Answer: A bar/restaurant called Camp West.
We connected today with a member of the ownership team, Patrick Haight, who tells us he and his partners have plenty of local ties. More on them all in a moment. First, what will Camp West be? His explanation:
Camp West will be 21+ and a Camping’esque theme inside. We will have a full bar with a wide range of spirits and signature cocktails with fun Camping names like “The one-eyed Squirrel,” “The rabid Raccoon,” “Snorting Elk,” and “The Airstream Cooler.” The food menu is still in development and will not be of one particular genre. The menu will offer a range of items to choose from that don’t all fit into one particular category. We are conscious of the neighborhood’s establishments and hope to offer items you won’t necessarily see in the Junction. We are lucky to be working from a full kitchen to give us that flexibility, unlike our location in Tacoma, and able to creatively offer our guests some fun items and experiences. We will be bringing our signature S’mores to this location, where you can roast your own s’mores at the table and a myriad of chocolate options to choose from to smoosh that Sammich together.
“Our location in Tacoma” is The Camp Bar, which Haight opened in 2017 along with Nuri Aydinel, another Camp West co-owner. Aydinel also is co-owner/co-founder of Kizuki Ramen and Izakaya in The Junction and 18 other locations (around Puget Sound and in Chicago). Haight has “been in and out of West Seattle for the past 50+ years” – his mom grew up here and he has a house here though he lives in the South Sound. His hospitality background includes being the GM for Tini Bigs/Hula Hula/Watertown at the bottom of Queen Anne for 17 years, being part-owner of a club in the early ’90s called the “Weathered Wall” near the Westin Hotel, and working as Food and Beverage Manager for Snoqualmie Casino until 2015 after opening it in 2008. He is the co-author of a cocktail book called “Tini Bigs, Big Martinis” and an award-winning cocktail creator.
As for the West 5 ties, another Camp West co-owner, Toni UY, was its general manager for 15 years, Haight says she “left West 5 to pursue other opportunities outside of the food and beverage industry and realized she missed the daily interaction with her customers and fellow merchants in the neighborhood. She will be the GM and part-owner of the restaurant and will carry the reputation she has had for 15 years doing business in the Junction, where she has cultivated many relationships and friendships.”
We asked Haight what kind of changes they’d be making to the space. He says, “The general layout will be similar to its former occupant, but we will have more booth seating vs stand-up tables. We absolutely love the bar that already exists and plan on keeping it with some slight design modifications to fit our camping theme, since it’s a focal part of this beautiful space. Inside will have a refined NW camping experience, from hanging hammocks, tent-style barriers, etc., to sage-colored walls that are organic and calming, some greenery to make you feel less inside and more outside.”
The big question – when do they hope to open? “We are planning on a tentative opening date in September. With supply issues on some equipment and fixtures, and the dozens of other items that need to be made, and ordered, and delivery of such items will dictate if we are close or not to opening. We also plan on holding a series of walk-in hiring days, a few weeks before we open, so we can begin to build our family of Camp Counselors.”