BIZNOTE: Mission Cantina announces it’s closing ‘after 19 amazing years’

The owners of Mission Cantina in The Admiral District (2325 California SW) say their restaurant/bar will close permanently in a little over a week. Here’s the announcement we received tonight:

After 19 amazing years, Mission Cantina must say “adios” to the West Seattle neighborhood we have long adored as family. This decision was not one arrived at easily. Due to rising operational costs, changes in the economy, and an evolving hospitality landscape, we are announcing Saturday, February 17th will be our final night.

Our beloved community has supported us, and we are proud to have supported our community in return. We have been lucky to host first dates that became engagement parties and then marriage celebrations, followed by childrens’ birthdays, then became supporters for school auctions, and we even had our logo on the backs of Little League jerseys … all for the same wonderful families.

Mission has been a gathering spot in the Admiral neighborhood for almost two decades, the venue for two weddings, many live music shows and multiple celebrations of life, and we loved every minute. We thank the West Seattle community, and all of Seattle, for being part of our journey, through good times and challenging times. We are especially grateful for our amazing team members – past and present, our dedicated Missionaries who came for dinners and tasting events, our nearby neighbor businesses, the West Seattle Chamber, and the Admiral Neighborhood Association for being there for us when we needed you most.

Please come in and support our amazing staff during this farewell week.

We will miss every one of you, West Seattle.

Peter Morse, Shawn Padilla & Tina Padilla

75 Replies to "BIZNOTE: Mission Cantina announces it's closing 'after 19 amazing years'"

  • RLV February 8, 2024 (11:02 pm)

    This is a loss for our neighborhood – it’s been the regular meeting place for my friends and I for years. That said, I do understand and am grateful to everyone who made it a comfortable place to meet and hang out! Love to you all in your next adventures, kind folks. 

  • West Seattle Lite February 8, 2024 (11:18 pm)

    This one hurts. They all do, but this one hurts extra hard. I remember this space when it was a bar called Lizard Lounge. It didn’t last long but when it opened as Mission it was glorious. Love Mission and have been eating and drinking here for 19 years. Was great we could take our kid here too. Good luck to the owners and thanks for all the great years. 

  • Mark Turpen February 9, 2024 (12:23 am)

    Once again a great business who has been there for our west Seattle community has been pushed out.   Pete and Crew have always been there for our teams, families and communities.  Our family hopes the best for you and please look at Spokane or Idaho for your next venture!!We love you and your staff and hope the best for you all!!

    • WS Guy February 9, 2024 (5:48 am)

      The previous city leadership did not care about businesses.  Let’s hope the new one does.  I don’t know what format of a small business the City expects to succeed but the way it looks to me you’d be crazy to start a business or rent your property in this city.

      • dhg February 9, 2024 (12:11 pm)

        Gotta disagree.  The previous city leadership DID care about business.  Sawant, in particular, looked at Amazon and said we can milk milk milk this cow for revenue!  When it came to small business, they didn’t pay any attention.  They farmed out tax reporting to a third party that was free to charge whatever for filling out business tax forms. They didn’t care about that so long as they got 100% of what they were due. In this case, I don’t think it was the City’s actions that caused the shutdown but I’ll miss’em.

        • Brandon February 9, 2024 (7:39 pm)

          Cutting off your nose to spite your face is one hell of a way to care.

  • Jay February 9, 2024 (2:03 am)

    It’s so sad to see all these local businesses pushed out of West Seattle due to rising rent and be totally powerless to change anything. Does it not end until the only thing left is corporate chains like Starbucks and Cheesecake Factory? Especially after these businesses survived the pandemic, the timing is cruel.

    • Dark Knight February 9, 2024 (6:08 am)

      Please stop with the rising rent rhetoric. Yes, it may have been a factor but there are, as stated in the announcement, multiple factors impacting the decision. Restaurants operate on small margins as it is and with increased costs of goods, pandemic fallout, high interest rates, continued layoffs especially in the tech industry it is far more than just “raising rent.”

      • Bill February 9, 2024 (11:32 am)

        Nice laundry list — but you left one of the elephants in the room (business that is) — minimum wage rising to deal with valueless paper money!

      • Rebecca February 9, 2024 (1:07 pm)

        agreed. rent is just one of many issues plaguing the restaurant industry and beyond. one example: the cost of eggs went up over 30% in a matter of weeks. labor cost and wages have increased dramatically with business owners clamoring to maintain some sort of stasis. the latter of which i agree should be higher, but no one i’ve spoke with is interested in balancing that increase with a $35 burger. restaurant profit margins were small, but these days they are more negligible than anything.

        i commend pete and his partners for maintaining one of my favorite spots in the neighborhood and i will miss them terribly. cheers to you guys, and your amazing staff!!

      • East Coast Cynic February 11, 2024 (10:54 am)

        Can’t underestimate rising rent as a factor.  Many a restaurant in Seattle has closed up shop due to an inability to negotiate a reasonable lease, e.g., Pizzeria Credo, and recently Ristorante Machiavelli. 

    • Realityman February 9, 2024 (7:08 am)

      Being a restaurant owner is really hard. Rent isn’t the only issue, labor is very very expensive as is the cost of all input items. Mission knew people won’t pay the due cost of the items so better to bow out. There will just be less restaurants in the future.

      • Bill February 9, 2024 (11:34 am)

        At a local supermarket a week ago — no butter was less than $7.49 a pound — 

        • Bouza February 9, 2024 (2:48 pm)

          The prime culprit is $20 minimum wage. It forces employees to have to find two jobs cuz the employer can’t afford to pay for a full day on the clock or pass on the cost to patrons. Gotta love when gov plays with market forces. We should just go to $100/hr so everyone can be rich. 

          • Bananas February 9, 2024 (7:40 pm)

            The prime culprit is not paying people a living wage. The prime culprit is corporations price gouging even though their cost of goods has dropped. The prime culprit is wealthy corporations and people who have owned property outright and are charging the highest possible cost they can on rent. The prime culprit is greed of the one percenters. And you know what? If they all paid their fair share of taxes, damn right, everyone could be making 100 bucks an hour without breaking a sweat.

          • Admiral Resident February 9, 2024 (9:13 pm)

            If you can’t afford to pay your employees a living wage then you can’t have a functioning business.  If nobody can have a functioning business without underpaying people for their labor then there’s something wrong with the economic system.

    • Anne February 9, 2024 (7:16 am)

      They listed several reasons for closing-I suppose “rising operational costs” could very well mean rising rents-but the cost of food has gone up, & wages have gone up as well-so a combination of factors. Everyone likes to jump on increased rent as the sole reason for businesses closing-but when property taxes continue to rise, cost of utilities & maintenance continue to rise, what is a property owner supposed to do-just eat those increases? 

    • Duffy February 9, 2024 (7:38 am)

      A lot of places are still going under because of the pandemic. Some places haven’t recovered. The restaurant biz is brutal, failure rate is through the roof. Mission is far from a failure most places don’t make it 19 months let alone 19 years. Congrats to the owners on a great run. They were always so nice to all of their patrons. Will be a tough act to follow for whoever goes into the space.

    • neighy February 9, 2024 (8:37 am)

      It’s also rising minimum wage and the compliance cost with all the regulations that Seattle imposes on small businesses and employers. These things are not cost free despite what’s on may have you believe. There’s a limit to what landlords and small businesses can afford to pay

      • Mark B February 9, 2024 (10:01 am)

        The popularity of delivery services has probably not helped either. While they might drive higher sales, the commissions taken from the restaurant are substantial. Sorry to see the Mission leaving, it was always a welcoming and comfortable neighborhood spot. 

    • Reed February 9, 2024 (8:46 am)

      Lets not forgot Amazon and all the West Seattleites who patronize them instead of small businesses.  

      • Mark47n February 9, 2024 (10:37 am)

        I don’t think that Amazon is competing with restaurants.

        • Reed February 9, 2024 (11:07 am)

          Not restaurants, but many other small businesses.

    • fun at funerals February 9, 2024 (1:11 pm)

      Seriously dude? This grandstanding is too much. It’s like shouting about unhealthy foods at a fat guy’s funeral. Give it a rest, you’re not helpful and the business owners probably would like the space to show appreciative customers saying goodbye. 

  • Alki Resident February 9, 2024 (5:43 am)

    I worked next door at Rigazzi when it was Lizard Lounge and watched the Mission get created.Ive been there a few times over the years. I’m sorry this is ending. Great food was had. 

  • Steve Scheurich February 9, 2024 (5:44 am)

    I’m shocked and saddened by this news. It’s been my place for so many years. Birthday parties with friends and family upstairs. Laughter and tears shed, sharing news and stories in that wonderful space. Great food and spirits at a fair price. At one of my birthday parties Peter walked up and handed me a Mission hoodie. Thank you for so many great times. 

  • Michele February 9, 2024 (6:12 am)

    Oh no!!! We are so very sad to hear this as Mission has been our favorite for all of those 19 years. We are so appreciate of the lovely staff and will miss them so. Sending a big thanks to everyone at Mission. Love, the Tuesday night crew with all the kids. Thank you for always knowing our order and bringing the kids extra guac and chips! XOXO

  • MissionFan February 9, 2024 (7:07 am)

    Maybe it is just because of proximity (I live in N. Admiral), but this cuts a little deeper than losing Lee’s (and that cut deep).  Mission was my families go-to.  It is a sad day, but we appreciate the opportunity to frequent the establishment for the time we had.  

  • Kadoo February 9, 2024 (7:22 am)

    That’s such sad news! I’m grateful for all the years Mission has been here. Many great dinners there solving the world’s problems. All the best to the owners. 

  • Me mama February 9, 2024 (7:29 am)

    Wow, surprising!  It’s always so busy! I don’t love their food, but seems like others enjoyed it.

  • Ryan Caple February 9, 2024 (7:55 am)

    No! This was my favorite bar that I ever bartended at. Everything about this place was special especially Peter! Peter, Shawn and Tina are amazing people and they know how to treat their team and guests! Shawn is the Mezcal king. I wish you all the best. I’ll definitely be by for a farewell margarita!       Ryan Caple

  • Neighbor February 9, 2024 (8:16 am)

    Noooooo!  This is so sad!  We love going here and it’s so kid friendly. Everyone was always so welcoming and thoughtful.  They were our sanity during the pandemic with their fun tent dinner experience.  Our son is going to be devastated as this is his favorite place to go.  What a loss for our neighborhood.

  • Brad Garf February 9, 2024 (9:01 am)

    Off the top of my head…- Tacos Guaymas, Bin 41, Flying Apron, Pharmaca, The Lodge, Lee’s Asian, Kamei, Pizzeria Credo… All closed within the last 2 years, all yet to be replaced. I’m no expert in the rent/real estate market, but something is up here. Frustrating to watch all these options slowly fade away.

    • max34 February 9, 2024 (2:51 pm)

      in the past 2 years we’ve had a lot of new places open, such as Due Cucina (replacing maono), Dough Joy,  the reincarnation of Be’s as Bonjour Vietnam,  Camp West, Revelry Room (with a bonus event space up front), Panterelli, Till Dawn….   and that’s just Alaska junction area.  In and around Admiral, we have Otter on the Rocks, new and improved Benbow Room (serving ma’ono sammies), and Shug’s Soda Fountain.   Morgan seems a bit more stable, although i’m not down there as much.  So yeah, maybe those specific locations haven’t been “replaced” yet, but it takes time.  A couple of those spots probably need a lot of work.   In the interim, get out there and support some new stuff?  

      • Brad Garf February 9, 2024 (3:56 pm)

        I’ve been to each place you mentioned and they’re great. It’s just been a particular bummer seeing Tacos Guyamas and a lot of those places on the SW corner of Alaska & California just sitting there dormant for months and/or years now.

        • AMC February 9, 2024 (6:42 pm)

          That’s because the owners of those buildings are keeping them empty on purpose after forcing out the businesses.

          • WS Nativo February 11, 2024 (1:55 pm)

            Please tell us in more detail why the building owners are “keeping them empty on purpose.” That might be the most uneducated financial comment I’ve ever seen.maybe take off the tinfoil hat and go outside for a wall in the fresh air.

  • Kathy February 9, 2024 (9:14 am)

    Such a beautiful restaurant and asset to the neighborhood. We will really miss walking there to have great food, kind service and the delicious rum punch. I agree, this one really hurts.

  • Kevin February 9, 2024 (9:44 am)

    I’m really, really sad about this. Mission Cantina is probably my favorite restaurant in all of Seattle, and definitely my favorite in West Seattle. My wife and I bought a house in WS in 2019 and it became a frequent date night spot. During the pandemic, their outdoor dining tents were wonderful and it was great to be able to eat out for the first time in months, even in the dead of winter. We were privately married in a park in late 2020, and we “catered” our small backyard reception with takeout from Mission Cantina. And as someone who went to college in San Diego, their California burritos were incredible and the only ones I’ve had in the PNW that are worthy of the name. I’m not looking forward to having to get on an airplane to get my fix every few years now. We just dined there last weekend, but will try to squeeze in one more meal and bring along our toddler for the first time before they close.

  • Jeff February 9, 2024 (9:45 am)

    I am sad for the neighborhood loss, but happy for all the great times I had there.  Thank you to the owners and great staff.  19 years is an amazing accomplishment!  Best wishes on your future.

  • Blbl February 9, 2024 (9:50 am)

    😢 so many good memories here. They were a lifeline during the pandemic (especially the rum punch). We had our wedding rehearsal after party here when it was brand new. 

  • April February 9, 2024 (9:56 am)

    Super Sad😔 

  • Zen February 9, 2024 (9:57 am)

    First Copper Coin now Mission — our go to pandemic restaurants. Thank you for all the good eats.

  • TiredofDelridge February 9, 2024 (10:03 am)

    Pushed out of West Seattle? I went there a month ago on a Saturday for lunch, but they were closed until 4pm. Winter hours was what the sign said. Being closed on weekends for lunch? 

  • Mr. Man February 9, 2024 (10:05 am)

    Best Cali (Ave) Burrito in Seattle. 

  • wetone February 9, 2024 (10:13 am)

    Will be missed for sure. There are a couple more reasons not mentioned that have had huge impacts with the cost of running businesses, especially restaurants in Seattle over the last decade. (1) Insurance  (2) Permitting and time involved for the process. 

  • Chad Brand February 9, 2024 (10:20 am)

    Labor is the largest single cost for restaurants (even more than food/beverage costs – which is #2 – believe it or not). The death knell for the restaurant industry in Seattle was the misguided idea to eliminate the tipped minimum wage. Paying tipped workers $15/hour was rough, and now Seattle minimum wage is $20 due to legislated automatic annual increases. Paying servers and bartenders $20/hour before tips is brutal for many smaller restaurants.

    • WS Guy February 9, 2024 (12:11 pm)

      Exactly.  The huge minimum wage jump is a massive social tax on restaurants and small businesses.  Social tax meaning, the misguided attempt to lay a burden on businesses to raise waiting tables to a middle class career.  A UW study showed that the real effect was nil or negative due to the reduction of work hours.  The UW was then bullied by special interests into retracting it as I recall.

    • PDiddy February 9, 2024 (1:40 pm)

      Tipping in this scenario should be banned along with forced service fees. They should adjust the prices and pay the folks a livable wage which I think 20 an hour is not unrealistic, and maybe not even enough. I remember slugging food out of restaurants for 4.50 an hour and I didnt get any tips. I dont feel sorry for servers in Seattle and especially not Bartenders who tend to hold drinks hostage for tips. The irony is that tipping is rooted in racism as a way to not have to pay freed slaves. It was on an NPR story and worth looking up but it should be banned period. I am ok with a higher price if I know I am not going to get hit with a tip request especially if I know folks get a decent wage. That said I am sad to see them go but I think there are a lot of factors and owning a restaurant is hard and time consuming and maybe the owners just want out. We just don’t know the whole story.

  • Keenan February 9, 2024 (11:03 am)

    Now if we want Mexican food within a one block radius of the Junction we’ll only have Puerto Vallarta, Matador, and Chipotle.  How will we ever survive?!

    It’s long past time the Junction expands beyond pizza, Mexican, and sandwiches.  This isn’t the 1990s anymore.  How about a good Chinese restaurant?  Or Turkish kebabs?  Or a Jewish deli?  Or Korean BBQ?  Or anything we don’t already have 3 of?

    • RLV February 9, 2024 (2:31 pm)

      For what it’s worth, Mission is in North Admiral – the restaurants you listed are not. Mission is an easily walkable spot for those of us who live closer to the Admiral Junction, which doesn’t have as many restaurants to choose from.

    • Al King February 9, 2024 (3:31 pm)

      Keenan. Go for it! Start one of the restaurants you are describing and show us how you do.

    • beanie February 9, 2024 (4:24 pm)

      And for what it’s worth Mission was way better than the three you named. Way way better.

  • sam-c February 9, 2024 (11:07 am)

    Having lived in WS almost as long as they have been in business, it’s really sad to hear of their closure.  We will miss them for sure.  Thank you for the fun space to gather and enjoy delicious food over the years!

  • Fank February 9, 2024 (11:39 am)

    Damn.  This is a huge loss to the neighborhood.  It’s beyond the food…Peter is one of the most gracious hosts/owners in WS.  We’ve been going here weekly since before our daughter could walk and have celebrated countless bdays for friends and kids here.  And Hailey was all-time too!  As much as this one sucks we’ll be sure to follow whatever they choose to do next.  Thank you Peter and crew for everything you’ve done for this community!!!!

  • sw February 9, 2024 (12:14 pm)

    WSB – any news on the supposed Mexican place that’s going in the old Spiro’s space?

  • T February 9, 2024 (12:57 pm)

    We are so sad.  Thank you so much for years of great food and hospitality! 

  • North Delridge February 9, 2024 (2:40 pm)

    Thank you Mission Cantina for so many great years and memories! One of my favorite spots in WS especially with the MANY mimosa flavors at brunch!

  • JB February 9, 2024 (2:57 pm)

    I remember when that place was called the Caddyshack. Wow im old ☹️. Bring back the Caddyshack!

    • T Rex February 10, 2024 (6:53 am)

      Me too JB, and yep, we’re old,,

  • Twicksea February 9, 2024 (3:37 pm)

    Thank you Mission and we will miss you.  A really inviting room, nice folks, and good food & drink.  Very sorry to see you go and we wish all of you the best.

  • Lois Constantine February 9, 2024 (3:59 pm)

    Really bad news. We are so sorry.We  will miss that gathering place.

  • Alki Amy February 9, 2024 (5:05 pm)

    The generosity of Pete and his partners at Mission knew no bounds. Huge supporters of the community and schools. Thanks, Pete, for the memories and margaritas! I wish you all the best in your future endeavors! 

  • aa February 9, 2024 (7:45 pm)

    Running a successful restaurant for 19 years- congratulations!  I wish you a well earned rest as you consider your next adventure.

  • Momof3boys February 9, 2024 (7:56 pm)

    Ahhh, so sad! So many lovely memories with you all. Thanks for everything. sue & jeff 

  • Lauren Grpsskopf February 9, 2024 (7:58 pm)

    So sorry to hear this… I loved the Mission, worked there a time… was a lot of fun with staff, artsy ambiance and the myriad of patrons. It’s been awhile as I rarely go out these days and ladies nights tend to be in our Fauntleroy hood… but sad to see this main stay of WS go! Xo

  • Camp West February 9, 2024 (9:16 pm)

    I have known many employees at Mission and worked personally for Peter long ago at a place called Blackbird Bistro. He was genuine and hard working. One of the best bosses I ever worked for except for Dean O. Much love to you guys. 

  • Timbo February 9, 2024 (10:50 pm)

    I love so much about that place only blocks from home too. But, as a beer drinker that likes sitting at the bar, why are the bar stools always cramped together right next to each other so you’re forced to literally rubbing against on another. It’s like sitting in South West airline seats. All I ask is for a six inch gap between bar stools. Hence, I just stopped going there as much. 

    • Bob February 10, 2024 (5:57 am)

      Yeah, I feel like no one really went there anymore. It was always too crowded. 

  • SLD February 10, 2024 (7:31 am)

    Thank you Mission for your great food and community support!  This makes me sad. Many date nights were there, 40th birthday parties, PEPs parent get togethers, go to for school auction support….    and friendly staff.   You will be missed!

  • ttt February 11, 2024 (9:06 am)

    Oh no!! My fave sweet potato tacos will be missed!!!! The other mexican restaurants do not compare!!

  • West Marge February 11, 2024 (6:14 pm)

    Noooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!

  • NoNo February 12, 2024 (5:22 pm)

    My last date with my lovely husband before he died unexpectedly was at Mission Cantina. I like to go there and think of him. So sad to lose this beautiful restaurant and memory spot. 

  • Heather February 13, 2024 (11:09 pm)

    This is DEVASTATING!!! We love you Mission Catina team and you will forever be missed in WS, as if all of these comments doesn’t prove that enough. </3

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