West Seattle, Washington
Thanks to Eric for the tip. Till Dawn is soft-opening today at 5048 California SW, but note that it’s a very soft open – mostly for coffee (Boon Boona), no food or games yet. But at least it’s an opportunity to see inside what its founders intend to be a “super-nerd bar”:
Once Till Dawn is up to full speed, its regular hours will be 8 am-10 pm Tuesdays-Sundays. (We first reported on this plan for the former vehicle-licensing space last October.)
Tonight, you might want to visit Bin 41 at 4707 California SW during this month’s West Seattle Art Walk. Not only is proprietor T. Frick the featured artist, she’s just made a big announcement: After 12 years, she’s closing her wine shop. Sunday, August 28th, will be the last day. In the meantime, she’s having a sale, and also mentioned to us in a brief phone conversation that if you have a gift certificate for Bin 41, now’s the time to use it. Store fixtures will be available too. For now, the shop remains open its regular hours, 1-6 pm Thursdays (open until 8 tonight for Art Walk) and Fridays, noon-5 pm Saturdays and Sundays. Providing inventory isn’t sold out sooner, the shop will be open daily its last week (starting August 22nd), 1 pm-6 pm Monday-Friday, noon-5 pm Saturday and Sunday. Any late-breaking changes, Frick says, will be announced via social media.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE SPACE: Before Bin 41, the space held children’s-clothing store Georgia Blu for 2 1/2 years. We noted here last year that the building was purchased last August by owners associated with the Maharaja restaurant/bar, who also had purchased the building a few doors south that formerly held Taqueria Guaymas. We spoke briefly today with Sam Virk from the ownership group; he said he hasn’t started seeking a new tenant yet, but said there are no plans to redevelop the building. (We also asked Virk about the status of the ex-Guaymas space, where a new restaurant, Indochin Wok, is planned. He told us they had more work to do inside the space than expected, but it’s still on the way.)
The texter who sent that photo is one of several who pointed out the new signage at 5048 California SW, the former vehicle-licensing office. As we first reported last October, it’ll be the home of Till Dawn. In February, we got a few more details from co-proprietor Andrew Spence (who’s also a co-founder of South Delridge’s 2 Fingers Social) – who described Till Dawn as a “super-nerd bar,” for “beer nerds, coffee nerds, gaming nerds.” We checked in with him today; he says they’re ready to go, just waiting on inspections. And yes, he confirmed that as the window signage suggests, Boon Boona Coffee will be their roaster.
Rock fans of all ages were at Easy Street Records tonight for an in-store double bill with Lite Sleeper and Panic Grass. The occasion – the launch of The Bar Is Open hazy IPA, a collaboration between Easy Street (which, you probably know, recently added a bar) and Best of Hands Barrelhouse. We caught part of the show by Lite Sleeper, whose members include a luminary in West Seattle’s music-business scene, Frank Gross of Thunder Road Guitars (WSB sponsor).
This band has a launch of its own this summer – its debut EP.
This was Lite Sleeper’s second show. As for the new IPA – it’s the house IPA at Easy Street, and available at Best of Hands (35th/Webster) in cans and “limited draft.”
MA’ONO: Though its website says the West Seattle fried-chicken-and-more restaurant is “temporarily closed,” tipsters told us it was permanently closed, and we’ve been trying for a week to reach its owners to confirm that. Yesterday we caught up with Mark Fuller at his new project, the Admiral Benbow revival, and he declined comment on Ma’ono’s status. However, Seattle Met is quoting him as confirming he has closed and sold the West Seattle Ma’ono. The restaurant at 4437 California SW was first opened by Fuller and wife Marjorie Chang Fuller as Spring Hill in 2008, and they morphed it into Ma’ono in 2012.
WEST OF CHICAGO: Shawn Millard was hoping to open the new sit-down home of his deep-dish pizza at 3770 SW Alaska this week, but we went over to check and learned they’re coping with a few last-minute equipment problems, so they won’t be able to open sooner than next week. West of Chicago Pizza Company formerly served its signature pizzas out of a Delridge commissary kitchen; we first reported in October that he was taking over the former Chaco Canyon Organic Café space in The Triangle.
BEST OF HANDS X EASY STREET: Beer and music collaboration for these two – starting today, Best of Hands Barrelhouse has rolled out three new hazy IPAs in cans and on draft. One of them is the Easy Street Records “house IPA,” The Bar Is Open! To celebrate, a release party is planned at Easy Street (California/Alaska) this Saturday (July 9th) at 6 pm – with live music from local bands Panic Grass and Lite Sleeper (which, Best of Hands’ announcement points out, features Frank Gross of Thunder Road Guitars [WSB sponsor]).
Answer: A bar/restaurant called Camp West.
We connected today with a member of the ownership team, Patrick Haight, who tells us he and his partners have plenty of local ties. More on them all in a moment. First, what will Camp West be? His explanation:
Camp West will be 21+ and a Camping’esque theme inside. We will have a full bar with a wide range of spirits and signature cocktails with fun Camping names like “The one-eyed Squirrel,” “The rabid Raccoon,” “Snorting Elk,” and “The Airstream Cooler.” The food menu is still in development and will not be of one particular genre. The menu will offer a range of items to choose from that don’t all fit into one particular category. We are conscious of the neighborhood’s establishments and hope to offer items you won’t necessarily see in the Junction. We are lucky to be working from a full kitchen to give us that flexibility, unlike our location in Tacoma, and able to creatively offer our guests some fun items and experiences. We will be bringing our signature S’mores to this location, where you can roast your own s’mores at the table and a myriad of chocolate options to choose from to smoosh that Sammich together.
“Our location in Tacoma” is The Camp Bar, which Haight opened in 2017 along with Nuri Aydinel, another Camp West co-owner. Aydinel also is co-owner/co-founder of Kizuki Ramen and Izakaya in The Junction and 18 other locations (around Puget Sound and in Chicago). Haight has “been in and out of West Seattle for the past 50+ years” – his mom grew up here and he has a house here though he lives in the South Sound. His hospitality background includes being the GM for Tini Bigs/Hula Hula/Watertown at the bottom of Queen Anne for 17 years, being part-owner of a club in the early ’90s called the “Weathered Wall” near the Westin Hotel, and working as Food and Beverage Manager for Snoqualmie Casino until 2015 after opening it in 2008. He is the co-author of a cocktail book called “Tini Bigs, Big Martinis” and an award-winning cocktail creator.
As for the West 5 ties, another Camp West co-owner, Toni UY, was its general manager for 15 years, Haight says she “left West 5 to pursue other opportunities outside of the food and beverage industry and realized she missed the daily interaction with her customers and fellow merchants in the neighborhood. She will be the GM and part-owner of the restaurant and will carry the reputation she has had for 15 years doing business in the Junction, where she has cultivated many relationships and friendships.”
We asked Haight what kind of changes they’d be making to the space. He says, “The general layout will be similar to its former occupant, but we will have more booth seating vs stand-up tables. We absolutely love the bar that already exists and plan on keeping it with some slight design modifications to fit our camping theme, since it’s a focal part of this beautiful space. Inside will have a refined NW camping experience, from hanging hammocks, tent-style barriers, etc., to sage-colored walls that are organic and calming, some greenery to make you feel less inside and more outside.”
The big question – when do they hope to open? “We are planning on a tentative opening date in September. With supply issues on some equipment and fixtures, and the dozens of other items that need to be made, and ordered, and delivery of such items will dictate if we are close or not to opening. We also plan on holding a series of walk-in hiring days, a few weeks before we open, so we can begin to build our family of Camp Counselors.”
Viscon Cellars (WSB sponsor) is pouring in a just-for-tonight satellite location right now – Capers, one of the stops on the spring West Seattle Junction Wine Walk. This time 15 wineries and 14 businesses are participating, but if you don’t already have tickets, you’re out of luck this time – it’s been sold out for weeks.
P.S. The Junction will be hopping Saturday, too – it’s part of the One Seattle Day of Service, with more than 200 volunteers signed up to help in a mega-cleanup, according to Junction Association executive director Chris Mackay.
Advance alert if you haven’t already seen them on the calendar – three dine-out benefits are happening tomorrow (Tuesday, May 17th), involving five food/drink establishments:
BEBOP WAFFLE SHOP, CIRCA, MISSION CANTINA: These three Admiral District establishments are supporting the West Seattle High School Class of 2024 “Dine-Out Day” fundraiser tomorrow. Bebop is at 2600 California SW and open 7 am-3 pm; Circa is at 2605 California SW and open 9 am-10 pm; Mission Cantina is at 2325 California and open 4-10 pm.
That’s a look inside Otter on the Rocks (4210 SW Admiral Way), where the remodeling is complete and the new cocktail bar’s doors are about to open. We first reported last July about the plan for the ex-Parliament Tavern space, and now it’s about to open. When we asked proprietor Tanner Jitmongkonkul about the status, he replied with the news that “We will be hosting our grand opening on this coming Friday 3/11/2022 with craft cocktails and house flatbreads.” He told us in July that the cocktails will feature “a lot of house infusions and house syrups”; the flatbreads will be “a much lighter version of pizza with a lot more room for interesting ingredients.”
He says it’s both exciting and nerve-wracking to be on the verge of opening: “We are currently training employees and making small adjustments to our menus.” Hours for starters will be 4 pm-midnight Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, 4 pm-2 am Friday and Saturday, closed on Tuesday. He’s hoping eventually to open earlier on weekends. Events are in the works, too.
Jitmongkonkul, who you might know from bartending at Itto’s Tapas and/or his dessert business Sticky Treats & Sweets, adds, “We are extremely excited to be a part of the Admiral Junction community and hope to be a positive addition to the neighborhood. We hope to see everyone out and about in these coming weeks!”
Most Fridays, West Seattle Liquor and Wine (4714 42nd SW; WSB sponsor) invites you to visit for tastings, 4-6 pm. This Friday (March 4th), they’re having a special tasting for wine lovers – Cabernet Sauvignon. Along with wine from our state, WSLW is also planning to feature Cabernets from California, Italy, Spain, and France this Friday. If you haven’t been to the shop yet, it’s on the outer west side of Jefferson Square, next to Nikko Teriyaki.
On Sunday, February 27th, Alki Beach Pub will be closing for a couple months for upgrades and renovations. We appreciate the continued support and look forward to welcoming everyone back late spring/early summer to our reimagined space! Much Love, Alki!
The temporary closure means that the west end of the beach business district will be a bit lonely for a while – east to west, the former Alki Cleaners space is still vacant, the No-Name Diner just closed (but has a “new concept” on the way), and the former Top Pot Doughnuts and the space next to it are still up for lease, as is the former J&J Public House space.
(Photo by Kara Wallace)
Seattle-born and West Seattle resident Tyler Meurk will open Current Coffee this Wednesday, February 23rd.
Featuring beloved WA roasters and introducing specialty coffee farmers from around the world, as well as selling natural wines and local beers, Current Coffee is a North Admiral destination for gathering with friends and neighbors. Tyler’s bond with Seattle’s coffee culture runs deep: For the last 14 years, he has worked as a barista, café manager, sales representative, and now owner/operator.
Tyler and his wife Katie (an entrepreneur who owns the local jewelry gallery Supply Chain) are committed to investing in West Seattle and delighting its residents through their businesses. In concepting Current Coffee, Tyler took inspiration from the movement of the waters that encircle West Seattle. Using “Current” is also a nod to discovering the rotation of seasonal coffees that Tyler will feature in his café. In keeping with the connection of community, Current Coffee features an immersive and captivating mural by West Seattle artist Jennifer Ament. Come by for a fresh pour!
Hours will be Wednesdays-Sundays 7 am-3 pm.
Thanks to Meagan for sending the tip that the Benbow Room‘s sign is up at 4210 SW Admiral Way. It’s been seven months since we broke the news that West Seattle restaurant/bar entrepreneur Mark Fuller (Ma’ono, Supreme, New Luck Toy) was taking over the space and reviving its historic identity. Besides the sign, the liquor-license application also suggests the Benbow is approaching opening time; we have an inquiry out to find out its status (and also who created the sign!).
Extra fun tonight at 2 Fingers Social in South Delridge – gaming consoles are set up as part of a ‘takeover” night to raise money to help Till Dawn south of The Junction get open. When we first reported in October on Till Dawn coming to the former licensing-agency space at 5048 California SW, we didn’t have much info, but now we do.
Here’s what the two venues have in common: Andrew Spence as co-proprietor (different business partners, though, for each one). We talked with him at 2 Fingers Social tonight. Till Dawn will be a “super-nerd bar,” for “beer nerds, coffee nerds, gaming nerds.” High-end coffee and 75 bottled/canned beers from all over the world. International will be part of the flavor, in the “cyberpunk/’Blade Runner'” fusion sense, Spence says. That will include packaged snacks from Japanese rice candy to American junk food (chips, soda). The interior of Till Dawn is built out – Spence has been working on it for months – so tonight is to get them to the finish line with expenses from stocking to permitting.
Till Dawn, by the way, Spence says, is named for that time when gamers realize they’ve been up too long playing. The café hours won’t go that late – not finalized yet but maybe 8 am-10 pm-ish at the start. All ages. Same as for tonight’s event, until 11 at 2 Fingers Social (9211 Delridge Way SW), besides “gaming, drinking, and mingling,” you can get in on raffles and “free” beer from Future Primitive in nearby White Center for donors. (P.S. 2FS has outdoor seating as well as indoor.)
Gary Potter (proprietor of longtime WSB sponsor Potter Construction) sent the photo, suggesting West 5 fans might need a reminder that the Junction restaurant/bar is about to close after 19 years. As reported here on January 31st, tomorrow (Saturday, February 12) is its last announced day/night. In the photo, from earlier this week, is, L-R, Gary with West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s board president Dawn Leverett, West 5 co-founder Dave Montoure, Josh Sutton from the Greater Seattle YMCA, and Todd Carden of Elliott Bay Brewing. If you’re planning to visit before it closes, hours are 11 am-10 pm.
A coffee stand opens next Friday at 35th/Barton. And this little stand has a big backstory.
In the photo is Melanie Robbins, a West Seattle resident who is opening Animated Café in the Tony’s Market lot on the northeast corner of the intersection. She wants other young people to know you can chart your own path. She dropped out of high school just before the pandemic and went into training to be a barista (eventually getting her GED). Instead of going to work for somebody else’s coffee shop, she’s launching her own. She says a year and a half of online studies inspired many of her peers to “carve their own path in the world” too. In email before we spoke by phone, she wrote:
…I’ve watched nearly every one of my friends pursue an alternative lifestyle in order to feel less stuck in a world that seems to have forgotten about them. That means getting a job and fast-tracking their adult lives. The world that has historically valued school as the primary way of learning, and that has been disrupted. We are inspired by social media, do our research on Google, and learn how to make things on YouTube. School was day care for most kids prior to COVID. It turned into a joke during the pandemic instead of being the educational resource it is promised to be
I dropped out of high school 4 months before the pandemic started. Counter to social norms and expectations I felt extremely fortunate because this gave me a massive head start. While getting my GED I joined a program called Fare Start which taught me how to be a barista. At 16, when the pandemic started, I already had my high school equivalency, a job, and was enrolling in college all while my peers were facing the harsh reality of loneliness, fear, & a complete loss of structure. For the first time I felt like an outsider looking in. I had a clear mission, “Save as much money as possible, start a business, and take control of my life.” This seemed different from everyone else I knew at school, but I hope I can be a model for this generation of high-school students who feel stuck in time.
While in lockdown I fortified my love for everything animated. Disney+ just came out, and Hulu and Netflix had a deep library of anime. I always loved this genre of entertainment, and its popularity seemed to spike during the pandemic since people have been stuck at home looking for new shows to watch and mangas to read. 2 years later I have put every dime I earned toward that goal of taking control of my life in a world that seems so out of control. On February 4th Animated Cafe will become a reality, and I think more people my age should do the same thing versus waiting for the world to care.
She has advice for other would-be entrepreneurs, too, and it’s all on the Animated Café website. Starting next Friday, she invites you to come see what her hard work and planning has created. The “animated” theme will feature the proprietor serving guests as “Ana,” a costumed (“family-friendly”) character. “It’s going to be fun!” she promises. She’s planning to serve Dillano’s Coffee and pastries and sandwiches from Seattle’s Favorite. Animated Café will be drive-up, ride-up, or walk-up, 5 am to 5 pm for starters, until she sees what makes sense with the customer flow.
“I didn’t want to lose my business … I could not imagine closing.”
That’s why Jennifer West is going to drastic lengths, including seeking crowdfunding, to keep her independent drive-up/ride-up West Bay Coffee and Smoothies in business after weather damage threatened to end its 14-year run at 2255 Harbor Avenue SW.
The stand shares water service with the larger commercial building on the site. Pipes broke during the recent ultra-cold weather, West says, flooding the larger building. She says the property manager proposed just cutting off service, which would force her to move. Or, she could fix the lines affecting the stand, at her own expense. She also has no access to a restroom or storage in the main building. So she’s paid for the plumbing to her stand, a new porta-potty just delivered yesterday, and is working on a new storage shed.
All that costs money, so she launched a GoFundMe crowdfunding page this week. “It’s been a nightmare but we’re working through the logistics to try to remain open,” West tells WSB. As the synopsis on the crowdfunding page says, she’s already gone through a lot, as have so many businesses – “We’ve been through covid exposures, weathered ongoing supply-chain issues and enormous supply price hikes, while trying to keep everyone safe” – she can’t bear to throw in the towel now.
Today we’re welcoming a new WSB sponsor, West Seattle Liquor and Wine (4714 42nd SW). New sponsors get an opportunity to tell you about what they do, so here’s what WSLW wants you to know:
Using the adjective “premier” only begins to describe the recently re-opened West Seattle Liquor and Wine store on the outer west side of Jefferson Square on 42nd Ave SW. This is not your average liquor store – the slogan is Unique and Uncommonly Found Wine and Spirits.
West Seattle Liquor and Wine’s inventory includes unusual and rare spirits. “We have things you won’t find anywhere else in West Seattle: bourbons, scotches, tequila,” store manager Dolly Amend says, “including all the local Seattle area bourbons.” Continuing, Dolly says, “Our goal, which I believe we have achieved, is to have the best selection of scotch, bourbons, gins, liqueurs, tequilas, and vodkas anywhere in the state.”
Furthermore: “The store’s scotch section is absolutely the best in the city, if not the state,” says Dolly. “You might never have found our single malts, for example, in Seattle before, such as Laddie Classic, Ledaig, Tobermory, to name a few.”
West Seattle Liquor and Wine also offers an extensive tequila section, which aficionados call “fantastic mezcals,” and a selection of liqueurs from all over the world: Italian Amari, pastis from France, Cynar, every possible fruit liqueur. And dozens of made-in-Washington labels are in stock.
The store does not skimp on their wine selections. The store offers a broad selection of wines from around the world. Unique selections not found in any grocery stores.
Its merchandise also includes martini shakers, and just about every tool and ingredient for making cocktails – including tipsy cherries, cocktail onions, many bitters, even a special salt to rim your Margaritas. The list of complementary merchandise includes ginger beer, soda, tonics, and many different vermouths.
Visit the store during its TASTING TIME, which is held each Friday from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm and Saturday from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The store’s tasting selections include varieties of bourbons, whiskey, rums, gins, vodka, tequila, liqueurs, and more.
“Grocery stores wouldn’t have room to carry the 3,000-plus brands and sizes of liquor we have now,” Dolly says, also pointing out that West Seattle Liquor and Wine has a “huge and wonderful selection of wine.”
West Seattle Liquor and Wine is located on 42nd just south of Alaska in The Junction, open 10 am-7 pm Mondays-Saturdays, 11 am-6 pm Sundays. You’ll also find the store at its website, WSLW-LLC.com (under construction), on Facebook and on Google. By phone: 206-923-5472.
We thank West Seattle Liquor and Wine for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
Thanks for the tips about an ownership change at Alki Beach Pub (2722 Alki SW). We had noticed a liquor-license application recently, and that led us to the new owners, West Seattle residents Jackie Mallahan and Dan Mallahan. Reached by email, Jackie confirms they took ownership this past Friday: “We are currently waiting for our liquor license to transfer and hope to be open for operations early this coming week! As of now, we are not planning to change the name or hours of operation. However, we are excited to announce a partnership with Geof Redd of Bigfoot Long’s, the elusive Sasquatch-themed hot-dog pop-up. “Bigfoot Long’s West Seattle Sabbatical” will be with us through the winter.”
Nine days ago, we brought you first word of the new identity of West Seattle Bowl‘s Highstrike Grill – Three 9 Lounge. Since then, we’ve stopped by for a look inside, as they finished the furnishings and decor, down to the glassware.
From the pineapple hanging lamps to the tinted windows, WS Bowl manager Jeff Swanson told us they’re going for a “warm” vibe.
With high-tech touches – USB jacks under the bar, next to the purse hooks.
They’ll have seven signature cocktails, and plan to offer 35 different rums from all over the world. As for the food, they’re continuing to serve classic American fare in the bowling alley, while Three 9 will offer island-style bites – from malasadas to lumpia to skewers. (You can see the menus on the website, just launched today.) It’ll seat 50, including huge padded corner booths on each end.
Three 9 opens Thursday (October 28th) and will be open 4 pm to midnight, 7 nights a week. 21+
Thanks for the tips/pics! What had been the Highstrike Grill at West Seattle Bowl since 2010 is getting a new identity – a “tiki bar” called the Three 9 Lounge (it’s on the corner of 39th and Oregon). Last summer, a reader noticed the space was closed for remodeling, and management told us they were planning a “new concept” but not ready to go public with it. Now, the sign’s up, and the plan is for an October 28th opening.
Before its decade-plus as Highstrike Grill, the space held the Terrace West Chinese Restaurant.
Many have asked – and now we have the answer: West Seattle Liquor and Wine will open its doors at 4714 42nd SW (lower west side of Jefferson Square) this Saturday (October 9th). The news is from manager Dolly Amend, who also ran the store in its previous incarnation as Capco Beverages. That store’s original owner closed it after leasing the previous space (at 41st and Alaska) to Swedish; new owners bought the business and leased the new space to reopen it. “We have a great selection of spirits and wine,” promises the manager. She says the first weekend’s hours will be 10 am-7 pm Saturday and 11 am-6 pm Sunday.
West Seattle entrepreneur Jess Selander says her brand of wine, Jøyus, is “the first premium alcohol-removed brand that not only tastes as amazing as alcoholic wine, it’s actually made by a non-drinker.” She says it’s a fulfillment of her dream “to make a non-alcoholic wine that tastes like wine and to change how we think about drinking.” This month is “Sober October,” so she is getting the word out about Jøyus, which has two varieties on the market – sparkling white wine and sparkling rosé, both available at Wildwood Market in Fauntleroy (9214 45th SW) and online at drinkjoyus.com. Selander says she first started pursuing this dream five years ago, but stalled because “the technology and processes were not great.” During the pandemic, she decided to give it another try. Though she and her business are based here, the wine is made in California: “The process starts with alcoholic wine, then the alcohol is gently removed, all while preserving the delicate flavors of the wine.” Jøyus wines are on the dry side, she adds, and that means low-calorie – 90 calories in an entire bottle. She has one more dream: “I’m not setting out to be the only premium non-alcoholic winery whose products actually taste like wine. I’m doing this to normalize non-drinking culturally. I dream of the day I can walk into any grocery store and pick up a couple of different bottles of great tasting non-alcoholic wines. I want to go to a party and find there’s already a bottle of non-alcoholic wine there. And that means people need variety.” (She’s working on getting Jøyus into a variety of additional retail outlets, too.)