BIZNOTE FOLLOWUP: Mission Cantina reopening with new owners

12:01 PM: One month after Mission Cantina closed at 2325 California SW after 19 years, it has new owners who plan to reopen the restaurant/bar soon. Here’s the announcement we received a short time ago:

Mission Cantina, a cherished Mexican restaurant nestled in the heart of West Seattle, is excited to share that we will be reopening soon.

The Admiral treasure, founded by Peter Morse and others over 19 years ago has operated for the past decade under the leadership of Peter Morse, Shawn Padilla, and Tina Schlotfeldt Padilla, will re-open and continue to operate under the ownership of West Seattle couple Gina Topp and Ben Johnson.

For 19 incredible years, Mission Cantina has been an integral part of the West Seattle community. It’s more than just a restaurant; it’s a cornerstone of cherished memories and cherished moments. From family dinners and community events to first dates and milestone celebrations, Mission Cantina has been there, woven into the fabric of our lives.

“We couldn’t bear the thought of saying ‘adios’ to this beloved establishment that has meant so much to our family, and we’re incredibly grateful to the previous owners, Peter, Shawn, and Tina, for allowing us to take on Mission’s next chapter. Their vision, passion, and dedication have built an irreplaceable community asset, and we are honored to be its new stewards. It’s truly a testament to the enduring spirit of our community and commitment to preserving the traditions and memories that make West Seattle unique that we are able to re-open Mission Cantina,” said Gina Topp and Ben Johnson.

Please stay tuned for more details on our grand re-opening.

The restaurant/bar had been listed for sale for a while before the closure announcement. You might recognize new co-owner Topp’s name – she is also the recently elected Seattle Public Schools board representative for West Seattle and most of South Park.

1:29 PM: We sent Topp two followup questions. First, about the new owners’ restaurant experience: “Neither Ben nor I have direct experience in the restaurant industry. However, before finalizing the purchase, we curated a strong team. We have a consultant who owns multiple WS/Burien restaurants, along with a seasoned general manager. We will rely on their expertise and guidance.” Second, any major changes planned? “Although there will be some updates and fine-tuning, our primary objective is to maintain the community asset that is Mission Cantina.”

23 Replies to "BIZNOTE FOLLOWUP: Mission Cantina reopening with new owners"

  • North Admiral March 21, 2024 (12:50 pm)


  • wsbstseattle March 21, 2024 (12:54 pm)

    What wonderful news!  So excited to welcome Gina and Ben to our Admiral business community.  

  • Admiral March 21, 2024 (1:03 pm)


  • Alki resident March 21, 2024 (1:34 pm)

    What? This is so incredible to hear!! Thank you

  • westseattlefoodie March 21, 2024 (1:39 pm)

    Wonderful news!!! I can’t wait to go back! Thanks Gina and Ben!

  • Ryan Caple March 21, 2024 (1:54 pm)

    Yes! I hope the seasoned GM is Haley! Anyways, congrats and I’m sure things will go amazing! Let’s go!!!

  • Margaritatime March 21, 2024 (2:06 pm)

    Yippee!!! Very happy about this! 

  • Tofu please! March 21, 2024 (2:24 pm)

    Great news! Please keep the tofu fajitas and guacamole with plantains. It’s is among my topp favorite meals of all time.

    • North Admiral March 22, 2024 (12:14 am)

      You speak the actual truth

  • T March 21, 2024 (2:43 pm)

    We are so thrilled to hear this great news!  Thank you and we can’t wait for the re-opening. 

  • Lindsey March 21, 2024 (3:27 pm)

    Oh this is fabulous news!!

  • MissionNachos! March 21, 2024 (3:39 pm)

    Fantastic news as it was my families staple.  Please keep the Mission Nachos, Rum Punch and weekly Tamales!  My daughter adored the fun little toys that they gave out when you entered and I promise you it keeps the parents coming back!  Weekly trips assured!

  • Yma March 21, 2024 (4:00 pm)

    YAY!great newsAlso – gotta keep the flanand can i put a plug in for a great N/A tequila? Ritual (I have no ties to Ritual – I just like to drink it)

  • Nicole March 21, 2024 (4:18 pm)

    Great news, perhaps y’all can occasionally change the menu? It never changed, which kept us from coming back as often as we wanted.

  • Alki resident March 21, 2024 (4:29 pm)

    I pushed send too soon. I’m willing to bet Dan Austin has something to do with this since he’s now associated with Burien as well. Here’s hoping. 

  • Pinto March 21, 2024 (5:10 pm)

    Wow. That is a bold venture. To the new owners I wish you the best success because that place rocks and if you haven’t I highly recommend you read kitchen confidential by Bourdain. Must read for any restaurant owner

  • Marissa March 21, 2024 (5:39 pm)

    That’s great news!

  • Sam March 21, 2024 (7:04 pm)

    I really hope they get a better menu. The place had great atmosphere but the dullest food.

  • Myron J. March 21, 2024 (8:46 pm)

    Very pleased to hear. We will be there!

  • Dinah Brein March 22, 2024 (8:24 am)

    I wish the new owners great success, but I would be remiss without acknowledging how wonderful Peter Morse was to the Admiral Theater.  Back in the day when we first decided to sell beer and wine, I was at a complete loss.   As the Executive Director,  I didn’t know anything about beer taps, where to order anything or how much to order etc. Peter and his then partner were so vital to helping us get set up. They even sold us their old beer tap dispenser )which they honestly told me was on its last legs to us for $500)  It’s still front and center and working perfectly today!   They were always there to help us out with extra CO2 canisters, beer kegs and soda bibs when we ran out . Peter was a great business, neighbor, and a wonderful friend and I’m sure the rest of the businesses on California feel the same way.I wish him nothing but success and happiness in his next venture, and I want to thank him again for all that he did for the Admiral Theater . 💕

  • Dan March 22, 2024 (8:35 am)

    Totally agree.  Went there twice, never returned.

  • Mike Parker March 22, 2024 (9:41 am)

    Thank you Gina!!

  • D-Mom March 22, 2024 (12:21 pm)

    Love Mission!  I would be so sad to see it go, or to change. I hope the menu and the ambiance stays the same. Thank you for saving it!

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