UPDATE: Public Health authorities shut down unlicensed food vendors at Alki Beach

ORIGINAL MONDAY REPORT: For the second time this month, Public Health – Seattle & King County has announced that it’s shut down three unlicensed food vendors at Alki Beach for “operating without a valid food business permit.” The announcement says the closures happened Sunday afternoon. The agency also announced previously that it had closed three unlicensed food vendors at Alki on July 1st for the same reason, but doesn’t say whether any or all of the new closures involve the same operators, nor does it name them. We’re following up to see if any of that information is available. (Here’s how to get a permit.)

ADDED TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Here’s how PHSKC answered our followup questions: “Generally speaking, it is difficult to determine a business name when there has been no formal permit application in the first place. Not all food vendors would have a prominent business name displayed on a stand/cart/whatever structure they are vending food from. Of the three unlicensed food carts most recently closed by Public Health, one appears to be the same as a cart previously closed by Public Health on July 1.”

25 Replies to "UPDATE: Public Health authorities shut down unlicensed food vendors at Alki Beach"

  • anonyme July 18, 2022 (3:58 pm)

    The Crawfish House violations are numerous and disgusting.  The announcement doesn’t name the vendors at Alki; would sure like to know who they are.  I used to feel relatively safe eating at food trucks, but this gives me pause.  There just seems to be a general lack of compliance with any laws these days.

  • momosmom July 18, 2022 (3:59 pm)

    What kind of food were they selling? I ask because there’s a white van that sells BBQ Chicken in a vacant biz’ parking lot on 134th or so on Ambaum Blvd.SW on the weekends  and I always wondered how they could do this. I’m not talking of the Mexican Restaurant 10 blocks south of this one, they’re legit it is a open restaurant.

    • WSB July 18, 2022 (4:09 pm)

      That’s part of what I’m asking about. Public Health’s announcement does not include a shred of information beyond what I published. When it’s brick-and-mortar restaurants, they at least name them.

  • 4thGenWestSide July 18, 2022 (4:15 pm)

    2 of the 3 vendors were back there on Sunday PM at around 6:00, unless the city’s timeframe is incorrect.

  • WestSeaRes July 18, 2022 (4:16 pm)

    I’ve seen several makeshift Mexican fruit stands down there before and recently as well so I assume it’s those. Unfortunate that those just trying to make ends meet are being shut down by the city… But also makes sense from a health perspective with no oversight of the health measures being taken by the stands or lack thereof. 

    • anonyme July 18, 2022 (6:13 pm)

      A lot of people are trying to “make ends meet”.  Some take unfair advantage by foregoing things like permits, licensing, having proper safety training, or observing basic health & sanitation standards.  If anyone is being treated unfairly, it’s those who try to follow the rules and are driven out of business by those who don’t.

      • ADMDevilsAdvocate July 18, 2022 (7:59 pm)

        Nobody forced anyone to purchase food from these vendors. Permits are literally taxation. Want to remodel your house? Tax. Want to remove a tree? Tax. Want to remove ivy from the hill in your backyard? Tax. With your mindset, I hope you’ve been reporting your neighborhood lemonade stands! Our local entrepreneurs need support, too! Last I checked, they all operate without the proper permits, licenses, health & safety standards, or sanitation training. 

        • Also John July 18, 2022 (8:28 pm)

          I so agree with you.  I want to provide unlicensed medical operations at Alki.  Anything from putting a bandaid over a cut to lung replacement.  I’m not a doctor, but I won’t force anyone to use my non-experienced services.   I plan to not get a permit.  I hate paying taxes.

          • ADMDevilsAdvocate July 18, 2022 (9:06 pm)

            Have at it, bud! Healthcare in our country is a joke- we could all use some free bandaids. Good luck with finding lung replacement candidates, though. I think serving elotes is a little different than performing a surgery for epithelial lung cancer

          • Rocket July 18, 2022 (9:14 pm)

            Also John for the win.  

          • Pessoa July 18, 2022 (9:48 pm)

            Because a non-licensed vendor selling a fruity drink with lead to a non-licensed doc performing lung transplants.  Your classic argumentum ad absurdum.    

  • Tb July 18, 2022 (4:25 pm)

    Comb through the comments here. Pretty sure I saw someone giving an announcement that they would be on Alki selling food under an events post. 

    • WSB July 18, 2022 (5:33 pm)

      The only person whose operation we have mentioned at Alki and other locations, Chef Gino, wasn’t at Alki on 7/1, he was in Delridge. Don’t know about 7/17 but lately we hear from him if he’s in a high-profile spot.

  • Ccnonameisokfu July 18, 2022 (7:35 pm)

    Hey, why can’t people leave them alone. They are trying to make ends meet. People who report them to city are ones along the ave businesses. Sad. They just can’t tolerate.

    • Julian July 19, 2022 (10:04 am)

      Maybe there are rules and a process in place for a reason?  Beyond this, a number of them will either sit there and honk an obnoxious clown horn for the entirety of their business day or bring giant speakers to blast their music in an attempt to drum up attention and business.  I wish people would think about how if other people actually wanted to hear any of that they’d be doing it themselves already.

  • Vee July 18, 2022 (8:24 pm)

    No one is saying they cant do this but need permits like all businesses, we have health and safety standards for a reasonThere is someone usually on fridays in front of the Nook, cooks chicken , dont see any wash station, dont  know if he had a permit but I wouldn’t  buy from him

  • KT July 18, 2022 (8:35 pm)

    Would the people posting the “let them make a living” be okay if their child got Ecoli from one of these unlicensed, unregulated food vendors?

    • WS Res July 18, 2022 (9:32 pm)

      “Won’t someone think of the children???”

    • Jethro Marx July 18, 2022 (10:44 pm)

      Speaking for all parents of normal human status, if I buy my kid some random food from a random stand on the beach, yeah, I know it might make them sick. But so could fresh local broccoli or delicious pasta sauce of much labor. Kids are like that. If we’re fighting e. Coliform though, I had sooner see the city pick up dog poop than rain on someone’s relatively tidy parade.

  • Jenben July 18, 2022 (9:45 pm)

    If they choose to break the rules they risk being shut down. It’s simple! I wouldn’t buy food from someone without a license or permit. They take business away from other small businesses.If those who want to let unlicensed or regulated food vendors on Alki then they should get the permitting lifted for certain areas in the summer. Get on it! Good luck with that I can think of other things to do with my energy but carry on! 

  • Carol July 19, 2022 (5:41 am)

    I have been wondering if those vendors were permitted. Aren’t they on Parks managed space? I imagined they need food permits as well as permits from the Parks and Recreation dept. Thanks WSB for the story which answered some of my questions

  • Pessoa July 19, 2022 (7:40 am)

    This is a beat-down on a few vendors trying to earn a few dollars, and who are probably not competing with brick and mortar restaurants for the same customers.  As far as these vendors posing a public health risk, that bag of lettuce you buy from Safeway, or your own kitchen probably poses more of a sanitary hazard.   

  • For Real? July 19, 2022 (10:53 am)

    We live in a society, and by definition that society has rules and regulations, some of which help to keep the members of that society safe.  It’s not right to let these unlicensed, untaxed, and unregulated vendors thumb their noses at the system they live in for personal gain. It’s unfair to the businesses that have to make sure they are licensed, clean, and pay their taxes and operating costs. If the vendors want to do business, and make money, then they need to follow the rules same as every other local business. The costs are not prohibitive, I am speaking from experience, so those whinging about people trying to make money to live have no leg to stand on in an argument. And for the person saying that lemonade stands run by CHILDREN should be subject to the rules, too, you have a point. No society wants to tax children over lemonade, but if there is a health issue involved, then perhaps it SHOULD be illegal to run a pop up lemonade stand. That might depend on a study done on how much potential there is for infection with a food borne illness from buying homemade lemonade at a tiny corner stand with one table and two chairs.

    • ADMDevilsAdvocate July 19, 2022 (6:56 pm)

      Laws are made and enforced by the affluent for the benefit of the affluent. 

  • admyrl byrd July 19, 2022 (1:55 pm)

    I’m sorry for being insensitive to the “make ends meet” crowd here, but these stands are annoying and obnoxious, as well as not really selling anything of nutritional value (I’m sure the sugar tax is being complied with).  They’re taking up the sidewalk or walking path, blaring music and generally decreasing the enjoyment of the area.  Have they not reinstated the “food truck of the day” concept near the boat house that could allow 2-3 vendors – properly licensed and restricted from amplified music which could maybe have one allocated to a “need endeavor”?  Do we really need to cede every shred of decency and legal code to make ourselves feel better?

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