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BIZNOTE: Why Shadowland temporarily closed

10:03 PM FRIDAY: Thanks to Hayk for the photo. The temporary-closure sign on the door at Shadowland didn’t explain the reason, so we emailed Shadowland’s Ben Jenkins. He says the “unforeseen circumstance” is a pipe break in the basement, and they’re working to get it fixed “fast.” The bar/restaurant at California/Oregon is in its 17th year.

1:19 PM SATURDAY: Shadowland will reopen this afternoon, according to a comment below.

BIZNOTE: Happy Lemon adding Alki Beach tea shop

Thanks to Alison for the tip! Last year, the boba-and-more tea chain Happy Lemon opened a shop at Westwood Village (in the spot long held by Vatsana’s Thai Restaurant). 15 months later, they are opening another West Seattle shop, according to signage that just went up in the windows at 2718 Alki Avenue SW. That space has been vacant for six years, since Alki Cleaners ended its 19-year run. It’s had at least two preliminary plans since then – in 2021, a potential market, and last year, early-stage documents in city files suggested a pet store. Neither of those advanced, and now the Happy Lemon signage has turned up (no permit applications yet, though, but the new location is listed in the city business-license database). We have an inquiry out to Happy Lemon requesting details. The Happy Lemon website shows 20 Puget Sound-area locations already, from Lynnwood to Olympia.

WEST SEATTLE SCENE: Junction Wine Walk draws 1,000+ people to sample beverages and businesses

May 17, 2024 10:28 pm
|    Comments Off on WEST SEATTLE SCENE: Junction Wine Walk draws 1,000+ people to sample beverages and businesses
 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news | WS beverages

Tonight’s sold-out West Seattle Wine Walk, organized by the WS Junction Association, not only brought out more than a thousand people to taste wine and visit businesses, it also gathered donations for WestSide Baby. More than 50 wineries and businesses participated – we visited three of the WSB sponsors who were participating. Ben from Viscon Cellars was pouring at CAPERS Home:

You can visit his tasting room Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 5910 California SW. To the north, Ava and Jo from Spruce Hill Winery (open Fridays/Saturdays in SODO) were pouring at Kendall Dental:

And Emerald Water Anglers (42nd/Oregon) hosted Momento Cellars:

The Junction Association announces events like these months in advance, so be sure to snap up your ticket(s) next time as soon as you hear about it, so you don’t miss out – you’ll see the news here as well as

BIZNOTE: JaRays Grill and Lounge opens on Orchard

Darlene Hampton has officially opened Jarays Grill and Lounge in the former Tug Inn/Bee’s Plumbing space at 2216 SW Orchard, just north of Home Depot. We took a look inside just before opening:

Hours weren’t finalized at the time but we have them now: For starters, open Wednesdays noon-midnight, Thursdays through Saturdays noon-2 am, closed Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays.

Jarays will offer drinks, food, and entertainment. Darlene texted us this week’s menu – you can see it here.

BIZNOTE: New look for The Beer Junction

After 14 years, The Beer Junction (4511 California SW) is getting a new look. Proprietor Corey Leitch sent the announcement:

The Beer Junction is thrilled to announce the launch of its new brand identity, marking an exciting chapter in the establishment’s journey since opening its doors in 2010.

The centerpiece of the rebrand is a contemporary logo depicting the familiar sight of a hand gripping a beer bottle, with the cap bursting off the top, symbolizing the release of the beverage and the joyful anticipation of that first sip.

This dynamic image encapsulates The Beer Junction’s role as a facilitator of memorable beer experiences. It represents the art and ritual of properly pouring and appreciating a finely crafted beer, capturing the essence of the establishment’s passion for fostering beer culture and community. …

The new logo was designed by artist Casey Callahan. Another Beer Junction note – they’re planning to open the outdoor “patio” for the season next weekend.

Not too late to get your ticket for West Seattle Junction’s biggest spring event, Wine Walk

Tote bag, souvenir glass, and the chance to try a wide variety of local wines! That’s what you get with your ticket to the West Seattle Junction Association‘s next Wine Walk, 5-9 pm Friday, May 17. It’s usually sold out in advance but this time they’ve expanded the number of participating businesses and wineries – 30 wineries, 26 businesses! – and therefore the number of tickets available, so we’re mentioning it today to let you know that some tickets are still waiting to be snapped up! You can go here to see the list of wineries (which includes WSB sponsors Viscon Cellars and Spruce Hill Winery) and to buy your ticket (good for 14 tastes). Then on Wine Walk night, check in when you’re ready to start, and go to the venues of your choice!

BIZNOTE: 2 new businesses on the way to ex-beauty school space on West Seattle Junction’s south end

You might have noticed renovations underway in the former beauty-school space at 4811 California SW. Two new food-and-drink businesses are moving in – you might even say they’re three businesses. We talked with co-owner Rosanne Zhu, who’s opening Upwell Wine and Coffee, sharing the space with Walter’s Wine Shop, operated by co-owner Chris Tanghe, who holds the rare and prestigious title Master Sommelier. Both are longtime West Seattle residents. Walter is their mascot, shown in the photo below with Rosanne, Chris, and the future Walter’s delivery (in West Seattle) van:

(Photo courtesy Upwell Coffee & Wine/Walter’s Wine Shop)

Rosanne and Chris have more than two decades each in the hospitality industry, she notes. (She too is a certified sommelier, and attended culinary school at South Seattle College [WSB sponsor].)

She says Upwell will be a “coffee shop by day, wine bar afternoons and evenings.” She’s the chef and explains the food plan: “The all-day menu at Upwell coffee shop will include pastries, sandwiches, salads, composed cheese plates, fruit cups and the like. For the Upwell wine bar three nights a week, we will serve a mainly seafood-based menu with charcuterie and snacks. I grew up in a ‘hunting family’ so there will be pheasant confit, lamb’s tongue, and other oddball meat choices as well.” As for the coffee, the official house roaster will be Herkimer, and Upwell will have other coffees in rotation.

Walter’s will be a full-service wine shop and “a community space to learn about wine, with educational classes taught each month … we want to make wine fun, free from pretense, and accessible to all,” Rosanne says. In addition to operating Walter’s Wine Shop, Chris plans to continue his “day job,” which also involves wine, with the educational nonprofit GuildSomm.

Upwell and Walter’s will have slightly different hours, though Rosanne promises that if you want to buy a bottle of wine before or after the 11 am-7 pm hours that Walter’s will be open, Upwell will be able to ring it up. Upwell will serve “food and coffee seven days a week from 7-3, and wine and snacks three nights a week from 4-10.” It will be an all-ages space.

So, the big question: When will they open? Their contractor has been running ahead of schedule, according to Rosanne, so now it’s mostly a matter of liquor-license timing; they’re aiming for June 1.

BIZNOTE: Total Wine & More penciled in for Westwood Village

One of Westwood Village‘s two biggest vacant storefronts apparently has a tenant. Five months after Staples moved out of 2501 SW Trenton in the northeast corner of the shopping center, city permit files show a site plan for Total Wine & More, the multi-state chain that sells liquor as well as wine and beer. Its website shows seven stores in the metro area; two are in Seattle, in Interbay and Northgate. We have a message out to Total Wine to ask about timeline. (Side note: The north side of WWV had a liquor store in the 2010s, state-run for about two years until privatization. Now you can buy liquor at the WWV Target, QFC, and Rite Aid stores.)

Spruce Hill Winery: Welcome, new WSB sponsor!

Today we’re welcoming Spruce Hill Winery as a new WSB sponsor. New sponsors get to tell you about themselves – here’s what Spruce Hill Winery wants you to know:

Spruce Hill Winery is owned and operated by Mark and Jo Bader, former longtime residents of West Seattle. While we recently moved out of the area, we raised our now-grown kids in West Seattle and still have many ties there.

Our winemaking goes back 20 years, from humble beginnings in our garage, to working for other wineries, and finally to opening our own winery. We are both graduates of Northwest Wine Academy at South Seattle College. We are a small, family-owned operation, and we make the wine ourselves in our SODO facility, from selecting the grapes to bottling the final product. We are involved in every step of the process and are proud to offer our guests a taste of our craft and passion.

We love being outdoors, and our brand and artwork reflect our love and appreciation of the Pacific Northwest. The Spruce Hill Winery name and iconic mountain view on the label were inspired by a visit to one of our favorite places, the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park, where we were awed by the majestic Sitka Spruce trees. Our mission is to make premium wine, sourced from some of the best vineyards in Washington State. From crisp whites perfect for warm weather to bold, full-bodied reds, we have a selection of wines to suit every taste.

Our tasting room in SODO is a 7-minute drive from the Junction, just two blocks north of the West Seattle Bridge on 4th Ave S. It has an industrial vibe, with active winemaking often happening during tasting room hours, especially in the fall. We are always happy to answer questions about winemaking or show guests around the production space.

We share our tasting room space with another winery, T2 Cellar, owned by West Seattle residents Todd Threlkeld and Anne Stevens, and Republic of Cider. The businesses run independently but guests can select from any of the offerings in the tasting room, creating an opportunity for everyone at the table to get exactly what they want. Guests appreciate our easy-to-find location, our close proximity to several other wineries, easy free parking, and, of course, our delicious wines! Spruce Hill Winery is a member of Seattle Urban Wineries, a trade organization that focuses on promoting Seattle area wineries and tasting rooms.

Spruce Hill Winery Tasting Room is at 2960 4th Ave. S., #109. Hours are Friday, 3-6 pm; Saturday, 1-6 pm. Questions? or 206-588-6643.

We thank Spruce Hill Winery for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here; email for info on joining the team!

BIZNOTE: Café Verde on the way to Sunrise Heights

“You wouldn’t buy specialty bread baked a month ago … we don’t think you should have to drink coffee roasted a month ago.”

That’s the philosophy behind Café Verde, a West Seattle couple’s enterprise, currently roasting coffee in Auburn and shipping the same day – and soon, if all goes well, roasting, brewing, and serving in Sunrise Heights.

We happened onto the early permit application for Café Verde to move into 7354 35th SW, most recently a pop-up clothing shop (and briefly proposed for a mini-mart, but that fell through). We subsequently connected via email with co-proprietor K.C.

As you can see on the Cafe Verde website, K.C. and spouse Tatiana have a rich background in coffee roasting – they did it for more than a decade in Peru. “We’ll be replicating what we did in Lima,” a combination roastery and coffee shop. But the former will remain the focus: “We’re a coffee roaster first, coffee shop second.”

So what’s different about the way they roast? K.C. explains that most of the industry applies the light-roasting style to a variety of beans, but they have more differentiation – for one. And there’s that freshness thing – as little time as possible between roasting and serving. “Fresh-roasted coffee always tastes better.”

They’re excited about the space, which KC happened to see posted as “For Lease” while on a family errand. They’re in the very early stages of the permit process, so he’s aware it may take “many months.” They’re still working out other details of the future operation, like hours and what else they’ll serve, but K.C. expects traditional coffee-shop fare – like pastries (made in-house) – will be part of it.

BIZNOTE: New owners for West Seattle Cellars after 24 years under current ownership

(WSB photo, 2015)

Nine years ago, we took that photo of West Seattle Cellars proprietors Jan Martindale and Tom DiStefano as the shop at 6026 California SW marked its 20th anniversary. With one year to go until its 30th, WSC is about to start its “next chapter” with new owners. First, here’s the announcement made today:

As most of our customers know, we are approaching retirement age. Over the last year we’ve given a lot of thought to how we could secure the future of West Seattle Cellars as the only full-service wine shop in West Seattle. So we are very happy to announce that, on April 1, we will pass ownership of the shop to our friends, neighbors, and club members Jessica DiAsio and Bryce Fink, who live very close to the shop. Jessica and Bryce are excited about the opportunity to serve the West Seattle community with the same high standards of selection and service that our shop has demonstrated since its founding in 1995. …

We want to assure our customers that no immediate changes are planned. Tom will continue to be in the shop for the foreseeable future, helping in the selection of wines and assisting customers in finding the right wines. The wine tastings and wine clubs will continue in the same format. Gift certificates will continue to be honored, and all the wines that we are holding in the shop for customers will still be available. Just as our dear late partner Bear learned from Matt, the founder of the shop, and we learned from Bear, we look forward to passing on our knowledge and experience to Bryce and Jessica.

We’d like to express our deepest gratitude to all our wonderful customers, who have loyally supported us for over 24 years. We hope you’ll continue to support West Seattle Cellars as Jessica and Bryce open the next chapter in our story.

Tom, Jan, and the late Bear Silverstein took over the shop almost five years after Matt Mabus opened it “on April 1, 1995 in the little building our office shares with the message studio,” Tom reminisces. “We (Bear, Jan and myself) took over on January 1, 2000 with no announcement, and we moved into our current shop on December 7, 2005. We had no idea we would own the shop for over 24 years. When Jan and I took over on December 2, 2006, after Bear’s first stroke, we didn’t even know if the shop would survive.” We asked him for standout memories: “There are so many: great tastings and classes, wines that made a difference in customers lives, the outpouring of support during the pandemic and beyond. But the memory that will stay with me the longest is the day that Bear died, January 14, 2010, and the partners and close friends gathering in his memory that night after the public tasting.” Though not as an owner, Tom expects to work in the shop “for the first couple of years of the next chapter,” so there’s still a chance for him to make a few more memories.

BIZNOTE: The Beer Junction launching online preorders for pickup

March 22, 2024 5:34 pm
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 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news | WS beverages

The Beer Junction (4511 California SW) plans to add a new service starting Monday. Here’s the announcement from proprietor Corey Leitch:

At noon on Monday, March 25th, The Beer Junction will launch our new online ordering system! It will now be easier than ever to shop for your favorites and find new beers to try. We will offer in store and curbside pickup of beer, cider, wine, snacks, and more.

We have been working diligently over the past six weeks to get our entire inventory added to the new store with photos and descriptions, so you will have access to everything we sell. Everything is set up by the single unit so you’re not limited to buying in 4/6 packs; you can build the mixed case of your dreams just like when you shop in our store.

Beyond our huge beer selection, we have developed a great wine program over the last year and we have a massive selection of non-alcoholic beer and soft drinks as well. We will also have our selection of snacks (soft pretzels, nachos, etc.) available for order all ready for you to heat them and enjoy at home.

One of the most exciting things about this new service for us is that this will make it easier for parents to shop at our store and we are thrilled to let you know that children 10 and younger may accompany parents into the store while they are picking up their orders

In preparation for this, The Beer Junction has remodeled its website – including a live tap list.

BIZNOTES: Three about drinks and food

March 6, 2024 4:14 pm
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 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news | WS beverages

Three food-and-drink biznotes:

GOOD SOCIETY CELEBRATES 4TH ANNIVERSARY: The folks at The Good Society in Admiral (2701 California SW) admit their actual anniversary was in mid-February, but they didn’t want to get it all jumbled up with the Super Bowl, so they’re celebrating this weekend – 4 years in business. Special events includw:

We will have an anniversary edition of Music Bingo on Friday March 8th at 7 PM and Trivia on Saturday March 9th at 3 PM. We will also have Lovely & Dapper Desserts on site from 3 PM to 7 PM selling cakes, one of which is a chocolate cake made with our Night Nurse Black IPA and vanilla buttercream.

As for the beer, they’re promising a 4th Anniversary Imperial IPA as well as a return of Rye Hard 2: Rye Harder. (And if you’re off-peninsula, they’re celebrating at their new Queen Anne location too.)

OTTER ON THE ROCKS CELEBRATES 2ND ANNIVERSARY: Another Admiral beverage-focused establishment is celebrating this weekend too – it’s two years for Otter on the Rocks (4210 SW Admiral Way). They’re planning on partying Friday and Saturday: “We’ll have some drink specials, fun raffles, and some popcorn!”

DUKE’S SECOND REOPENING FREEBIE: After a week of free chowder to celebrate reopening after a month-plus closure following deep-freeze damage, Duke’s on Alki (2516 Alki SW; WSB sponsor) has a new freebie starting today – free burger with any entree, through March 19th. (Tell them you heard it here.)

BIZNOTE FOLLOWUP: Itto’s Vino sets grand-opening date

(Photo courtesy Itto’s Vino)

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.

BIZNOTE: Camp West expands schedule

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+.

BIZNOTE: Itto’s Vino ‘super close’ to opening

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.”

BIZNOTE FOLLOWUP: Opening date set for Sebastiano’s

That’s a look inside Sebastiano’s, the wine shop/wine bar about to open at 3278 California SW. We reported last month on Sebastiano Tecchio‘s plan for the cozy space where he previously managed Molly’s Bottle Shop. Now he sends word that he’s planning to open this Wednesday, February 14, at 2 pm. He says Sebastiano’s will be “focused on natural and organic wines from around the world, with a good selection also of domestic and local wines.” Hours will be 2-8 pm Wednesdays through Saturdays, noon-6 pm Sundays, closed Mondays and Tuesdays.


BIZNOTES: Temporary closures, reopening dates

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.

(Image: Freepik)

BIZNOTE: Sebastiano’s uncorking soon at ‘Hinds Junction’

“That’s all I drink, so that’s all I sell.”

That’s how Sebastiano Tecchio summarizes his plan to open a natural-wine shop/bar at 3278 California SW.

It’s where he managed Molly’s Bottle Shop for more than two years. Molly’s closed recently, and Sebastiano’s is taking over the space.

The proprietor explains that “natural wine” – not necessarily organic – is a way of describing both the way the grapes are grown and the wine is produced, without chemicals/additives. Sebastiano says only one percent of wines are “natural,” but that’s still a wide enough selection that he’ll be able to offer a variety of types – frequently changing, because they’re generally small producers whose offerings are in flux.

He was a wine importer in New York for more than decades, and ran a gallery there for a while too – along with working as a fine-art photographer – so he plans to be part of the West Seattle Art Walk. Sebastiano also sees that as a way of showing support for a community that has embraced him already: “What I love about this place is the community that formed here – I’ve made so many friends.”

Some are helping build the bar, in fact. (Other changes to the space will include transforming its little loft into an office area.)

He’s hoping to be able to open in about a month, in the area that’s grown into so much of a mini-business district, he says it ought to be nicknamed “Hinds Junction” (after the nearest crossstreet). Once Sebastiano’s is open, hours are likely to be Wednesdays-Thursdays 2-8 pm, Fridays-Saturdays 3-9 pm, Sundays noon-6, closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

BIZNOTE: New local bubbly for holiday celebrations

(Photo courtesy Viscon Cellars)

Drink local! New in time for Christmas dinner and New Year’s toasts, West Seattle’s Viscon Cellars (WSB sponsor) has debuted a sparkling wine. Winemaker Ben Viscon says it’s their first-ever sparkling wine. You can read about it here. It’s available through the Viscon Cellars tasting room/wine bar, which is open 5-9 pm today and 1-6 pm tomorrow (Saturday, December 23rd), 5-9 pm next Thursday and Friday (December 28-29) and 1-6 pm next Saturday (December 30), at 5910 California SW.

BIZNOTE: Café Osita getting ready to reopen

(Reader photo sent by Caitlin)

Fans of Café Osita (7349 35th SW) – closed since the pandemic’s peak – have noticed in recent days that the paper has come off the windows and the coffee shop/eatery appeared ready to reopen. We’ve been going by often in an attempt to catch up with the proprietors, and finally were able to talk to them a short time ago. Yes, it’s indeed reopening under original ownership; they’re not sure exactly when, maybe a week or two, but they’re close. And they have plans to expand into the space next door, too, by taking down a wall – the current space will then become the kitchen. The shop had been open more than a decade before the shutdown.

BIZNOTES: Three bites of food/drink news

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.

FRIDAY: First-ever Wine & Chocolate Walk in ‘lower Junction’

November 30, 2023 3:36 pm
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 |   Holidays | West Seattle news | WS beverages

The West Seattle Junction Association-presented Wine Walks have been a huge success – and now WSJA is expanding the concept. Tomorrow (Friday, December 1, 5-8 pm) brings the first Wine & Chocolate Walk event, happening in the “lower Junction” area, and we’re told tickets remain!

$20 gets you eight tastings of wine and/or chocolate. Under-21 participants are welcome too (no wine for them, though). Online ticket sales are over but tickets will be available at the check-in location, Bohemian Studios (Fauntleroy/Edmunds) – the official event page lists not only the participating wine and chocolate providers, but also the nearby “lower Junction” businesses where you’ll find them. This is the first event of this year’s Hometown Holidays festivities!