West Seattle, Washington
Back during the holiday season, BAKED in Admiral raised money for the West Seattle Food Bank by donating part of the proceeds from what turned out to be a very popular gingerbread-house kit. Now BAKED has two Valentine’s Day offers, with 10 percent going to Mary’s Place, a nonprofit that works to get families out of homelessness (with a White Center shelter among its locations): A DIY cupcake-decorating kit, or a cupcake/cookie combo (in partnership with Jenn’s Cookie Jar). You can order now – before they sell out – and choose pickup on either February 12th or February 13th. BAKED is at 2604 California SW.
We are sorry to announce that we will be closed January 22nd and 23rd (Friday and Saturday) in order to take all the correct precautions to keep our staff and community safe. We have been informed that our staff may have been exposed to the Coronavirus so we are making sure that all of our lovely staff gets negative tests back until we resume our regular takeout service. We encourage you to continue to stay the positive and wonderful customers that you are and enjoy all the wonderful January weather we are having!
Like many businesses, WSG has dealt with closures before, and its website has links for showing extra support to the shop and its employees.
Noticed today that the sign is up at the future Ross Dress For Less at Westwood Village, a year and a half after we first reported their plan for the former Barnes & Noble bookstore space (empty two years now). As the banner says, they’re currently hiring for the new store (search 98126 here and you’ll see the openings). We have a message out to a corporate spokesperson to see if they have an update on the opening timeframe.
Tomorrow, Kamala Harris makes history as America’s first female, first Black, first South Asian vice president. In honor of this historic Inauguration Day, Paper Boat Booksellers in Morgan Junction is giving away “Madam Vice President” wall calendars, with purchases, through tomorrow. We just heard about this from a customer who texted, and we subsequently confirmed with Paper Boat co-proprietor Desirae that they have about 20 left. Paper Boat is at 6040 California SW, open until 6 pm (and 11-6 tomorrow).
First offer of this kind that we’ve heard of since the West Seattle Junction Association‘s four parking lots switched from free to fee last Friday: fishing-and-outdoor-gear shop Emerald Water Anglers (4502 42nd SW; WSB sponsor) is offering to cover customers’ parking cost for the lot across the street: “Spend $25 while here and we will credit you back your $2 on your sale.” They’re open until 7 pm; like many independent local businesses, they offer online shopping too, so you don’t have to park at all.
ORIGINAL REPORT: Thanks to Dan for the tip: The newest food stand on Alki is TACOntainer, set up in the front yard of the former bike shop/mask shop/boutique space at 2532 Alki Avenue SW. The name is because of its shape – part of a shipping container. Here’s a closer look at the menu:
TACOntainer is open 11 am to 8 pm daily for starters.
P.S. This is not the only change on the way for that site – a permit for a deli called Natalie’s on Alki has been making its way through the city-permit system.
ADDED THURSDAY: We followed up with TACOntainer proprietor Victor via email. We asked about the structure; he explains, “The structure is an actual 10-foot shipping container that had 1 trip on an ocean cargo ship. It is not cut, but rather a rare container that comes in this particular size. Initially I wanted a larger container, but Seattle public health rules and regulations required me to put it on wheels and a smaller container made more sense, so I had to be inventive and make it all fit and work! I built it myself from the ground up in 2020.” As for how long he plans to be on Alki, at least a month in this spot, depending on how the unrelated future business in the building proceeds, but he lives nearby and hopes to find another Alki spot whenever a move is required. No website yet but there is an Instagram account he plans to eventually use, here.
We’re saddened to announce the permanent closure of our Alki café following notice from our Landlord ending our tenancy. We are grateful to our friends and customers who have supported our business during these most tenuous of times and are saddened to be leaving this wonderful community. Our guests have made coming to the beach every day a pleasure and we look forward to serving you on Alki until late January and seeing you in the brighter days, months and years to come at all of our other Top Pot cafes.
Top Pot is a locally based chain, founded on Capitol Hill almost 20 years ago. The other space in the building at 2758 Alki SW has gone through a variety of tenants in recent years, from sandwiches to sushi to gelato, but now has a construction sign in the window; the decade-old building has had a permit in the works for two years for, as described in city files, “a second-story, 2-unit apartment addition above an existing commercial building(; p)roject includes a portion of the existing building to be converted into a 1-car garage and 2-car garage addition.”
9:22 PM: Pay stations are going in tonight at the four West Seattle Junction Association-managed parking lots that move from free to fee at 12:01 am Friday. Other infrastructure was installed earlier this week:
And reminder notices were left on cars:
If you missed our previous coverage – the change comes after WSJA spent years trying to cover the sharply increasing cost of maintaining the free lots; though they don’t own the land, their lease requires the full property-tax cost to be passed through to WSJA, There’s no free period – $2 (plus tax) buys you from one minute to 2 hours – but remember that you have options: For example, if you’re just going on a quick run, many Junction businesses have curbside pickup spots, retailers (for online or phone orders) as well as restaurants. Some businesses have their own free parking for customers, too, from a handful of spaces behind California SW businesses, to garages in mixed-use buildings like Capco Plaza (42nd/Alaska) and The Whittaker (Fauntleroy/Alaska).
ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: The pay stations are in place:
You can also pay by phone.
Three biznotes about food:
LA RUSTICA VALENTINE’S DAY: First announcement we’ve received about Valentine’s Day – now only a month away. La Rustica (4100 Beach Drive SW) tells WSB, “La Rustica is now taking reservations for our outdoor, heated/covered patio for Valentine’s Day. Because space is limited, they will go fast. We are also taking a wait list for people to call should we move into Phase 2 of reopening and be allowed to seat customers inside.”
DICK’S TRUCK RETURNING: One month after drawing a crowd in The Junction, the Dick’s Drive-In burgers-and-shakes truck (no fries) is returning this Friday, 11 am-2 pm outside Easy Street Records (whose café DOES have fries).
MILKRUN: This Portland-founded “farm-to-table” food-delivery service wants you to know it’s now serving West Seattle. MilkRun offers weekly deliveries of produce, meat, and other products from regional growers/makers, as explained here.
(One year ago today, pre-pandemic: We Sweat’s grand-opening party with teen band Okay-ish)
The pandemic has posed challenges to so many small businesses. We Sweat West Seattle, the infrared-sauna salon that opened in The Admiral District one year ago today, faced an extra challenge – less than two months in business before the first round of restrictions forced it to temporarily close. “What a year to start a new business!” recalls proprietor Athena Frederick. “During the shutdown, we decided to become an infrared sauna dealer for Clearlight Jacuzzi (R)” in addition to offering on-site services. So they’re celebrating the anniversary with a variety of offers: “Any new client can book a sauna session for FREE today only. Follow this link and in the comments write ‘anniversary’.” If you can’t try We Sweat today, or are a returning client, here’s a deal for future bookings: “We are also having a one-day-only sale, with single/double saunas for $21 and our 3/4 person saunas for $31. Follow this link.” We Sweat is at 2705 California SW.
ORIGINAL REPORT: You can support a local school and a local business while simplifying dinner prep – all by getting in on this month’s benefit pickups at Dream Dinners-West Seattle (WSB sponsor). Until we’re further along in recovery phases, Dream Dinners is basically in “take and bake” mode – so if you sign up for one of two special meal-pickup times this week or next, you get dinner for three nights, $50 total, with $10 of that being donated to Denny International Middle School. Limited spots, and they request 36 hours’ lead time, so please order ASAP for 6:30-7:30 pm pickup this Wednesday (January 13th) – here’s the link – or by January 19th for a 6:30-7:30 pm January 21st pickup – here’s the link. Dream Dinners is at 4701 41st SW (lower east side of Jefferson Square).
ADDED TUESDAY: One more pickup time’s been added – Wednesday, January 27th, 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm – order via this link.
As of today, the new statewide “Healthy Washington” plan is in effect, and every area of the stqte starts off in Phase 1. Though some restrictions carry over – no indoor dining/drinking yet, for example – there’s some loosening for certain fitness, recreation, and entertainment businesses. A few local notes:
-Though the new guidelines allow bowling by private small-group rental too, West Seattle Bowl says it’s staying closed until Phase 2.
-Same with The Admiral Theater‘s parent company Far Away Entertainment – current plans are for closure until Phase 2.
-Some fitness facilities are reopening for allowable services, with time and capacity limits – West Seattle Health Club in North Delridge, for one, planned to reopen today.
“Healthy Washington” says progress will be evaluated by region, rather than by county, so King County is part of a region also including Pierce and Snohomish counties. The metrics for advancing to Phase 2 (see them here) involve improvement percentages rather than hitting specific numbers. The state says it’ll make weekly evaluations on Fridays, and any changes will take effect on subsequent Mondays.
A truly special delivery this afternoon at Providence Mount St. Vincent in West Seattle gave a boost to both health-care workers and local restaurateurs. At left in our photo are Suzanne Roberts and Lisa Riebe, West Seattle mental-health-care providers. They paid Admiral District restaurant Circa – whose co-proprietor Gretchen Evans is at center – to cook up 85 dinners for front-line workers at The Mount. The staff doesn’t dine on site, so the dinners were foil-wrapped and ready for them to take home after work. There to accept the special delivery were, at right, Colleen Farrell and Molly Swain from The Mount. Evans tells WSB that Roberts did this last spring, too, buying meals from Circa to deliver to Harborview Medical Center employees. She added that it’s hoped “this may inspire those who want to support restaurants and frontline workers by going to their favorite restaurant and offering to buy meals for those working on the front lines in some regard. It’s a double dose of donating. It’s been amazing!”
P.S. The Mount team told us their recent outbreak is under control, with no new cqses in their most recent testing, and vaccination for caregivers and residents has begun.
When we reported last month that West Seattle Natural Medicine Clinic (3256 California SW) planned to close after 37 years, we noted that owner Dr. Katherine Oldfield was hoping to find a buyer. Tonight, she announced she has, and so the clinic will continue:
It is with great joy that I am able to announce that West Seattle Natural Medicine Clinic is not closing! Dr. Krystal Richardson, a friend and colleague, has bought the clinic, thus providing the stability and energy that we needed after a tumultuous 2020. … I first met Dr. Richardson many years ago when she was doing her residency with my friend Dr. Tamara Cullen Evans. She went on to purchase that practice from Dr. Evans. I can’t imagine a person better suited to take over the helm of WSNMC as she is an excellent clinician and a trusted business owner.
The new WSNMC owner has clinics downtown and in Fremont. You can read more about the change on WSNMC’s website, which says Dr. Richardson’s first day there is next Monday (January 11th). Dr. Oldfield had owned the clinic since 2002.
The former mini-market at 7789 Highland Park Way SW is going to be a corner store again.
Highland Park Corner Store, to be specific.
Back in October, we reported that the property had been bought, and was being renovated, by West Seattle preservationist/entrepreneur John Bennett. Our story noted that he was seeking a tenant.
One of the people who saw that story was Meaghan Haas, a Highland Park resident who tells WSB she had been “looking for ways to be more involved in the local community.” That fit right in with Bennett’s stated hope of finding “a business that will make the neighborhood a better place.”
Haas has a background in the events industry – music, arts, and marketing, including time working at One Reel – known for big Seattle events like Bumbershoot – and the Vera Project. She plans to open the store in phases: “We’re planning to open with coffee service next month via a walk-up window, with deli service following a few months later. By the end of the year, we’re planning to open up the store with grocery staples, wine, and beer (including a few on tap), as well as a spot to sit down and enjoy a drink or a sandwich with friends and neighbors.”
In that first phase, Highland Park Corner Store will offer QED Coffee, Macrina Bakery pastries, and White Knuckle ready-made sandwiches; Haas is still finalizing other suppliers: “Overall, the goal is to source everything as locally as possible.” When she moves to the deli phase, that “will mean a limited menu of sandwiches and salads to start.”
But first, she’s just “looking forward to opening up and serving our neighbors – and the greater community of West Seattle.”
(Thanks to everyone who tipped us that the site had signs of a tenant!)
Ten months have passed since most in-person learning was suspended, and getting online – reliably and affordably – is still a challenge for some students. Help is on the way to hundreds more, thanks to HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor). More than 220 laptops that HomeStreet no longer needed have just been given to InterConnection, a Seattle nonprofit that will refurbish them for reuse.
After HomeStreet’s IT team extensively prepared the computers for the donation, InterConnection visited the bank’s operations center Wednesday morning to pick them up. (Here’s how their donation process works.) HomeStreet also gave InterConnection $1,000; that’ll help with InterConnection’s costs to prepare the laptops for their new owners.
From left in the photo above are HomeStreet’s Vicki Foege, Mickey Pierce and Abraham Mears from InterConnection, Bob Livingston from HomeStreet, InterConnection president Cheryl Roe, Caly Jellum and Jay Bhuller from HomeStreet, a Puget Sound-based bank whose branches include one in the West Seattle Junction (4022 SW Alaska).
A variety of West Seattle business notes …
LIQUOR STORE CHANGING LOCATION, NAME: Back in November, Capco Beverages in The Junction announced plans to close. But there’s been a change in plan – manager Dolly Amend tells WSB the store’s been sold and will move. She says the new space is nearby – the former Subway and Junction Fitness spaces in lower Jefferson Square (4712-4714 42nd SW; photo above). The new name, she says, will be Northwest Liquor and Wine (same name as a Capitol Hill store, to which we’ve sent an inquiry). Until Capco’s closure in its current location (“by January 30”), everything is on sale, 20 percent off. P.S. As noted in November, the store’s current space is being taken over by Swedish, which has not responded to our repeated requests for information, but is shown on publicly filed construction plans as the new tenant.
PLEA FOR PUPS: It’s a tough time for small businesses of all types. One of West Seattle’s dog-care businesses poured his heart out to customers, and flagged us at the suggestion of one of them. Jeffrey Henderson of Good Dog, forced by redevelopment to move last year from south Morgan Junction to South Delridge, says they’re seeing about 25 dogs per day but need 40, or they’re facing closure. The move and the pandemic were a one-two punch, Henderson writes, explaining that they’re not looking for donations, just dogs. You can read his post here.
REOPENING: After a couple readers asked about MOD Pizza being closed at Westwood Village for at least a week, we checked with the company, which tells us the restaurant will reopen this Friday.
POP-UP: Silverdale’s KettleFish plans a “gourmet seafood meal kit” pop-up at West 5 (the West Seattle Junction establishment co-founded by KettleFish’s Dave Montoure). You can order a Cioppino or Bouillabaisse meal kit online for pickup at West 5 (4539 California SW) this Friday or Saturday. Both are described as featuring “wild caught Alaskan cod and a bounty of seafood: locally harvested Manila clams, Penn Cove mussels, Chilean rock crab, and shrimp.” You can order the pop-up kits online via the West 5 pickup menu.
For years, we’ve been reporting on the West Seattle Junction Association‘s struggle to keep the “free parking” lots free, despite the ever-rising property-tax bills – the lots are assessed as potentially developable land. They’ve tried fundraisers and other tactics to hold off the inevitable – but now, the “free-parking lot” era is about to end. Here’s the WSJA announcement we received this afternoon:
For more than 30 years, the West Seattle Junction merchants have paid for the ‘free’ parking lots in the heart of West Seattle. A benefit that has been shared with the community will be turning a new chapter in the parking-lot book in 2021.
“We live in a world where the definition of transportation has changed since the 1970s. People have the power to get around West Seattle in different ways,” says Lora Radford, West Seattle Junction Association Executive Director.
In partnership with Diamond Parking, who has been working with the Junction since 1997, the merchant-funded parking spaces will be upgraded to pay parking on January 15th, 2021.
The change comes at a time where the Junction has been shouldering the full cost of rapidly increasing taxes that have become unsustainable. 100% of the Junction’s portion of the revenue from the paid parking will be applied to the tax burden, lessening the amount due, but by no means paying for the entire obligation.
The idea of maintaining free parking in an urban village like the Junction (the last in the City of Seattle), is no surprise for the residents. In early 2019 the Junction conducted a community survey (through a grant), that underscored the sentiment free parking was an anomaly in a rapidly growing city.
Especially in this time, the Junction has asked the community to include the support of small business in their daily lives. The request for West Seattleites to pay a modest $2 to $3 per hour (the cost of a greeting card, cup of coffee, or craft beer) to preserve the economic vibrancy of their downtown should be a simple request.
“For many, experiencing the downtown of West Seattle will become easier,” continues Radford. “The ability to find parking each time you visit the Junction will increase dramatically with the movement into paid parking. Gone will be the days of cars parked in the lots for hours at a time.”
The experiences of West Seattleites are a true reflection of who they are and what they care about, and visiting the Junction is one of the most vivid examples of normalcy in a far-from-normal world. For some, a trip to the West Seattle Junction is, in itself, the only and best destination. People can feel the heartbeat of some of the best small businesses through a perfectly scooped ice cream, to the bite of a tangy piece of pizza, or through quirky items found at local independent shops. They can reflect on collections of cultural significance through the murals or take a stroll under the flower baskets heavy with summer blooms.
Luckily for them, the Junction can continue to offer an avenue to attract those uniquely Northwest experiences in West Seattle.
The Junction strongly believes in the continued community benefit provided to West Seattle residents. We believe the West Seattle Junction is the core of West Seattle where neighbors come together to meet which promotes community openness and sense of place. The wellbeing of West Seattle will continue through the ease of parking close to the very heart of our community through a new and modern version of history.
As explained in this WSB story almost three years ago, the Junction Association doesn’t own the lots, but its lease with the owners, West Seattle Trusteed Properties, leaves WSJA on the hook for the taxes, in addition to the rent. The lots include 228 spaces that have allowed customers up to 3 free hours.
ADDED 6:47 PM: To clarify a couple points raised in comment discussion – this involves only the four lots managed by WSJA – off 42nd south of Oregon, off the east side of 44th just south of Oregon, on the southeast corner of 44th/Alaska, and off the east side of 44th just north of Edmunds. Street parking is managed by the city, which has reviewed the Junction area twice in the past 12 years and concluded both times (2009 coverage here, 2018 coverage here) that metered/pay-station street parking was unnecessary, though an RPZ was added in 2019.
Periodically during the pandemic, we’ve been checking on local grocery stores’ hours, including the hours they set aside for higher-risk shoppers, particularly people 60 and older. But it’s been a while since last check-in, so when we got word that one store is making changes starting tomorrow, we decided to check in on all of West Seattle’s standalone stores:
PCC (2749 California SW): Starting Monday (January 4th), PCC is expanding its hours to 6 am-11 pm and its seniors/at-risk shopping hours to 6-8 am Wednesdays and Saturdays
WEST SEATTLE THRIFTWAY (California/Fauntleroy; WSB sponsor): 5 am-midnight daily, 7 am-9 am Tuesdays and Thursdays for seniors
METROPOLITAN MARKET (Admiral/41st): Open 6 am-11 pm daily, no senior/high-risk shopping hours
QFC (4550 42nd SW, Westwood Village): 6 am-11 pm daily, 7-8 am Mondays and Wednesdays for seniors/high-risk
SAFEWAY (28th/Roxbury, Jefferson Square, 2622 California SW): 5 am-1 am daily, 6-9 am Tuesdays and Thursdays for seniors/high-risk
TRADER JOE’S (4545 Fauntleroy Way SW): 8 am-9 pm daily, first hour Wednesday and Sunday (8 am-9 am) set aside for seniors/disabled
WHOLE FOODS MARKET (4755 Fauntleroy Way SW): 8 am-9 pm daily, seniors/high-risk/disabled 7-8 am Friday
One of many New Year’s Eve traditions … nonprofits inviting you to donate one more time before the calendar turns. If you still have giving capacity, the West Seattle Junction Association is inviting you to consider the Small Business Relief Fund, It was launched last spring, and donations through the fund have brought more than $120,000 in support to local independent businesses working to keep serving the community safely. The WSJA explains that “you can make a donation through the Junction (501c3) directly to your favorite business or to the Junction fund where the money is used for special programs and grants that support the small-business engine. It’s kind of a perfect note to end the year.” Scroll down this page for the donation form.
Georgetown-founded Fogue Gallery is expanding to its proprietor’s home neighborhood, West Seattle. Patti Curtis says the new space on the north edge of The Junction, 4130 California SW, makes sense: “I have lived in the West Seattle community for 25 years, I raised my daughter on the very block the gallery is located, I am at home here.”
The two-story Fogue Gallery space features original fine art and jewelry by 15 artists, all over the age of 50: “I’m gonna make old cool!” Curtis promises. She exolains that she lost a job at age 53 – “a lot of people at my company got let go because we ‘aged out'” – and so she decided to put her energy into creating an enterprise for people 50+ to “feel relevant.” The gallery’s name is a play on “(old) fogey.”
Fogue also offers interior design and art consultations by appointment via teleconferencing – you can shop for art that way, too. Fogue’s West Seattle location will have a grand-opening celebration on Saturday, January 2nd, starting at noon – stop by and find out why Curtis and her artists vow they’re “inspiring … not retiring!”
Spend local! Doors reopen today at most of your favorite local independent businesses. Thunder Road Guitars (WSB sponsor) sends this update:
Saturday the 26th [today], 10 am – 6 pm, will be our last day open before our Winter Break. Our Seattle storefront will be closed December 28th – January 4th and will resume normal hours Tuesday, January 5th.
TRG is at 6400 California SW, co-housed with The Bass Shop (also a WSB sponsor).
Among the Christmas Eve/Day information we’ve been compiling in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide: Grocery-store hours for the next two days. Here’s what we’ve found: West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor; 4201 SW Morgan), closing at 9 pm Christmas Eve, closed Christmas Day … Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor; 41st/Admiral), open 5 am-6 pm Christmas Eve, closed Christmas Day … PCC WEST SEATTLE (2749 California SW), closing at 7 pm Christmas Eve, closed Christmas Day … Whole Foods (4755 Fauntleroy Way SW), open 7 am-7 pm Christmas Eve, closed Christmas Day … Trader Joe’s (4545 Fauntleroy Way SW), closing at 6 pm Christmas Eve, closed Christmas Day … Safeway (all 3 West Seattle stores), open 5 am-6:30 pm Christmas Eve, 8 am-5 pm Christmas Day … QFC (both West Seattle stores), closing at 7 pm Christmas Eve, closed Christmas Day. … Again, this is also in our Holiday Guide, along with restaurant and coffee lists that we’re continuing to add to (info appreciated at email@example.com – thank you!).