BIZNOTE: West 5 closing after 19 years

1:34 PM: Thanks to the many people who emailed and texted about this: West 5, the beloved restaurant/bar in the West Seattle Junction, is closing after 19 years. From the email West 5 sent out at midday today:

Last Call
Closing Saturday, February 12th

Until then: Mon-Sat 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Fixtures & Auction Preview 2/13 Fruit Cocktail Collectables

Thank you, West Seattle
The uncomplicated story is, we lost our lease and after eighteen years we must say farewell to the old Speedway and Hobby Shop on California Avenue. Covid and omicron brought haste to our closure and sadly took away options for future revival. Thank you West Seattle, and beyond, for your support of this modest venture. It’s been a ride.

Looking Back
West 5 Opened as a “Non Smoking Cocktail Lounge”, the first of its kind in Seattle, Feb 8th 2003.

Our only televised event was West Seattle Little League’s appearance in the 2018 LL World Series Regionals.

Since opening, we’ve served up (give or take) 24,738 Mai Tais, 31,968 orders of Mac N Cheese and 17,298 BLTs.

Through the years we’ve tried to remain true, through trend and folly, as a “great place to meet,” a quaint conceit, badly bruised by two years of unpredictability.

Thank you for gathering under our crown to create and provide memories.

Great Neighbors and Partners
We are thankful for our deep community partnerships: WS Senior Center, WS Food Bank & Helpline, Chamber, Historical Society, ArtsWest, our local schools and many others. Thank you for continuing to make WS special.

And to our five-star peers in the WS indie restaurant community – you know who you are – thank you. Keep serving it up and signing those checks. The end to perpetual pivot is right around the corner.

The email goes on to thank current and past employees, and then continues:

We have some fun old and new school stuff to sell off. Much of it will be available via Online Order as well as in-store starting 1/31. You will see a few blasts from the past, get ‘em while they last.

Grab a tee shirt or two when you’re in for that final Mai Tai or picking up a To Go order of Mac N Cheese. We could really use the revenue (hint, all tips go to employees).

Memories, Tall Tales, Lost & Found
Got something to say? We’ll do it old-school. Here’s a place to drop a memory, share a story or settle a score. We may or may not reply, connect you to that “I Saw You” crush from 2005, or find a way to stitch together a storybook. But not a podcast, we promise. Never a podcast.

WEST 5 Memory Hotline

(recorded messages only)

West 5 was founded by West Seattle natives Dave Montoure and Dean Overton. We featured some of the backstory in this 2011 report about the establishment’s 8th anniversary.

5:56 PM: Commenters asked about the lease situation and the space’s future. The building is owned by Tom Henry, former proprietor of JF Henry & Co. retail store (which was at 4445 California SW). Reached by email, he told us:

(We) heard about this the same time everyone else did. His current lease option is actually up in August and since he chose not to renew, we were not surprised about his announcement. West 5 has been an incredible tenant and a long-time loved business. We firmly believe that vacancies are not good for the business community, so we have plans for a great new tenant coming this year.

134 Replies to "BIZNOTE: West 5 closing after 19 years"

  • Terry January 31, 2022 (1:45 pm)

    Huge loss for the neighborhood.  Really sad news to get this morning Thanks for the great times! Love Terry

  • James January 31, 2022 (1:54 pm)

    NO!!!!! This is TERRIBLE news. Wow. Come on can we help??? What was the problem with the lease???

    • Wsres January 31, 2022 (3:34 pm)

      Last I talked to Dave they tripled the rent, as well at V next door so wonder if they are sticking around. This is so sad. 

      • Derek January 31, 2022 (5:24 pm)

        I swear if they put some soul-less boring pizza place or chain restaurant or something there I’ll be so mad. 

        • max34 February 1, 2022 (7:27 am)

          would be weird to add a pizza place next to a pizza place across from a pizza place down the street from a few pizza places but…… people do like their pizza.  

      • Mariem February 1, 2022 (12:33 am)

        How can a landlord triple the rent? Is that really true? That’s obscene. Who would pay triple the rent? 

  • HTB January 31, 2022 (1:56 pm)

    What does that mean “lost their lease?” Does that mean there is a replacement lined up? I would think you would not kick a longtime tenant out otherwise?

    • WSB January 31, 2022 (2:02 pm)

      There is nothing on file for the address; we’re attempting to contact the property owner to ask about the future of the space. – TR

      • 505 January 31, 2022 (7:01 pm)

        What I know for sure and heard is that the owner already leased it to someone else so West5 didn’t even have an option. I’m sure between that and the increase in rent is the truth of why it had to close.

        • SadWestSeattleite January 31, 2022 (9:58 pm)

          Yeah considering the landlord themself said they supposedly found out the same time as everyone else but that they already have a plan for a new tenant this year definitely sounds like West 5 is being pushed out. It all just sucks.. 

    • kj February 1, 2022 (2:51 pm)

      Yes, he lost his lease. He did not, as TH says, “choose not to renew”. Disgusting

  • pelicans January 31, 2022 (1:57 pm)

    Oh no!! My favorite restaurant! The first and only one I’ve gone to these last two years. After isolating from everyone, I dared to venture out to a public place with you and a meatloaf sandwich. Isn’t there some way to stay open? Crowdfunding? I will be first in line to donate!  Please!!

  • Annaeileen January 31, 2022 (1:58 pm)

    Oh no! I am so sad they have to close. They have the best BLT around.  With my fav sushi closing across the street (Kamei), I am sad for us all.  Best wishes for your next endeavor. 

  • pelicans January 31, 2022 (2:03 pm)

    Can’t we do do something to help??

  • HTB January 31, 2022 (2:06 pm)

    Difficult to understand the thought process. It seems that a lot of restaurants “lost their lease” but then the property sits vacant. Don’t understand the logic there.

    • John January 31, 2022 (2:54 pm)

      A lot of times when there’s cases like this The lease is up and there’s some kind of massive rent increase.

  • Westie January 31, 2022 (2:10 pm)

    So…  the junction will soon be expensive restaurants housed on the ground floor of condos. Hard pass. 

    • Jim January 31, 2022 (2:54 pm)

      That’s exactly right unfortunately! You think the city would step in and intervene to save a historic business district but they’re just more interested in the property tax revenue

      • Neighbor February 2, 2022 (10:40 am)

        Yes Jim, the world moves on.  I’m not sure why that keeps coming as a surprise to you.  This is a city, not a museum.

        • NuanceSeemsLost February 13, 2022 (12:31 pm)

          Jim is speaking to culture, not preventing change.

    • M January 31, 2022 (3:31 pm)

      I know—I HATE housing. I have 4 of my own kids too.

      Best of luck to the owners. This place was well loved by many, and hope they have something fun planned in their next phase.

    • Jort January 31, 2022 (3:46 pm)

      Just a reminder that, if you don’t like “tall” housing in isolated “urban villages,” then you instead need denser housing in single family neighborhoods. Cities have to grow somewhere, and the people of this city have deliberately chosen to concentrate nearly all new housing in “urban villages” like these. Those are the trade-offs, and these are the consequences. Cities don’t live in glass bubbles, trapped in time forever.

      • sgs January 31, 2022 (4:42 pm)

        There are many cool places “trapped in time forever.”  Often, they are the most interesting parts of the cities.   Historic districts are worth preserving.    One can argue whether or not  the West Seattle corridor is worthy…..

        • Jort January 31, 2022 (5:08 pm)

          Yeah, well, that’s the thing, isn’t it? Your “leaders” and neighborhood groups chose to “preserve” the vast swaths of single family zoning, which required nearly all growth to take place in “urban villages” just like the Junction. So nobody should really act surprised when single story buildings are leveled to accommodate new housing – that’s done specifically by design because people would rather watch businesses like West 5 close to make room for box apartments than have a few duplexes on their “single family home” street. Here in Seattle, we have white, wealthy homeowners actually attempting to use historic preservation designation to protect their single family zoning in some neighborhoods. Politicians and homeowners are almost 100 percent aligned on the preservation of single family zoning at all costs, including the occasional closure of neighborhood businesses. So, please, no crying about West 5 if you had a “No HALA, No Grand Bargain” sign in your front yard. This is happening because of your mindset.

          • WSB January 31, 2022 (5:55 pm)

            Please note, this building is NOT currently being proposed for redevelopment. The building with Lee’s/Kamei/the former Naked Crepe/West Seattle Cyclery is; the building with Doll Parts Collective is; the building with Sleepers in Seattle and Junction Yoga is. But not this one. – TR

      • Derek January 31, 2022 (5:41 pm)

        What’s housing have to do with it? There’s empty apartments all over the city and vacant lots to build on before kicking out institution. I dislike posts like this. 

        • Westie January 31, 2022 (7:32 pm)

          This one isn’t being redeveloped yet, but see the above post. It contradicts your statement. 

  • WS Foodie January 31, 2022 (2:10 pm)

    There have been several closings lately but this one was a gut punch. West 5 has been a mainstay the entire 17 years we’ve lived in West Seattle.   I’m so sad for the owners, staff, and our community.  

  • blackcascades January 31, 2022 (2:11 pm)

    Go fund me? Other crowdsourcing? This is terrible news. How can we help?I’ve spent a lot of time here over the last few years, I can’t imagine a West Seattle without West 5!!

    • Westie January 31, 2022 (4:10 pm)

      If only there were other affordable retail places where West 5 would move to :( I bet Dave would’ve saved it if he could have!  It’s just sad that the whole concept is going to be gone. 

      • Sad January 31, 2022 (7:55 pm)

        My partner and I are in tears : ( This is so unbelievably sad. Best Reuben in Seattle. I just can’t wrap my mind around this. Completely heartbroken. 

  • 935 January 31, 2022 (2:14 pm)

    We will miss them. The to go mai tais certainly saved us at the beginning of COVID.

    From one We5 to another :-(

    • Craig January 31, 2022 (2:38 pm)

      Awful news. Just ordered a Rueben from them.Also, Village Woodworks has emptied out. Are they gone, too?

      • WSB January 31, 2022 (4:12 pm)

        We talked to a person we think was the owner there yesterday – he wasn’t ready to comment on what was going on. Hoping that will change in a day or two.

      • Wsres January 31, 2022 (6:32 pm)

        Whoa, that’s a big space. 

  • Kravitz January 31, 2022 (2:16 pm)

    West 5 is quintessential West Seattle. This is a huge loss for the hood, and now I need to plan at least 3 different eating outings here so I can have  macaroni and cheese,  a BLT, and Reuben… not to mention cocktails. You all will be missed dearly. 

    • sgs January 31, 2022 (4:43 pm)

      You hit it on the head with the remark about quintessential West Seattle.  Development will happen, but it’s sad to lose these landmarks.

      • Derek February 1, 2022 (6:40 pm)

        Development doesn’t “have” to happen. We can build density on vacant lots and leave the historic buildings. 

  • Bruce January 31, 2022 (2:19 pm)

    This is horrible news! Dave Moncure and West5 have been one of the greatest examples of “Community” in recent West Seattle history! Supporting and serving in leadership roles in The Junction and all of WS, donations to school auctions, fund raising efforts and being one of the ’sparks’ that make this peninsula home. I feel the need for a MaiTai!

  • Dee January 31, 2022 (2:23 pm)

    Best chopped salad ANYWHERE, hands down! This is very sad.

  • TLC January 31, 2022 (2:25 pm)

    I am just joining in to say how terribly sad I am to lose West 5. You will be missed more than you know, and your mac and cheese was ALWAYS the best. Good luck in your future. 

  • Chad January 31, 2022 (2:32 pm)

    Reading between the lines, “lost their lease” probably means the renewable rent rate was not feasible for them to agree to given the current level of business they are getting…

    • Derek January 31, 2022 (2:47 pm)

      This. I went there a lot to work on my laptop and I’m sorry but it was just dead most days of the week. Sometimes just me in there. This doesn’t surprise me.

      • blackcascades January 31, 2022 (3:25 pm)

        Sadly it didn’t used to be this way; pre- March 2020, I too would go there and sit at the bar on my laptop… and it was by no means packed mid day/ late afternoon but it also wasn’t dead. Lately even for dinner, it’s felt empty, which bums me out! 

        • Derek January 31, 2022 (3:33 pm)

          People aren’t protecting institutions in Seattle. This is where Portland has us beat. They keep cool places and make it affordable. Not here. I knew we were in for it when Parliament and Vidiot were out. The neighborhood is losing its good dives and charm. All for what? Chipotle style chains and breweries that close at 9pm? I dislike this a lot.

          • hj January 31, 2022 (4:17 pm)

            Blah blah blah Portland. Here’s a list of all the restaurants and bars that have closed in Portland in the past two years. Spoiler alert: it’s very long. 

          • Derek January 31, 2022 (5:21 pm)

            Now do Seattle. Why do all their old buildings still exist and keep a lot of the character? We don’t even attempt that here

          • WSB January 31, 2022 (5:51 pm)

            On Capitol Hill, some buildings’ historic facades have been retained while new buildings have been constructed, incorporating them. I don’t know if these are perceived as successful, but they’ve happened. In The Junction, it’s only been a few years since two buildings (Hamm and Campbell, on either side of California on the north side of Alaska) were declared official city landmarks. – TR

          • D-burger February 1, 2022 (9:15 pm)

            Derek, Not going to throw anyone specific under the bus here, but Vidiot’s closing was entirely their own fault. Nothing to do with the business climate. 

    • kj February 1, 2022 (3:01 pm)


  • Rocky raccoon January 31, 2022 (2:32 pm)

    Just so goddamn sad.

  • sam-c January 31, 2022 (2:34 pm)

    NOOO. This is really sad news.    

  • HS January 31, 2022 (2:44 pm)

    Also saddened to read this. Some good memories here. Almost 32,000 Mac N Cheese sold is pretty amazing.

    • beanie January 31, 2022 (4:23 pm)

      My belly says I ate 31,000 of those 32,000 mac n cheeses. I remember going there pre-smoking ban to drink without leaving smelling like smoke!

  • Keith January 31, 2022 (2:45 pm)

    In a word: ugh. Will miss the Mai Tais most of all. Raising a glass to happier times:

  • MorganJunctionCoug January 31, 2022 (2:52 pm)

    So sad to hear this.  Best tuna melt I’ve ever had. Will be by before they close!

  • pagefive January 31, 2022 (3:04 pm)

    This makes me so sad. I’ll really miss West 5’s amazing MaiTais, BLTs and mac & cheese (with bacon on top, of course).  Thank you for being such a wonderful neighborhood business,  generously supporting our schools and community over the years.  

  • Paul January 31, 2022 (3:12 pm)

    I’m so sorry to hear this. West 5 is cool. Haven’t been in since the pandemic started but a huge loss for our community. 

  • natinstl January 31, 2022 (3:12 pm)

    So disappointed to see them go, we really enjoy breakfast and drinks there. I understand landlord costs have gone up too, but I’m really not sure who is going to be able to afford these rent rates anymore. West Seattle seems to be quickly losing its small businesses, not really excited if we see more Chipotle type restaurants pop up.  

  • Duffy January 31, 2022 (3:13 pm)

    Terrible. Can’t wait to see another real estate company move in further deteriorating the strip.

  • Sillygoose January 31, 2022 (3:25 pm)

    This just breaks my heart!!!  Not only was Dean a neighbor but a friend who worked so hard to start West Five.  Doing historical research on the space to bring back the nostalgia in the Junction.  So So Many fun fun memories here along with delicious meals.  What a shame! I will miss you all.

  • seaspades January 31, 2022 (3:49 pm)

    If we saved C&P….

  • DogMom January 31, 2022 (3:54 pm)

    This is so sad. The best cocktails and such an amazing space. Here’s hoping that it doesn’t get turned into a boring and sterile condo/restaurant/what have you, but that seems unlikely. :-( You will be missed, West 5.

  • westie January 31, 2022 (4:07 pm)

    I heard that the owner leased it to someone else not that the price went up. Whatever it is seemed sketchy and that West5 got screwed over!   

    • SadWestSeattleite January 31, 2022 (9:59 pm)

      It’s probably both. Based on the quote above from the landlord, sounds like they already know who their new tenant is going to be. The rent increase was to push West 5 out. West5 got screwed for sure :(

  • Irene January 31, 2022 (4:21 pm)

    This news makes me so sad!!!

  • Also John January 31, 2022 (4:24 pm)

    This is sad…I love their mac & cheese with chicken.  Absolutely amazing!.   This is a huge lose to the Junction.  IMO…the biggest hit yet.

  • westseattelite January 31, 2022 (4:28 pm)

    This is incredibly sad in so many ways. West 5 was pretty much the first really cool bar/restaurant to open in the Junction 19 years ago. Before West 5 there just wasn’t many options other than Rocksport (sports bar, which was great). West 5 really changed the atmosphere in the Junction imo and led the way for all the other bars/restaurants that have since been opened. I’ve been a faithful customer for 19 years and always enjoyed their vegetarian options like red beans and rice and the Mac and cheese.  The lunch special – 1/2 soup and 1/2 sandwich – combined with a Rainier draft was perfection. I will miss it dearly; there will never be anything like West 5. 

    • AMC February 1, 2022 (10:09 am)

      So many memories at Rocksport. Definitely got into trouble there more than a few times! So bummed about this closing, too. It doesn’t need to be this way.

  • EJ January 31, 2022 (4:28 pm)

    This is SO heartbreaking. Another huge blow to the Junction. 

  • Barb Z January 31, 2022 (4:34 pm)

    I am SO SAD (MAD!) to hear this terrible news.  Once I discovered it after moving to West Seattle it was my favorite place to bring visiting friends, and to enjoy with other West Seattleites.  The BLT, meatloaf & Reuben sandwiches are the best around. Not to mention the coconut cake! I have not ventured into indoor dining since the pandemic, but West 5 has been my favorite take-out place, & I was really looking forward to the day I could eat inside with friends again. Lots of takeouts to do in the next weeks!  I would love to contribute to a fundraising to keep West 5 here!

  • Craig January 31, 2022 (4:43 pm)

    Bummer. So many moments in there, and they were the best kind – unplanned one on one just letting life get talked about, worked through, or laughed at. I always assumed West5 was a part of West Seattle forever, served like water or power to those in need, but that’s not the case I see now. 

  • Chris K January 31, 2022 (4:57 pm)

    This sucks.  I have lots of great memories of West 5. 

    • : ( February 1, 2022 (1:12 am)

      Me too. My heart hurts. 

  • Anne January 31, 2022 (5:18 pm)

    Wonder about the property next to NEXT TO NATURE -it’s been unoccupied for few years now. Whoever owns it must be doing ok-to let it sit empty for so long- maybe they would think about leasing to West 5 at Wests current monthly payment???  

    • Wsres January 31, 2022 (6:03 pm)

      It’s owned by Next to Nature or at least they are the renters so they use it for storage for the store- I don’t imagine it will get turned into anything. 

  • Sara W January 31, 2022 (5:50 pm)

    Terrible news! Thanks for the good times West 5. We had a lot of delicious there. Too bad you can’t move into that space at “The Hydrant”, that space seems to be rent free!Best of luck in your next adventure.💚

  • Diane January 31, 2022 (6:14 pm)

    This the the worst news. We moved to WS in 2009 and have been going to the West 5 probably once a week. The best Wait Staff who always seemed to remember what I liked which were the nachos! Best in the city! This vibe was more old school Seattle and we’re losing them too quickly.

  • WS Res January 31, 2022 (6:15 pm)

    BTW, the thing you’re all wishing would help save places like West 5 is called “commercial rent control,” and it could exist if voters had the will, but enough people would have to agree that unfettered capitalism has some problems and the government should legitimately step in to regulate a balance between the needs of the producers and the desires of the rentiers for more income.

  • Mr K January 31, 2022 (6:26 pm)

    Really confusing. A rent increase of that much isn’t logical. I’ve seen West 5 up for sale for the last year on various restaurant sites so I’m waiting for the whole story. Always sad to see a local business close.

    • West Seattle January 31, 2022 (7:32 pm)

      Boom! You got it. There is so much more to tell about this story. West 5 was great when Dean and the OG crew was there. There is a huge back story that will be revealed. Soon I hope.  The landlords were the best! West 5 was so Indie. Stay tuned. 

      • Wsres February 1, 2022 (6:55 am)

        Backstory for sure, but peoplestopped going during Covid, the tent did increase by triple and he lives in south worth, and has another successful business over there so…

      • WSres February 1, 2022 (11:27 am)

        You are giving me hope that it is just changing ownership and being updated…???

        • 505 February 1, 2022 (1:06 pm)

          I don’t think so. He’s selling everything according to the website announcement. I think someone has the new lease and is just starting a completely different place. 

      • 505 February 1, 2022 (11:50 am)

        What, did the OG crew take over the lease or something?

      • WestieFren February 11, 2022 (10:31 am)

        THIS ^^^ While it is sad to lose a business with so many meaningful memories for Seattle residents, there is absolutely more to the story on this. Start with the staff and landlord.

  • Ames January 31, 2022 (6:57 pm)

    Nooo! Moved to WS in 2007, left in 2018. West 5 is one of a handful of places that MAKE WS. Amazing happy hour, best quesadillas, everything was good EVERY time and friendliest staff! I’d meet friends there, go by myself, bring out of town visitors, my parents, and everyone loved it. Thank you West 5 crew and I wish you all the best! (But it sucks, this utterly sucks.) 

  • Gatewood January 31, 2022 (7:13 pm)

    I am so sad.  Terrible news.  I am happy I’m in that number for Mai tais drank.  I miss you west Seattle 

  • Patrick January 31, 2022 (7:43 pm)

    Very sad news. Thanks for the great memories West 5. I hope another cool restaurant is the next tenet.

  • Vanessa January 31, 2022 (8:00 pm)

    Find out who the landlords are, if they indeed tripled the rent, boycott what else they own. But does it even hurt them? What’s that phrase, having us over a barrel ?

    • WSB January 31, 2022 (8:04 pm)

      The landlord is not a mystery. As noted above in our update, the building is owned by retired Junction retailer Tom Henry.

  • Mo January 31, 2022 (8:23 pm)

    This is just the most heartbreaking news. Is there any last ditch effort we can do to save this place??

    • 505 January 31, 2022 (8:47 pm)

      Get the new lease holder to give it back!

  • Greg January 31, 2022 (8:36 pm)

    Wish West 5 were in White Center.

    • shotinthefoot February 1, 2022 (11:30 am)

      YES!! West 5 would be amazing in White Center. Come on down to the hood, Dave! 

  • E January 31, 2022 (8:50 pm)

    One of my first dates with my now husband was at West 5. Lots of great memories there with friends too. I’ll miss you guys so much. Super sad. Shout out to John at the bar. And the the awesome retro cocktails. Just felt so down to earth and comfy. 

  • Good Things Ending January 31, 2022 (10:21 pm)

    This is sad news.  West 5 opened just a few months before I moved to West Seattle from another state in 2003.  It was the first restaurant meal I had in Seattle followed by a play at Arts West.  I was in love with my new city and neighborhood.  Almost a decade later, when my dad with dementia moved in with me, I’d take him to West 5 and the wait staff was always so kind to him. The coconut cake was his favorite and they’d always cut him an extra big piece.   My dad died this fall and I have been on the fence about staying in Seattle.  Maybe this is silly, but West 5 closing has helped me make the decision to leave.  Sometimes you just need that little sign that pushes you in the right direction.  My very best wishes to the staff and owner, you will be missed.

  • John January 31, 2022 (10:48 pm)

    What a sad day. The problem is that Seattleites don’t go out enough. I live near Junction and every time I walk by West 5, there are no more than a few tables there at most. Saturday nights on California Ave are like a ghost town compared to streets with similar concentrations of bars in restaurants in other cities. I don’t know if it’s that the millennials that moved here are getting older, that people are scared of getting COVID (I’m amazed at how petrified people I know in their 30’s here are of getting exposed to COVID despite having a booster shot and wearing a mask in public all the time), or that the yuppie techies that have invaded this city are too boring and prefer to stay home and watch Netflix. Whatever the case, I don’t think West 5 will be the last Junction casualty this year.

    • Anne February 1, 2022 (7:53 am)

      Well John-I live with someone whose health is such that I am extremely reticent to dine inside -even both of us being  vaccinated  & boosted & k95 masked-if I caught Omicron &  passed it to him it could mean SERIOUS consequences. Our extended family  feels the same. Perhaps there are more like  us out there that just don’t want to take the chance with this more contagious Omicron.-whether it be possible health issues-or just the disruption that the resulting quarantining would cause. That doesn’t  mean I/we haven’t supported our local restaurants & other businesses with to go orders & online shopping. Granted it’s not the same as having a restaurant full of people all evening -every evening. That said- I love West 5-am devastated it will no longer be part of our Junction & our community will be the poorer for their leaving. I thank everyone there for their deep community support & wish them all the very best in the future. Whatever goes into that space has big shoes to fill-& wish them luck. 

      • Pessoa February 1, 2022 (4:30 pm)

        Anne:  Do you expect society to be waiting for you when you come out of your bunker?  The restaurants to be open waiting to serve you,  the orchestra’s ready to entertain you,   the travel agency ready for you,  everything to pick up magically where it left off?  I’m sure you are a lovely person and you are free to make your own choices, but it is our responsibility to assess risk as rationally as we can – sounds like you have taken all precautions you can –  because a functioning society literally depends on it.  

        • Ly February 12, 2022 (4:33 am)

          Please respect how people carry themselves around possible covid transmission. I am in the same boat with Anne, and have to be very careful too. The thought of risking it and getting my husband sick is enough to propel me to be extra cautious, more so than others in the pandemic. I guess you and others who are commenting that we are “irrationally fearful” need to walk in our shoes to understand all the things we weigh in our mind before we think about going to a place to dine in. Restaurants come, restaurants go. My partner is not replaceable and the hardships that come in the event he does get infected is simply not worth going to a dine in during a pandemic. The landlords are to blame for ridiculous rent, not those of us who simply want to protect our loved ones.

    • My two cents February 1, 2022 (7:56 am)

      John – please respect the level of caution and consideration a person may have with respect to COVID and how they view their part in minimizing potential transmissions. 

      • EJ February 1, 2022 (10:08 am)

        This. I’m glad Seattle does have more folks who care about fellow humans compared to other areas. There’s a reason we haven’t seen the same kinds of explosions of hospitalizations compared to other parts of the country. And don’t assume just because someone is young that they are healthy. I might not look high risk because of my age, but it could very well put me in the hospital if I contracted it.

    • Pessoa February 1, 2022 (11:25 am)

      True.  There is a “rational” fear and there is “irrational” fear and the latter seems to dictate many people’s lives in respect to Covid-19.  

    • DC February 1, 2022 (12:12 pm)

      Couldn’t agree with you more! People live in such fear in WS and Seattle as a whole. Recently moved back to WS after a 2 year Ballard stint due to the bridge. Ballard is worse, but at lease Ballard Ave is populated.

    • Blackcascades February 1, 2022 (7:03 pm)

      Interestingly enough- I’m at west5 now and every single table and seat at the bar is full. Not a single open seat! Where were y’all before?!

  • Colby February 1, 2022 (12:02 am)

    Bummed to hear this, but not surprised. Had a convo with some longtime former employees a few months ago, and got the impression that the writing was on the wall. After some beloved staff suddenly left last year (not Covid related), things haven’t been the same. If you know, you know. 

    • JW February 1, 2022 (9:03 am)

      I agree with Colby and a few others.  West 5 has seen an exodus of long time bartenders and  crucial staff indicative of its future.  It is sad to see this  West Seattle  institution where my daughter got her first formal work experience close, but I had stopped going there at the start of the pandemic when I witnessed casual mask wearing.   Nevertheless, sorry to see it reach its end.  

  • 2, not 3 February 1, 2022 (9:02 am)

    The Mai Tai’s. ALWAYS just perfect. So many fun, funny times with friends were had at West5. Guess I should have kept that tiki glass my friend stuck in her purse one time. Returned it when we moved. 

  • David February 1, 2022 (9:12 am)

    The number of Mai Tais seems low – they listed 24,000 which being in operation for 6,570 days would be 4 per day. From my experience about every 10th drink that they made was a Mai Tai – my guess is that the number is at least 78,840 ( 365 days x 18 years x 12 hours a day ) 

  • mark47n February 1, 2022 (10:20 am)

    I enjoyed the W-5 for most of my time living here, in WS. That said, the tone of it has changed drastically! It’s virtually empty most of the times I happen by and the staff interactions have definitely declined, especially since in-house dining resumed. I used to be able to jawjack with all of the servers nd bartenders and they knew the names of my wife and I and, eventually, my children and made an effort to engage.I know one of the people that attempted to assume the business when the current owner and his partner were trying to sell it but they lamented that the deal kept changing and that they just called it quits.I will miss my Reubens and BLT’s and definitely the coconut cake but, alas, it’s not the place I used to while away my time.On a final note: to compare the crowdfunding of C&P to this is silly. C&P purchased the house while W-5 would still have to pay rent. Also, if a business can’t stand on it sown is it really the crowds responsibility to fix it beyond patronizing it? No one was doing so for the last two years (well, I did…did I mention coconut cake?), at least so why would that change now?

  • Gary Yoxen February 1, 2022 (11:22 am)

    No, it can’t be saved. the lease is already in another person’s name now. West 5 is DONE.  it’s been done for years, really, time for a change.

    • wsres February 1, 2022 (2:48 pm)

      Do tell! I thought the lease wasn’t up until August! 

  • Christi February 1, 2022 (11:57 am)

    Memories of West 5: election returns in the early days. My introduction to Chartreuse and their Chartreuse martinis (is the giant bottle behind the bar going to be auctioned off??), stellar servers like Toni whom I miss already. BLT, Rueben, Chopped Salad, Mac n Cheese, and the kind of community support for WSFB and Helpline from owners that were committed community members. Thanks Dave for all the memories…be well….

  • DC February 1, 2022 (12:09 pm)

    A lot of people commenting “Haven’t been since the pandemic started” that’s part of the reason they’re closing!! Businesses need support beyond getting 2 sandwiches and a to go cocktail. Go in, sit down, have a few drinks, enjoy the ambiance with your friends. Live your life not in fear.

    • Derek February 1, 2022 (2:12 pm)

      Some people don’t want this thing called COVID. The city needs to step in and save longtime businesses that are local. Not us. 

      • D-burger February 1, 2022 (9:27 pm)

        Nope. A city is not in business to save local businesses that don’t do well because of their own foibles. I’ve had bad service there several times. The atmosphere is dark and not particularly welcoming. I’ve been in West Seattle for more than a decade and coming here to visit for several years before that. Never was impressed by the place. Always dead, often indifferent if not rude, never really updated anything. If you don’t engage the people, you aren’t going to make it. Plus, Covid is not really a threat to vaccinated and boosted individuals. At this point, fear is overcoming common sense and reality. It’s time to get back to normal. No masks for vaxxed, and get yourselves back out into your pre pandemic routines.  The businesses and their workers and owners and landlords have suffered enough. Stop living in fear.And no, I’m not a Republican.

  • Hades February 1, 2022 (4:38 pm)

    A punch in the gut. No more sitting at that great bar with my wife, having dinner and a couple of drinks. West 5 and its vibe is/was the anchor of the junction along with Easy Street and Husky Deli. With West 5, Kamei and Lee’s (our three most frequent dinner joints) becoming things of the past, makes me wonder how often we will be hanging out at the junction moving forward. The neighborhood is losing its personality.

    • wssz February 1, 2022 (8:05 pm)

      If you haven’t tried Itto’s, I highly recommend it. It’s one of my all time favorite WS restaurants — has been for many years. When I was there to pick up our order on Saturday, it’s clear that it’s become an important gathering place and the heart and soul of the Junction.  Lots of people there and it almost felt normal — amazing and wonderful. But I’m immunocompromised so don’t feel safe inside a restaurant. So ordering take out and picking it up myself works well for me. It’s essential for all of us to support our favorite locally owned restaurants and shops so we all get through this time. 

  • Highland park February 1, 2022 (7:23 pm)

    White Center would be a great location for West 5 if they keep going!

  • peter February 1, 2022 (7:24 pm)

    Restaurants used to run with the 30/30/30 rule. for every dollar that comes in 30 cents goes to labor 30 goes to cost of goods and 30 goes to overhead. leaving a measly dime but to get whittled away buy theft breakage and the it’s more like 45/45/45 leaving a permanent daily try not to question why restaurants are closing only understand that it’s nearly impossible now to make it these days.So when you decide to go to a restaurant, and you made that choice, respect the house your in. the customer is rarely right. tip fat and enjoy their noble toil.

  • Milton February 1, 2022 (10:46 pm)

    Spit!  Well, it rhymes.  Farewell.  You were for real and your chefs were one of a kind,

  • steve February 2, 2022 (8:27 am)

    Went there once in 10 years; lack of fries was a deal-breaker for me. I’ve been supporting/a customer at Shadowlands for years… when they reopened I got three burgers in one week, lolSadly, Shadowlands burgers have declined in quality; will be checking out haymakers happy hour.

  • GeneseeFivePoints February 2, 2022 (10:15 am)

    If you miss one of the “old school” bartenders, walk across the street to the Maharaja, she’ll take care of you and the cocktail will be stiffer and less expensive. There will be no Mac n’ Cheese, BLT’s or Ruben’s but after two drinks at the Maja, you won’t care what you’re eating ;) 

    • Derek February 3, 2022 (10:26 am)

      The vibe there is off. I prefer mid century feel of West 5

  • joe french February 3, 2022 (12:03 pm)

    West 5 is not coming back, or moving, they tried to sell it for years.  but were asking WAY too much.  

    • Gay Gabrilska February 3, 2022 (2:47 pm)

      Word!  A small group of people were trying to buy it, but it got weird fast. Here’s to hoping that a new restaurant will come in that reflects the community spirit that Dean (Toni, Doyle, Jo, Mikey, Don, Sidney, Sonja, Balta, Juan, and the rest) had intended and successfully executed for over 10 years!

    • Jill Loblaw February 3, 2022 (8:00 pm)

      How do you know that? You must have an “inside” source to make that statement. Reveal your source or hush.

      • Colby February 4, 2022 (9:56 pm)

        Us regulars are in the know. There was an attempt made by someone to purchase West 5 last year, but the owners declined the offer and wouldn’t work out a deal. This is not landlord related. This is purely the owner’s fault. 

        • Lisa Clark February 6, 2022 (1:42 pm)

          You are correct. But it was the remaining owner Dave Montoure who refused to sell it, not Dean. Dean left two years ago because he could not tolerate working with Dave any longer. 

  • Jill Loblaw February 3, 2022 (8:05 pm)

    The only person here telling a fib is the landlord. So disgusting to see greediness be the main motivation here. It’s nothing more or less. My prediction is he will have a developer come in at some point and erect another soulless building.

  • Linda Haskins Tedford February 5, 2022 (10:13 pm)

    Hey Dean….so sorry to read about this! It’s a shame that west Seattle has made these decisions, reminds of the fact that I love the NE due to the small town feel and the desire to keep that local feel even in these metropolitan cities! Best of luck in whatever your future professional road takes you! Btw I had a blast at the west 5, a few years back when I was home for a visit! Great place!

  • soadmiralk February 6, 2022 (7:34 am)

    The truth will come out.  Always does. 

    • Me February 11, 2022 (9:16 pm)


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