BIZNOTE: Ex-Pizza Hut’s future revealed

10:18 PM: Thanks to Manuel for spotting that Instagram post and texting the tip. We’ve been watching that spot at 35th and Morgan since reporting on Pizza Hut‘s closure nine months ago. No hints, at the site or in permit files, until this. Grillbird also has a website that says, “We are opening in early 2020 in West Seattle. We can not wait to serve you Classic Seattle style teriyaki, Katsu and more!” We have sent an inquiry in hopes of finding out more.

11:55 PM: We’ve heard back from Grillbird’s proprietor Matt Parker, a restaurant-industry veteran and 10-year West Seattleite. He describes the restaurant as a “teriyaki chicken shop.” This is his first solo enterprise but his background, he told us by email, includes being “the restaurant designer for Huxley Wallace Collective: Westward, Quality Athletics, Scout, Kiki Ramen, Great State Burger, etc.” He adds, “We love West Seattle and and I can’t wait to meet the folks in High Point.” We’ll be chatting with him further to find out more.

ADDED FRIDAY AFTERNOON: A little more from proprietor Matt, who we photographed at the restaurant-to-be this afternoon:

The vision for Grillbird is to serve up the best of what we all love about teriyaki (chargrilled chicken to order, exceptional value), and then to meet the needs of the modern customer (mobile pay, online ordering, delivery app, gluten free & vegan options, designed experience). Grillbird focuses only on the “hits” – a small but efficient menu serving up the dishes people consistently love. Everything will be made in-house, with quality, fresh ingredients, grilled to order and served quickly. Customers will be able to order by delivery, online app, phone or walk-in.

Grillbird is not a chain, or a concept. We are not “elevating” teriyaki. It’s just your local teriyaki joint made a little more modern and serving up (what we hope is) the best chicken teriyaki in town.

A few seats for dining in. P.S. He’ll be painting the exterior this weekend

79 Replies to "BIZNOTE: Ex-Pizza Hut's future revealed"

  • Shannon November 1, 2019 (5:17 am)

    Was that place a Winchell’s  donuts before being a pizza hut? The shape of the sign suggests that.

    • miws November 1, 2019 (7:15 am)

      Shannon, yes it was, going back at least until the ’60s. There was also one at Westwood Village. —Mike

      • jissy November 1, 2019 (7:34 am)

        So was the (current) Admiral Starbucks when I was a kid!

        • miws November 1, 2019 (8:49 am)

          Jissy, I’d forgotten about the Admiral location, and I went K-5 at Lafayette through the ’60s, so was familiar with the neighborhood! —Mike

    • Blbl November 1, 2019 (7:38 am)

      I instantly recognized that as a Winchells sign too. And isn’t it fascinating that a simple triangular sign can be that easily recognizable, even after decades? That’s some good marketing!

  • Gatewood neighbor November 1, 2019 (7:03 am)

    What great news for the neighborhood!  I was worried the place was going to be another apartment complex!  

    • ~hockeywitch~ November 1, 2019 (3:35 pm)

      Me too…but mostly because I live right next to it..Glad it will be a food place, but hope it won’t be as loud as Pizza Hut always was. 

  • becca November 1, 2019 (7:14 am)

    That’s what West Seattle needs… more teriyaki.

    • WSB November 1, 2019 (7:23 am)

      We’re actually pretty low on standalone teriyaki, for an area with 100,000+ people. 1 in Morgan, 1 in The Junction, 1 in Westwood, 1 in Highland Park. Am I missing someplace? – TR

    • Gene November 1, 2019 (7:47 am)

      It’s exactly what we need! Welcome grillbird!thought I had read /  heard way back when that an apartment building was going up on that & cleaners next door lot. Happy that’s not so( at least for PH lot)

      • WSB November 1, 2019 (8:15 am)

        Nope, I’ve been watching the file all these months and, to date, there’s never been a redevelopment proposal for either site.

        • Gene November 1, 2019 (10:17 am)

          Any word on what’s happening with cleaners?  Looks like there’s still clothing inside.

          • WSB November 1, 2019 (11:16 am)

            Nothing publicly visible, I’ve been checking frequently + we pass there slmost daily.

          • ~hockeywitch~ November 1, 2019 (3:37 pm)

            There are a lot of clothes still inside, and the weeds are taking over the backside of the building and the alley…

      • Mel November 1, 2019 (3:01 pm)

        All I need to know is if this Teriyaki place will be open on Sundays?  Really,….why is it that not one single teriyaki place is open on Sunday?  I’ve been in Seattle for almost 10 years and have never gotten an answer….

        • WSB November 1, 2019 (3:47 pm)

          Have never eaten there but I (Heart) Teriyaki just off the Michigan exit of the 1st Ave. S. Bridge is.

        • matthew parker November 1, 2019 (4:16 pm)

          Hi Mel. I’m the owner. I feel your pain. You will be happy to hear that we will be open on Sundays! Thanks, Matt 

          • Mel November 1, 2019 (5:21 pm)

            Awesome.   You can count me in as a regular customer when you open.  Sooooo excited.  I’ll have the short rib(hope you have that) well done, combo chicken/beef, Mongolian beef(again not sure have), and side order gyoza….

          • Mel November 1, 2019 (5:26 pm)

            Oh and if you have macaroni salad, that would be double awesome.

        • Ken November 1, 2019 (6:46 pm)

          @ Mel – No kidding right?  I’ve been wondering for years why nearly every teriyaki place is closed on Sundays.  Seems odd since I imagine most people have Sunday’s off – therefore more opportunities to eat out.

          • Ron Swanson November 2, 2019 (9:12 am)

            Because most teriyaki places are run by Korean Presbyterians who are in church on Sundays.

        • waikikigirl November 2, 2019 (12:05 pm)

          Or at least a lettuce salad and not that cabbage salad that’s served at the teriyaki restaurant at WWV!Yuk!

          • Marianne November 2, 2019 (12:48 pm)

            I love that cabbage salad!  BTW, Grillbird owner, Matt quickly responded to my questions regarding vegan options, and there will be several!

          • WSB November 2, 2019 (3:10 pm)

            Teriyaki and its trimmings, like pizza, seems to be an intensely personal perception of what’s good. I miss the cabbage “salad” that came with the half-chicken at Beni Hoshi aka Yasuko’s (35th/Fauntleroy), personally…

          • waikikigirl November 2, 2019 (5:51 pm)

            Maybe if it were more like a coleslaw than just green cabbage with some kind of vinegar on it…but that’s just my opinion

    • helpermonkey November 1, 2019 (9:24 am)

      I agree, Becca! We DO need more teriyaki! 

    • sw November 1, 2019 (12:28 pm)

      I for one welcome our new teriyaki overlords.

  • WSOwl November 1, 2019 (7:25 am)

    Sounds great!

  • Quora November 1, 2019 (8:15 am)

    There is teriyaki, then there is GOOD teriyaki. This sounds like the latter. Stoked to have them in the neighborhood.

  • JTM November 1, 2019 (8:20 am)

    Living literally around the corner from this, and between this and the new coffee shop (FINALLY) coming in at Upton Flats – we are pumped!

    • RCS November 4, 2019 (9:54 am)

      I live a block from here as well. I’m also excited to see fun stuff come to this area!

  • Olivia November 1, 2019 (8:31 am)

    Happy to see something useful fill the space and it looks yummy. I too was nervous for what would take over. Welcome Matt/Grillbird!!

  • Jess November 1, 2019 (8:46 am)

    Yay! All the restaurants he designed look really good, too, so he should be able to breathe some life into that corner. It’s been looking really run down between the sketchy gas station and UHaul. Even the pizza hut was looking rough before it closed.

  • Teriyaki Girl November 1, 2019 (8:49 am)

    This is right around the corner from me, and I’m so thrilled! We need a fun, quality, non-chain place in our little corner of West Seattle. Hurrah!

  • John Q Lincoln November 1, 2019 (9:15 am)

    A welcome addition to the neighborhood. 

  • Sarah November 1, 2019 (9:15 am)

    Yes, so glad to see this news!  Welcome to the neighborhood!

  • Seatown November 1, 2019 (9:24 am)

    I love all the places Matt has been involved with!  We are so lucky to have him bring much needed life in to the corner of Morgan and 35th.  I’m really excited about this!

  • matthew parker November 1, 2019 (9:53 am)

    Hi all, Matt here. I’m the owner of Grillbird and proud West Seattlite. I’m following these comments and am listening to your concerns. Please ask me anything or reach out directly at and follow us on insta @grillbird. Looking forward to meeting each and every one of you!!

    • tofu please! November 1, 2019 (2:36 pm)

      Hey there, welcome to the neighborhood! So excited for your restaurant. Please have a few vegetarian options and we’ll visit you all the time. Healthy options too and we’ll be there even more :)

      • matthew parker November 1, 2019 (4:21 pm)

        We will have a grilled mixed mushroom teriyaki as well as a fried firm tofu that we source from Vashon. Additionally our fried rice, noodles and grilled Chinese garlic broccoli will be meat free. That’s just the starting menu. As we grow we will add more vegetarian options 

        • CC November 1, 2019 (6:39 pm)

          I am so so happy to hear this!! As a vegetarian and leaning toward vegan, we need some quick options in the neighborhood!! Looking forward to the opening!!

    • Jesse Andreini November 1, 2019 (2:43 pm)

      I am very concerned that you may be tempted to use some cheesy faux-reclaimed wood in your design, a la Starbucks/REI/”barnwood” accent wall from Home Depot. So please allay my concerns on that front. Also, how about a brown rice option? I know it’s not traditional but then I can pretend it’s healthy, even when slathered with sugary meat drippings. I do like that sign shape; it’s no cow but it is historic!

      • What? November 1, 2019 (4:24 pm)

        Lol, what are you going on about?

      • matthew parker November 1, 2019 (4:26 pm)

        Hi Jesse, Rest assured this won’t be no Starbucks. I’m going for a clean and minimalist interior. We will absolutely offer brown rice for no extra charge. Thanks for the questions! 

    • From Gatewood November 1, 2019 (9:57 pm)

      Looking forward to it!  We’d love a chicken breast option!  

  • Steve November 1, 2019 (10:01 am)

    Aw, shucks, I was hoping they would redevelop that corner into housing with retail/restaurants on the ground floor. Maybe in a few more years. Hopefully this place has some good vegetarian options at least! 

  • James November 1, 2019 (10:03 am)

    Any word on what is happening with the dry cleaner next door? 

  • AlohaSpirit1 November 1, 2019 (10:04 am)

    YES!  Looking forward to both the coffee shop at Upton Flats and Grillbird. Someone mentioned the branding of Winchell’s sign (even w/o any wording). Isn’t that amazing all these decades later!  You are right…great branding from the 60s or earlier. Thank you WSB for always having quality info for WS!  

  • Beto November 1, 2019 (10:21 am)

    Teriyaki sounds good, as long as it is tasty and inexpensive.  My spouse on occasion talks about a sandwich shop across the street from Tony’s Produce on 35th Ave. and SW Barton St.  Can an old timer West Seattlite give me the exact name of that shop?  My spouse is terrible at spelling and says the name was like Loviquios or something like that.  Knowing him I know that wouldn’t be the right name nor spelling but I’m always puzzled by it.  Please help :-)  He says that thr shop was just across the street from Tony’s on the west side of 35th Ave.

    • HelperMonkey November 1, 2019 (11:16 am)

      beto – it’s now the Super Deli Mart, and used to be Hoagie’s Corner back in the day. Home of the Cheesy British! 

      • Beto November 1, 2019 (12:39 pm)

        My partner says it had another name before Hoagie’s….perhaps late 80s or early 90s?

      • Debster November 9, 2019 (9:29 pm)

        It was a Gastro’s and the sandwiches are still wonderful!

    • Marty2 November 1, 2019 (11:29 am)

      Beto – It’s the Super Deli Mart, used to be a Hoagies years ago.  Cheesy British is my favorite and they have a great beer selection.

      • Beto November 1, 2019 (12:41 pm)

        Well, partner says it was something else before Hoagie’s…maybe in the late 80s or early 90s.  He’s been in West Seattle since 1973…really old-timer!

        • miws November 1, 2019 (1:20 pm)

          Beto, in the ’70s, and likely carrying over into at least part of the ’80s, it was Lavicio’s. My fave there was the “German” sub sandwich. Hoagies Corner pretty much kept the same menu, as I recall. What I *don’t* recall is how much I visited Hoagies, so am not sure if it was the same level of quality. I lived in Arbor Heights during my high school years and a couple of years beyond, before moving out on my own to just south of the Junction in 1978.  I seem to remember going to Lavicio’s rather often back then. —Mike

          • helpermonkey November 1, 2019 (4:23 pm)

            petition to make Mike West Seattle’s Unofficial Historian! :) You always have the old school answers. 

          • ACG November 1, 2019 (6:36 pm)

            Helpermonkey-  I totally agree!!  Mike gives great history!  I can’t remember what I did last week- but he remembers things from decades ago. Love it!!

          • Beto November 1, 2019 (5:03 pm)

            Hi Mike, thank you so much for the information. I always suspected it had a name different from what my spouse told me.  I’ll keep teasing him about his grammar and spelling.  Thanks again!!!

          • miws November 1, 2019 (7:07 pm)

            Beto, you are very welcome! —– Helpermonkey, and ACG, thanks to you both! I’m blushing right now! I actually have had trouble “remembering what I did last week” as well in recent years. And, as far as the decades-back stuff, even though I can still remember a lot of that stuff, I’ve been second-guessing and/or verifying with Google searches more and more on that kind of stuff in recent years too.— Mike

        • Rick Cook November 1, 2019 (5:43 pm)

          It used to be an American Oil station back in the early 70’s when I worked there.

  • Love Good Teriyaki Close to Home November 1, 2019 (10:23 am)

    Yes!! 👍🏽

  • Mike November 1, 2019 (10:54 am)

    Awesome, can’t wait!

  • momosmom November 1, 2019 (12:44 pm)

    Here you go peeps! 

  • Michael Waldo November 1, 2019 (1:36 pm)

    the Winchells was there through the 80’s. Went there a few times.

  • Graciano November 1, 2019 (3:35 pm)

  • TreeHouse November 1, 2019 (4:08 pm)

    Chicken Teriyaki and Chicken Katsu Curry are my weaknesses! I’m super excited for this to come to the neighborhood! What an exciting addition…. especially after hearing SHA took all that ground level retail at Upton Flats and turned it into stupid offices. 

  • sam-c November 1, 2019 (4:39 pm)

    Sounds tasty- can’t wait to try it! (and the vegetarian options sound good too)

  • waybakR. November 1, 2019 (5:04 pm)

    Oh man I remember Winchells!  those hot and yummy donuts were sooo good! I always wished it was in the junction though… Frankly, I’m surprised that place hasn’t been torn down!   good luck with the new!

  • waybakR. November 1, 2019 (5:19 pm)

    This has absolutely nothing to do with grillbird, but I just remembered godfather’s pizza in the junction-they had small personal pan pizzas and there was a salad bar there…for some reason I loved that place..! Okay, I just had to mention that lol!

    • Jayson November 1, 2019 (7:18 pm)

      I miss Godfathers too. There’s supposedly one in Tacoma still. 

      • Yvonne November 2, 2019 (7:26 am)

        There is a godfathers, it’s more spanaway/parkland on pac ave. It’s a bit run down but still has the salad bar. 

    • Maria November 2, 2019 (8:53 am)

      Oh the Godfathers lunch buffet.  Tasty and bad for you.  But the right price way back then.

  • Olafur November 1, 2019 (6:00 pm)

    Matt, so glad to hear you’ll be sprucing up that corner and bringing some good food to the area.  While it seems to be the fashion here on the Blog to make a list of eclectic inquiries/demands of any new business (it’s often like watching an episode of Portlandia), I’ll just say thank you for what you’re doing, and welcome!

  • Elle Nell November 1, 2019 (6:02 pm)

    This is great news!! We really need a teriyaki spot! I miss toshios Hope it’s affordable as Quality Athletics is way too over priced, in my humble opinion. 

  • Trickycoolj November 2, 2019 (12:56 am)

    Yesssss!! I haven’t had walkable takeout let alone Teriyaki since I lived in Northgate 7 years ago! High Point is a serious food desert. And Sunday! This household is going to flip out! (For those wondering most teriyaki places are run by Korean families that typically spend Sunday at church)

  • Gina November 2, 2019 (8:58 am)

    Yaaaay, gluten free options at a teriyaki place!?! This could be a game changer. Wish the best of luck on the opening! 

  • twicksea November 3, 2019 (2:00 pm)

    Welcome Matt and Grillbird!  I love the Huxley Wallace group and am so glad to see our neighborhood get an independent business with an owner who knows how to succeed.  Happy to see you mention gluten free and vegetarian/vegan options too–we appreciate having a place our whole household can enjoy.  Can’t wait!

  • Sdw November 3, 2019 (7:02 pm)

    We also have 2 gf peeps in our family and have been driving to Redmond for gf teriyaki! Sooo excited to have this option in ws! 

  • Caroline November 21, 2019 (8:06 am)

    I pass by this almost everyday. Hope the new owner makes Teriyaki with Tamari instead of regular soy sauce- so then us Wheat/GF folk can enjoy the new restaurant! 

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