A new tenant for the old market at 7789 Highland Park Way – Crowfoot Café. We noticed an early-stage permit filing, and then before we could even rev up our research, Harvey sent a tip with the restaurant-to-be’s name and website! We contacted proprietors/founders Steven Baird and Maureen Clark and asked for some backstory on what they’re planning. Here’s what they sent:
Maureen and I are both transplants to Seattle. I got to Washington via the Navy and after getting out of the service moved to the Seattle area in 2004. Maureen attended Boise State University and worked at KBSU, the city’s NPR affiliate, before making a change and landing in Seattle. Shortly after meeting each other we moved from the Fremont area to West Seattle, around 2009. We chose West Seattle because we liked the family feel and we were looking for our own nest. We settled in this cozy little neighborhood of Highland Park.
We were disappointed when the Country Deli Grocery store closed last year, as it was our go-to spot for ice cream and drinks.
We had been dreaming of opening our own cafe or restaurant for several years but, with a busy schedule, (school, soccer and work), the launch of this idea seemed impossible. Meanwhile I was conquering another challenge in life, perfecting my pizza!! I have been making pizza from “scratch” my entire life and it wasn’t until about 10 years ago when I started my own family that this passion for making pizza became stronger as I wanted to pass these skills on to my own family. The thought of watching my kids and possibly even grandkids making pizza really makes me happy!! On this mission to perfect my pizza, the key stone was our patio wood-fired pizza oven. This oven allowed me to make professional pizza consistently enough that it led to us hosting several backyard pizza parties. Afterward, I told Maureen “we should just do this, we should make our pizza for everyone to enjoy.” We started making some small plans here and there but everything really was at a standstill until we saw that the old convenience store was available for lease. Returning from our vacation, we saw the sign from the window of the truck and immediately jumped on the opportunity.
Since we are pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps, we decided the best course was to start with a setup where we can make and sell pizza right away. We are starting out small, operating a pizzeria kitchen on wheels from the parking lot with outside covered seating, while we are securing the (change of use) permit to allow people to sit inside the building. As soon as we have the permit, we will have real inside seating! After a year or two we will build a kitchen and while celebrating the history of the building, transform the space. We are working through the kinks getting the trailer finished and submitting our plans to Labor & Industries and Department of Health. We plan for a soft opening – “The Pizza Tasting” – in early November.
Crowfoot Cafe’s Mission: To provide great pizza in a family-oriented environment where everyone feels welcome. To give back to our community that has nurtured us, we want to extend a discount to Seattle Public Schools employees, First Responders, and contribute to West Seattle Soccer Club.
A cafe in our growing neighborhood has been long in coming and we are excited to step up and give back.