West Seattle, Washington
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.
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.
10:21 AM: We noted last month that La Rustica, the Italian restaurant at 4100 Beach Drive SW, would be closed for much of November due to kitchen-floor work. Co-proprietor Kat Hoffman sends word today that the work is done and the restaurant indeed is reopening tonight, You won’t notice anything different, since the work really was just in the kitchen: “it has been a lot of hard work to get it done.” They want to be sure patrons know how much they appreciate the “patience and support.”
4:30 PM: Kat just told us the reopening is delayed until Saturday – they have to fix their hot-water heater.
The question’s come up in comment discussions about other on-the-way restaurants — is Five Guys still coming to Westwood Village? It’s been five and a half months since we first reported the burger chain had appeared on the shopping center’s site plan. Since then, as we’ve replied in those comment discussions and email, the plan to convert the former Payless Shoe Source space has been proceeding through the building-permit system. And now for the first time, there’s a visible sign that Five Guys is indeed on the way – what you see above is what we noticed while driving through Westwood Village this afternoon. The company has yet to respond to inquiries about the timeline, so we don’t know how soon. The chain already has more than a dozen locations around the central Puget Sound area; closest one is in Ballard.
Thanks to Mike for the tip! Four months after we first reported that Nacho Mama was on the way for the former Hoang Kim (and briefly Phorale) space at 9418 Delridge Way SW, it’s open. That’s proprietor Debra in our photo, and she’s offering much more than nachos. See the breakfast menu here and the lunch/dinner menu here.
Nacho Mama is still experimenting with hours but currently testing 8 am-8 pm Tuesdays-Sundays, closed Mondays.
You’re invited to a grand opening tomorrow (Saturday, November 12th) in The Junction! Here’s the announcement we received tonight:
Bali’s Himalayan Chai & Salt Snacks Counter is having its grand opening from 10 am to 2 pm tomorrow, Saturday November 12!
Bali’s Himalayan Snacks Counter is hosted inside Puerto Vallarta Mexican restaurant, thanks to owner Eduardo Morales. We’re in Alaska Junction, 4727 California Avenue.
There will be free tastings of Bali’s Pink and Masala Chais and his delicious spicy pakoras and tasty parathas with your choice of sweet or savory fillings.
Stop by and say hi to longtime West Seattle resident Bali Khan, and check out the new venture!
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
When you walk into the space at 4539 California SW, you’ll notice foldable canvas chairs at the tables by the front window. Temporary placeholders for furniture yet to arrive? No, they’re intentional. “They’re really sturdy!” insist two of the proprietors, Toni Uy and Patrick Haight, presiding over ongoing preparations and training when we visited Thursday afternoon, 5 months after we first reported the plan for the space.
Then there’s what you’ll get for water on your table – not a glass carafe, but a metal thermos.
If you’re drinking something harder, the cocktail might have a name like One-Eyed Squirrel (aloe, vodka, lime juice, and a decorative eyeball, a favorite at Camp West’s sibling in Tacoma, Camp Bar). Plan to pair your drink with food? Unique items include the Snackle Box, a mini-tackle box stocked with meat, cheese, olives, and bread.
Next to it in our photo is one of the mini-grills deliverable to tabletops for roast-it-yourself S’mores.
But let’s broaden the perspective for a moment, as, unless you hadn’t visited the space before, you’ll be mentally comparing at first:
One thing prominently absent in that view – the railing down the middle, removed in the remodel, no longer needed because Camp West is 21+. The north wall is now lined with booths, and the wall over them sports faux greenery, except for the section nearest the front, which is decorated with a variety of items from antlers to an axe to this photo of a well-known West Seattleite camping:
Over the front tables, the south wall has a mural by Andrew Miller, who also painted the one on the alley behind Camp West. That goes up to the bar, which features unique lantern-style lighting:
The focus there (see the beverage menu online) is on signature and classic cocktails, with a “heavy whiskey selection.” (And more whimsical names, like Sweaty Lumberjack.) You also will find four beers on tap – including of course the locally renowned Manny’s – plus a selection of canned beverages, even the 16-ounce Rainier.
At the back of Camp West, you’ll find a tent – seating 8+ for a semi-private celebration spot.
The back is also where there eventually be one lone video screen, not for sports or entertainment, but to support the rustic/outdoor ambience – skiing videos, old Rainier Beer commercials, etc.
In addition to the aforementioned Snackle Box and S’mores, Camp West has a broader menu than its Tacoma sibling – “a lot fancier” is how Haight puts it, but not too fancy. You can see the food menu online too – from burgers and other sandwiches to entrees including seared steelhead and mushroom cassoulet. Camp West has brought “a lot of new equipment” to the kitchen.
So the big question – when will they open? Right now they’re training staff via “friends and family” sessions. Then they’ll open to the public somewhat gradually, with the plan to be fully open by Wednesday, November 23. Hours for starters will be 4-10 pm Wednesdays and Thursdays, 4-midnight Fridays and Saturdays, 4-9 pm Sundays, closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
When Thanksgiving gets closer, we’ll be compiling our annual list of which restaurants plan to be open on the holiday. But there’s one place we already know for sure will be open, and it requires reservations that are usually booked up well in advance: Salty’s on Alki (1936 Harbor SW; WSB sponsor). They’re now taking Thanksgiving reservations online or by phone (206-937-1600). No buffet again this year, so it’s a three-course plated Thanksgiving dinner (see the menu here), with seatings between 11 am and 5 pm. They’re also again offering take-home kits, to be picked up the day before Thanksgiving.
Four updates from West Seattle purveyors of beverages and/or food:
ANIMATED CAFE MOVING: Tomorrow is the coffee trailer’s last day in the Tony’s Market lot at 35th/Barton. Proprietor Melanie – aka “Ana” – has been there since launching her business last winter. After a week in transition, she hopes to reopen Animated Coffee in its new location – at 4518 Fauntleroy Way SW, same lot to which El Chapulin Oaxaqueño recently moved – by November 5th. One change: “We will be walk-up only to start but hopefully we can support drive-thru in the future.” If you haven’t been to Animated Café lately, she’s been doing themed weekends in which people dressed for the theme get $2 off their order, Her schedule for November:
5th-6th: Second Halloween (wear it one more time!)
12th-13th: Royal Weekend (everyone is royalty this weekend)
19th-20th: Apocalypse Weekend (Mad Max style)
26th-27th: Thanksgiving Weekend (Get Creative)
LA RUSTICA TEMPORARILY CLOSING: The Italian restaurant at 4100 Beach Drive will be closed for much of November. From proprietor Kat:
La Rustica will be closed the first three weeks of November, so if you want to get your fix in before we close, head down today thru Sunday. Because we are doing some work on our kitchen floors, we don’t have a set reopen date but are taking reservations starting the Friday after Thanksgiving. If we reopen before that, we will be sure to let you know. Thank you all for your support, patience and love.
BEDHEAD COFFEE: After a reader inquiry about the status of the coffee shack at 16th/Holden, we contacted founder Michelle. She tells WSB it closed at the end of September, three months after her former partner bought out her share of the business. Whether it might reopen, she didn’t know.
PORTAGE BAY CAFE, WEST SEATTLE: We’ve been reporting on this breakfast/brunch mini-chain‘s plan to expand into West Seattle, taking over the former Agave Cocina space at 4725 42nd SW. Proprietor John told us he hopes to open in January, and that’s now underscored by a sign on the door:
(Thanks to Arlene for the tip.)
Carol Kelly says managing Alki Spud Fish and Chips is all about “family.” Her own family (above, daughters Ashley and Victoria at left, husband Harry with Carol at right) joined her there this afternoon for the celebration of her 50 years working there.
That big card was there to gather well-wishes, and of course there was cake:
There also were proclamations – this was officially declared Carol Kelly Day in both Seattle and King County!
The proclamations from Mayor Bruce Harrell and King County Executive Dow Constantine (a former Spud employee) note fun facts about Carol’s tenure, in addition to those mentioned in our preview – she started for $1.85 an hour in 1972, hired by the son of one of the brothers who founded Alki Spud in 1935. She also was lauded for her “kindness, leadership, and service.”
While another 50 years might not be likely, Carol told a well-wisher, she’s nowhere near ready to leave yet!
Back in 2010, we talked with Carol Kelly (pictured at right with her daughters) about the 75th anniversary of Spud Fish and Chips on Alki. At that point, Carol had been working at Spud for half that time. Now she’s about to celebrate her own milestone there, and you’re invited to the party. On Tuesday afternoon (October 11), 2-4 pm, Alki Spud will celebrate Carol’s 50 years at the restaurant! Alki Spud’s ownership (whose other endeavor you might recognize, Ivar’s) shared these fun facts about her time there:
Under her management, Alki has served:
More than 5.3 million customers.
She has filleted, battered, and breaded more than 937,000 pounds of fish.
She has wrapped more than 4 million lineal feet of SPUD wrapping paper with the bubbling-cod cartoon around orders.
SPUD has soaked, cut, and fried more than 2.3 million pounds of SPUDs to accompany its orders
She has served more than 3.5 million cups of Coke.
Carol’s two daughters were both working with her at Alki Spud (2666 Alki SW) when we took the 2010 photo; Ashley has stayed with the company and is now general manager of Ivar’s Acres of Clams restaurant, while Victoria left Spud in 2020, by which time she’d become assistant manager. But everyone is “family” to Carol Kelly, the owners note, so she’d be thrilled to see you Tuesday afternoon. (There will be cake!)
Back in August, we reported that Portage Bay Café was expanding to West Seattle. At the time, Portage Bay’s owners weren’t ready to disclose where. Now, it’s out. Last night (thanks to David for the tip) was closing night for Agave Cocina, in Mural at 4725 42nd SW, and today this sign is on the door:
When last we spoke to the proprietors of Portage Bay – famed for its breakfast/brunch offerings at 4 locations elsewhere in the city – they were still finalizing plans, but hoping to be open in West Seattle by year’s end. Agave had been in the space since May 2019, a year after the closure of its original tenant, Fresh Bistro.
Maybe you noticed the new coat of paint on the former West 5 building in The Junction (4539 California SW), which as reported here in June is being transformed into Camp West – and now includes the mural-style signage above. We’ve received a few inquiries about its progress. So we asked Patrick Haight, a member of the Camp West ownership team, how it’s going. He says the exterior “was painted to match our color scheme inside,” adding that kitchen equipment and coolers are in place – after a longer wait than they had expected after placing orders in late May/early June – while tables and booths are arriving soon. “The supply chain and available inventory has been challenging. However, we are just being patient in wanting the right equipment to meet our needs. An October opening is where our timeline stands, barring no more delays. We are optimistic and excited to get our Camp West Seattle up and running.” As noted in our June report, it’s a sibling establishment to Tacoma’s Camp Bar.
After a few reader questions about why the Westwood Village McDonald’s is fully fenced off, with major work at the site, we checked city files and noted permits for remodeling and upgrades, and found this summary: “Revise front service counter and internal menu boards. Remove self-serve beverage kiosks and install self-serve order boards. Reconfigure drive-thru approach and relocate trash enclosure.” Another permit file noted “new interior, exterior lighting.” Along with checking those files, we contacted the corporation to ask for more details. McDonald’s USA spokesperson Mike Vizza replied that the restaurant “is undergoing a major transformation that will improve the customer experience inside and out. We are placing a higher emphasis on hospitality by weaving technology into the dining experience, with new self-ordering kiosks and table service that offers guests greater customization and the opportunity to relax while their food is being made.” He didn’t have an estimate for when it’ll reopen, just that “We will be working diligently on the remodel over the next several months.” Other area McDonald’s have been overhauled already, including Admiral four years ago. Meantime, WWV has more burgers on the way, with Five Guys going in just west of the McDonald’s (we first reported that plan in May, and it’s continuing to advance through the permit files).
Just as the West Seattle Bridge reopens, one of the businesses that’s practically next to it has announced a temporary closure. Just received from Luna Park Café proprietor John Bennett:
We recently have felt the after-effects of Covid and have done our best to stay open as much as possible to serve all our faithful customers. Unfortunately we came to the decision to temporarily close in order to do some much-needed systems updates. We don’t know how long this will take us since we want to be the best we can be when we do reopen!
We will be continuing with our current hours (8 am-3 pm) through Sunday the 18th so we encourage everyone to come see us and order their favorite shake, hobo, or Luna special before we take our break!
We look forward to reopening and having another great 30+-year stint!
Luna Park marked its 33rd anniversary earlier this year.
Four and a half months after we first told you about West Wings – the new restaurant moving into the ex-Copper Coin space at 2329 California SW – the opening date is set. We stopped by today to check on the new restaurant’s status and learned they plan to open this Saturday (August 27th) during the Admiral Junction Funktion street party, noon-9 pm, with a “limited menu.” Then the first official day is Sunday, 11 am-9 pm. You can read more about West Wings, whose proprietors are West Seattle cousins Tony and Paul Barbano, here – wings with 15 sauce options (including “Alki Bonfire”), burgers, salads, more.
Quick notes on local food/beverage venues:
OPEN REALLY LATE: The South Delridge burger joint Boss Drive-In (9061 Delridge Way SW) has extended its hours.
Thanks to Mike for the tip.
MOVING SOON: As announced by a banner in the 4500 block of Fauntleroy Way SW, that’ll be the new home of El Chapulin Oaxaqueño food truck in about four weeks.
We stopped by the truck’s longtime location in The Junction, by Lula Coffee‘s drive-thru, to ask about the reason for the move; they said the main motivation is that they need more space. (Thanks to Ian – who also sent the photo – and Ivy for the tips.)
CHICKEN SANDWICHES: As hinted when Ma’ono closed its West Seattle restaurant, its popular chicken sandwiches will be popping up at proprietor Mark Fuller‘s newest venture, the Benbow Room (4210 SW Admiral Way). Mondays and Tuesdays, 4 pm-10 pm, for starters.
ICE CREAM: If you haven’t been to Youngstown Coffee (6032 California SW) in Morgan Junction lately, you should know in these waning weeks of summer that they’re now carrying six-ounce pre-packed cups of Ice Cream Social, homemade-style ice cream from Tacoma, in a variety of flavors. (Vegan options, too.)
Food news? Other biz news? Breaking news? Tips always appreciated via firstname.lastname@example.org or texted to 206-293-6302.
Thanks for the tips! The renowned breakfast/lunch/brunch restaurant mini-chain Portage Bay Café is expanding to West Seattle. In the past few days, we’ve heard from multiple readers who were dining at one of their existing locations (Ballard, South Lake Union, on Roosevelt, on 65th) and saw printed evidence (one example above) of the plan to come here. However, nothing indicated where in West Seattle they’d be opening. So this morning we reached Portage Bay Café president/co-founder John Gunnar by phone. He confirmed the West Seattle plan and said they’re not ready to announce the location – though he had a hint: The Junction area. They could go public with the location in a week or so, and if all goes well, they could be open in October. Gunnar said customers have long been suggesting they expand to West Seattle, and with the bridge expected to reopen soon, the time is right. If you haven’t been to Portage Bay Café, here’s the current menu. Their motto is “Eat like you give a damn” and they opened their first location (Roosevelt) 25 years ago.
Four weeks after confirmation that the original Ma’ono in West Seattle had been permanently closed and sold, we know what’s moving into the space: Italian food. We’ve confirmed that Dué Cucina will open its fourth location at 4437 California SW. Dué Cucina specializes in “authentic Italian cuisine,” centered on pasta – its founders are both from Tuscany; you can see the menu here. Its three restaurants are on Capitol Hill, in Roosevelt, and in Kirkland. In our brief conversation with co-founder Davide Macchi this afternoon, he told us they just got the keys to the space and don’t know yet how long it will take to get ready to open. They’re hoping it’ll be this fall.
Thanks for the tip; we’ve confirmed that Than Brothers Pho is closing at 4822 California SW, after 16 years in West Seattle. No word on whether they’re seeking another West Seattle location in the future. We reported in 2020 that the building, where the restaurant was a tenant, had been put up for sale; King County Assessor records show it was sold back in April. The new owner is an LLC associated with the Redmond headquarters and owner of Origins Cannabis, which has a West Seattle store a few blocks away, on a site with a redevelopment project under review; Origins declined comment on whether they plan to move or expand into the California SW building. Meantime, Than Brothers is the
fifth sixth Junction restaurant to close in the past eight months, after Café Mia, Taqueria Guaymas, Kamei, Lee’s, West 5, (added) and Ma’ono.
A new restaurant will open next month in the former Hoang Kim space at 9418 Delridge Way SW [map]. No, not Phorale – that apparently didn’t work out. Now the space is slated to become Nacho Mama. After its liquor-license application appeared online, we talked briefly to Nacho Mama’s proprietor by phone this afternoon. She told us she’s opening as soon as August 1st, with a menu that will include tacos and frybread, hours 7 am to 11 pm.
That’s the note on the door of Zippy’s Giant Burgers in White Center after its final day on Saturday. We saw it there at 8 pm, when would-be customers were still showing up in hopes they weren’t too late. But they were. WSB reader Margo says her family got “the last Zippy’s burger ever sold” – and sent this photo of her 10-year-old son Chase enjoying it:
Margo says they got that last burger around 3:15 pm. The early sellout was not surprising considering this was the line before they opened at 10 am:
Zippy’s owners Blaine and Rahel Cook announced on Tuesday that they’d be closing this weekend after 14 years. They were in Highland Park for the first three years before moving to a larger space in White Center.