  • T Rex May 10, 2017 (1:30 pm)

    Maybe they’ll have baskets for all of us deplorables!!

      “Great and America together now create a visceral response that is hard to overcome.”

     Maybe you have not had enough wine, LOL!


  • Todd May 10, 2017 (4:55 pm)

    It’s so disheartening to see so many folks forming their opinions about a new small, local business – the type that our country is built on – from a small, temporary printed page (seriously, the font type give you pause?) and the name of our country as part of the business name. Also, so many people appear to be business experts (and obviously hospitality experts, specifically) and clearly point out it’s the landlord’s fault…no, wait…it’s all of the other businesses…no, that’s not it…it must be haunted…tear it down…exhausting. Has there been a long line of restaurants/bars there (with varying degrees of longevity and/or success)? Yes.  Are you entitled to your opinion? Of course. That’s what makes America great, and I, for one will give Great American a fair chance…AFTER THEY OPEN. If they’re good, it will succeed. If not, they won’t. It’s a tough business and hard enough without a negative reputation before they even get a chance to show you what they have in mind.  And, even if YOU don’t like it, there are more than enough people in WS now that we can support businesses of ALL KINDS. And yes, I went to Godfather’s Pizza when it was there…and still miss the taco pizza!

    • WSB May 10, 2017 (5:37 pm)

      We’re here talking with the proprietors right now … story to come either tonight or tomorrow depending on what happens in the hours ahead.

  • WSeaGal May 11, 2017 (7:56 am)

    I would love to see a good breakfast served, my husband being from NY would love to see classic diner food served at all hours.  Can’t say that the name of the restaurant is a draw, rather it feels like a hurdle to get past. No matter what, we promise to give it a try. Good luck to you, Glen and crew!

  • Kathy May 11, 2017 (10:48 am)

    Location, location, location. I think a business has to try extra hard at this spot because it is a little too far from the bus stops, parking lots and dense pedestrian traffic. Out of sight, out of mind. I would suggest doing something on the street to attract pedestrian attention/traffic. A parking space in front converted to a “streatery” would attract attention. Yes, I know, it rains a lot here, but when the weather is nice, people would flock to some sunny outdoor tables surrounded by some planters. If bicycle parking is provided I will come.

    • RayWest May 13, 2017 (8:01 am)

      Kathy, I think those are good suggestions and your comments jive with why I believe other venues failed–LOCATION.  Being situated at the far end of the junction where it’s rather dull and dreary,  there’s little to see, and has light foot traffic is a huge consideration. The low amount of free parking is another factor. I’m more inclined to find a free spot closer to other near-by eateries  than hoof it all the way down to that end of the junction. They are just going to have to go the extra  mile to entice people to seek them out and, more importantly, keep coming back. They should do very well with the breakfast crowd as there is little to choose from in the junction.

Sorry, comment time is over.