BIZNOTE: Shack Coffeehouse closing

Thanks to Lynda for the tip: Shack Coffeehouse has announced it’s closing after this Friday. From its Instagram page:

As you all know it has been a rocky last couple of months for us here at The Shack. Construction has caused a drastic cut in business and it is sadly time for us to close our doors. Our last day open will be Friday Nov. 1st, 7:30AM-1PM. All merch such as sweatshirts, t-shirts, water bottles, coffee cups and reusable tote bags will be 50% off! Stop in and grab one to remember us by! We thank you for your support, and you can still see some of your favorite baristas working at @hotwirecoffee so feel free to swing by and see them! Thank you West Seattle!

Shack staffers told us business dropped by half within the first few weeks of the Avalon roadwork five months ago; then last month, the owners listed it for sale. Before it became Shack Coffeehouse, the little building at 2920 Avalon Way had been Java Bean for almost 20 years.

27 Replies to "BIZNOTE: Shack Coffeehouse closing"

  • M October 30, 2019 (6:43 pm)

    Very sad. This repaving project has been an absolute disaster for our community. With what seems to be no end in sight. 

  • Mike October 30, 2019 (6:54 pm)

    Mission accomplished SDOT?

    • Peter October 31, 2019 (8:59 am)

      Mike, present your evidence that SDOT’s intent was to close businesses. 

  • Ken October 30, 2019 (8:05 pm)

    This is all part of Seattle’s Master Plan – A concerted effort by the leaders of Seattle to make it as inconvenient as possible for people with cars.  They prefer to take away from tax paying car owners and create bus and bike lanes which do nothing except add to already congested streets.   And if small businesses get in the way of their overall grand scheme of things, then it’s just too damn bad.  The “leaders” (if you can really call them that) clearly don’t care about the quality of life in Seattle.  It’s truly a shame what this city has become.  I used to be proud to call Seattle my home.  No it’s just plain embarrassing.

    • Jon Wright October 30, 2019 (11:00 pm)

      l00k 0ut dud3 th3y’r3 c0m1ng f0r y0ur carz!!!

      • mw October 31, 2019 (5:42 am)


    • Peter October 31, 2019 (8:57 am)

      Needless to say, you, in your infinite wisdom and with your magical powers, could rebuild a toad with no traffic disruption. 

  • KBear October 30, 2019 (8:13 pm)

    Good grief, people. You complain when streets are in disrepair and you complain when they get fixed. The street was kept open throughout the entire project. It’s not the city’s fault this business failed. 

    • Matt P October 31, 2019 (12:23 am)

      No comment on whether it affected the business, but there’s no denying how ridiculously long this construction project has gone for a short distance of road.

      • Peter October 31, 2019 (9:04 am)

        Matt, based you education and experience in construction and civil engineering, please tell us how long the project should have taken. 

  • Tsurly October 30, 2019 (8:22 pm)

    Honest question. If the repacking project is to blame for this, then why aren’t the other businesses in that area closing as well?

    • ShannonFelix October 31, 2019 (6:38 am)

      We’ve got rose-colored glasses down at Avalon Glassworks and still hope to make up the losses between now and the end of the year. Y’all should come down and buy something. 

  • KD October 30, 2019 (8:35 pm)

    Why not the community fundraiser like was done to save C&P Coffee??? Ironic is closing on practically the same day the road is totally finished! Can’t many, many people step up with a bit of $$?

    • KM October 30, 2019 (9:18 pm)

      The owners have at least two other successful businesses in Seattle, one with quite a wide retail distribution as well (Flying Apron). They probably know when it’s time to close. It was struggling when they bought it, iirc from an earlier article. They are successful business owners, and don’t need a fundraiser to save an unsuccessful venture. FWIW, I never went there while I was in my car (prior to the construction), only on foot or transit. It was fine, but I preferred other coffee in WS so I never made the effort. It just might not be a sustainable shop for a myriad of reasons. 

      • Gene October 30, 2019 (10:45 pm)

        Gee whiz-Nice sentiment 

    • newnative October 31, 2019 (9:55 am)

      Crowdfunding/fundraising was brought up when this was originally brought up (months ago). It’s not nearly the same situation as C & P, it hasn’t been a community hub and the problem was the profitability. C & P is a successful business that has given a lot back to its community and the reason for the community fundraising had to do with the suddenness of the property being sold. The Shack was bought under duress and hasn’t pulled through.     

  • DRW October 30, 2019 (11:48 pm)


  • Quora October 31, 2019 (7:18 am)

    Sounds like there is a legitimate gripe for how long the Avalon project has taken. I am a routine 55/C line rider, so I know how long it’s taken because it feels like my commute has been screwed for months and months on end. But the location of The Shack is quite unique for a coffee joint and there are only, what, 60 other coffee places in West Seattle, so we should be careful blaming road improvements on “failing businesses”. That said, there is no question the Avalon project has been very disruptive and no doubt we are all happy it is coming to an end.

  • nancy October 31, 2019 (8:31 am)

    I do hope that there are some plans to ensure that the building is preserved, as well as that great Jesse Link mural. Anyone know who owns the building?

  • Lagartija Nick October 31, 2019 (10:38 am)

    For those of you who insist that SDOT did this (on purpose) to kill local business as part of some nefarious “war on cars” nonsense. SDOT provided a parking lot for these businesses less than a block away. It is not SDOT’s fault that people were unwilling (or too lazy) to utilize it.

    • KM October 31, 2019 (12:49 pm)

      Why use the parking lot a block away when you can park in the crosswalk at SW Orleans? I wish Luna Park would do something about preventing their patrons from using these “spots”, it’s nearly impossible to get by for rolling pedestrians. Maybe a sign or some paint? I see SDOT had a barrier up for a while on the north side of the crosswalk, but of course, someone moved it so they could park.

  • vincent October 31, 2019 (11:32 am)

    I do enjoy the irony of one of the businesses that blocked a rapid ride station, later got crippled by loss of foot traffic, that’s 2 out of 3. At least we get to keep the station half way up the block away from the last remaining business when they lose the public street they have been using as a parking lot.

  • Chris October 31, 2019 (6:21 pm)

    Welcome to Seattle road works. I’ve never seen a more incompetent bunch. I moved from AZ to WA nearly 25 years ago. The road crews down there can lay out a road in a weekend….that’s smooth! In Seattle? People retire off the same road project. Literally! Look at the Mercer mess… The Tacoma S curves on I-5. Those projects have been running longer than I’ve lived here!

  • John Bennett October 31, 2019 (8:12 pm)

        As a friend, customer, and landlord of The Shack Coffee, I am sad that they are closing. I think this road construction was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. Speaking of the road construction, I built Luna Park cafe over 30 years ago. We have been through multiple construction projects and have survived. This is probably mostly due to our dedicated customers who braved the congestion and difficult parking. I thank them. A coffee shop is very different from a cafe , hair salon, car repair, or veterinary clinic. People need to get in and out quickly for their coffee fix. ( i.e. all new Starbucks now have drive thru’s). Unfortunately the new road design eliminates a lot of parking and ease to get in and out quickly or easily. I understand their decision to close . As far as this “repaving” project goes, there have been good days and bad days. SDOT had many many hours of “outreach” where they had open public meetings to get input from the public. Unfortunately I feel that they did not listen and that their design was never changed to reflect public opinion or small business concerns. Their maps, charts, graphs, and displays did not change from 10% design to 100 % design. In previous construction projects, they just came in and did the work. Now they have a new friendlier outreach program, but I feel that it is just a box to check on their way to full design. Believe me, I spent hours trying to work out some sort of compromise, ( by the way , with a lot help from Lisa Herbold and her staff ), but feel like I lost every battle.       SDOT designers aside, I do have to say that the SDOT crew on the streets and Jensen Construction company have been great to work with. They all appreciated the tenuous situation, and did everything they could to help us through this big mess. They made sure the parking lot was always open and took down the no parking signs on Avalon on the weekends and holidays. We did have to close one day , but thats not bad for a big project like this.      So now we are about done and we will have to see what happens. Seattle is growing exponentially and we will need to readjust our thinking and habits. Parking is going to be an ongoing problem that will only get worse as density grows. I hope that our customers will put forth the extra effort to shop in our business district………I think it is worth it. The Shack will close, but we still have Hotwire and Flying Apron. I hope to see everyone at Luna Park soon. 
    John Bennett
    Luna Park Cafe
    Bennett Properties
    P.S. Don’t worry, I am a preservationist and will never sell any of my historic buildings for development.

    • Morry November 1, 2019 (8:03 pm)

      Thanks, John for going above and beyond to support The Shack.  In addition, thanks for making Luna Park a continued success and for bringing vegetarian and vegan items onto the menu.

  • AC November 2, 2019 (11:35 pm)

    Sad news.  

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