BIZNOTE: ‘Finale Week’ planned at West Seattle Brewing’s Alki Tap Shack as redevelopment closure approaches

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If you’re a West Seattle Brewing Company customer, you’ve probably already heard that they’re losing their Alki Tap Shack location (2536 Alki SW) because its site and that of Ampersand Coffee next door are being renovated/redeveloped. Not a huge project – more on that later – but nonetheless, the old one-story spaces that hold both businesses will be replaced. WSBC’s Tap Shack has announced September 30th as its last day, but starting the farewell party early, and has just sent word of what it calls “Finale Week” – four days with special performances:

– Thursday 9/8 @djbigugly 7:00-10:00
– Friday 9/9 @smokeybrights 7:00-9:00
– Saturday 9/10 Urban Achievers; a Led Zeppelin tribute 5:00-8:00
– Sunday 9/11 The Whopper Johns 4:00-6:00

In connection with “Finale Week,” WSBC plans to release limited-edition Tap Shack merch on September 9th, and later this week, they promise a full restock of their original merch.

After the September 30th closure, you’ll still be able to patronize West Seattle Brewing at their main location, 4415 Fauntleroy Way SW which they call the “mothership.”

The plan is different for Ampersand, which has announced it will be open in its current building through October 30th, and then:

We will be consolidating our operations into the ‘Tacontainer’ that previously resided next to Ampersand over the last 2 years. Initially it will be located right in front of Ampersand and then will move around the property to accommodate construction.
We will be focusing mostly on coffee and our food menu will necessarily be smaller. We will no longer making things in-house and will be out sourcing products from local businesses.

They’re expecting to move back into the new building once it’s complete.

The owners of the site are the Schilling family, which has bought and renovated other Alki sites, most notably the historic Homestead/Fir Lodge (now home to Il Nido) as well as the Shoremont Apartments. City records say the project will “renovate” the two commercial spaces and add a residential unit above, with the end product a two-story building.

29 Replies to "BIZNOTE: 'Finale Week' planned at West Seattle Brewing's Alki Tap Shack as redevelopment closure approaches"

  • A neighbor August 30, 2022 (1:54 pm)

    Alki really needs an outdoor focused bar/beer garden. West Seattle Brewing’s beer was never even that good, but I was a regular because it was a chill spot that wasnt focused on food. I hope someone else can open up a spot that focuses on cold taps, outdoor spaces, and maybe has a spot for food trucks to rotate though. 

    • Beer Garden Enthusiast August 30, 2022 (8:56 pm)

      Not on Alki, but we have Ounces……an outdoor beer garden/tap room with rotating food trucks

    • Danimal August 31, 2022 (9:17 pm)

      I respectfully disagree. They have brewed several excellent beers. Their House IPA is one of my favorites, in any weather, and their S.M.A.S.H. is the perfect summer beer. It’s nearly as good as Manny’s. They’ve had some stunning stouts, and I like their amber a lot as well. Your opinion is yours, but it’s not shared.

  • Sad neighbor August 30, 2022 (3:00 pm)
    1. Oh so sad!! Ampersand Is our favorite place with the most delicious food and soft serve. West Seattle is loosing its west Seattle feel quickly in recent years with all of this development ….ugh 
    • WSB August 30, 2022 (3:44 pm)

      Please note, they’re not closing, they’re moving operations during construction, and their announcement sounded fairly excited about the prospect of an improved building. I haven’t yet followed up directly with the Schillings but they have already saved two Alki buildings that otherwise were slated for the wrecking ball – under prior ownership, there was great doubt the historic Homestead could be saved – we covered that in intricate detail as with the Shoremont Apartments site, which was proposed to be torn down and replaced by mega-modern townhouses under previous ownership (follow the link above for a story including both a historic photo and a rendering of the 2007 proposal). There’s been a fair amount of preservation on Alki in the past decade or so – another example (but different owners), the ex-auto repair site that’s now Blue Moon Burgers. Anyway, unlike the Junction, Alki is NOT zoned for eight-to-nine-story redevelopment, but it could be higher than what’s happening so far (this site, for example, is zoned for up to four stories). – TR

  • west sea neighbor August 30, 2022 (3:25 pm)

    Those buildings may be old, but they kind of always had a “beach” vibe to me. Although I am not sure what will replace them, it seems like anything with character will eventually be bulldozed and replaced with fairly generic buildings. 

    • Peter August 30, 2022 (4:53 pm)

      To be fair, it’s not that new building can’t have character, but Seattle’s overly strict zoning restrictions, outdated land use codes, and, above all else, creativity-killing “design review” pretty much force all new building to look the same. 

      • Reality Chick August 30, 2022 (5:29 pm)

        Adding to this post. It is long past due to get rid of design review–at least how it has evolved in Seattle.

        • WSB August 30, 2022 (5:47 pm)

          This project is not in Design Review and very few local projects have been in the past few years. Separate from that, density advocates have won many victories, such as every SF house being replaceable by three units.

      • Auntie August 31, 2022 (5:15 pm)

        Then how do you explain the facade of the fairly new building on the east side of Delridge at Brandon? It has a somewhat Victorian flair – unlike the nondescript boxes that have gone up elsewhere in the neighborhood.

  • alkiperson August 30, 2022 (4:53 pm)

    Absolutely terrible news that we’re losing the shack to development. The locals are very disappointed to say the least.  For the past 5 years or so the Shack has been the nexus of Alki’s summer scene.  And of course they’re putting in a mixed use low rise that will take up the whole lot! Yayyyy. Because nobody that goes to Alki wants to sit out in the sun, right? Taking bets on what doomed overpriced food option is going to be first up to bat in the sterile concrete/garage door wrapped commercial space on the ground floor. 

  • West Seattle Lite August 30, 2022 (7:56 pm)

    I love these two buildings and the beach vibe they have. I remember the days of Slices pizza in the West Seattle Brewing location. It’s beyond me how WS Brewing has survived as long as it has, even in two locations; their beer isn’t good. I’d love to see Beer Junction expand and maybe offer a line of taps down at the beach. Or Elliott Bay Brewing or Good Society or Best of Hands or Counterbalance Brewing (from Georgetown).

    • AlkiPhil August 31, 2022 (5:59 am)

      I like this idea and agree, their beer is terrible.

      • Danimal August 31, 2022 (9:20 pm)

        Your opinions are not shared. They brew some great beers. One of them is one of my favorite IPAs. Shame on you for trying to word-shank a business that is losing something dear to them, and the community as a whole. 

  • ITotallyAgreeWithYou August 30, 2022 (11:13 pm)

    Wasn’t this one of Tom Lin’s properties, that he was going to redevelop into a hotel? Has he sold off all of his Alki properties?  Although I would have welcomed a boutique hotel (which wasn’t the plan), the Schilling Family’s vision of preserving the buildings they have and this current project being of small scale is a breath of fresh air.

    • WSB August 30, 2022 (11:24 pm)

      A very long time ago, that possibility … but yes, he was the owner who sold to the Schillings in 2019 (and he was the owner who sold them the Homestead, too). Parcel Viewer shows he still owns the site to the east, with Natalie’s etc.

      • Bancars September 1, 2022 (12:38 am)

        Tom has really shifted his focus to Leavenworth 

  • brewcity August 31, 2022 (7:06 am)

    Going to miss the tapshack, but I’m so glad WSB (the other WSB) will continue to rock out with Zeppelin on the weekends, wake up early for ManU games, and have awesome trivia. The beer must flow!

    • Danimal August 31, 2022 (9:20 pm)

      Hear hear!

  • Grambler August 31, 2022 (8:36 am)

    Maybe for a “grand finale” they can finally brew a decent batch of beer. 

    • Jack August 31, 2022 (4:42 pm)

      At least they sell Montucky Cold Snacks in a can, so you can drink a good craft beer outside while looking out at the Salish Sea. 

      • Danimal August 31, 2022 (9:21 pm)

        Does it make you feel good to tear down a local business on the internet?

        • Guy Olson August 31, 2022 (11:20 pm)

          I’ve actually had one of the co-owners of both places verbally criticize and belittle me in person and in public. So, yes I’m happy to see the delay of their businesses shutdown or delayed. Polite business owners for the win. 

      • Danimal August 31, 2022 (10:16 pm)

        Montucky is about the furthest from being a decent craft beer as it’s possible to get. Who wants to drink water with some malt flavoring in it, and discover surprise, it has a terrible aftertaste? You won’t get that from West Seattle Brewing’s beer. How many times have either of you tried their beer? Once, twice? Have you tried all of them? Do better than cutting down a local business with snarky comments that help no one. Shame on you.

        • hj September 1, 2022 (12:11 pm)

          These lectures on beer and local commerce are super tiresome, btw. It’s like I have to listen to the ramblings of a loud local beer snob, but in my own home. 

        • WSAlki September 4, 2022 (7:04 pm)

          Jeez seems like you work for the brewery or something and are responsible for responding to negative comments about your space. Let patrons share their own opinions. 

  • AlkiResident August 31, 2022 (4:11 pm)

    How sad! It is hard enough for restaurants to stay busy and open through the (mostly) off-season. Even big names like Top Pot, Subway, Fat Burger, etc. can’t make it- let alone smaller mom-and-pop restaurants and businesses. Who needs another run-of-the-mill basic building storefront? We can’t seem to keep any of the businesses in the other ones we already have on this street. This is depressing.

  • Alki surfer September 1, 2022 (7:50 am)

    In the competitive seattle micro beer arena, their beer just doesn’t hold up.

  • StuckInWestSeattle September 14, 2022 (1:21 pm)

    Unrelated to this but any idea when the blocked off lane by Infiity condos will be reopened? That site looks stalled with little progress for some time. I would like to see the aki drive there get back to normal.

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