West Seattle restaurants 1434 results

BIZNOTE: Yen Wor Village plans to close at month’s end

One year ago, we reported on a fundraising campaign to try to keep Yen Wor Village, the restaurant/bar at 2300 California SW in The Admiral District, from closing. As noted at the time, the Wong family, owners of Yen Wor for more than 30 years, has been struggling with both financial and health challenges. They’ve made it through another year but now have announced a plan to close. The restaurant says it’ll close at the end of the month. No special events in the works to mark the end of an era, so far, but we’re told that could change. The crowdfunding campaign launched last year is still active – a poster for it is still displayed in the Yen Wor’s window:

But there’s no indication that a rescue is possible now. If you want to support the restaurant by dining/drinking there in the meantime, before the March 31st closure, they’re open seven nights a week.

BIZNOTE FOLLOWUP: Luna Park Café reopening

(WSB photos)

After multiple test runs, Luna Park Café will reopen tomorrow (Friday, March 17th) – but only for breakfast and lunch for starters, according to founder John Bennett. Six months have passed since the restaurant closed for maintenance, repairs, and upgrades.

They’ve also made some menu changes, most notably adding this vegan menu. As with any place opening/reopening, they hope you will be patient, don’t everyone rush in at once! The 34-years-in-business café at 2918 SW Avalon Way will be open 8 am-3 pm Wednesdays-Sundays as of tomorrow.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Restaurant burglary

10:56 AM: That photo is from Pecos Pit (35th/Fauntleroy; WSB sponsor), which was burglarized overnight. The restaurant is closed for lunch while it assesses the damage; we’ll be checking back to see when they reopen. If you have any information, the SPD incident # is 23-067996.

12:17 PM: We just stopped by Pecos Pit to follow up. They don’t expect to be able to open today; the burglar(s) did serious damage to the point-of-sale system, so that has to be repaired. Some food was also stolen. They’re hoping to be able to open tomorrow – regular hours would be 11 am-9 pm.

BIZNOTE FOLLOWUP: Update on Five Guys at Westwood Village

The recent reopening of the remodeled Westwood Village McDonald’s has brought another round of questions about the status of the planned Five Guys burger joint next door. We first reported last May that they were on the way to the former Payless Shoe Source space on the shopping center’s south side. The first visible sign of the plan was door/window wrap in November. The company still isn’t commenting, and four more months have passed with no sign of activity. That might change soon – checking city files, we discovered the building permit was just approved this week, seven months after the application went in. Speaking of applications, the franchisee has a listing posted looking for managers to work in Tukwila and then “after four months” in West Seattle, so there’s another hint at their timetable. The chain already has 15 locations around the four-county metro area.

BIZNOTE FOLLOWUP: Luna Park Café has one hurdle to clear before reopening

(Photo sent by Bryan)

Last weekend, some fans of Luna Park Café were excited to see that sight – signs illuminated, people inside. It wasn’t a quiet reopening, though – the café had a few invitation-only test runs, following six months of closure for maintenance, repairs, and upgrades. Proprietor John Bennett tells WSB the test runs went well, but now there’s one last hurdle to clear: “We’re trying to hire line cooks so we can open next week. Anyone who wants to be part of our team can contact us at lunaparkcafe.office@gmail.com.” Luna Park Café (2918 SW Avalon Way) will celebrate its 34th anniversary this month.

BIZNOTE FOLLOWUPS: Westwood McDonald’s reopens; Dué Cucina West Seattle about to open

Two food followups:

WESTWOOD McDONALD’S REOPENS: Multiple readers, including Thomas – who sent the photo above – report that the Westwood Village McDonald’s is now open. The entrances were still coned when we went by around 9:30 am today, so the opening happened sometime after that. As noted here again Monday, the restaurant’s been closed almost six months for a “transformation.”

DUE CUCINA OPENS TOMORROW: Thanks for the texted tip that the new Italian restaurant in The Junction (4437 California SW) has announced tomorrow as its opening date, a week and a half after installing the exterior signage. We couldn’t find any info about what time, though, so we went over to look, and found one staff member who told us they’re expecting to open Wednesday around 11 am. This will be the fourth restaurant for the regional mini-chain, after Roosevelt, Capitol Hill, and Totem Lake. We first reported the West Seattle expansion plan six months ago.

BIZNOTE: Wondering when Westwood Village McDonald’s is reopening?

11:48 AM: It’s been the most popular business-related question in the WSB inbox for weeks: When is the Westwood Village McDonald’s reopening? It closed six months ago for what a corporate spokesperson told us would be a “major transformation.” At least from the outside, the work has appeared complete – drive-up menu boards illuminated, among other things – so we’ve tried repeatedly to get official word on the reopening, but no reply from corporate spokespeople. So we’ve been going by daily to check. This morning we found a work crew member who told us his company had been told their work has to be finished in time for a “March 1st opening.” That’s this Wednesday. Not an official answer, but in lieu of corporate comment, it’s the best we have.(Let us know if you find it open sooner!)

4:59 PM: Commenter says it appears to be open now.

7:05 PM: We just went by. The entrances are coned off again, but it looks like more of a private party inside – balloons, etc.

BIZNOTE FOLLOWUP: Sign’s up for Dué Cucina West Seattle

While in The Junction today, we noticed the sign going up at the future Dué Cucina restaurant (4437 California SW). It’s been six months since we first reported the Italian mini-chain was expanding to the former Ma’ono space. We don’t have a projected opening date yet, but it’s close enough that Dué Cucina has posted a listing in the West Seattle Jobs Offered section of the WSB Community Forums. If you’re curious how they’re changing the interior, they posted a sneak peek video here earlier this month.

RESTAURANT BIZNOTES: Circa anniversary, Pagliacci freebie, Talarico’s addition

Three restaurant notes today:

(Photo courtesy Circa)

CIRCA’S 25TH ANNIVERSARY: It’s happening today! Circa in The Admiral District at 2605 California SW is celebrating its 25th birthday today, and co-proprietor Gretchen tells us they’re offering “$12 burgers, $2.50 mini cake slices, $2.50 Manny’s Pale Ales, $15 red beans and rice plate.” If you visit today (they’re open until 9 pm) you’ll also find “decorations [photo above] and fun!” Circa is the Westside Awards‘ reigning Business of the Year, by the way.

PAGLIACCI FREEBIE: Just noticed while in The Junction that Pagliacci Pizza (4449 California SW) has window signage promising free slices on Valentine’s Day (Tuesday, February 14th), 4-8 pm.

TALARICO’S ADDITION: Speaking of pizza, Talarico’s in The Junction (4718 California SW) is adding weekday lunch starting Monday, February 20th – they emailed us to announce they’ll open at noon Mondays-Fridays. They’re expecting to offer lunch specials but are still working on the details.

BIZNOTE: Yes, El Camion will return

(WSB file photo)

Fauntleroy food fans not only were coping this past week with news of The Original Bakery‘s closure plan, but also with the absence of the El Camion food truck. A few asked us about its status, including a question in the WSB Community Forums. So we’ve been pursuing an update and heard back this morning from Scott at El Camion, who said “most definitely” they’ll be back: “We are doing some maintenance on the truck and some site improvements. Hope to be back and up and running by Tuesday or Wednesday.” El Camion has been set up at 9250 45th SW in the Endolyne business district for three and a half years.

WEST SEATTLE FOOD NOTES: Sunfish, Salty’s, Camp West

Three restaurant notes tonight:

(WSB photo)

SUNFISH REOPENS: A reader wondered recently when Sunfish, the fish-and-chips spot at 2800 Alki SW, would reopen after its long winter break, so we’ve been checking in. Tonight we saw the OPEN sign; stopped in, and they told us this was their second day back. So if Sunfish is your fish-and-chips place of choice, it’s time to get back to the beach.

SALTY’S ON ALKI: At the other end of Alki, Salty’s (1936 Harbor SW; WSB sponsor) has some reservations remaining for Valentine’s Day – looks like afternoon, when last we checked. Here’s where to go. They’re also having a gift-card promotion through next Tuesday (January 31st) – buy a $50 card, get $10 bonus; buy a $100 card, get $20 bonus.

CAMP WEST: The new restaurant/bar in The Junction is usually closed Tuesdays but will be open 5-9 pm Valentine’s Day (Tuesday, February 14th) with a special 3-course prix-fixe dinner (which will also be offered the preceding Friday through Sunday). Entree options include Braised Short Rib, Bouillabaisse, or Morel and Kale Risotto:

(Photo courtesy Camp West)

The other two courses are starter and dessert options (even Camp West’s famous S’mores!). You can see the rest of the menu – and make reservations – by going here.

BIZNOTE: New restaurant for ex-Best of Hands space

More new-business news – we’d been looking into who’s taking over the ex-Best of Hands Barrelhouse space (7500 35th SW) since a reader mentioned the “For Lease” signage had disappeared, and now we have the answer: GH Pizza and Pasta. The name may be new but the operator is not – Chef Brian Clevenger and General Harvest Restaurants, which already has Haymaker (open since 2019) and Raccolto (open since 2016) in The Junction, among other Seattle restaurants. The announcement notes, “The menu boasts fan favorite large bowls of fresh pastas, a variety of pizzas with rotating specials, starters, and salads all at approachable prices.” They’re excited about the new West Seattle location, planning to offer “a huge year-round outdoor-seating section along with a separate adults-only space.” GH Pizza and Pasta is aiming to open in West Seattle in “late spring.” But will the rooftop cow stay? We asked that on followup; the reply – “Of course!” There’s one GH Pasta location so far, in Belltown, and the announcement notes GH Pizza and Pasta is currently “taking over” Haymaker’s Eastlake location – see the menu here.

Can crowdfunding save The Swinery again?

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Drawings by kids, from planes to pigs, cover the wall by the front door at The Swinery.

Kim Leveille says drawings don’t come down until they fall down. Some are by kids who’ve become adults in her 13+ years at The Swinery: “I’ve seen entire families grow up.”

The Swinery’s a family thing for her too – she owns it with her husband Danny Rogers; her father-in-law comes in and helps out on weekends. The little shop at 3207 California SW is wall-to-wall memories, hopes, dreams.

“I’m just not ready to let it go.”

But she might have to if a new round of crowdfunding doesn’t help.

They tried it in the heart of the pandemic and West Seattle Bridge closure, an agonizing time for so many local small independent businesses. In that 2021 crowdfunding, Kim says, fans raised $17,000 in two days. But they’ve had equipment breakdowns and thefts since then, and are looking for help again to catch up. They started a new crowdfunding campaign a month ago but, Kim says, “It didn’t work.” So they’re trying again – this time, more directly declaring they’re in danger of having to close.

“We may not make it until spring,” Kim said in her email to us, which we decided to follow up on by visiting the shop. In addition to cooler/freezer repairs, they have a simple need: More staff, beyond their longtime part-time helper and a “very part-time dishwasher.” “It’s a Catch-22 – we need enough money to hire a fulltime person so the grill can do more volume.”

Right now, it’s Danny on the grill, which is an ever-increasingly important part of The Swinery’s business. Kim has worked there since just months after its original ownership opened the shop to much fanfare in 2009; she and Danny bought it in 2018. The shop was founded as “more of a butcher shop with a few things on the side.” But then one of those “things” drew extra acclaim: “Once we got ‘Best Burger in Seattle’ …” demand soared. The shop also was featured on the Food Network and the Travel Network. “Now the grill is much more important.” Tons of takeout/delivery orders, since The Swinery’s only seating is a small courtyard by the grill.

Along with all that grilling, their other offerings are labor-intensive too – “since we do everything in-house.” The meat case is full of sausages, chops, smoked meats, and more.

Popular items include ribs and beef bacon. For Thanksgiving, they smoke turkeys; for Christmas, ribeye roasts. No nitrites. No allergens. “I just want everyone to be able to eat,” says Kim.

She’s hopeful this time they’ll get the boost they need to stay in business and up the output so revenue isn’t an issue again. What if somebody would rather buy a few pounds of sausage, for example, than just give money? “Anything would help,” Kim says. That includes more patronage.

BIZNOTE: Just Poké says West Seattle space is finally under construction

Ten months ago, that banner on the window at 4735 42nd SW gave West Seattle poké fans hope that Just Poké was finally close to opening here. Then the banner disappeared during the recent round of snow/ice, and we’ve been getting questions about it ever since. The permit file indicates recent activity, though, and that’s confirmed today by Just Poké proprietor Norman Wu, who tells WSB, “The space is currently under construction, slated to be done at the end of February. It took us almost 10 months to just get our permit to build, which is why the project has been so delayed.” (The space was home to art gallery/framing shop Wallflower until summer 2019.) The regional chain originally indicated West Seattle plans five years ago.

WEST SEATTLE FOOD: First day for Portage Bay Café in The Junction

(WSB photos)

As announced last week, today is opening day for Portage Bay Café‘s new West Seattle Junction location, the former Agave Cocina spot at 4725 42nd SW. We just went over for photos.

Today is a soft-open day, for which they took a limited number of reservations, so they opened at 9 am and are closing at 1 pm. Regular hours will be Thursdays 8 am-1 pm, Fridays 8 am-1:30 pm, Saturdays and Sundays 8 am-2 pm, Mondays 8 am-1 pm, closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Above is the famous “bar” where you can choose toppings for your pancakes or french toast. For now, we’re told, they’re offering the same breakfast/brunch menu as the other PBC locations, but once they’ve truly settled in after a few weeks or so, the chef will also have a location-specific fresh sheet. We first reported Portage Bay’s West Seattle plan in August; this is the southernmost location for the mini-chain, founded a quarter-century ago by John Gunnar.

BIZNOTE: Happy Lemon replacing Vatsana’s Thai at Westwood Village

A city permit filing says the international tea-shop chain Happy Lemon is moving into the Westwood Village space long occupied by Vatsana’s Thai Restaurant. Before we could follow up on that discovery, we learned the restaurant has apparently already closed. A reader says a Vatsana’s staff member reported that employees were told on Christmas Eve. We went over yesterday and found only this note on the door:

We went back today to check again and the restaurant remains locked, with workers inside who appear to be dismantling fixtures. We sent inquiries both to the posted email address and to Happy Lemon corporate HQ; our note to the former just got a reply promising a “reply in the near future.” Meantime, Happy Lemon’s website says it has more than 2,000 locations in 20+ countries, with 14 in the Puget Sound metro area, nearest ones in Columbia City, South Lake Union, U-District, and Tukwila. Happy Lemon’s menu shows tea drinks featuring a variety of ingredients from boba to salted cheese, plus smoothies. This will be the second international tea chain to open in West Seattle, after Sharetea‘s Jefferson Square arrival a year and a half ago.

BIZNOTE FOLLOWUP: Portage Bay Café sets West Seattle opening date

9:15 PM: Something to look forward to in the new year: Four months after we first reported that popular breakfast/brunch mini-chain Portage Bay Café was expanding to West Seattle, the opening date is set. PBC’s general manager Peter Gunnar tells WSB they plan to open the doors at 4725 42nd SW on Friday, January 6th. Portage Bay was still finalizing the deal for the new location when we first talked with them in August, but at the start of October, after Agave Cocina quietly closed its doors, the secret was out. We’re still awaiting final word on Portage Bay’s West Seattle hours, but all four of their current cafés start the day at 8 am; you can see the current menu here.

ADDED MONDAY: Gunnar tells WSB today that the hours/days will be Thursdays 8 am-1 pm, Fridays 8 am-1:30 pm, Saturdays and Sundays 8 am-2 pm, Mondays 8 am-1 pm, closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Also: “The menu will be the same as our other four locations, but like each of our stores, the chef is in charge of his monthly specials, and they differ cafe by cafe.”

FOLLOWUP: Pegasus Pizza sign comes down

Thanks to ALS for the photo and tip that the Pegasus Pizza sign was taken down at 2768 Alki SW tonight, two weeks after the eviction notice was posted. After ALS published the photo tonight in a comment below our story from December 2nd, we went by; the sign (which was still up when we passed by this morning) was gone and no one was around. There’s been no public hint of what’s next for the space – no “for lease” listing, for example. We’ve also been checking court files, where a mid-November order to pay the restaurant’s landlord more than $146,000 had preceded the eviction action, but the only thing that has appeared in the case file since then is the King County Sheriff’s Office “return of service” certifying that the eviction had been carried out. Though the “unlawful detainer” (eviction) case was filed in July, the court documents say the restaurant owners owed the landlords money dating back to last December and had been ordered in March to pay up or clear out. A payment plan was then worked out, documents say, but the July action alleges that the amounts due weren’t paid.

BIZNOTE: Here’s why Morgan Junction McDonald’s is closed

Thanks for the tips! West Seattle is temporarily down to one McDonald’s – the overhaul at Westwood Village continues, and now the Morgan Junction location is completely closed for three weeks, after having been drive-thru-only for a while. We just went down for a look after several texts and emails about the closure, and found not only yellow tape across both driveways, but also this sign on the door:

Permits in the city’s online system indicate this is remodeling work, including equipment upgrades. This McDonald’s is operated by the same franchisee as the one in Admiral; when that was remodeled four years ago, we were told the Morgan Junction restaurant would be, too.

BIZNOTE FOLLOWUP: Luna Park Café progress report

The sign for Luna Park Café says “fall repairs and maintenance,” but that work will stretch into winter. Three months have passed since café proprietor John Bennett announced that the beloved restaurant would close temporarily for some work. This week a reader asked if we had any updates. So we checked in with Bennett, who replied:

Our original plan was to be closed for a couple of months to replace some equipment and do deep cleaning. Luna will be 34 years old in March and was in need of repairs. Once we got into it, one thing led to another and we are replacing more equipment and doing more repairs than we originally thought we would do (even the 1958 Seeburg jukebox had to go to the shop for a complete overhaul).

The good news is that Luna will stay the same with some improvements to the menu and upgraded tech systems. Even retro has to step into the 21st century eventually. The bad news is that it is taking a lot longer to get the equipment and do the work. We are estimating reopening in January or February 2023. We look forward to another 34 years!

BIZNOTE FOLLOWUP: Opening date set for Driftwood, new restaurant/bar on Alki

(Preview photos provided by Driftwood)

We first told you in June about the plan for Driftwood, the restaurant/bar on the way to the former Alki Beach Pub space. West Seattle-residing co-proprietors Dan Mallahan and Jackie Mallahan have just announced that they plan to open Driftwood on Thursday, January 5th. Dan Mallahan is executive chef, developing a menu that the announcement says “will feature shared plates, mains, and desserts including items such as Whistling Train Farm’s whole roasted honey-bear squash, cider poached pear, house feta and pumpkin seeds, Structures Brewing steamed local clams with glazed pork belly and buttered turnips from Little Big Farm, and Mama’s apple cake with poached star king apples from Collins Family Orchards, spiced pecan, goat cheese, and burnt-sugar bourbon gastrique.” The “coastal cocktails” and beer/wine will have a local/regional emphasis, too.

Stats: “The 2,200 SF space will seat 48, including bar seating and special water-view counter space, and will offer additional seasonal outdoor seating for up to 22. The patio will offer semi-private dining for groups of up to 16.” 

They’ve already started taking online reservations for Driftwood, which is at 2722 Alki SW and will be open 5-10 pm Thursdays through Mondays.

Eviction notice posted at Pegasus Pizza on Alki

That’s the notice that was posted this morning on the door of Pegasus Pizza (2768 Alki SW); we went there after a reader tip. The doors were chained and locked.

Court records indicate an “unlawful detainer” (eviction) case was filed against the business in July, and that the eviction order followed a hearing and ruling on November 16. According to case documents, the restaurant was ordered to pay its landlord, Alki 37 LLC, more than $146,000. We are working to reach Pegasus’s owners for comment. They moved into this building 15 years ago from a different location on the same block; the space underwent changes six years ago.

BIZNOTE: Spiro’s Pizza and Pasta closing in West Seattle; new restaurant moving in

Recently we noticed online permit activity for 3401 California SW, long the home of the West Seattle location of Spiro’s Pizza and Pasta. The owners weren’t ready to comment on their restaurant’s future until today. Here’s their announcement:

Dear West Seattle,

Since 1991, Spiro’s Pizza & Pasta and the Voltsis family has had the privilege and honor of being a part of the community. From the little location at 3401 California Ave, we have been able to grow our businesses, as we have been able to watch the area expand as well. Through our modest doors we have seen generations of families come in, and watch their children grow, and through time come in with their children. We are forever grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful neighborhood over the past 31 years.

After three decades at this location, it is time for us to sadly say goodbye to West Seattle. We will close our doors in West Seattle for the final time December 16th, 2022. We ask that you welcome the new tenants, West Seattle residents Mike Meckling (Woodinville Cut Shop, Neumos) and Ben Jenkins (Shadowland, Dumplings of Fury) who will be opening a family-friendly Mexican restaurant offering authentic Mexican food by chef Danny Ludwig.

We will forever remember our time in West Seattle, and we thank you for the many years of patronage and friendship.

With our sincerest gratitude to West Seattle,
Jim, Sia, Evan and Eleni Voltsis

You can read the backstory of the multigenerational family pizza business here. West Seattle was their first location; Spiro’s is also in Shoreline and Mukilteo.