BIZNOTE: Camp West on the way to ex-West 5 space in The Junction

Thanks to a tip from reader Michael, we’ve learned the answer to a question many have been asking: What’s next for the former West 5 space at 4539 California SW in The Junction?

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.”

44 Replies to "BIZNOTE: Camp West on the way to ex-West 5 space in The Junction"

  • Eric Pegasus June 10, 2022 (7:17 pm)

    Heck yes! Can’t wait! Glad Toni is coming back and in such roles, great news!

    • Sonja June 10, 2022 (11:48 pm)

      Couldn’t agree more- the junction has been missing Toni! And who better to navigate the space during the transition! Big love to you, Toni! And so thrilled to see the new space!

  • East Coast Cynic June 10, 2022 (7:23 pm)

    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
    Chinese Food?

  • Patrick June 10, 2022 (8:04 pm)

    YAY!! So excited and happy for you Patrick!!!

  • Misha June 10, 2022 (8:05 pm)

    Fantastic news!  Tini Bigs, Weathered Wall, and West 5 under Tony’s management were some of my favorite places.   Kizuki Ramen and Izakaya is also one.   But I’m not a barfly, regardless of what you read on Twitter.

  • HS June 10, 2022 (8:16 pm)

    Sounds great! Looking forward to going.

  • Colby June 10, 2022 (9:35 pm)

    Yay Toni!!!Cannot wait to get back to this spot!

  • Peter June 10, 2022 (9:58 pm)

    The Weathered Wall! I haven’t thought about that place in ages. It was an incredible club. I had some very good times there.  

    • Lagartija Nick June 11, 2022 (8:44 am)

      Agreed! I loved that club and am pleased others remember it as well.

  • NativetoSeattle June 10, 2022 (10:07 pm)

    Yay! So glad Toni will be back. I’m looking forward to the new place.

  • Robin June 11, 2022 (12:45 am)

    Can Toni bring back with her the W5 BLT?!?!???

    • Shelle June 11, 2022 (9:26 am)

      Yes! The BLT. Best in town. 

    • 22blades June 13, 2022 (12:25 am)

      Yes! Best Bee El Tee!

  • Keith June 11, 2022 (4:34 am)

    Hooray for this cool-sounding concept and the return of Toni! Fingers crossed that this space remains TV-free, one of the unique things I loved so much about West5. 

  • Watertowerjim June 11, 2022 (6:45 am)

    Watertown? Great memories.  Now, if this guy ran the old Romper Room on lower Queen Anne I’d apply to become a charter member!  Alexa playing Depeche Mode and New Order right now!  Congratulations and good luck.

    • slc June 12, 2022 (6:09 pm)

      Hear hear!  Hopefully Toni is on board.  Who watches TV when they’re camping anyway?  

  • Autumn June 11, 2022 (7:50 am)

    Great news! I love the Camp Bar in Tacoma. Such a fun place. Hope they do karaoke too like in Tacoma. 

  • ahneighbor June 11, 2022 (8:02 am)

    we love Toni!!!

  • JP June 11, 2022 (9:03 am)

    Happy to hear another food/beverage establishment is moving in, but disappointing to have a family friendly restaurant replaced by yet another 21+ space, particularly with the dwindling dining options in West Seattle. Loved West 5 and ate there once/week. Maybe I can be a regular here in 18years…

    • LJD June 11, 2022 (10:12 am)

      I agree, I was just thinking the same. I’m glad the business moving in is a restaurant but bummed to hear it’s not family friendly. I don’t even have kids but West Seattle is weirdly obsessed with 21+ establishments :/

      • East Coast Cynic June 11, 2022 (10:27 am)

        I suspect that businesses are finding that a younger demographic w/o kids is moving to West Seattle, so they are catering to that.  The kind of people that in the past would likely move to neighborhoods like Capitol Hill, Ballard, Belltown or Queen Anne but have been priced out.

        • jake June 15, 2022 (11:18 am)

          West seattle has narrow shops. Because of liquor laws most restaurants waste valuable squarefootage on barriers and dividers from the bar. So they prefer to add tables rather than allow kids

    • Lisab June 11, 2022 (10:15 am)

      Yay! So glad for an adult place to visit:)

      • JP June 12, 2022 (2:29 pm)

        Yes, nothing says “adult place” like s’mores. Good grief. There are plenty of 21+ options in West Seattle if children cramp your style.

    • Hapi Kamper June 11, 2022 (3:50 pm)

      The West 5 was family tolerant, not family friendly, a position that Toni stoutly maintained with admirable decorum.There are a dozen restaurants in the Jct, more if you go a block or two out. Making one 21+ won’t hurt your kids selection for chicken fingers.

      • JP June 12, 2022 (2:24 pm)

        My only criteria for family friendly in this neighborhood is not being denied entrance because someone in my party is under 21. I personally could care less about having a kids menu. My kids don’t eat chicken fingers, but your snark is noted and ironic coming from someone excited about a summer camp theme and s’mores. I will gladly continue patronizing some of the great eateries in West Seattle that don’t have age restrictions. But I walk by some of these 21+ spaces that I’d love to take my family for lunch (e.g. The Bridge, Whiskey West, etc.) on a Saturday afternoon and they are deserted. We go somewhere like Elliot Bay and they are slammed and half the tables have minors. I’m just bummed that the void West 5 left was replaced by a a space my family won’t be allowed to enter.

  • Crabby Old Man June 11, 2022 (10:30 am)

    Woo! Another 21+ place! Can’t get enough of those… people bring kids to too many places these days.

  • AlkiBean June 11, 2022 (11:57 am)

    Concept seems geared for towards families… not over 21. Adults really eat s’mores?  It sounds like an REI store that serves food. 

    • Yes to S’mores June 12, 2022 (8:35 am)

      Heck yes, adults eat s’mores. At least this one, and those around my campfire, does. 

  • WS Dad June 11, 2022 (1:10 pm)

    With the dwindling family options to eat at in West Seattle,  please reconsider making your whole establishment 21+ only vs partial. One thing loved about West 5 is that I could bring the family there, even if it didn’t have a kid friendly vibe. 

  • HTB June 11, 2022 (1:47 pm)

    Fun fact – I’m pretty sure the Weathered Wall was where the opening credits of the late, great Almost Live was filmed!WSB – tell us what’s going on with the Hydrant next!?!?!?

    • WSB June 11, 2022 (2:05 pm)

      Already told somebody via email today: There’s been no permit activity in three years. The owners long since stopped commenting. If there’s ever any sign of activity, we’ll update.

  • Lisa June 11, 2022 (5:00 pm)

    Congratulations Toni! Great news for all the friends who have missed the good vibes that you, Dean, Syd, Doyle, Sonja, et al shared at the former establishment. I’m sure Tom and Lloyd are happy you are there too. The camp theme sounds awesome. Keep us posted on your progress! Would love to see you next time we are in town. Very happy for you and your new partners. 

  • Patrick June 11, 2022 (6:15 pm)

    This is very exciting news, it sounds like a great fit for West Seattle!

  • John E June 12, 2022 (9:22 am)

    Now bring back Dave Montoure and the place will be near perfect!!!

  • WS Neighbor June 12, 2022 (5:52 pm)

    Sounds fun but I really wish we would limit the 21+ restaurants in the area. That’s at least 3 now just in the main junction area, which is a place most of us like to go with our families. 

  • ImNotSparticus June 12, 2022 (6:21 pm)

    There are far more places that admit people under 21 than places that don’t. Please don’t be those entitled parents that think your precious offspring should be allowed in every space…give the rest of us some escape from screaming, whining, messy kids. (Oh, but I’m sure yours aren’t like that!) The whole world is not your playground and adults have the right to their own spaces. 

  • FamilyFriendlyWestSeattle June 13, 2022 (12:52 am)

    West Seattle is growing…with families. Please reconsider making this a family tolerant restaurant. Not all families have nannies and sitters. And those families who need a kids menu to eat out with their kids won’t come here, so no need for special menus. What about letting families come eat anytime before 5? Pretty please??? 

    • James June 13, 2022 (9:19 am)

      I think there’s plenty of family places to go. We are also growing with apartments with college kids who don’t want to drive really far to have a night life. We’re actually lacking night life spots in the area.

    • Elton June 13, 2022 (10:19 am)

      We also have a child but I think it’s fair for new businesses to open that are adults-only. Some people, even those with kids, want to go out for a drink in an adult-only place. There are plenty of great places that serve great drinks in and outside of the Junction area that cater to families.Loved Tini Bigs, excited to see what this is like!

    • hj June 14, 2022 (6:54 pm)

      Not all families have nannies and sitters.

      Not all families can afford to eat out at all, so sometimes it’s good to reflect on what we have, realize that the whole world isn’t here to cater to us, and stop complaining.

  • KM June 13, 2022 (9:25 am)

    I just hope they have vegan parking for my Tesla and allow off-leash cats or I will definitely boycott!

  • Peter Swanson June 13, 2022 (3:46 pm)

    I am thrilled to have a 21+ place! Very excited for this. 

  • shotinthefoot June 14, 2022 (2:12 pm)

    As someone who stopped going to West 5 as much when they decided to start allowing kids, this is most welcome. Y’all can already bring your kids and your dogs just about anywhere. Please let us adults have some peace. Peace with s’mores is even better. 

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