West Seattle, Washington
When we previewed the Taste of West Seattle last week – a weeklong dine-out benefit for the West Seattle Food Bank‘s work to end hunger and prevent homelessness – 20 food/drink businesses were in, Now, with The Taste starting tomorrow, the list is up to 27!
Best of Hands Barrelhouse
Harry’s Beach House
No Name Diner Alki
Nos Nos Coffee House
Ounces Taproom & Beer Garden
Pecos Pit Bar-B-Que
Pot Pie Factory, Inc.
Soprano’s Antico Pizza and Pasta
The Good Society Brewery & Public House
West Seattle Cellars
West Seattle Grounds
During Taste of West Seattle week – Monday, September 20th through Sunday, September 26th – participating establishments will either “donate a percent of sales from a special ‘Taste Menu’ created by the restaurant, or a percentage of sales.” Also, remember that there’s potentially more in it for you than the knowledge you’re getting good food/beverages and doing a good deed – note that this is an update since our last preview:
All participating restaurants will be listed on a restaurant “passport.” The more stamps/ signatures someone gets on their card by ordering from participating restaurants, the more times they are entered into the drawing. Each stamp = 1 drawing entry. We will select 5 winners for a $100 gift card to a West Seattle Restaurant or Whole Foods. Customers will need to mail/drop off their passport to the WSFB by October 3rd to be entered into the drawing.
Pick up your “Taste Passport” at a participating restaurants, at the West Seattle Food Bank, or email your address to firstname.lastname@example.org to have one mailed to you.
Again, this all starts tomorrow. (WSB is a Taste of West Seattle community co-sponsor.)
Surprise! We’re open at 5 pm tonight and serving food till 10. Bar’s open till midnight. Due to nationwide staffing shortages we’re not offering takeout or to-go at this time in order to help protect our staff from takeout burnout. (It’s a thing) So in-person dining only. New hours are 5-10 for food, bar till midnight. Wednesday-Saturday.
New Luck Toy is at 5905 California SW. It’s been closed for 10 months.
We’re now less than a week away from the Taste of West Seattle, which again this year is happening as a weeklong dine-out benefit for the West Seattle Food Bank‘s work in fighting hunger and preventing homelessness. Here’s the list, so far, of local food/drink businesses planning to be part of it:
Best of Hands Barrelhouse
Harry’s Beach House
No Name Diner Alki
Nos Nos Coffee House
Pecos Pit Bar-B-Que
Pot Pie Factory, Inc.
The Good Society Brewery & Public House
West Seattle Cellars
West Seattle Grounds
During the Taste of West Seattle week – Monday, September 20th through Sunday, September 26th – participating establishments will either “donate a percent of sales from a special ‘Taste Menu’ created by the restaurant, or a percentage of sales.” More venue-by-venue info as we get closer! Also, the WSFB notes:
● Stamp card: All participating restaurants will be listed on a restaurant “passport”. The more stamps/ signatures someone gets on their card by ordering from participating restaurants, the more times they are entered into the drawing. Each stamp = 1 drawing entry.
We will select 3 winners for a $100 gift card to a West Seattle Restaurant.
Customers will need to mail/drop off their passport to the WSFB by October 1st to be entered into the drawing.
Pick up your “Taste Passport” at a participating restaurant, at the West Seattle Food Bank, or email your address to email@example.com to have one mailed to you.
Again, this all starts next Monday. (WSB is a Taste of West Seattle community co-sponsor.)
A few people have asked for an update on West Seattle Liquor and Wine, the former Capco Beverages store reopening with a new owner and new location. State Liquor and Cannabis Board records show the store’s been licensed as of last month. So we checked in with Dolly Amend, who managed the store at its previous location and will do so here too. She says they’re not locked in on a date yet but hoping it’ll be in two weeks or so. The store closed in its old location seven months ago; that space has since become West Seattle’s main Swedish clinic site. The new store location, 4714 42nd SW, is on the outer west side of Jefferson Square, by Nikko Teriyaki.
With many more sunny days likely before fall and winter roll in, one local coffeehouse has again expanded its outdoor offerings, C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor) added a covered patio on the north side of its property last winter, and now it’s turned a previously sloped area out front into a bricked patio. Add that to the garden area out back, and C & P has a lot of outdoor space to offer. Also note, as featured in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and our weekend previews, C & P has live music outside on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons.
When we reported Friday on the plan to revive the Admiral Benbow, we noted we’d happened onto that news while at 4210 SW Admiral Way researching something else. Now we have those details too. A liquor-license application was filed this week for the former Parliament Tavern space. The name on the application is one we recognized from past correspondence – Tanner Jitmongkonkul, whose business Sticky Treats & Sweets we’d spotlighted a few times when it had pop-ups at Itto’s Tapas.
He’s an Itto’s bartender and West Seattle resident who, with partner Erin, is working to convert the Admiral Way space into a cocktail bar called Otter on the Rocks. In our email exchange, here’s how he explains it:
We are so excited to bring a cocktail bar with a new concept to West Seattle. The focus will be properly prepared classics as well as signature cocktails. We will be doing a lot of house infusions and house syrups. As opposed to cocktail bars with a romantic setting, we are trying to introduce a much-more casual and approachable vibe, especially for those who are not familiar with cocktails. We like date nights, but we want Otter on the Rocks to be become a friends-gathering sort of space. We will be looking at some open mics, lots of themed nights, and some live music that fits the space. As far as food, we will be serving a rotating selection of “flatbreads” – a much lighter version of pizza with a lot more room for interesting ingredients. We are working with some local chefs to get this dialed in.
No timeline yet – Jitmongkonkul explains, “The permitting process through the City of Seattle has been extremely slow but we are trying to be very patient. We do have a long list of tasks to complete in order to bring this space up to city code so please be patient with us.” The Parliament opened in the space in 2015; occupants before that included Vidiot and Shipwreck Tavern.
As they say, what was old is new again. Above is a photo we took this morning of the nautically themed Benbow Room, in the back of the west side of the building at 4210 SW Admiral Way, once upon a time the legendary Admiral Benbow Inn, more recently the Heartland Café, then the Admiral Benbow again, followed by Vidiot (which closed in late 2019). Now, it appears the Benbow name will be back. We went to the building to research a new plan for the ex-Parliament Tavern next door (more on that to come) and discovered something else – we found West Seattle restaurant/bar entrepreneur Mark Fuller, who told us he’s taking over the Benbow space and bringing it back under that name. It needs lots of work, he told us, so this will likely take months – not just the work, but getting the permits. Fuller’s other enterprises include Ma’ono, Supreme, and (reopening soon) New Luck Toy.
Starting tonight, The Alley (behind 4509 California SW) has four nights of live music to celebrate its third anniversary. If you haven’t already seen it in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, here’s the announcement:
The Alley is celebrating our three-year anniversary with live music from July 29th through August 1st. The four-night anniversary event will feature local Seattle favorites with a different musician or group who will play each night from 8 pm to 10 pm. We encourage everyone to have fun and come dressed up in 1920s to 1940s speakeasy attire and enjoy a fun night of live music and prohibition cocktails!
Dates – July 29 through August 1
Time – 8 pm to 10 pm each night
Thursday, July 29 – Emma Caroline Baker
Friday, July 30 – Kimball and The Fugitives
Saturday, July 31 – Patrick Rifflin
Sunday, August 1 – The Triangular Jazztet
As noted here when The Alley opened in 2018, proprietor Jade Nguyen (center in the photo above) is the daughter of the longtime operators of Be’s Restaurant out front. (Be’s remains closed for remodeling.)
Almost three months after we reported that Sharetea was on the way to the ex-Baja Taco space at Jefferson Square (4740 42nd SW), they have soft-opened and are welcoming thirsty tea lovers. We stopped by a little while ago after a reader tip.
Sharetea has more than 300 stores worldwide, specializing in Boba Tea but offering much more. They tell us the plan for this “soft opening” week is noon-8 pm daily through Thursday, noon-9 pm Friday and Saturday, closed Sunday, and they’ll figure out what’s next after that.
Three notes about West Seattle businesses:
TAILS TO ASTONISH: The new comic-book shop at 4850 California SW is now open. We stopped by on Friday – the inventory is still coming in, so it was mostly collectibles to start:
The plan for starting hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays 11 am-7 pm, Sundays 10 am-4 pm, closed Mondays.
ALAIR: Starting Monday, the gift shop at 3270 California SW will close for in-person purchases for about two weeks while work is done to consolidate the space with the former Coastal next door. But Alair will remain available for online shopping throughout the storefront closure – offering curbside pickup, free local delivery, and shipping options.
WEST SEATTLE LIQUOR: The former Capco Beverages, under new ownership, continues preparing to move into a new space on the outer west side of Jefferson Square (by Nikko Teriyaki). Dolly Amend, who will continue as store manager, sent the photo:
She says they’re aiming for a mid-July opening, adding, “We are still going to be the specialty spirits and wine outlet.”
You’ve got two hours until sunset … and almost two hours left with Thunder Road Guitars (WSB sponsor) in the house at Best of Hands Barrelhouse (35th/Webster), for the launch of No Surrender, a new brew with proceeds benefiting organizations working to save live-music venues. Outside, adjacent to the Best of Hands patio, visit the TRG table for $5 raffle tickets to turn up the volume on the cause – you could win a swag bag with a pint glass, gift card, and more. And if you haven’t had dinner yet, the Taqueria La Original truck is there too:
What about the beer, you ask? BoH describes it: “NO SURRENDER HAZY IPA features a boatload of STRATA & SABRO hops on a generous, pillowy body. Combining our mutual love for The Boss & for live music, this beer’s name is a nod to the Bruce Springsteen song of the same name. Our mission is to help the struggling independent music venues of WA state, devastated like so many industries by the pandemic.We need the arts and music more than ever. We will see them resurrected. As the song says, ‘no retreat, baby, no surrender’.” The festivities are on until 9 pm.
If you’ve been to Alki in recent weeks, you’ve probably noticed the remodeling at 2532 Alki SW, which has had multiple incarnations (including a bike shop and a PPE seller) since longtime tenant Coastal Surf Boutique moved out. The space is opening Sunday (June 20th) as Natalie’s on Alki, an expansion of Natalie’s Sugar Cane and Desserts in Tukwila. Same menu, the Natalie’s team tells us (see it here) – sugar-cane-juice beverages, milk tea, smoothies, desserts, and Vietnamese street food. Hours will start at 10 am to 10 pm, seven days a week.
Some neighborhoods are getting city permits to close sections of business-district streets for summertime “café streets.” Not the West Seattle Junction, though. Not for lack of trying, says Lora Radford, executive director of the West Seattle Junction Association (who provided the photo above of a north Seattle street as inspiration). The idea has come up in discussions here on WSB and elsewhere, and WSJA was looking to close a small section of SW Alaska – the half-block east of California, to the service alley. Radford says, “The closure request was June 15 – October 15 with the plan to activate the space with picnic tables and umbrellas for outdoor seating. The SDOT planners and permit review team took a long and thoughtful approach to the plan, with the Junction fully appreciative of their ability to think outside of the box. In the end though, the impact across multiple departments was too disruptive.” A major obstacle in this case was Metro; the city told WSJA that among other things, “Closing this stretch would result in significant service delays and degrade reliability” – that half-block stretch of Alaska is used by routes that total 373 weekday trips. The decision only affects the proposal to actually close that part of SW Alaska; curbside/sidewalk extensions of food/beverage establishments elsewhere in The Junction will continue, and WSJA says a few more Junction establishments are considering those.
Four notes from West Seattle Junction food/beverage establishments:
MA’ONO: Thanks to Eric for the tip. Ma’ono in West Seattle is temporarily closed, reopening June 23rd.
CUPCAKE ROYALE: The Junction shop is closed for renovations, reopening Thursday.
AZUMA SUSHI: Reminder that – as reported here – they’re taking a break, reopening Monday, June 21st.
LADY JAYE: This Tuesday (June 15th), 4-8 pm, Lady Jaye (4523 California SW) plans a Pre-Father’s Day Wagyu Meat Market, including both Wagyu cuts for you to take home and cook and Wagyu cheeseburgers they’re grilling up for takeout. More info in our calendar listing.
Got a biznote – especially as the June 30th reopening date approaches? Email info to firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
One month after we reported that Molly’s Bottle Shop was expanding to West Seattle, it’s open at 3278 California SW. Sebastiano Tecchio, a West Seattle resident, is managing the new store, while namesake founder Molly Ringe focuses on the original Ballard location. Molly’s specializes in “natural wine.”
West Seattle hours are Wednesdays-Sundays, 2 pm-8 pm.
While in The Junction this morning to cover the vaccination pop-up, we saw this in the window at Be’s Restaurant (4509 California SW):
As the note on the right says, they’re overhauling the menu as well as the space at this Junction fixture. But there’s more to the sign on the left – not only is The Alley open in the space behind Be’s, it’s also hosting live music again. We’ve received an announcement from Jeff Ferguson on behalf of the Triangular Jazztet:
Live music returns to the Junction this Sunday at The Alley, where barmaster Cory is sure to delight and surprise with his custom designed cocktails (or just an old fashioned Old Fashioned). There will be two shows at 8 and 9 pm with no cover. Seating is limited and masks required while moving about the premises.
Meantime, we’ll be checking with the ownership about the timeline for reopening Be’s.
Though the banner says “We Are Open,” Caffe Fiore at 2206 California SW is closed – permanently. After tips (thank you!), we went over this morning to check, and found this note on the door:
To all of our loyal and supportive Caffe Fiore customers: It is with a very heavy heart that we are announcing our permanent closure here in West Seattle. We have had 10 amazing years here and want to thank you for all of your support and patronage. As much as we had hoped we could get this store through this very difficult time, the situation has just been too much for us to sustain financially and this coincides with the end of our lease here. Thank you again for your amazing support over the years and we encourage you to please come visit us at any Caffe Vita or Fiore in the Seattle area. Thank you again and we wish everyone all the best.
Another addition to the booming wine scene in West Seattle: If you have passed by 3278 California SW, you might have noticed the small liquor-license-application notice in the window of one of those new live-work units. It is for Molly’s Bottle Shop, a Ballard wine shop that’s adding a West Seattle location. Molly’s specializes in “natural wine.” Proprietor Molly Ringe tells WSB, “We are so excited! Our goal is be open in May – we are waiting for Liquor Control Board approval. The store will be run by a West Seattle local named Sebastiano Tecchio.”
Three biznotes today:
ALAIR SUBSCRIPTION BOXES: Subscription boxes are not just for food! Alair Gift Shop proprietor Shandon Graybeal sends word that “we are launching subscription boxes – this is a project that’s been two years in the making to get the boxes right, figure out how to keep it organized and personalized, and have it make sense with shipping and all the other costs. I’m so proud with the end result, even if it took way longer than we expected. There’s 3 different themes as of today, but I’m sure we’ll add more as we learn. And people can choose monthly or quarterly to receive with an easy cancellation whenever they are ready. We wanted to get them out in time for Mother’s Day, and I think they make the perfect gift (of course I do). There’s also a one-time option – no need to sign up for anything long term.” You can check out the options online here.
YOUNG’S RESTAURANT: Good news for fans of the longtime South Delridge restaurant (9413 16th SW) – Janice Young sent word that they’re now open for dine-in and take-out. Hours are 8 am-3 pm Tuesdays through Sundays, closed on Mondays. Here’s the menu.
KICKDOWN CAFE: Proprietor Naomi Rivera says her café inside Nepenthe (9447 35th SW) has an event coming up next week:
The Kickdown is just a small café inside Nepenthe. We serve beverages and light eats at no cost. We gladly take donations. Back by popular demand — Pancake 420! Since we can’t sit in a circle and puff, let’s eat circles and stuff. The Kickdown will be open April 20, 11-5, to help you celebrate the holiday. We will be kicking down tasty cakes. If you have food restrictions message us ahead of time and maybe we can do something for you. Our usual snacks will be available as well. WE WANT TO FEED YOU AND YOUR MUNCHIES. We have outdoor seating. No cost to participate.
Got a biznote? Email us – email@example.com – thank you!
As the days get longer, so do the hours you can visit C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor). C & P is now open 7 am to 6 pm every day. Indoor seating has not reopened yet but C & P has lots of outdoor seating – the covered north-side addition opened over the winter, plus the front and back yards. Restroom access is available, too. Ordering continues via the back window (which has a covered waiting area).
Starbucks, like many coffee purveyors, has not yet resumed accepting personal cups. But for customers uneasy about all the resulting waste, they’ve just launched a pilot program called Borrow A Cup – testing it at five stores, four of them in West Seattle.
At a participating store, you can “borrow” one of these cups for your hot or cold beverage for a one-dollar deposit, which is refunded when you return the cup in one of two ways: Scanning and dropping it in a special box at a participating store, or having door-to-door recycler Ridwell pick it up if you’re a member. Either way, baristas don’t have to handle used cups – they’re collected, cleaned, sanitized, and returned to stores by a company called GO Box. Starbucks says the cups are USA-made “from a very lightweight polypropylene plastic … the same material used in our current cold cups and both our hot and cold cup lids, and is recyclable in Seattle.” Each cup is expected to get about 30 uses The pilot program is running through the end of May; participating stores are at California/ Fauntleroy, California/Alaska, Westwood Village, and Avalon/Fauntleroy. (the fifth is at 4th/Diagonal in SODO).
P.S. The “borrowable” cups are available for 12-, 16-, and 24-ounce drinks, but 31-ounce drinks are still only available in single-use cups.
Though the sign went up recently, Sharetea has had the former Jefferson Square Baja Taco site in its sights for almost a year. A reader first pointed out to us last May that the Sharetea website mentioned it; we tried contacting the company for comment, but got no reply, and saw no sign of activity at the site in subsequent months. But then came the signage. We finally reached someone associated with the new location today, and they told us they’re hoping to open in mid-May, pending permits, but are still finalizing other operational details such as hours/days. Sharetea – founded in Taiwan almost 30 years ago – specializes in Boba Tea, with more than 300 stores in 16 countries.
West Seattle’s wine scene continues to expand. Next up: The new Pine Lake Cellars tasting room at 5405 California SW [map] is almost ready to go. We contacted proprietor Rob McCall after a reader messaged us on Saturday that the tasting room appeared to have opened. He explained that was a low-key soft-open event, and they’re planning to do the same this Saturday, but they are not yet officially open. Once they are, the hours are likely to be 5-8 pm Thursdays, 4-8 pm Fridays, 1-7 pm Saturdays, and 1-5 pm Sundays. This is Pine Lake Cellars’ second West Seattle tasting room – they had a smaller one on Harbor Avenue several years ago. As you’ll notice in the photo, this one has outdoor space.