King County Public Health shuts down 5 food sellers at Alki

In our report on this month’s Alki Community Council meeting, we noted a Seattle Parks manager mentioning a problem with “illegal food vendors” at the beach. Some readers wondered why King County Public Health hadn’t done anything about that. Now the agency has, according to an announcement we just received:

A Public Health food inspector found 5 food establishments operating at Alki Beach in Seattle without a valid food establishment permit on Saturday, July 24th and were directed to immediately cease food and beverage services. These establishments include:

Botanas Locas closed July 24, 2021 at 12:20 pm
Chopped N Skewed closed July 24, 2021 at 1:55 pm
Marco Morales Stand closed July 24, 2021 at 1:55 pm
Nieves De Garrafa closed July 24, 2021 at 2:10 pm
Ivonne Pineda’s Stand closed July 24, 2021 at 2:40 pm

These establishments will be allowed to reopen once the person in charge of each business completes the 3-Step Plan Review process to secure a mobile food services permit (which also applies to food carts and stands) per the instructions online at kingcounty.gov/foodsafety/mobile

This came in too late for followup questions tonight but we’ll be pursuing a few tomorrow.

59 Replies to "King County Public Health shuts down 5 food sellers at Alki"

  • JohnW July 26, 2021 (8:47 pm)

    I appreciate the regulations regarding our food safety and applaud King County’s enforcement.  As with our infamous Seattle Dog vendors outside the clubs, most of us assume our street vendors are up to health codes.

  • Anne July 26, 2021 (8:51 pm)

    Good. Took long enough.

  • Jay July 26, 2021 (8:59 pm)

    I saw them getting shut down yesterday. They’ve been there so long I had just assumed they had permits. I hope some of them come back legitimately because there’s not really any cheap food down there anymore, it would be nice to have food stands.

    • Anne July 26, 2021 (10:19 pm)

      There’s plenty of great places to get something to eat- at Alki- from business that have struggled mightily over the last year+.Businesses that follow the rules & regulations. How about we support them? 

      • Karen July 26, 2021 (10:59 pm)

        YES!!! đź‘ŚPlease support all of our local businesses.

        • JGM July 27, 2021 (1:06 am)

          The stands ARE local. How does one grow a business if it isnt by starting out small? 

          • neighbor July 28, 2021 (8:18 am)

            Starting small is fine. Starting illegally isn’t. Many of our beloved local businesses started out small- Marination’s original food truck is a great example. But they did it properly and didn’t try to evade health inspections and other legal requirements of businesses.

      • false dilemma July 27, 2021 (5:04 pm)

        It’s possible to support older established restaurants and new casual food carts too. Maybe if people spent less money ordering from Amazon or food delivery from other areas, we could better support a variety of local small businesses?

    • Jessica July 26, 2021 (10:54 pm)

      Agree!

    • Dblbgr July 27, 2021 (7:27 am)

      Pepperdock is cheap as hell—$8.99 for a double burger and fries. Had one the other day and it was incredible. 

      • Jay July 27, 2021 (9:16 am)

        Pepperdock is great, but street food would be a great addition to Alki as well. Sometimes you just want a hot dog or some stir fry. There also used to be a lot more healthy options, like Vietnamese and sushi. And the convenience store was nice to have. It just seems like the area is getting worse and worse for food options and food stands or food trucks would be a welcome addition.

      • Stuck in West Seattle July 27, 2021 (12:04 pm)

        Pepperdock is terrible. If you consider that incredible then I suspect you work there. Nothing fresh about it, all reheated frozen food. Gross.

        • Wsearesident July 28, 2021 (3:51 pm)

          Everyone has their own preference on taste but you have apparently never been to pepperdock before. Its an open kitchen and you can literally watch them cook your burger after you place an order from raw patty, not frozen and reheated as you said.

  • AdmiralBornAndRaised July 26, 2021 (9:33 pm)

    Finally! Noticed such an improvement last couple days. They took up so much of what little walkway is left, and seemed to be growing every week. Alki is just not the large California/Florida beach people come here and try to turn it into. 

    • Sonofabeach July 27, 2021 (12:15 am)

      Last I checked, sidewalks are public space. As is Alki, right? The gate keeper culture here is really getting old- I’m sure the “locals” with the multi-million dollar summer homes are sure proud they shut down illegal street food vendors fighting to make a living in inflated Seattle. I’d much rather support a local food stand that may not have the means to pay for proper licenses/permitting than another wasp-y joint on the strip. Pobrecito, check your privilege. 

      • Greg Goldstein July 27, 2021 (1:01 am)

        “Public space” means for everyone, not for a private business to take up and deny the use of the space *for everyone else*. That’s what makes it public. Hopefully that introduce paid parking on Alki, so the public can help fund keeping Alki safe for residents when folks like you enjoy this magnificent public area. Especially after midnight. 

      • JGM July 27, 2021 (1:09 am)

        I agree with you here. We need more food options. Instead of shutdowns. Perhaps Seattle can defund the business shutdown brigade and reappropriate funds into a community task force that can help the small vendors become licensed?Novel concept, eh? 

      • Scubafrog July 27, 2021 (1:48 am)

        Hear hear!  Y con mucho gusto, amigo!

      • DH July 27, 2021 (6:35 am)

        Public spaces still have rules for use. As for food places without permits if you want to risk your health eating at places without permits that is up to you but many of us don’t want to do that. They are required to have permits to ensure public safety. I guess it’s gatekeeping and a privilege now to want to eat safe food? 

        • S.A. July 27, 2021 (9:41 am)

          If you don’t want to “risk your health eating at places without permits” then maybe don’t eat there. Or approach vendors and offer to pay for their food safety training and permits so they can be in compliance. Don’t call the police on street vendors trying to make a living for crying out loud.

          • Melissa July 27, 2021 (12:53 pm)

            Thank you, S.A.. 

          • DH July 27, 2021 (4:51 pm)

            I certainly won’t eat there without asking to see their permit now that I know this is happening. 

      • Jeepney July 27, 2021 (6:46 am)

        Please, no need to bring the privilege card into this discussion.    Vendors were operating without permits and blocking sidewalks, those are facts.  It’s a slap in the face to the vendors who operate legally.

      • WS RESIDENT July 27, 2021 (8:15 am)

        Thank you. It’s honestly ridiculous… most of the small businesses on alki are white owned, few are POC or Black owned.  They (the food vendors) are honest people just trying to make a living and provide for their families, who may not have the means  to pay for “proper licensing”. Seattle is NOT the “woke” or tolerant city it thinks it is, not by a long shot. I absolutely love the hypocrisy in people getting mad at all the government overreach, but suddenly they’re all for it when it comes to hurting POC. I’m not sure what admiralbornandraised is talking about, there is plenty of walking space left and it’s great to see families and friends selling delicious cultured food to happy customers. These food vendors ARE small businesses too, regardless of whatever regulations are in place. How about we show them support? 

        • wscommuter July 27, 2021 (9:41 am)

          I’m not  sure I understand your point.  Was there some survey performed that determined that “most small businesses on alki are white owned” and then a policy determination made that they are therefore somehow evil?  Just so I can understand.  Or are you claiming  that the unpermitted vendors are being targeted specifically because they aren’t white?  Was  that survey done as well?  I haven’t actually seen any of the vendors so I am ignorant of what race/ethnicity they are.  Is your point that health codes should be a sliding scale according to skin color?   To be honest, I don’t know who  owns any of the  businesses on Alki (or most anywhere else,  for that matter), but it wouldn’t occur to me to think that any business – street vendor or brick and mortar, ought to be either targeted or protected on a racial basis.  Can you explain?

          • WS parent July 27, 2021 (11:03 am)

              All of this. Thank you.

        • Melissa July 27, 2021 (12:55 pm)

          WS Resident: thank you for putting into words what I was struggling with. So many people want selective enforcement of laws; they want to be able to chop down trees wherever they wish, declare neighborhoods single-family residential, but they damn sure want those food vendor rules adhered to.

        • Wsearesident July 28, 2021 (4:32 pm)

          I’m all for supporting small businesses and I did buy something from one of the vendors once, but then I saw them handling the cash and grab my food with the same glove without changing it or washing hands. Got me thinking “hmmm, situated next to a dumpster, got all their extra supplies and stuff on the ground, probably no food handlers license, closest place to wash hands is blocks away. Wonder how many times a day they actually wash hands after handling all that cash or touch anything gross.” They do have gloves but how often do you think they change it? Those gloves can get expensive these days you know.There is a reason for something called health permits, which is required for legally run food trucks and restaurants. The health inspectors make sure you have proper facilities and procedures to keep the public from getting sick and its was the health inspectors that shut those vendors down for food safety. If they can get licenses to run their business legally on alki, I would wholeheartedly support them and enjoy the food they are selling. Until then, I am staying away.

      • neighbor July 27, 2021 (8:17 am)

        Just because sidewalks are public space doesn’t mean you can just take them over to run an unlicensed business. And a lot of people would make the same assumption as Jay that someone preparing and selling food must have had all of the necessary health inspections. That these businesses tried to bypass all of that is just gross.

      • ⛾ July 27, 2021 (9:22 am)

        Hmm, how do you know the Parks Dept didn’t ask KC Public Health to check out the food vendors rather than assuming residents did? And, how waspy is a Vietnamese or Black owned restaurant? Both of which are on Alki. And, my Alki condo is valued at $436,000 per Redfin, not millions.  Check your facts.

        • Sasquatch July 27, 2021 (11:22 am)

          Exactly.  Maybe a minored owned brick and mortar place called on the illegal vendors. They also keep food trucks away. My white privilege wouldn’t circumvent the rules here and enabled me to get a $10 mangonada from one of the illegal vendors before they were kicked out. It was amazing!

  • jissy July 26, 2021 (11:04 pm)

    #sidehussle

    • Jessica July 27, 2021 (9:40 am)

      Yes!!!

  • Scubafrog July 27, 2021 (12:04 am)

    Chopped N Skewed was great.  Long live Houston!It’s like the police shutting down down lemonade stands.govt’s too big, it must be regulated.

    • omnivore? July 27, 2021 (8:31 am)

      Scubafrog, do your deregulation proclamations include support of  Chinese style ‘wet markets’?

  • Mr J July 27, 2021 (5:39 am)

    I appreciate KCPH working with the food vendors to reopen after obtaining permits.

  • anonyme July 27, 2021 (6:22 am)

    What’s really, really, really old is the rant against ‘the man’.  Laws exist for a reason: to protect citizens.  Many local workers have been driven out of work and out of business because their licensed, permitted, insured businesses could not compete against the swell of illegal ones that are able to undercut prices by avoiding the legalities.  This creates an uneven playing field, and only in Seattle would it be suggested that the lawbreakers should be rewarded while businesses playing by the rules suffer for it.

  • Michelle July 27, 2021 (9:27 am)

    Ohh, this is so unfortunate! I hope they will be back! I loved their presence. I live (and have lived for many years) on Alki and was literally delighted when I first saw them. A perfect addition, so nice to be able to grab a quick drink or bite on my walks. Love the family energy of the stands too! 

    • Jessica July 27, 2021 (9:54 am)

      Yes!! Me too

  • Jessica July 27, 2021 (9:54 am)

    I support them 100%. Better than sitting at home collecting unemployment.

  • Flo B July 27, 2021 (10:59 am)

    Jessica. Were all those vendors on unemployment??? You asked i take it. As far as permits i’m willing to bet you, and those commenters that are happy with them would be THE FIRST to sue the city if you got food poisoning! You’d claim the city should have shut them down because they had no permits.

    • Jessica July 27, 2021 (12:13 pm)

      @ Flo,Matter of fact, yes. I spoke to a couple of them and they were let go from their jobs and were looking to stop collecting unemployment. 

  • 1WS Resident July 27, 2021 (12:31 pm)

    Want cheap food?  Let’s
    level the playing field.  Local restaurants
    should stop paying taxes, offer no benefits, no wage protections, no L&I
    disability for employees and no liability insurance in case they hospitalize
    dozens due to contaminated food. And they shouldn’t need to provide trained
    food handlers or warm water for handwashing or proper refrigeration for storing
    food. And most importantly, they should not have to worry about some pesky
    Health Dept. inspector citing them because the restaurant is filthy and likely
    to make people sick. Why should they have to waste meat just because it’s turning
    green?  Throw some brown sauce on it and reheat
    it again.  Now the restaurant versus street food  playing field is
    almost, but not quite level. The illegal street food was not even from food
    trucks.  All they have is a folding table
    and a pop up canopy.  When (not if) they
    make people sick the “vendors” will vanish, and too bad so sad for the people
    getting their stomachs pumped. Oh, and the people sickened?  They will sue (and win) the city and the
    county for allowing the unregulated sales of street food. Taxpayers will foot
    the bills, the sellers will be “in the wind” and hopefully somebody’s kid doesn’t
    die from eating contaminated food. Happy? 
    Bon Appetit.

    • anonyme July 27, 2021 (1:42 pm)

      Exactly!  Bravo.

    • Scubafrog July 27, 2021 (5:20 pm)

      Elitism and privilege at its worst.  Ew.  Yeah no thanks.  Buy local from minority-owned businesses!  

      • Max July 28, 2021 (3:29 pm)

        LOL.  Being asked to comply with health and safety regulations (that apply equally to everyone) is not elitist or privileged.  It’s downright silly to suggest it is.

  • Chuck Jacobs July 27, 2021 (1:01 pm)

    For anyone here who thinks it’s unfair to require food carts have health permits, business licenses,  and pay taxes,  I don’t want to hear a word about my dog being off leash in a park or on a beach.

    • Jay July 27, 2021 (2:43 pm)

      Keep your dog on a leash, please. This is an unrelated situation and doesn’t justify ignoring leash laws. Leash laws are there to protect wildlife, including baby seals on the beach, as well as fellow park-goers.

      • What Do I Know July 27, 2021 (3:35 pm)

      • Chuck Jacobs July 27, 2021 (7:15 pm)

        You’ve confirmed and reinforced my point splendidly. Thank you.

  • WS Resident July 27, 2021 (1:43 pm)

    Local Alki restaurants provide hundreds of jobs to a very
    diverse workforce.  The street sellers
    only support their own family.  Do the
    math on what best benefits our communities. Last year was a butt kicker for
    restaurant workers. Show some true understanding and compassion by supporting
    our local hard working restaurant employees in their efforts to make an honest
    living.

  • Pessoa July 27, 2021 (4:13 pm)

    These types of threads really bring out the really unflattering punitive character of
    West Seattle, a characteristic that seems to be embedded in a culture of the city.  There are plenty of customers to keep both brick-and-mortar and stands happy; one isn’t necessarily siphoning off customers from the other.  This is commonplace in LA and I doubt any businesses there have had to fold up shop because of a lonely fruit stand in front of their establishment.  On a related subject, I believe Seattle has followed LA’s lead with a micro kitchen pilot program which does provide some oversight and licensing for those who want to sell their mother’s recipe for quesadilla’s on the sidewalk with a few chairs to sit and eat.

    • neighbor July 28, 2021 (8:32 am)

      ^ This, 100%  We aren’t against food carts. Information is readily available to clarify and simplify the process for small businesses to get started legally. And these vendors will be able to reopen if they do what every other licensed vendor has done. If they’re not willing to do that then they shouldn’t be operating.

      • Pessoa July 28, 2021 (4:02 pm)

        Understood, but my point was why the presence of a few food carts – licensed or not – was cause for so much supposed concern in the first place.   

  • Gbear July 28, 2021 (8:17 am)

    I love alki, what a special place, I feel like it’s the most diverse park in seattle somehow, I always see so many different kinds of people speaking different languages and with all types of different family structures.  All different aged people from the tykes playing at the surfs edge to the teens hanging with peers, to young lovers longboarding together, and our elders smiling at each other..  it’s remarkable. The nuance of free market economics meeting necessary public health and safety regulations illuminated with the light of social justice concerns is a conversation rife with strong opinions and myriad solutions or proposals.  Public safety is important! Participation in regulated trade by credentialed operators vs. un-credentialed operators is unequal competition! Should government maintain programs easing barriers to market entry to willing participants who could otherwise not afford to meet credential requirements? If so, what inequalities might those solutions present?  Is free market capitalism a system that supports opportunity creation for the most of its participants? Is it truly free market capitalism if there are regulatory barriers to market entry?  If regulations are nessesary than in the spirit of free market capitalism are the costs of regulation compliance to be borne by the regulating body? In which case…  so many more questions about individual versus collective rights and responsibility!  More lively debates to be had!

  • Lisa July 30, 2021 (8:24 am)

    In the 70s, my fathers union job went on strike – he called the guys who crossed the picket line scabs .. I equate the food carts / truck vendors .to scabs. .  Brick and mortar, owner operator restaurants suffer when one of those are parked nearby.  And the prices are pretty equal so who looses – the restaurant owners. The ones who have legitimately made a home for themselves into neighborhoods, committing to bettering their areas, pay all the required fees, taxes, insurance, rent,  etc, pay good wages to people who work with them, by following rules and doing what’s right.   If those vendors were doing what’s right – they wouldn’t have been shut down. So who wants to patron anyone who cuts corners and go against the law?   Makes one wonder what else is putrid in their “business”.

Sorry, comment time is over.