West Seattle restaurants: KFC closing; site plan shows Habit Burger moving in

We just confirmed – after getting a tip late last night (thanks!) – that the West Seattle KFC (3501 SW Avalon Way) is shutting down. Staff there told us this morning that next Saturday (June 1st) is scheduled to be their final day. While the quarter-acre site is zoned for potential mixed-use development – NC3-65 – city files show another fast-food franchise is planning to take over: The Habit Burger Grill, which has 200+ locations nationwide. The Southern California-rooted chain announced four years ago that it had signed a Seattle-area franchisee to add more than two dozen restaurants in this area; so far, the closest one is in Tukwila. The West Seattle site plan shows a renovation on what appears to be the same footprint as the KFC, with the drive-thru staying (the company’s recent quarterly report mentioned an increasing interest in drive-thrus). No timeline or other details, but we’ll do our best to track down the franchisees. Meantime, if you are a KFC fan, starting Sunday, your nearest one will be in White Center (10050 16th SW).

51 Replies to "West Seattle restaurants: KFC closing; site plan shows Habit Burger moving in"

  • D Del Rio May 28, 2018 (2:04 pm)

    I’m definitely not a food snob, but KFC has the worst chicken. I ever tasted. If I must eat fast food chicken, Popeye’s is where I go. Other than that, it’s Bok a Bok!

  • ACG May 28, 2018 (2:12 pm)

    Anyone ever eaten at one of these before?  Is it fast food (like McDonalds) or a sit-down burger joint like Red Robin?  The menu sure looks more varied than Mc Donald’s/Burger King- portabella mushroom “burger”, chargrilled ahi, etc. 

    • Nancy R Walker May 28, 2018 (3:57 pm)

      It is a nicer version of a fast food Burger Joint..expensive..similiar to Red Mill Burgers

      • Mike May 28, 2018 (4:34 pm)

        But Red Mill is actually good.

      • Julia May 29, 2018 (6:39 am)

        It’s not expensive at all! The burger is $3.20. And 100% fresh ground beef. 

        • Monica May 29, 2018 (10:45 am)

          Yes, but did you pay $3.20 for that burger here in Seattle?  The prices online don’t even come close to what WE will have to pay out of pocket.  Thanks to the increased minimum wage, increased taxes, and now the wonderful head tax which is the cherry on top.  Try the Gatewood McDonald’s lately?  We can’t afford to get a burger there.  It’s close to $6 for a Quarter Pounder with cheese!!  I stopped there yesterday morning.  I ordered two egg McMuffins and two hash browns.  The cost was $12.57!!  I didn’t even order drinks!  They finally had to post a sign regarding their the high prices they have  to charge. Say goodbye to a lot more restaurants.  They can not afford to stay open. Thank you once again Seattle City Council for destroying this city and the small business. 

          • Jon Wright May 29, 2018 (1:02 pm)

            I do not follow your reasoning. How do you get from “KFC will be closing and another restaurant is already lined up to take their spot” to “say goodbye to a lot more restaurants”?

          • Kevin May 29, 2018 (1:13 pm)

            Jon, follow the conversation, it all flowed just fine -you have to read EVERY person’s comment before, as well…There wasn’t a need to criticize, but cool, do you, I guess.

          • heartless May 29, 2018 (2:23 pm)

            No, Kevin. 
            Just no.

            First, Jon didn’t criticize.  He explained he was confused and asked a follow-up question.  

            Second, I AM going to criticize, and here we go:

            Monica’s comment was weird and self-contradictory.
            She mentions that restaurant prices are going up, as a result of taxes and minimum wage, but then turns around and says restaurants “cannot afford to stay open.”  Um, yes they can, like you JUST said they can do it by raising their prices.
            She somehow reads this WSB article as a ‘woe betide small businesses’ message when the ‘small’ businesses referenced are KFC and McDonalds…  And of course as JW mentioned the KFC (with over 20,000 locations) is being promptly replaced by another restaurant (a chain with over 200 locations–how’s that for a small business)…

            So where exactly is this evidence that Seattle is destroying small businesses?  
            I think it’s out of place (and even disingenuous) to tie this story to the death of small business in Seattle, so yeah, I take issue with it–and frankly, Kevin, you should too.

          • Jon Wright May 29, 2018 (2:44 pm)

            The implication of the post in question is there is some sort of restaurant Armageddon coming. There is no evidence of any such thing. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts.

    • Sandra Gutierrez May 28, 2018 (8:46 pm)

      The Habit is one of the greatest burger restaurants in the nation, it has won many awards in the southwest and on the West Coast. Their burgers are freshly made to order with fresh ingredients and pure beef.  I can’t believe “the habit”finally made their way to PNW! You will have no regrets losing a KFC to The Habit!

    • A June 10, 2018 (11:53 am)

      I’ve been to this burger joint several times in LA, it’s 10× better than Coastline! Not like RR, comparable to Red Mill….would rather have Red Mill though..

  • miws May 28, 2018 (2:18 pm)

    Wow, KFC has a 50+ year history in that immediate area,  starting out as a franchise within Gil’s Burgers that was located on the site where Taco Time is now located, then separating from Gil’s and moving to a building that stood where Starbucks Drive-Thru now is, and finally to the building they are now in after they had it built in 1980, making way for Groucho’s Burgers to move into KFC’s second location. (The former Gil’s location had become a Shakey’s Pizza by then). Mike 

    • Swede. May 28, 2018 (3:28 pm)

      That’s some interesting and fun to learn history. Thanks! 

    • psps May 28, 2018 (4:04 pm)

      I miss Groucho’s.

      • MikeK May 28, 2018 (9:12 pm)

        I miss Shakey’s.  

        • The King May 28, 2018 (10:53 pm)

          Pizza Pete’s was always the standby next door when Shakey’s was full. 

  • Misti May 28, 2018 (2:23 pm)

    This is GREAT news! While we don’t have In-n-Out in Seattle, I enjoy getting some Habit to remember the sunshine of California. I have a preference for the teriyaki chicken sandwich on sourdough with a side of frings. I was happy when Tukwila opened so I wouldn’t have to drive down to Kent, this is even better.

  • Coffeedude May 28, 2018 (3:16 pm)

    I remember in say 1976 when I lived in Iowa and KFC was good.  The last time I had KFC a out 5 years ago I vowed to never go back.  Glad to see a change.

  • Peter May 28, 2018 (3:20 pm)

    I will miss laughing about the “10 PCS” sign they’ve had up for about ten years. 

    • DK May 28, 2018 (8:32 pm)

      Omg YES!

  • Me May 28, 2018 (4:03 pm)

    That place had the worst service. Glad it’s going away. It used to be a treat.

    • Crispy crunchy May 28, 2018 (7:08 pm)

      Agreed. I don’t think KFC is any worse than some other fast food joints, but this place is a joke. Anyone EVER gotten crispy chicken from it? Or utensils?Good riddance.

    • WSmom May 29, 2018 (7:38 am)

      I have some fond childhood memories of KFC. When I was a kid it was a special treat. I got a craving for KFC once mostly out of nostalgia and went to that KFC. It was so bad. They were out of just about everything. Im surprised its lasted this long. 

  • TJ May 28, 2018 (4:56 pm)

    I am just happy that some typical bland 7 story box isn’t going in there. Kudos to the owner of the site. Now if we see new job numbers slow as predicted in the city, and some companies move jobs out as well due to the city councils anti-business mentality, these new developments will slow down. 

  • TJ May 28, 2018 (5:08 pm)

    I am happy so see that the building won’t be replaced with another typical 6 story box. Kudos to the owner. Now if we see new job numbers slow in the city and some existing jobs get moved out as well we will see these new developnents slow. 

  • Craig May 28, 2018 (6:04 pm)

    Interesting new place, but I sure wish the traffic flow in and out of that place would be improved. It’s not a major issue, but the drive through is awkward, so is turning left into the parking lot. Either way, it’ll be nice to see a new place there that’s not a mega fast food place. 

  • Sillygoose May 28, 2018 (6:41 pm)

    Sad to read this, KFC was my first job in 1981 so I could buy a car.  I was the fry cook for a couple years nice owners.

  • Erithan May 28, 2018 (7:32 pm)

    WTB a dick’s!

    • DK May 28, 2018 (8:32 pm)

      Not nearly enough room

  • aRF May 28, 2018 (7:47 pm)

    The Habit is out of Santa Barbara, my old hometown. I think the original was in Goleta (near UCSB).  This was a small operation and they made a great charbroil burger. At some point they either sold out or got VC funding, and the Habit started multiplying like rabbits. There is one near Southcenter. I’ve been to a couple of the chain Habits and they really aren’t as good as the original (shock!). They are riding the Shake Shack / Five Guys burger investment wave. Meanwhile, In-N-Out is in southern Oregon and slowly, VERY slowly, making its way up I5 (Medford and Grants Pass). Me? I’ll be Zippy’s. 

    • walkinggal May 29, 2018 (1:22 pm)

      This is my one true disappointment–that if it’s a SoCal chain, why couldn’t it be In-N-Out? I didn’t get to make my annual pilgrimage to California this year and I’m missing INO like mad. I used to go to Goleta all the time, but I honestly don’t recall Habit, though it’ll be nice to have more burger options in WS. (I used to love Five Guys when they had like four places in the DC area, but when they became a nationwide chain, they were kinda awful, so this makes me wonder about Habit…)

      • Pete June 4, 2018 (8:55 pm)

        I’m also from Santa Barbara, and I’ve gotta say I am stoked the Habit is moving in! While it might not be quite as good as the original, I’ve been very pleased with the Tukwila location. For those who have ever been fortunate to live in a place in which both the Habit and In-n-Out existed, they’ll be well acquainted with the age-old debate about which burger is better. I vote the Habit. And even if you can’t agree with that, the shakes at the Habit are on a fundamentally different plane of existence when compared to In-n-Out’s shakes. That’s not up for debate. My recommendation to those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, try it, then hate on it if you must. Or you could choose joy. Because there is joy at the Habit.

  • Jase May 28, 2018 (8:22 pm)

    If this place was a hybrid KFC Taco Bell I would have kept them in business. I’m a sick man, but I like Taco Bell.

  • MrB May 28, 2018 (8:59 pm)

    I’ve always wondered how that KFC stayed open?  Habit does a great job, welcome addition to our stale food scene here.  

  • psps May 28, 2018 (9:12 pm)

    I know such places aren’t known for their healthy food or promote themselves as such.  Nevertheless, I looked at their menu and see their “Charburger” consists of “Crisp lettuce, fresh tomato, caramelized onions, pickles, and mayo on a toasted bun.” This is in addition, of course, to the meat which is, “100% fresh ground beef chargrilled over an open flame.”  Doesn’t sound too heart-killing, does it? There’s no cheese and, except for the mayo, all the other condiments should be fine.  But then their nutritional information shows that this seemingly-benign item contains a whopping 35g of fat, 9 of which is saturated. 65% of its calories comes from fat. They must use really bad meat for figures like this.  I’ll still try them out but this, like all such places, should just be a “rare occasion” place.

  • Kelly McKinney May 29, 2018 (12:10 am)

    There is a Habit Burger Grill in Shoreline.  They are pretty good.

  • Joey Gerretsen May 29, 2018 (4:09 am)

    I’ve known this for about a month, was told by the owner while purchasing restaurant equipment from him.  Was also told the reason they’re closing is because of a dramatic loss in sales.  Good luck Habit Burger!

  • Brian Hughes May 29, 2018 (6:31 am)

    Not sure why I’d go there over Coastline. I’m sure they make a credible burger, but I’ll support our local joint over the chain. 

    • hj May 29, 2018 (2:18 pm)

      I still haven’t forgotten Coastline’s distasteful crowdfunding campaign before they opened. I do enjoy walking past it to visit other local restaurants, though.

      • clamdigger May 31, 2018 (11:45 am)

        @HJ your comments made me LOL — twice! Totally agree. 

    • Vegan May 29, 2018 (6:02 pm)

      Doesn’t Coastline have a connection to Red Mill? 

  • Wayne Hagler May 29, 2018 (7:28 am)

    I’m a transplanted West Seattleite living in Southern California, and The Habit is a hugely popular place.  Taste and quality is pretty consistent.  I’ve been to the location in Tukwila a couple of times, and it’s just as good as those down here.  No reason to believe the one in WS wont’ be.Can someone please go to Spuds and have some fish and chips for me?  Thanks in advance.    

  • waikikigirl May 29, 2018 (9:50 am)

    @Wayne Hagler…NO but we’ll go to SUNFISH and have some fish and chips for you! :>)

  • MJ May 29, 2018 (10:00 am)

    Wow the KFC is iconic at this site.  WS is pizza central already and now is working to also be burger central!As a side the Baskin and Robbins in Admiral district is being replaced by a Mediterranean type restaurant, if pizza or burger are not on the menu.  

  • Ann Schumann May 29, 2018 (12:26 pm)

    Unhappy with another burger chain….Hopefully they won’t make it and something healty and creative will go in.

  • they May 29, 2018 (3:41 pm)

    Sounds good to me, my KFC experiences always fell short of acceptable. Would love to see a Dicks Drive In sometime soon. If my memory serves me right the  Groucho’s Burgers guy was the original founder of Pepperdocks . (man I miss those steak fries)…

  • Homicider June 1, 2018 (2:23 pm)

    And nothing of value was lost. If I want good fried chicken I’ll go to Sisters and Brothers in Georgetown.

  • DK June 5, 2018 (1:50 pm)

    So while I was in Tukwila today and tried Habit for lunch. I’m impressed! It’s better than an in and out and definitely better than Dicks. The burgers are good sized, hold together, taste fresh and juicy, the lettuce was crisp, and they had sweet potato fries too. The restaurant itself was bright and clean albeit you could tell it was corporate. It would compare locally to a coastline burger, although I like the fries here better than the haystack fries at coastline. It will be exciting to see how they do in WS!

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