BIZNOTE: Haymaker closes in The Junction

After two reader tips, we’ve just confirmed with a spokesperson for restaurateur Brian Clevenger that one of his West Seattle restaurants, Haymaker (4706 California SW), has closed. His other restaurants – including West Seattle’s Raccolto and GH Pasta and Pizza – remain open. Here’s the statement we received in response to our inquiry:

Haymaker is officially closed and most teammates are transitioning to other General Harvest locations.

After a great five years and a ton of support from the West Seattle community, General Harvest has decided to focus on the two brand concepts the company has grown over the last several years and will continue to develop in the future.

The first is small neighborhood spaces offering a selection of handmade pastas, fresh local vegetables, and a variety of seafood and protein dishes – similar to Raccolto, Vendemmia, Autumn, and recently opened Haerfest.

The second is the GH Pasta and Pizza model, offering fan-favorite large bowls of fresh pastas, a variety of 12” pizzas with rotating specials, starters, and salads, all at approachable prices.

Haymaker, while well loved, was a bit of an outlier and thus it made sense to move on to new ventures aligned with the above. We’re wishing the next restaurant the best of luck!

No restaurant has announced a takeover plan for the space yet, but it’s been listed for sale. Haymaker opened in the space in summer 2019, a little over half a year after the first restaurant in the space, Vine and Spoon, was evicted (at the same time as Vine and Spoon’s sister establishment Alchemy). The Haymaker closure comes just months after another restaurant closure in the Junction 47 complex – The Lodge Sports Grille closed there at the end of last year.

53 Replies to "BIZNOTE: Haymaker closes in The Junction"

  • Jake May 14, 2024 (2:30 pm)

    Dang that means one of my friends is out of a job

  • Erich Iveans May 14, 2024 (2:38 pm)

    I can only imagine the rents in these new Junction developments are high.  I kinda miss the old school charm of what that block looked like 10 years ago.

    • WSB May 14, 2024 (3:40 pm)

      Monthly rent for this space is in the listing, which I’ve just linked in the story, neglected to do so earlier.

  • Sillygoose May 14, 2024 (3:03 pm)

    Sorry to see you go, can we get a shoe store or a fabric store, how about a craft store.

    • AS May 14, 2024 (9:22 pm)

      Did you see the monthly rent!? Not gonna happen. Sad. Most can’t keep up with that and be profitable. 

      • Natalie May 15, 2024 (12:01 am)

        That rent is actually cheap for the area and sq footage. I know for a fact that Kizuki pays just under 12k per month The Lodge was closer to 15k.

    • C May 14, 2024 (9:23 pm)

      There is a craft store up the street- northwest art and frame 

  • WS Pasta Lover May 14, 2024 (3:22 pm)

    I’m surprised it lasted as long as it did.  The fresh pasta was always way undercooked – not “al dente”, but still crunchy, same at Raccolto.   I had high hopes the first time I went to GH Pizza and Pasta because it was good, but the second time I went their pasta was also raw/crunchy and the pizza was terrible.   For restaurants that specialize in making fresh pasta, it’s not good.  I don’t get it, it’s like they don’t taste the food they are cooking or like a robot is cooking from a recipe a human developed – it sounds good on the menu, but the execution is always off. 

    • WSOldtimer May 14, 2024 (7:30 pm)

      That has not been our experience at Raccolto or GH Pizza and Pasta, and we’ve been to both places numerous times over the years. The pasta has always been excellent. Besides, I don’t know how fresh made pasta can possibly be “crunchy” when it hasn’t been dried.

    • Christopher B. May 14, 2024 (7:56 pm)

      Food is really hard to do well. To keep quality consistent you really need focus. So it will always be an inherent  challenge for someone who endeavors to have a chain of restaurants. That I’ve read articles on Clevenger’s restaurants that seem to emphasize the volume in pounds of pasta they’re making is not a good sign (and parenthetically, why should I care as a customer that they are proud to be moving hundreds of pounds of pasta?). I’ve met Mr. Clevenger and he seems like a nice enough guy. And I’ve known some of his chefs and can attest that they’re talented people. But I’ve never found the food in his restaurants to be exceptional and memorable.  With inflation the way it is, people are looking for value and I guess what he was offering here just didn’t connect with diners.  

    • Bob May 15, 2024 (6:25 am)

      We went to Raccolto again last night and it has never disappointed us. It is one of our favorite restaurants in Seattle, and we also enjoyed Haymaker, and GH Pasta and Pizza is also doing an incredible job.

    • Bob May 15, 2024 (11:05 am)

      How can raw pasta be crunchy?

    • Nope May 15, 2024 (2:38 pm)

      We’ve been to both Racolto and Haymaker many times and the food has always been excellent. Like others have said, how do you make fresh pasta crunchy? This makes no sense at all.

      • WSSpartan May 16, 2024 (8:14 am)

        The food was sub-par at best and the service was at the same level as the food. Not sad to see this place go. Hopefully focusing on their new concepts will allow those to get better as well. Everything I’ve eaten from this restaurant group has tasted like mass produced food the likes of Olive Garden. 

  • HTB May 14, 2024 (3:51 pm)

    That’s too bad. There’s a trend going on right now that’s happening everywhere from conglomerates like Amazon to small restaurants and everything in between. Companies and organizations are cutting initiatives left and right with the idea of being more efficient and doing a smaller number of things well. Unfortunately, this business neglect the impact these efficiency moves have on people and communities as Haymaker is doing here.

  • DRW May 14, 2024 (4:12 pm)

    I miss The Rocksport.

    • 937 May 14, 2024 (4:41 pm)

      I have a million forgotten memories of that place DRW, thank you. I miss it too!

    • Quiz May 14, 2024 (4:48 pm)

      Oh, man. I forgot about The Rocksport. That place was amazing!

    • Myron May 14, 2024 (7:22 pm)

      So do I. I went there so many times. 

    • Yer Gma May 15, 2024 (6:48 am)

      Saw someone wearing a Rocksport t-shirt the other day. Couldn’t stop talking about their French Onion Soup. All the food was great, atmosphere & service was too. We miss seeing playoff games & live music. #JarofFlies

    • Angela May 15, 2024 (2:44 pm)

      I miss the Rocksport too!  It was a great place for us to hang out, play some pinball, eat some good food and even have our kid with us.

    • T Rex May 15, 2024 (4:50 pm)

      You and me both. Probably more than I should but I had some great times there. 

  • N. May 14, 2024 (4:26 pm)

    Not surprised. Never saw anyone in there and the one time my girlfriends and I gave it a chance we had an incredibly rude bartender who refused to offer happy hour in the restaurant to me a past middle age women and my grey hair friend even after I explained the ask was due to my needing to read lips to participate in conversation and the bar was just not set up for that. Once our 2 young blonde friends arrived the bar tender was falling over himself to move us to a hearing accessible area of the restaurant and honor happy hour menu.

    • Littlemiss May 15, 2024 (7:39 am)

      Went once, was underwhelmed by the food and the service, never went back.

  • AlkiRenter May 14, 2024 (4:37 pm)

    Hoping we’ll get a great Chinese restaurant back in the junction…. preparing myself though for it to be West Seattle’s 2000th pizza or dessert place. 

    • ACG May 14, 2024 (8:24 pm)

      Nah. It’ll be another real estate office. 

  • Keith May 14, 2024 (4:57 pm)

    I’ll miss the Haymaker happy hour and their excellent cocktails but there was/is something about that space and furniture that always felt a little uncomfortable. I’m really glad Raccolto is sticking around! Still need to check out the new GH P&P

  • AH neighbor May 14, 2024 (4:59 pm)

    We were just there at Haymaker for Mother’s Day and it was our first time.  We tried to order 4 items which we had picked out after reviewing their menu online: oysters, mussels, steak, and a pale ale, and were told that they had run out of all 4 of these items.  What are the chances?!  It was around 7:00 pm, so we were surprised and disappointed.  The menu was super limited so we settled for some fries and burgers since our 2 children were hangry and didn’t care much for lamb sliders or the like.  Then we realized that both waiter and waitress never mentioned about the “special” that they offered specifically for Mother’s Day, which we would have preferred to order instead of burgers and fries.  We decided to not order desert and left quickly after the kids finished the fries.  What a big disappointment on Mother’s Day.  Every member in our family agreed that was our very first and also last visit to Haymaker.  It really makes sense when we see this announcement regarding their closure.  

    • TB May 14, 2024 (10:27 pm)

      If they’re officially closed and you were there 3 days ago I’m guessing the chances of them being out of several menu items is pretty high. We were never impressed with Haymaker but we do enjoy Raccolto so hoping they have success there. 

      • AH Neighborh May 15, 2024 (3:39 pm)

        You are right.  We had to wait 15 minutes for them to get our table ready and wish they had let us know that 4 items on the menu were out before we sat down and took a sip of their water.  Those items were 80% of what we intended to order before we made our reservation.  We would have decided to go elsewhere had we known.  

  • I Was A Big Fan May 14, 2024 (5:32 pm)

    Sad, sad news. Haymaker was sooooo much better than Raccolto. More personable staff, better menu, superior space, overall happier dining experience. I will miss you, Haymaker. 🥺

    • Sarah May 14, 2024 (8:42 pm)

      Funny, my experience between the two of them was the exact opposite. Raccolto notably better on all those elements.

  • grocerylist May 14, 2024 (5:39 pm)

    West Seattle food scene has been dive bombing since before COVID. It really sucks outside of a handful of places. Now have to go to White Center, South Park and Burien for some diversity instead of a dozen plus mediocre if not bad pizza places. 

  • Bob May 14, 2024 (5:52 pm)

    We just went Mother’s Day night and it was terrific. Sad to hear this

  • John May 14, 2024 (5:54 pm)

    I hope we get another pizza joint!!! West Seattle the pizza capital of greater Seattle!

    • grocerylist May 14, 2024 (8:02 pm)

      If we can’t have quality pizza (except for a couple options), at least we have quantity.

  • Kermit T Frog May 14, 2024 (7:37 pm)

    I’m not shedding any tears over this. My wife and I counted this place as one of our favorites even though an appetizer of a dozen oysters two entrees, a bottle of wine and tip set us back over $300. Then service degraded to insouciant at best and we stopped going. I struggle to understand how some places can provide such apathetic and uncaring service. It’s like the training consists of, “The aprons are over there. Clock out as soon as you turn in your last check.”

  • Morgan May 14, 2024 (7:49 pm)

    Time for a Korean restaurant…no thanks pizza.

    • Ly May 14, 2024 (11:37 pm)

      +1! 

      • Wes Sea May 15, 2024 (9:46 am)

        Korean in the Junction would be awesome.

    • Lagartija Nick May 15, 2024 (9:38 am)

      There’s a Korean BBQ place that opened a few months ago in downtown Burien. It’s pretty good and they offer a reasonably priced all you can eat option.

  • LAintheJunction May 14, 2024 (7:53 pm)

    Fantastic, I’ll just keep adding to my archival collection of gift cards / certificates of failed restaurants in the Junction I’ll never get to redeem. 

  • KA May 14, 2024 (7:55 pm)

    1. Never heard of it nor noticed it and I drive by there all the time. Some of these places need better signage.2. Who wants to eat at a restaurant with Hay in the name?3. Local vegs? No thanks, Nov to Mar what is that, Kale? Maybe some moldy cabbage?

    • Brian May 14, 2024 (8:35 pm)

      I love a restaurant review by someone who drove by a place but didn’t go in. Excellent piece. 

  • WSresident May 14, 2024 (8:36 pm)

    I wanted to love Haymaker as I did Raccolto when they first came around but we didn’t. The vibe was sort of weird, layout also weird. We always left wishing for something to be desired. I think Raccolto has changed a ton recently also and not for the better.  Their food hasn’t been as high a quality it used to be and the service is far more casual and meh the last 3-4 times we’ve gone. They changed their cocktail menu and took off our favorites. I never wish for a business to close, I can only imagine how hard it is to keep things going! So many empty spaces in the junction it’s bananas. 

  • Joe May 14, 2024 (9:07 pm)

    I went there once and enjoyed it, but it was missing something. I didn’t exactly leave wanting to come back. It had a weird vibe and lacked character.  

  • Jenny May 14, 2024 (9:46 pm)

    Thank you Haymaker for many wonderful meals with girlfriends and my daughters! We’ve always loved the tasting menus, beautiful presentations, and delicious flavors. I always found the staff to be kind and knowledgeable. I’ll miss you.

  • Westwood resident May 15, 2024 (1:01 am)

    It’s difficult to turn a profit at a restaurant these days and owners are pushing against so many head winds(expensive rent, inflation, higher wages, etc). So it’s no surprise the focus on pizza and pasta.  Guess what foods on the menu have the highest margins?  Pizza, pasta, veggies, and salads…it’s no longer about creating experiences for diners it’s about making it affordable for both the owner and customer.  

  • Pookie May 15, 2024 (9:04 am)

    No great loss. This place has never been consistent except in overcharging for mediocre food and slow service. 

  • Pat May 15, 2024 (9:39 am)

    As part owner of restaurant in the 90s, the business still carries my interest. There was an article  recently that stated 90% of the restaurants that open will close in five years. Also noticed that the restaurant that catered to the locals tended to thrive for longer. This restaurant looked nice but never looked open. Friend and I stopped at a restaurant on Alki traditionally opened in the evenings, they had a pop-up espresso shop for morning walker. Great idea.  I hope the space finds some good tenants. 

  • K May 15, 2024 (9:56 am)

    This would be a great place for Salt & Straw!!

  • New flavors May 15, 2024 (12:44 pm)

    Distinguished Foods is a great restaurant incubator near 35th and Fauntleroy across from the Y. For example, Taste of Mumbai is now in the space formerly occupied by Yen Wor. I hope one of their current take-out only restaurants graduates to this space.  Boba Tea, Soul Food, and West African food. YUM!!

  • dhg May 15, 2024 (5:19 pm)

    During Covid, when so many restaurants were closed, Haymaker was offering a to-go plate of grilled salmon or halibut with sides. It was enough for two dinners and it was an amazing bargain.  I expected to see lines out the door for this but we were among the few to order. It was some of the best food to be had during those dark times.  I will miss you, Haymaker.

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