BIZNOTES: Two West Seattle shops plan to close storefronts at year’s end

Two independent West Seattle retail shops have just announced their storefronts will close at year’s end – but in one case, that does NOT mean they’re going out of business.

VIRAGO GALLERY: After 10 years, proprietor Tracy Cilona has decided to go 100% online. In her announcement, she explains, “Deeper artist development and new professional and academic opportunity can only happen when I am free from the constraints of maintaining a full-time space. … My ambition was to create THE ONLY space in Seattle to amplify women and queer creatives and I have shared this space with some of the best and hardest-working people I have ever known. I want to take us MUCH further.” She plans to close that space at 4537 California SW in The Junction at year’s end. Virago is online at viragogallery.com.

SUPPLY CHAIN: After five years at 3830 California SW, proprietor Katie Meurk has announced her jewelry/accessories shop will close at year’s end. Her message for the community includes, “I humbly request that you continue to support artists, especially the women represented at Supply Chain, and small businesses in our community.” She notes that she will continue being involved with one of those – Current Coffee, the shop her family opened in February at 2206 California SW.

*Again – both Virago and Supply Chain are open through year’s end, so that means they’re there for your local holiday shopping.*

14 Replies to "BIZNOTES: Two West Seattle shops plan to close storefronts at year's end"

  • James November 17, 2022 (1:41 pm)

    Both Tracy and Katie have introduced countless artists and artisans to the public, and together they made West Seattle a unique retail destination. I’m saddened that both of them are closing their physical spaces but at least we’ll be able to continue supporting their makers online.I ask other WSB commenters join me in wishing nothing but the best for Tracy and Katie. If you’ve ever owned a small business or hung your shingle in Seattle, you know how difficult it can be to operate a brick & mortar storefront in the city.I hope property owners in the city continue to find new and innovative ways to bring small businesses into West Seattle. Every time we lose a small business storefront, we also lose another reason why we love living across the bridge.

  • HTB November 17, 2022 (2:09 pm)

    Pharmaca. Bin 41. Click. Bellevue Rare Coins. Super Supplements. Washington Federal. Ma’ano. Best of Hands. West Seattle Brewing. Lika Love. Village Woodworks.I could go on, but why bother? Seattle (West Seattle specifically) truly is dying and our Chamber of Commerce and Junction Association are sitting on their hands.

    • WSB November 17, 2022 (2:21 pm)

      One clarification. West Seattle Brewing’s Alki Tap Shack closed (owner redeveloping property). Its Triangle “mothership” remains open.

    • Jeff November 17, 2022 (3:19 pm)

      Pharmacy and Bin 41 both closed because the building owners wasn’t maintaining the place.  Bellevue Rare Coins was facing expensive repairs, and their landlord (the senior center) decided they wants to make use of the space themselves.   WaFd building is a complete tear down.    I don’t like to see places close regardless of the reason, but I don’t think you can attribute those ones to policy decisions or draw larger conclusions based on them. 

    • 2 Much Whine November 17, 2022 (3:23 pm)

      HTB, that’s an interesting perspective.  I suppose they said the same exact thing when we lost JC Penney or when Saffran’s was replaced by The Matador.  “Sleepers in Seattle” used to be a feed and grain store when we moved to West Seattle.  The Homestead became Il Nido and Tully’s became Harry’s Beach Club – both outstanding additions to the restaurant scene.  What about Moto Pizza taking over an old house and rocking it with a reservation list out to March?  I’m sure MIWS could add to this list as he has a fine memory of places long gone.  There’s not a lot of need for Blockbusters or Fotomats anymore so they disappeared.  My point is that West Seattle is not dying – it’s just changing.  That’s what happens.  Embrace the change!

      • Al King November 17, 2022 (4:25 pm)

        2 much whine. Just south of the junction was a Sambo’s that became Denny’s before closing. S end of junction is a coffee place that was Skippers fish and chips. Fitness place in N Admiral was a buffet place(forgot name) and don’t forget Charlston cafe. Always got my shoes at Shallets. Remember the golden egg?. West Seattle speedway got your slot car fix taken care of. Mom and dad got all their bread,cakes,pastries at Blakes. Don’t forget the A & P at the junction. Mom and dad shopped for groceries there every Friday. What say you now HTB??

      • Flo B November 17, 2022 (5:07 pm)

        I remembered. The buffet place in North Admiral was the Royal Fork.

    • Jen November 17, 2022 (4:11 pm)

      “Dying” DEFINITELY isn’t hyperbole or pearl-clutching 😂

  • Anne November 17, 2022 (2:57 pm)

    Yes- Bellevue Rare Coins is gone -but the store itself -owned by Senior Center is being used for Pop-Ups right now.

  • Paul November 17, 2022 (4:10 pm)

    I think what people don’t understand is that its highly expensive to operate a brick and mortar storefront.  Rent is insane.  Then you have what is called Triple Net, this is additional costs passed onto the tenant from the building owner, requiring the renter to cover their costs of the building.  Lets not forget taxes.  There are lots of them.  And if you want an employee, you have to pay a fairly decent wage to get someone.  Don’t forget those taxes that the owner is also required to pay for that employee.  Not just the part that is withheld but the employer has to cover payroll taxes too. Its unfortunate that so many places don’t make it, but with online shopping I completely see how they don’t.  People like to look and then go directly on line to find it for less.   This happens to my business all the time.

    • WestSeattleBadTakes November 17, 2022 (7:37 pm)

      Sounds like zoning changes that allow more businesses around the city would be very helpful.

  • Scarlett November 18, 2022 (8:25 am)

    How long have some of you lived here?  I’m waiting for someone to say they used to used to pull up their canoe next to Chief Sealth’s “Salmon Spit” back in the day.  Write a e-book for those who are interested, I’m not.  It’s difficult running a brick-and-mortar. 

  • Villagegreen November 18, 2022 (8:43 am)

    What’s disappointing (at least to me) is that most of these closings are independent retailers. And what usually replaces them are either bars or restaurants. I’m all for bars and restaurants, but at some point if that’s all a business district has to offer you lose reasons for people to visit throughout the day. It eventually turns into just a nightlife district.

  • RainParade November 18, 2022 (10:37 pm)

    To be honest, I’m ok with things becoming more night lifey in the junction.  Most of the stores in the junction are relics of a past Era gone by or just…goofy.  A coin shop didn’t make a ton of sense to me.  Some of the stores are “by appointment only” or sell super select sizing or a compilation of random things im better off shopping for online.  Hell, the book shop sells used books higher than sold new.  Do we really need 8 different realtor offices? I legit loved Click! The art supply shop is great too. I also love the kids clothing and toy stores and miss the resturants that have closed but I can’t say I’ve EVER been clamoring to go overpriced antiquing or furniture shopping in the junction, i also dont find the jewelry shops particularly compelling options.  Some of the stores seem like they are more hobbies than actual store fronts, I don’t uderstand how they turn a profit given cost and overhead they deal with.  Huskies has a smelly smell that smells, its crusty and gross. What I am clamoring for are a variety of decent grab and go breakfast, lunch and take out joints during the week.  Preferably something that opens around 7am instead of 10am.  I also want interesting places for brunch and dinner on the weekend.  A few kid friendly resturants would be fantastic too.  Drop off kids play spaces?  Heck yeah.  Hacker space?? Yes please. 

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.