West Seattle, Washington
7:32 AM: After two tips that Bel Gatto in Fauntleroy planned to open first thing this morning, we just went down to 9253 45th SW, and indeed, it’s open. This is the new bakery-and-more eatery in the space where The Original Bakery closed a year ago.
Proprietor Peter Levy of Chow Foods – which also operates Endolyne Joe’s next door – announced earlier this month that Bel Gatto (“a handsome cat”) was close to opening, and provided these details on what it’s offering.
Hours will be 7 am-7 pm for starters, seven days a week.
9:56 AM: A few amendments to that in the early going. We heard back this morning from Peter Levy, who explains, “We are not yet fully operational and will have a limited menu given that we are still without a ventilation hood. We hope to be in full swing by mid-March.” And thanks to Loren for sending a pic of a sign now posted saying Bel Gatto will be closed the next two Mondays (March 4 and 11), hoping for that hood installation on the second one, which will enable them to offer bombolini.
MOON ROOM REOPENS: After a two-week closure, Moon Room Shop and Wellness (WSB sponsor) has reopened and is awaiting your visit at 5902 California SW. The shop’s regular hours are Wednesday-Fridays 11 am-6 pm, Saturdays and Sundays 11 am-5 pm, Mondays-Tuesdays noon-5 pm. (Haven’t been to Moon Room yet? Here’s what they’re all about.)
CIRCA TURNS 26: Happy 26th anniversary to Circa (2605 California SW). They’re celebrating today/tonight by offering “birthday party” specials. Circa co-proprietor Gretchen tells WSB, “We are doing $15 Circa burger & fries, $5 Manny’s Pale Ale, and free funfetti birthday cake for all dine-in patrons all day and night as a thank you for supporting us all these years. We love west Seattle!” Circa is open until 10 pm tonight.
After a month-plus closure, Duke’s Seafood on Alki reopens today! Duke’s is sponsoring WSB this week to be sure you hear about the reopening and a special giveaway. Here’s their announcement:
Great news for West Seattle! Duke’s Seafood on Alki re-opens today (Wednesday, February 28) after being closed for about a month. This was to make extensive repairs due to flooding from burst pipes during January’s freezing temps.
To celebrate and to thank West Seattle for supporting Duke’s Seafood all these years, Duke’s on Alki (2516 Alki Avenue SW) will offer One Free Bowl of Chowder to anyone who stops by during the first week of re-opening (Wednesday, February 28 – March 5). After that, the restaurant plans to launch a new weekly special for the entire month of March, which they will announce on Instagram every Wednesday here: instagram.com/dukesseafood
Owners Duke Moscrip and John Moscrip made lemonade out of lemons by using this temporary inconvenience as an opportunity to give the location a few updates. New flooring and carpet, of course, but also new lighting and décor, new paint, as well as kitchen upgrades. Alki has a fresh, new look – same sustainable-seafood dishes and award-winning chowder – open 11 am-10 pm daily.
Duke’s Seafood uses the strictest standards for sourcing ingredients. All seafood is 100% sustainable, chicken and eggs are organic, all beef is local and grass-fed, and produce is local and organic whenever possible. Every item is made with ingredients that are chemical-free, nitrite-free, BGH- and BST-free, cage-free, hormone-free, growth stimulant-free, antibiotic-free, and contains no high fructose corn syrup or aspartame.
Duke’s Seafood is a family-owned restaurant group in the Seattle area, founded in 1977. It operates seven restaurants in the Greater Puget Sound region, as well as a special event space, Dockside at Duke’s, which hosts events for up to 350 guests. dukesseafood.com
We thank Duke’s Seafood for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here; email email@example.com for info on joining the team!
Just heard from Khalid Agour, proprietor of Itto’s Tapas (California/Genesee) and the new wine-bar-with-food Itto’s Vino next door. Two weeks after telling us it was “super close” to opening, he has set the grand-opening date for Itto’s Vino – this Friday (March 1), after “a couple soft opens.” You can see the food menu here and the drink menu here (you’ll find lists of wine by the glass or bottle on the website, too). Hours for Itto’s Vino will be 5-11 pm Mondays-Thursdays, 5 pm-midnight Fridays and Saturdays, closed on Sundays.
After a few soft-open trial runs, including tonight, the new restaurant/bar Little Donkey plans to officially open tomorrow (Wednesday, February 21) at 3401 California SW. As we first reported when Spiro’s ended its 31-year run in the corner space 14 months ago, it’s a venture with partners including Ben Jenkins (Shadowland, Dumplings of Fury) and Mike Meckling (Woodinville Cut Shop, Neumos), both West Seattleites. It’s all ages, except, of course, at the bar.
You can see the menu here – overseen by chef Enrique Vargas, who’s worked in the industry for more than 20 years and is originally from Mexico City:
The drink menu is perusable online, too. For starters, Little Donkey will open at 3 pm – but soon they’ll be offering weekend brunch starting at 9 am, launching not this weekend, but the weekend after (March 2-3).
WEDNESDAY UPDATE: The Little Donkey team tells us they’re not opening until 5 pm tonight and Thursday.
After a little more than one year in business, Camp West in The Junction (4539 California SW) is expanding its schedule. Toni from Camp West messaged us to say, “Camp West is moving to opening 7 days a week. We will now be open from 4-9 on Monday and Tuesday.” The change starts today. The restaurant/bar remains 21+.
Six months ago, we reported on the closure of Ephesus Restaurant (5245 California SW), which had previously been taken over by new ownership that changed the menu from Turkish to Greek. Now, its original owner wants to bring back the original Ephesus. We learned this after a tip from Mark that someone was painting inside the building. We went over and found Hasan Ocak, who told us his plan is to reopen the restaurant he founded in 1995. The space needs a lot of work, though, he said – noting he’s already made six dump runs with debris – so he’s not sure about a timeline.
You might have noticed the signage that’s been going up next door to Itto’s Tapas at California and Genesee. Since it’s named Itto’s Vino, you’ve probably figured out it’s related to its neighbor. Itto’s proprietor Khalid Agour has been working for a while on a new venue in what used to be a nail shop next door. The official description of the new venue is a “new West Seattle wine bar, highlighting the culture, food, and terroirs of the Mediterranean.” He told us its food will differ from what’s offered at Itto’s Tapas. After a few more reader questions prompted by the signage sighting, we asked Khalid how close he is to opening Itto’s Vino. His reply: “We’re getting super close to open, hopefully in a couple weeks. We have some small details to work on.”
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
It was exactly one year ago today that we first reported that the former Original Bakery space in Fauntleroy would be taken over by the owner of CHOW Foods, which operates Endolyne Joe’s next door. It’s been a few months since we last checked in, so we contacted owner Peter Levy to ask about the status – and he just sent the official announcement, including:
bel gatto (a handsome cat) will begin the day with a focus on an assortment of daily in-house baked sweet and savory breakfast pastries and espresso in a café format with all items packaged to go or to be enjoyed in bel gatto’s tiny dining room. Come lunch, options will include an assortment of Sicilian pizzas available in three sizes or by the slice along with a roster of Italian delicatessen sandwiches and salads. A majority of the baking will take place in the 85-year-old double deck Rainier oven that has been in place since this long running bakery’s inception. Chef/Partner Anthony Hubbard said, “We cannot wait to fire up that beast of an oven and start rolling out our pastries & Sicilian pizzas for the neighborhood.” Mr. Hubbard has assembled a corps of bakers from notable bakeries from both West Seattle and Vashon Island to man the ovens of bel gatto.
Open daily at 7 am, bel gatto will focus on those baked goods, pizzas and delicatessen items throughout the day and into the early evening hours with service through 7 pm daily. Come late spring, this neighborhood upstart will be offering an intimate Italian menu in its 28-seat dining room and operating hours will extend to 9 pm. With the commencement of dinner service in the spring, the all-day menu of pizzas, sandwiches and salads will continue to be available packaged to go thru the 9 pm closing.
Levy said they’re hoping to open bel gatto at 9253 45th SW “on or about” February 20th, with initial hours 7 am-7 pm daily.
Quick notes on temporary closures:
LA RUSTICA: Thanks for the tips! The Beach Drive bistro is closed this week. A sign on the door and note on their website says it’s for “bathroom repairs” and that La Rustica will reopen Tuesday, February 6. (They also note that even during the closure, you can book a reservation – Valentine’s dinner, anyone? – online.)
WEST SEATTLE BREWING: After a few weeks of closure, a sign on the WS Brewing door at 4415 Fauntleroy Way SW, and note on their website, says they plan to reopen this Thursday, February 1. They’re reportedly been remodeling and promise “huge things coming!”
DUKE’S: No date announced yet for the Alki seafood restaurant, which is getting repairs after pipe-break trouble during the subfreezing weather earlier this month.
Our photo from the 9200 block of 45th SW in Fauntleroy is more about what’s not in it than what is. It’s the spot usually inhabited by the El Camion food truck. Over the weekend, multiple readers wondered where it was and if it was coming back. Our archives reminded us that El Camion left the spot for some maintenance work around this time last year, and that’s what’s happening now too. Reached by email, El Camion management told us, “Currently we are having the transmission repaired because it currently only goes into first gear and reverse. We don’t have any time estimation at this point because they are still assessing the problem and trying to procure parts. This is a very slow time of the year for us at that location and financially, it’s hard to make ends meet and stay open, so we are using this opportunity to have repair work done.” The truck has held that spot in the heart of Fauntleroy’s Endolyne mini-business district since July 2019.
Thanks to Sally for the tip. Duke’s Seafood on Alki says it’s going to have to stay closed “for the next couple of weeks” cleaning up and repairing damage done when pipes broke in the recent sub-freezing weather. The restaurant’s announcement says the pipe breaks led to flooding. Duke’s six other locations remain open – Southcenter, South Lake Union, Green Lake, Kent Station, Bellevue, and Tacoma.
Thanks for the tips that the Westwood Village McDonald’s is temporarily closed. We just went over to verify. The sign on the door doesn’t give a reason for the closure; one tipster says it’s a pipe problem. We’ll check again in a few hours; let us know if you see it reopened sooner.
Want someone else to do the cooking? Here are two ways to do that this week while helping local schools:
ROXHILL ELEMENTARY @ THE WESTY: Friends of Roxhill Elementary will benefit from a share of the proceeds, dine-in or take-out, at The Westy (7908 35th SW) today, Tuesday, and Wednesday (January 15-17), 11 am-11:45 pm. If you dine in (21+), tell your server you’re there for the Roxhill fundraiser; if you order take-out online, use the promo code ROXHILL.
WEST SEATTLE ELEMENTARY @ MOD: This Wednesday, the Westwood Village MOD Pizza (2800 SW Barton) will donate part of its proceeds for dine-in and take-out customers who mention they’re supporting West Seattle Elementary – if ordering online, use the code MODGIVES20. Here’s the flyer. The restaurant is open 10:30 am-10 pm
We’ve finally confirmed via an in-person visit today what readers have reported hearing from employees as well as from the trivia host – that the West Seattle location of The Lodge Sports Grille is about to close. New Year’s Eve will be its last day, The Lodge opened in then-new Junction 47 seven years ago; its website currently shows five other locations around the metro area. The about-to-be-vacant 4,200-sf West Seattle space is listed for lease (here’s the flyer); it’s in Junction 47’s east building.
That’s a peek inside Taste of Mumbai, about to open at 2300 California SW, former longtime home of Yen Wor Village. We went over today to check on a reader tip that they’re about to open. Indeed they are, they told us – with a buffet on Christmas Day (Monday, December 25), 10 am-10 pm. After that, they’ll be open starting Tuesday (December 26), 4 pm-10 pm. They’re not ready to open the bar yet, though, but as soon as they do, they promise they’re bringing back karaoke (a Yen Wor staple). Here’s our October story with more on the plan for Taste of Mumbai, which previously had operated from a group-kitchen facility in The Triangle.
Here’s our annual reminder that it’s not too late to let us know about West Seattle retail hours on Christmas Eve and food/drink businesses’ hours on Christmas Day. All the info we have compiled so far – including the grocery-store hours list for Christmas Eve/Day – is toward the end of our West Seattle Holiday Guide page (which has a list of church services, too, and New Year’s Eve/Day events). Direct link to our first take of the Christmas Day restaurants/bars list is here. We’re still checking for additions; if you can help by providing info, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 206-293-6302 – thank you!
Three West Seattle food/beverage business notes:
WESTWOOD PANDA EXPRESS UPDATE: Back in October, we reported that Panda Express is moving into the ex-Pet Pros spot next to Westwood Village QFC, according to the shopping center’s site map (which is the only place WWV’s new-ish owners usually “announce” new tenants). The Chinese-food chain hasn’t responded to our inquiry yet but there’s further confirmation of the plan – it’s now appeared in the city permit system.
HOTWIRE’S MANAGER MOVING ON: Hotwire Coffee wants to be sure ustomers have a chance to say goodbye to longtime manager Nicole Crisostomo – this is her last week.
Hotwire says Nicole is “moving on to a new opportunity” after 10 years at Hotwire. “Nicole has played an integral part in our journey with Hotwire, first as loyal customers and then in 2016 as owners. She was part of the deal when we took over the business and promoted her to manager,” explains co-proprietor Jeffrey Silva. “We will miss her and wish her the very best with her next adventure!”
HOLIDAY FOOD: Husky Deli is again offering to prepare a full holiday dinner for you – ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, and ice cream, serves 5 – $150, last order December 22nd for pickup on Christmas Eve. … If you’d rather buy something to cook yourself, Lady Jaye‘s annual Meat Market, with wagyu beef and more, is one week from tomorrow – 4-8 pm December 19.
The overhauled McDonald’s in Morgan Junction has looked ready to open for weeks, and we’ve been getting a lot of reader questions about its status. We’ve had an inquiry out to its owner to find out when it will open – and just got a reply. “The newly remodeled West Seattle McDonald’s will be re-opening for business on December 12!” announced owner Alia Abboud. For starters, she says, “Please note that the store will open from 7 am to 8 pm and will be Drive-Thru only to allow the employees to learn the new side-by-side drive-thru and get fully comfortable with the new operations and communications system. As we move forward, we will extend our hours as we gain staffing levels to provide the best possible service to our community, to include opening the lobby for dine-in customers. We are very excited to once again be open to serve our many wonderful customers in the West Seattle neighborhood!” The restaurant closed for the overhaul almost eight months ago.
Five quick local-business notes about food:
OPENING DATE FOR NEW CO-HOUSED WHITE CENTER RESTAURANTS: As reported last night on our partner site White Center Now, Alpine Diner and Big Mario’s Pizza have announced they’ll open Thursday (December 7) at 9635 16th SW – Alpine (menu here) at 9 am, Big Mario’s (menu here) at 11.
SPEAKING OF PIZZA: Moto Pizza in The Junction is legendary for requiring orders months in advance. According to an email announcement sent to its fans tonight (thanks to Tina for the forward), that’s changing. Moto says it’s now accepting walk-in orders at all three of its locations – Edmonds and Belltown as well as the original Junction location (4526 42nd SW).
FEEL MORE LIKE TACOS? Thanks to Michelle for pointing out that La Chingona Taqueria has opened its bricks-and-mortar restaurantat 2940 SW Avalon Way, former home of Lily’s Salvadorean Restaurant (you can still get Lily’s food at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market on Sundays). Here’s the La Chingona menu.
LATE-NIGHT APPETITE? Kizuki Ramen and Izakaya (42nd/Alaska) in The Junction. is open until 1 am weeknights for late-night pickup and delivery. GM Natalie explains, “With limited food options on the peninsula after normal kitchen hours, we thought we’d give you one more to choose from. You can place your orders online at Kizuki.com. If you have any modifications to your order, please call the shop at 206-206-1838.” (Note that this is an experiment, so subject to change.)
CHRISTMAS EVE BUFFET: Salty’s on Alki (1936 Harbor SW; WSB sponsor) is taking reservations for another opulent holiday buffet – a seafood buffet on Christmas Eve. (Not just seafood, the menu shows.) Prices range from no charge for kids 4 and under to $120 for ages 16+.
Two months ago, we told you about Banh Mi XO, coming to the former Indulge Desserts and Stuffed Cakes space at 9003 35th SW. Today we got an update from proprietor Guy Nguyen: “We are set for soft opening this Saturday and Sunday with a limited menu (signature Banh Mi sandwich, Bun (rice noodle) salad bowl, plus bubble drinks and Vietnamese Phin coffee.” Guy sent photos and added, “We do have a bar-style sitting area inside, but space is limited.”
After the soft opening, the official opening is set for December 1st. Hours will be 9 am-4 pm daily (those are also the hours for this weekend’s soft open). You can see the full menu for Banh Mi XO here and here.