ALMOST OPEN: Sneak peek inside Camp West in The Junction

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

At Camp West, soon to open in the ex-West 5 space in the West Seattle Junction, they’re taking the camping theme seriously – yet lightheartedly.

When you walk into the space at 4539 California SW, you’ll notice foldable canvas chairs at the tables by the front window. Temporary placeholders for furniture yet to arrive? No, they’re intentional. “They’re really sturdy!” insist two of the proprietors, Toni Uy and Patrick Haight, presiding over ongoing preparations and training when we visited Thursday afternoon, 5 months after we first reported the plan for the space.

Then there’s what you’ll get for water on your table – not a glass carafe, but a metal thermos.

If you’re drinking something harder, the cocktail might have a name like One-Eyed Squirrel (aloe, vodka, lime juice, and a decorative eyeball, a favorite at Camp West’s sibling in Tacoma, Camp Bar). Plan to pair your drink with food? Unique items include the Snackle Box, a mini-tackle box stocked with meat, cheese, olives, and bread.

Next to it in our photo is one of the mini-grills deliverable to tabletops for roast-it-yourself S’mores.

But let’s broaden the perspective for a moment, as, unless you hadn’t visited the space before, you’ll be mentally comparing at first:

One thing prominently absent in that view – the railing down the middle, removed in the remodel, no longer needed because Camp West is 21+. The north wall is now lined with booths, and the wall over them sports faux greenery, except for the section nearest the front, which is decorated with a variety of items from antlers to an axe to this photo of a well-known West Seattleite camping:

Over the front tables, the south wall has a mural by Andrew Miller, who also painted the one on the alley behind Camp West. That goes up to the bar, which features unique lantern-style lighting:

The focus there (see the beverage menu online) is on signature and classic cocktails, with a “heavy whiskey selection.” (And more whimsical names, like Sweaty Lumberjack.) You also will find four beers on tap – including of course the locally renowned Manny’s – plus a selection of canned beverages, even the 16-ounce Rainier.

At the back of Camp West, you’ll find a tent – seating 8+ for a semi-private celebration spot.

The back is also where there eventually be one lone video screen, not for sports or entertainment, but to support the rustic/outdoor ambience – skiing videos, old Rainier Beer commercials, etc.

In addition to the aforementioned Snackle Box and S’mores, Camp West has a broader menu than its Tacoma sibling – “a lot fancier” is how Haight puts it, but not too fancy. You can see the food menu online too – from burgers and other sandwiches to entrees including seared steelhead and mushroom cassoulet. Camp West has brought “a lot of new equipment” to the kitchen.

So the big question – when will they open? Right now they’re training staff via “friends and family” sessions. Then they’ll open to the public somewhat gradually, with the plan to be fully open by Wednesday, November 23. Hours for starters will be 4-10 pm Wednesdays and Thursdays, 4-midnight Fridays and Saturdays, 4-9 pm Sundays, closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

37 Replies to "ALMOST OPEN: Sneak peek inside Camp West in The Junction"

  • DumplingGirl November 11, 2022 (11:31 am)

    Wow – it’s fun to see the old West5 space revamped and reimagined. Can’t wait til they open!! 

  • helpermonkey November 11, 2022 (11:50 am)

    This looks absolutely incredible and so much fun.  I used to love Tini Bigs back in the day – Patrick knows how to run a great bar. I can’t wait to check it out!

  • rb November 11, 2022 (12:24 pm)

    I have a question for the community. I am excited for them to open, But i can’t help wondering,… Would a restaurant fail if they opened elesewhere in West Seattle rather than in the same 2 blocks as everyone else?  For example, it surprises me how there are almost no restaurants around WestWood village. I can only think of 2 fingers social and Burger Boss, Thank you 

    • Out of curiosity November 11, 2022 (2:19 pm)

      I think the issue with westwood village is no one is really eager to pay the rent in that area, especially with what smells of an upcoming recession. Also there tends to be a higher than usual crime activity over there such as car breaking/ prowlers and rampant shoplifting. Precovid it would have been great but I think most people aren’t willing to make the financial leap in that area, which I agree is sad. But then again, only a couple blocks is White Center which has really booming, especially restaurant wise, in the past few years. But I totally agree.

      • K November 11, 2022 (4:58 pm)

        Limited foot traffic too. WWV is designed for cars, and stores are oriented toward parking lots. The layout discourages me from exploring for sure. Also, fewer nearby residents. It really needs a makeover to thrive.

      • Brian November 11, 2022 (6:30 pm)

        Why would rampant shoplifting affect a bar?

        • Lp November 11, 2022 (10:35 pm)

          Some ppl hesitate to frequent areas with crime. 

          • Brian November 12, 2022 (9:17 am)

            I know when I’m out and about I try to avoid people shoplifting from me. Same reason I try to not walk near any legal offices in case they might be embezzling funds or concocting tax evasion schemes. Just better to be safe than sorry, ya know?

      • Rick November 12, 2022 (9:41 am)

        I remember WWV when it was a swamp. Still kinda is.

        • uncle loco November 12, 2022 (10:33 am)

          My memories only go as far back as Earnst, Lamont’s, Sea Galley… and the Picwic.

      • Orb November 12, 2022 (9:51 am)

        Alaska junction and westwood village are totally different. Not even a comparison. 

    • WSresident November 11, 2022 (6:48 pm)

      I don’t like frequenting Westwood by say the last place I’d go look for a late night bar is there. These people have history in the west seattle restaurant scene they belong in the junction. 

  • fenimore November 11, 2022 (12:35 pm)

    Time to press my Filsons,
    launder my Wigwams,
    mink oil and lace-up my Danners and load up my Trapper Nelson backpack with Seattle Tent and  Awning Company’s ‘Rainier’ 9′ X  9′ umbrella tent.  
    If only I could find my waxed poncho.  
    Look forward to making the trek!

    • Wendell November 11, 2022 (3:17 pm)

      @ Fenimore: I too once fell under the spell of opium. It was 1979. I was traveling The Yangtze in search of a Mongolian horsehair vest…

      • Joan LaBriola November 12, 2022 (3:11 am)

        It combines the spirit of old Mexico with a little big city panache. I like to call it the Urban Sombrero

  • sam-c November 11, 2022 (12:40 pm)

    Looks like a fun spot. Can’t wait to check it out!    

  • PatWS November 11, 2022 (2:18 pm)

    Sorry if I’m being obtuse/forgetful – but who is the “well-known West Seattleite”?

    • Genesee5Points November 11, 2022 (3:15 pm)

      Is Eddie Vedder, the lead singer a local band you might have heard of, “Pearl Jam” ;)

    • Genesee5Points November 11, 2022 (3:16 pm)

      It’s Eddie Vedder, the lead singer a local band you might have heard of, “Pearl Jam” ;)

    • Gay November 11, 2022 (4:39 pm)

      The famous guy is Toni’s 😻 

  • Steve M November 11, 2022 (2:49 pm)

    Are mosquitoes extra? .😜

  • STANLEY FAN November 11, 2022 (2:53 pm)

    Those aren’t Thermos’s – those are Stanley x Pendleton 1.5qt Vac bottles available exclusively at CostCo ! They thought of everything – nice work! 

    • WSB November 11, 2022 (3:26 pm)

      Thanks, then I should have written “thermos” in the generic sense … “vacuum bottles” just doesn’t have the same ring. Will check and fix.

  • Please Don’t Put the Game On November 11, 2022 (4:30 pm)

    Looks awesome! I was hoping for no TVs at all (one of the best things about West5) but I like the idea of cool curated/themed content on just one screen. A restaurant up the street has starting playing random movies with the sound on and it just ruins the vibe, especially because half the room can’t even see the giant screen.

  • WSobserver November 11, 2022 (5:11 pm)

    Reddit – r/WeWantPlates

  • Jen November 11, 2022 (10:15 pm)

    Ha! Had breakfast with my favorite veteran at Easy Street this morning before this item was posted, and wondered when Camp West would open, so we walked by afterward and noted that it sure looked ready to go. Still not having read this post, we stopped by JaK’s for happy hour, then swung by Camp West to see if they were up and running, and sure enough, they were. Good vibe, great drinks, friendly staff. We’ll be back to give the food a whirl (chicken and dumplings FTW!). Glad they’re in the the neighborhood.

    • Patrick November 12, 2022 (3:19 pm)

      The Chicken and Dumplings were fantastic!!

  • Thee November 12, 2022 (9:16 am)

    Really hate seeing farmed steelhead on the menu — they are a corporate-sponsored environmental disaster and are full of toxins, PCBs, delousing agents, antibiotics and pumped full of fake red dye. Could probably make a slightly better menu choice for Seattle.

  • Justin Kimball November 12, 2022 (2:18 pm)

    TONI!Glad to see you are back.  You should have something with canned sardines on the menu.  T

  • Billie & Eric November 12, 2022 (4:10 pm)

    Can’t wait to come visit!!! We know we will love it as much as we love the Camp Bar in Tacoma!!!

  • Timothy Ealey November 13, 2022 (9:46 am)

    Soft opening Wednesday? Hmmmm

  • Mandrew November 15, 2022 (3:11 pm)

    We loved the S’mores “grill” for celebrating my wife’s birthday!  

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