BIZNOTE: B’s Po Boy on Alki won’t reopen

(Photo courtesy Tod)

Multiple readers have sent photos of the sign that just went up in the past few hours announcing the permanent closure of B’s Po Boy on Alki. We know the time frame because we were in the area around midmorning, at which time the sign was still the one that had been up for about a week, saying the restaurant was still closed because of the weather. Previously, an early February opening was promised when B’s Po Boy closed just before Christmas, citing vacation time; the business has also been listed for sale for some weeks. B’s opened a year and a half ago, run by a couple who had moved here from Indianapolis, where they had a restaurant of the same name (which closed in late 2017). The 2738 Alki Avenue SW spot had previously been the site of Fatburger, from fall 2013 to early 2017, following Bada Bistro‘s less-than-five-month run, after two years for the Beachside Café, which in turn was the successor to Alki Bakery, a corner fixture for 25 years, until November 2010.

Other Alki food/beverage closures in the past year include, west to east, Marée Bistro, Sushi Samurai, Phoenecia, Tully’s Coffee (which, as first reported here almost two weeks ago, will become Harry’s Beach House), Saigon Pho.

65 Replies to "BIZNOTE: B's Po Boy on Alki won't reopen"

  • Mr West Side February 15, 2019 (3:28 pm)

    Not suprised when the service was subpar.   My wife and I laughed when the bartender didnt know how to make a Pimms cup or have Pimms. UM it’s the most popular drink in New Orleans besides a Hurricane!  I’m sorry you have to at least make an effort to provide New Orleans style with passion.  This place had none of that.

    • RandomGeek February 15, 2019 (8:31 pm)

      Pimms Cup is a popular drink in England. In New Orleans it’d be a daiquiri (from a drive-through, of course), a hurricane or a sazerac

  • ChefJake February 15, 2019 (4:09 pm)

    Bummer!  They had great gumbo 

  • ACG February 15, 2019 (4:19 pm)

    I miss Alki Bakery…

    • David February 21, 2019 (8:33 pm)

      I’m with you. If you can hear me, Alki Bakery, come back!!I was one of the first customers at Po Boys when this place opened and from day one, I knew this place would not last. Frankly I’m surprised they lasted more than 12 months. Great tax write-off!

  • RayWest February 15, 2019 (4:19 pm)

    Too bad. I liked their food and it was nice having something different from the usual fare.  I hope they can reopen at some other location.  The Alki area is a tough business location.

  • RJB February 15, 2019 (4:27 pm)

    I miss the Alki Bakery too!!! #bringbackthebakery

  • newnative February 15, 2019 (4:34 pm)

    I liked their food and their service. That’s too bad. 

  • pdid February 15, 2019 (5:12 pm)

    Maybe a new coffee shop? I always thought this was a better coffee shop space than Tully’s.

  • Bob February 15, 2019 (5:34 pm)

    I tried it early on, and it was not great. Red beans and rice was terrible. To be New Orleans based, you have to have that down. The po-boy was fair. Bread was good, but never went back. Not surprised they didn’t make it.

  • SLJ February 15, 2019 (5:50 pm)

    I would love to have an Indian restaurant there!  Is there any place besides Maharajah around here anymore?

    • My two cents ... February 15, 2019 (6:58 pm)

      @SLJ … Try entering this into either or “indian restaurants west seattle” …. amazing what you will get.

  • ShannonF February 15, 2019 (5:56 pm)

    I thought they were great. I am sad to see them go.

  • Gina February 15, 2019 (6:02 pm)

    I miss the Seaside Pharmacy.

  • Kim February 15, 2019 (6:18 pm)

    Please a Cone and Steiner market here or there or anywhere down on Alki!

    • My two cents ... February 15, 2019 (7:19 pm)

      Great idea! 

      • Brad February 15, 2019 (11:36 pm)

        I sent em a msg, no reply but maybe if others do to;)

        • Kim February 16, 2019 (9:51 am)

          Aren’t there enough neighbors to support one in the winter? 

  • Michael Waldo February 15, 2019 (6:22 pm)

    Great Indian food in Burien! Royal Everest Nepalese & Indian Restaurant. 635 SW 152nd St, Burien, WA 98166

  • Carol February 15, 2019 (6:27 pm)

    Like Gina’s comment.

  • Swede. February 15, 2019 (7:02 pm)

    The basic idea behind a ‘po boy’ is that it’s cheap. They missed that part big time! I miss the bakery there too actually. But it looks like they have a rent problem there. Nobody can afford to stay…

  • BJG February 15, 2019 (7:05 pm)

    Sad to see another family owned restaurant in Seattle go under. The costs of doing business in Seattle are more than anyone with an optimistic business plan can imagine. Optimism won’t pay the bills. Eventually corporations with deep pockets will be only viable owners.

    • My two cents ... February 15, 2019 (7:28 pm)

      @BJG – not a fair statement in my view. I go by there on a consistent basis and it was never a constant draw for people to dine/drink at. I don’t necessarily ascribe to what seems to be at times a knee jerk reaction to the “cost of doing business in Seattle” as a rationale or excuse. Yes, it is expensive in this city – but it is also based on the ability to market, grow, keep, invest in the business … small business failure rates across the board dictate a brave, bold, researched, knowledge, experience and entrepreneurial outlook to even have a chance.

      • heartless February 15, 2019 (8:35 pm)

        I agree with Two Cents.  I see a lot of small places doing just fine–so many, in fact, that I surely don’t need to name them –and a number of “deep pocket” corporate stores folding (for example the Pizza Hut at 35th and Morgan, various stores in Westwood, etc.).  So, yeah, not sure where you’re coming from, BJG.

      • BJG February 16, 2019 (10:00 am)

        @ My two cents: Exactly what I said. Misjudge the fixed overhead expenses/contingencies at one’s peril.  And unless you are in the business, not just a patron, (and thanks for being a regular) you will not understand these costs. They are not for the beginner with a small investment. Ask any veteran of food service in Seattle. My statement does not address your particular experience with this restaurant. This is a tough and expensive business in the City of Seattle even if the food is excellent and the reviews are glowing. Many good ones still fail.

  • My two cents ... February 15, 2019 (7:21 pm)

    Piling on here – but Alki Bakery was a great fit for that location/ always people in there, crowded at times, but consistent. Too bad the financials didn’t pencil out for them – obvious they continue to be missed by the WS community.

  • Mamasuze February 15, 2019 (7:50 pm)

    Any one kniw what the rent is there?

    • Mike February 16, 2019 (10:13 am)

      For space without permitting for food service, probably $35-$45 per sq/ft every month.  For space that’s permitted for food service, bump that up a bit.

      • Mike February 16, 2019 (12:56 pm)

        I should clarify that’s per year, not per month at those rates.

  • Leon February 15, 2019 (8:31 pm)

    Yes this location is really tough so I’m not surprised.Foot traffic in that area is really light in the winter, which is why there have been so many closures. That more than anything is the challenge.The food was fine and the service was fine, but the place didn’t have anything you had to come back for. In a tough location you have to be GREAT.

  • Junction Dude February 15, 2019 (8:54 pm)

    I went there on their opening day.. Never went again. But in all honesty, I don’t like Creole food. Never did being raised in on the West Side!But that day, I gave it an fair go. Good luck to the owners.FYI… We could use an Ivars!

    • WSB February 15, 2019 (9:13 pm)

      We HAVE an Ivar’s. That’s who owns Alki Spud. Same food.

      • raywest February 16, 2019 (5:30 am)

        And we also have Sunfish Fish & Chips. Three fish & chip places on Alki would be way too many.

      • MG February 18, 2019 (3:47 pm)

        Spud may sell the same type of food but not the same food as Ivar’s which is a good thing.   Glad Ivar’s let them stick with their own recipes.  Would like a good fish restaurant that’s less pricey than Salty’s. 

  • Smoky February 15, 2019 (10:03 pm)

    Has there ever been a BBQ joint on Alki?

  • rpo February 15, 2019 (10:08 pm)

    I expected they would close at some point based on the lack of customers on Alki for 8 months of the year, but I loved that place. I likely ate lunch there 50 times. Thank you, Brian, for the great food and conversation over the last couple of years.

  • Gene February 15, 2019 (10:19 pm)

    Sounds like a mix of folks who liked the food & service & folks who didn’t-guess there was more of the latter. That’s a high profile location with a rent to match-thinking whatever goes in there has to be able to do better than just depend on foot traffic. 

  • Sue H February 15, 2019 (10:55 pm)

    I’m sorry to hear that. I went several times and loved the food, and the only reason I haven’t been back is because I had to change my diet and eliminate most of the things that make up their menu.

  • RW February 16, 2019 (5:23 am)

    Why do landlords continue charging such high rents only to have their tenants’ businesses continually fail, leaving the space vacant and earning no revenue  for months at a time?  Wouldn’t it be advantageous to make doing business  more affordable in this area? Seems like the profit margin from rents would increase if it was consistently spread out over time.  Of course, owners also have to offer a consistent high-quality product to maintain their customer base and not  be dependent on seasonal business.

  • Al February 16, 2019 (6:22 am)

    I’ve never understood why some people feel compelled to write negative reviews when a business has already closed. It seems like kicking folks when they’re down. Why point out this business’ flaws now that no one needs to be warned away? People have lost their jobs and livelihoods, do we need to dance on their graves? Just seems like bad manners and an obvious breach of the golden rule. Also, for the record I really enjoyed their sandwiches. And here’s hoping for better success for whoever takes this space next!

    • ShannonF February 16, 2019 (7:47 am)

      Agreed. Thank you!

    • LB February 16, 2019 (8:59 am)

      Thank you for saying this. I was just feeling sad for this family as I read some of these comments. 

    • Skeptic February 16, 2019 (9:15 am)

      I’m always curious why businesses close around here.  Negative reviews are often part of these explanations and can hopefully help the owners.  I went there twice after it opened and the service was poor both times, so I’m not surprised it is closed.

    • KC February 16, 2019 (9:32 am)

      Agree.  We dined there twice while visiting.  The shrimp po boy was excellent. I’ve been to NOLA many times and surprise! had bad meals and bartenders who couldn’t mix drinks.  Happens.  I actually took the time to talk to the couple who ran the place.  High labor costs, undependable staff, rent, lack of parking in peak months, competition from “up the hill” all contributed to its demise.  My question was didn’t you know that coming in?  That’s the question for the next biz model.  Would like to know from readers: what works in those spaces????

    • JI February 16, 2019 (10:00 am)

      Yes!!! Thank you, AL. Well said. A little compassion can make a big difference in this world.

    • alki_2008 February 25, 2019 (3:30 pm)

      Maybe because someone needs to counter the oft-assumed reason that it’s a greedy landlord that caused a business to fail. It is sometimes the business itself that’s at fault..IIRC, the owners of B’s were not local Seattleites, but rather people with a restaurant in the South that liked Seattle and so opened the restaurant here. In which case, they probably should’ve studied the local area more before buying. And their prices and food choices were not very good, IMO. Went there a couple times and was disappointed in the value of the food and the service both times.

  • Leo February 16, 2019 (9:17 am)

    From my perspective of being an Alki resident for over 14 years, it’s a challenge to have a successful restaurant in this neighborhood.  At one point there were over 20 places to eat on Alki Avenue between Cactus and Blue Moon.  During the winter,  Alki is a ghost town.  During summer there is plenty of foot traffic,  but parking is tough.   Christos, Duke’s, Pepperdock’s, Spuds, Alki Cafe,  Sunfish, and Cactus have managed to stand the test of time. Many others have come and gone.

    • Mike February 16, 2019 (10:07 am)

      As rents go up for these businesses, more condo and apartment units put in without adequate parking and the removal of more public parking, expect more businesses to be closing along Alki.  I avoid Alki during the summer after 10AM, it’s not my scene with the hoard trashing the place.  During the winter/fall I will go down, many times to get a pizza and salad at Pegasus.  However, lately, I’ve found it less likely to find parking within 2 blocks of Pegasus.  Still able to walk two blocks with pizza and salad in hand for take-out, but that’s a telling sign that there’s not enough parking when even in winter it’s tougher to find a spot.  I assume most residents here want to see local shops thrive, but with the current situation you’ll be more likely to see big box chains move in more and more.  

      • WSB February 16, 2019 (1:58 pm)

        Just one note: Alki, unlike other parts of the area, has NOT had parking changes. The Alki “parking overlay” requiring one and a half spaces per residential unit continues. I don’t know the commercial requirements (if any) offhand.

    • RayWest February 20, 2019 (4:33 am)

      Parking is a huge issue for me when considering  a meal on Alki. I love eating in the neighborhood, but in summer you usually have to drive around endlessly to find a spot that is blocks away. There’s more parking in winter, but often you still have a bit of a walk unless you’re lucky and find something nearby. I don’t mind walking but in inclement weather, I don’t particularly enjoy arriving at my destination cold, wet, and/or wind-blown and having to repeat that to get back to the car. 

    • alki_2008 February 25, 2019 (3:24 pm)

      Part of the reason some places survive for so long, like Dukes and Christos and Pepperdock and Spuds, is ownership of the building by the business owner.

  • Gene February 16, 2019 (9:25 am)

    Don’t think folks aren’t compassionate regarding family & workers- but don’t begrudge them voicing their opinions on what they liked or didn’t like about the restaurant. Wonder if next business would consider checking comments on WSBlog  especially regarding issues like service & quality of food hours etc.Could be useful-?

    • WSB February 16, 2019 (9:40 am)

      Currently, since the restaurant section’s been down for repairs for a while, our site has no place for restaurant-specific comments (unless you open a Forum topic) but heaven knows there are a zillion places online where customers can and do post “reviews.” Not the best place for businesses to post outgoing information – algorithms and all that – but there are so many opportunities to receive comments on how you’re doing. Best of all is communicating your feedback directly via email, messaging, talking to management at the business, etc. … TR

  • dhg February 16, 2019 (10:37 am)

    Although having a reasonable rate on the lease is key, the type of food being offered is also important.  I’ve yet to see a Creole place do well in Seattle.  I’ve seen so many open, but none of them have lasted.  At one time, there was an attempt at a high end Louisiana-style restaurant in the Junction.  It even had valet parking.  Didn’t last long.    

  • Villagegreen February 16, 2019 (11:11 am)

    Only went a couple of times, but the Po Boys were good! Sorry they’re closing. My feeling is that a lot of businesses that fail in West Seattle fail because the space is just too large for the type of food they’re serving. The Po Boys I’ve had in NOLA were from hole in the wall type places. Open B’s in a space similar to Falafel Salam in the Junction and I predict you’d have a raging success. Great American Diner is another example. The space is just too large. How they’ve managed to stay in business this long in that space is beyond me. Seems only a matter of time. 

  • Lisa M February 16, 2019 (11:42 am)

    Wow, that spot has changed over so many times over the years , I am trying to remember all the different business after the bakery – I think a burger place, a café of some sort, ??…You would think that location would be golden year round, I wonder what kind of place would really last!

    • WSB February 16, 2019 (11:50 am)

      They’re all listed in the story, with links to past coverage. After Alki Bakery, Beachside Café, Bada Bistro, Fatburger, B’s Po Boy.

  • Mj February 16, 2019 (2:37 pm)

    The restaurant business is brutal, couple this with the added Seattle regulations makes it even tougher!  

    • dawsonct February 16, 2019 (9:19 pm)

      So, how do you explain the otherwise booming Seattle restaurant industry, what with all the regulations and everything?P.S. next time you get food poisoning after eating out, please do not complain to the health department. They’ll probably just try to regulate that business, and that businesses profits are more important than your health.

      • GW February 17, 2019 (1:57 pm)

        The industry is only booming for some. If you look at who is opening shops it is mostly established restauranteurs opening third and fouth locations.  The scale they have allows for lower per restaurant profit margin requirements.  Read the Seattle Times Restaurant closing/openings.  Most all of the openings are 3rd, 4th or 5th locations and not the mom and pop first store.  Those places are struggling and no one seems to get that.  

  • Westchef February 16, 2019 (6:45 pm)

    1. Rent. Is the same 12 months a year. Property owners think your sitting on a gold mine. Reality is you sitting on a shaft. 2. Seattle regulations. Pay, B & O taxes, soda tax, take out containers tax, Ect. It’s nickels and dimes but they add up fast. 3. Quality of food. It has to be top notch each and everyday. You can never have an off day, not in this market. WS will turn on a place in a heartbeat. 4. Open a law firm. They rarely go out of business. 

  • J242 February 18, 2019 (6:47 am)

    Noooo! This has been my family’s favorite restaurant in WS since it opened. Ryan & Deb were always great to chat with and we regularly had 10+ people birthday and misc celebrations at B’s. B’s will be missed. :( Toulouse Petit is alright for fusion cajun comfort food but no one else in the area has that Leidenheimer bread like B’s. 

  • Nicole February 18, 2019 (7:33 am)

    We need a Salt and Straw on the beach! This would be a great location! 

  • Alki_Mel February 18, 2019 (10:56 am)

    Is Alki becoming where business come to die? It sure seems that way as of late. I live a block away from B’s and went there once, and unfortunately has a bad experience. It was an off-season day, and there was one other occupied table. We never went back to support because the service was TERRIBLE– the owner and a teenage boy/server were just playing on their phones behind the bar the entire time. I had to seek them out to take our order, get us water & drinks, check on the status of the order, and ask for the check. When we asked the server where our beer was, he said the bartender was busy. I watched to see who this bartender was, and what he was busy doing… turns out it was the owner who was busy on his phone behind the bar.  The food was subpar, overpriced for what you got, and just overall not a good vibe.  I ended up leaving B’s quite angry with the lack of care for service. And I don’t typically get angry. I’m curious if other locals agree, but I have noticed that nearly every restaurant on Alki have poor service. The exceptions being the long-time staples of Dukes/Cactus/the Chup. Also, I will put up with the grouchy brothers of Sunfish because their chowder is really the best in the world. I seriously don’t understand this. Living in the neighborhood, I would love to support these small businesses and the entrepreneurs behind them.  But business loyalty (esp from the locals to help keep them afloat in the off season) are earned and not given…. and quality service is a close second to food quality. I do hope that this next generation of businesses that begin open up can thrive and succeed, but also that they seriously take customer service/experience into consideration. Otherwise, they will more than likely die like the others!

    • RCS February 20, 2019 (4:31 pm)

      I had the same experience the one time I went last summer. Teenage kid on his phone. I was there on a date and we actually had an entertaining time laughing at the terrible staff, terrible cocktail that tasted like melted popsicle , and messy spicy sandwich. 

Sorry, comment time is over.