West Seattle, Washington
Since West Seattle has long been without a standalone bagel shop, fresh truly local bagels aren’t easy to find. Adam Pfeifle bakes them and is having a pop-up this Sunday, for which he’s taking pre-orders. Adam is a veteran baker, and also a military veteran. He says his first baking job was as a donut baker in Snoqualmie; he later went to culinary school and worked in restaurants including two now-closed West Seattle eateries, West City Kitchen and Ma’ono. His culinary career was punctuated by joining the military in 2001 and serving “two tours in Iraq as a combat medic, in 2004 and 2008.” Adam says his bagels are made with sourdough starter “in 200-bagel small batches from my home’s chefs kitchen, based in West Seattle. To achieve optimal flavor, our products cold-ferment from 20-24 hours.” His pop-up is for 1-3 pm pickup on Sunday (January 29th) west of The Junction. Here’s the pre-order link (10 varieties!).
Thanks to Ian for the tip. The pumps are closed and the mini-mart shelves are bare at Morgan Junction’s only gas station/mini-mart (6540 California SW). According to city permit files, a branding change is imminent – currently it’s Shell, but a sign company has just been granted a permit to install Mobil signage. How soon that’ll happen, we don’t know, but the permit issued this past Monday lists an estimated installation date of March 6th.
Working at home and need somewhere else to go for a while, but taking up a table in a coffee shop isn’t the solution? How about a free coworking space next to a coffee shop? The Morgan Junction entrepreneurs behind Youngstown Coffee and HeartBeat Organic Superfoods Café have launched Launchpad. It’s open daily 8 am-5 pm for drop-in coworking; the space also is available for rental for special events and meetings. Launchpad is officially described as “a free service offering of Launch Industries, a minority-owned and -operated business consulting and contract services firm.” Launch Industries is owned by Monica Colgan, proprietor of HeartBeet and co-proprietor, with wife Autumn Lovewell, of Youngstown. They hope Launchpad will have some synergy with Youngstown and HeartBeet: “You can support our small businesses when you visit by purchasing food & drink from one of the cafes.” Launchpad is at 6030 California SW.
Ollie the pup is awaiting one last wave of donations for the warm-clothing drive at Dave Newman State Farm Agency (WSB sponsor), on behalf of the West Seattle Clothesline/West Seattle Food Bank. Here’s the reminder:
The West Seattle Clothesline annual clothing drive is once again coming to a close. Last day to drop of donations is Friday the 27th. We would like to give heartfelt thanks to fellow citizens who made it possible by their generosity and giving nature.
The clothing drive at Dave Newman State Farm Agency happens every year in December and January. Watch for the clothing drive at the end of this year!
The office is at 3435 California SW – you can stop in any day this week between 9 am and 5 pm.
More new-business news – we’d been looking into who’s taking over the ex-Best of Hands Barrelhouse space (7500 35th SW) since a reader mentioned the “For Lease” signage had disappeared, and now we have the answer: GH Pizza and Pasta. The name may be new but the operator is not – Chef Brian Clevenger and General Harvest Restaurants, which already has Haymaker (open since 2019) and Raccolto (open since 2016) in The Junction, among other Seattle restaurants. The announcement notes, “The menu boasts fan favorite large bowls of fresh pastas, a variety of pizzas with rotating specials, starters, and salads all at approachable prices.” They’re excited about the new West Seattle location, planning to offer “a huge year-round outdoor-seating section along with a separate adults-only space.” GH Pizza and Pasta is aiming to open in West Seattle in “late spring.” But will the rooftop cow stay? We asked that on followup; the reply – “Of course!” There’s one GH Pasta location so far, in Belltown, and the announcement notes GH Pizza and Pasta is currently “taking over” Haymaker’s Eastlake location – see the menu here.
Two years after 24 Hour Fitness left Westwood Village, the center’s owners appear to have found another gym to move into the space. Though the “for lease” sign is still up, documents in city permit files indicate that Fitness 19 has plans to take over the spot. Fitness 19 describes itself as “a simple fitness club concept – an extremely affordable, family-friendly facility that offers state-of-the-art cardio, strength, and free-weight equipment,” operating in 12 states; the only location listed in Washington right now is in Ballard. In addition to documents seeking a city permit to add signage for the WWV space, we’ve also found state records for a newly formed LLC on behalf of “Fitness 19 WA 318,” with Westwood Village’s address. We have an inquiry out about when they hope to open.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Drawings by kids, from planes to pigs, cover the wall by the front door at The Swinery.
Kim Leveille says drawings don’t come down until they fall down. Some are by kids who’ve become adults in her 13+ years at The Swinery: “I’ve seen entire families grow up.”
The Swinery’s a family thing for her too – she owns it with her husband Danny Rogers; her father-in-law comes in and helps out on weekends. The little shop at 3207 California SW is wall-to-wall memories, hopes, dreams.
“I’m just not ready to let it go.”
But she might have to if a new round of crowdfunding doesn’t help.
They tried it in the heart of the pandemic and West Seattle Bridge closure, an agonizing time for so many local small independent businesses. In that 2021 crowdfunding, Kim says, fans raised $17,000 in two days. But they’ve had equipment breakdowns and thefts since then, and are looking for help again to catch up. They started a new crowdfunding campaign a month ago but, Kim says, “It didn’t work.” So they’re trying again – this time, more directly declaring they’re in danger of having to close.
“We may not make it until spring,” Kim said in her email to us, which we decided to follow up on by visiting the shop. In addition to cooler/freezer repairs, they have a simple need: More staff, beyond their longtime part-time helper and a “very part-time dishwasher.” “It’s a Catch-22 – we need enough money to hire a fulltime person so the grill can do more volume.”
Right now, it’s Danny on the grill, which is an ever-increasingly important part of The Swinery’s business. Kim has worked there since just months after its original ownership opened the shop to much fanfare in 2009; she and Danny bought it in 2018. The shop was founded as “more of a butcher shop with a few things on the side.” But then one of those “things” drew extra acclaim: “Once we got ‘Best Burger in Seattle’ …” demand soared. The shop also was featured on the Food Network and the Travel Network. “Now the grill is much more important.” Tons of takeout/delivery orders, since The Swinery’s only seating is a small courtyard by the grill.
Along with all that grilling, their other offerings are labor-intensive too – “since we do everything in-house.” The meat case is full of sausages, chops, smoked meats, and more.
Popular items include ribs and beef bacon. For Thanksgiving, they smoke turkeys; for Christmas, ribeye roasts. No nitrites. No allergens. “I just want everyone to be able to eat,” says Kim.
She’s hopeful this time they’ll get the boost they need to stay in business and up the output so revenue isn’t an issue again. What if somebody would rather buy a few pounds of sausage, for example, than just give money? “Anything would help,” Kim says. That includes more patronage.
Ten months ago, that banner on the window at 4735 42nd SW gave West Seattle poké fans hope that Just Poké was finally close to opening here. Then the banner disappeared during the recent round of snow/ice, and we’ve been getting questions about it ever since. The permit file indicates recent activity, though, and that’s confirmed today by Just Poké proprietor Norman Wu, who tells WSB, “The space is currently under construction, slated to be done at the end of February. It took us almost 10 months to just get our permit to build, which is why the project has been so delayed.” (The space was home to art gallery/framing shop Wallflower until summer 2019.) The regional chain originally indicated West Seattle plans five years ago.
The West Seattle Junction space at 4537 California SW where Virago recently closed won’t be vacant for long. A shop called Swan Dive will open there on February 1st. Proprietor Ali Brownrigg tells WSB that Swan Dive will have “vintage and previously loved clothing” as well as new shoes and clothing from Clementines in the early going – and more. Here’s how Ali, a longtime West Seattle resident, explains the plan, and the partnership:
I started Swan Dive with Linda Walsh (Clementines, Carmilia’s) in 2017 in the basement of Clementines in Pioneer Square. Swan Dive sells vintage and previously loved clothing, accessories, and home goods with a focus on affordable designer items and unique and one-of-a-kind pieces for the modern home and wardrobe. Swan Dive will be the West Seattle home of Clementines at least until the spring. Clementines focuses on new shoes and clothing from brands such as Intentionally Blank, MOMA, Atelier Delphine and Prairie Underground.
Once we get up and running, we hope to have a space to host pop-ups and trunk shows for Carmilia’s, Clementines, and Swan Dive, as well as a crafting nook for people to come hang out and knit, make pom-poms and punch needle art. Most people who know me know that I am compulsively crafty and have a desire to share my love of crafting with the masses.
(Side note – Clementines’ original home was in The Junction, part of where Pagliacci is now.) You can find Swan Dive online here and here. Hours in the new Junction space will be noon-5 pm weekdays, 11 am-5 pm Saturdays, 11 am-2 pm Sundays. Ali adds, “We’re always happy to be open by appointment if someone wants to shop outside of those hours. Email is the best way to reach me: email@example.com”
Becky and Alyssa are welcoming you this afternoon/evening to what their shop Doll Parts Collective‘s third and hopefully permanent location.
They’re now on the south end of The Junction at 4832 California SW (which held Again & Again/Kid Friendly Footwear until that shop merged into Three Little Birds), just a few blocks south of their former space, which is being redeveloped, as was their original space in north Morgan Junction. Today they’re celebrating their “grand reopening” after the move:
Doll Parts offers vintage clothing and other quirky, funky items including houseware – a place where shopping can be fun.
Stop by today before 6 pm for a look and celebratory extras including snacks and flash tattooing.
A new business just opened at 5432 California SW – Zoo Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, whose proprietor Bob Brown describes it as “a martial-arts academy that offers self-defense/Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes for both kids and adults.” Bob adds, “My family and I are new to the area – moved from Missoula, Montana,” where he still owns, and helps operate remotely, another academy. He opened that studio after years of competing internationally (read more here). Zoo BJJ info is online at zoobjjsea.com.
That’s the trailer for “Tribal Waters,” a documentary telling the story of the Wind River – described as home to some of Wyoming’s best fishing – and two tribes who cherish it and are fighting for its future. A special screening is planned at 6:30 pm Thursday, January 26th, at Emerald Water Anglers (4502 42nd SW; WSB sponsor) in The Junction, with director Jon Klaczkiewicz and some of those featured in the film there for Q&A afterward. EWA proprietor Dave McCoy says they have room for 50 people and tickets are available now – online here, or call the shop at 206-708-7250.
The “for lease” signs are down at long-vacant 2758 Alki Avenue SW, formerly home to Top Pot Doughnuts (which closed two years ago) on the left side and a variety of short-lived food businesses on the right side. We discovered the new plan via city permit filings: The combined 3,200-square-foot space will become West Seattle Arcade. The proprietor is West Seattle resident Elyssa Cichy, who explained when contacted via email, “West Seattle Arcade will be a family-focused, modern arcade with birthday party space and awesome video games for all ages. We are planning on opening this Spring. Our family has lived in West Seattle for over a dozen years, and we are excited to bring something new and special to our community.” You can watch westseattlearcade.com for updates. Alki has had a mini-boom in family-focused businesses in recent years, with additions such as Outer Space Seattle and Seattle Early Learning Center.
Today is a soft-open day, for which they took a limited number of reservations, so they opened at 9 am and are closing at 1 pm. Regular hours will be Thursdays 8 am-1 pm, Fridays 8 am-1:30 pm, Saturdays and Sundays 8 am-2 pm, Mondays 8 am-1 pm, closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Above is the famous “bar” where you can choose toppings for your pancakes or french toast. For now, we’re told, they’re offering the same breakfast/brunch menu as the other PBC locations, but once they’ve truly settled in after a few weeks or so, the chef will also have a location-specific fresh sheet. We first reported Portage Bay’s West Seattle plan in August; this is the southernmost location for the mini-chain, founded a quarter-century ago by John Gunnar.
Back a few years, when events were few and far between, Herbert Shepard set up rock and mineral shows under a tent in his Pigeon Point driveway.
Now he has a storefront, explaining, “After a long search we have found a location to open a retail and wholesale rock facility. It’s 1500 square feet, which is awesome and infinitely better than our one-car garage.” The World’s Fossils and Minerals is a short hop across the bridge in SODO, at 2700 4th Ave. South [map]. The proprietor adds, “Free 1-hour street parking. Entrance is up the stairs just west of the red and white Mallet Design Build sign. Open Wednesdays-Sundays, 10 am-4 pm, except Thursdays noon-6.”
If you’re among the many resolved to boost your fitness level in the new year, here’s an option: Wednesday night, West Seattle Runner (2743 California SW; WSB sponsor) hosts the next Info Night for its Get Fit West Seattle program. This is training that will get you from “couch to half-marathon” within just a few months, starting with a one-mile run next Saturday morning. But first, show up at the shop at 7 pm Wednesday (January 4th) for an explanation of the program and a chance to ask questions. (If you have any in advance, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
A city permit filing says the international tea-shop chain Happy Lemon is moving into the Westwood Village space long occupied by Vatsana’s Thai Restaurant. Before we could follow up on that discovery, we learned the restaurant has apparently already closed. A reader says a Vatsana’s staff member reported that employees were told on Christmas Eve. We went over yesterday and found only this note on the door:
We went back today to check again and the restaurant remains locked, with workers inside who appear to be dismantling fixtures. We sent inquiries both to the posted email address and to Happy Lemon corporate HQ; our note to the former just got a reply promising a “reply in the near future.” Meantime, Happy Lemon’s website says it has more than 2,000 locations in 20+ countries, with 14 in the Puget Sound metro area, nearest ones in Columbia City, South Lake Union, U-District, and Tukwila. Happy Lemon’s menu shows tea drinks featuring a variety of ingredients from boba to salted cheese, plus smoothies. This will be the second international tea chain to open in West Seattle, after Sharetea‘s Jefferson Square arrival a year and a half ago.
The new year will be momentous for the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, celebrating its 100th anniversary. Its announcement today notes that’s a milestone marked by few:
In 2023, The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce will be celebrating 100 years of incorporation. “Of the nearly 3900 incorporations filed in 1923, only 38 exist today” (Source: Washington Secretary of State) and the West Seattle Chamber is honored to be among the 1% still operating!
In 1923, incorporating a business was quite a challenge. Incorporation paperwork was delivered to Olympia, Washington by horseback, steam wheeler, or train. Even if you owned a car, the roads leading to Olympia were virtually impossible to navigate.
To celebrate, the organization’s plans include:
*Unveiling a new “celebratory logo” on January 1st
*Distributing a new “Westside Guide“ around the area – including dozens of locations outside West Seattle – “to encourage people to visit the peninsula”
*Launching a new “Visit West Seattle” mobile app with city Neighborhood Economic Recovery Fund money
*Special commemorative treats to be sold by member businesses (example: a custom Husky Deli ice-cream flavor next summer)
Dates are set for four major 2023 events, too:
Chamber Annual Meeting | Tuesday, January 26, 2023 @ Alki Masonic Hall
Cheers to 100 Years Chamber Birthday Party | Thursday, April 27, 2023 @ Admiral Theater
Annual Westside Awards | Tuesday, May 16, 2023 @ South Seattle College
Battle for West Seattle Softball Game – West Seattle Chamber vs. West Seattle Junction Association | Sunday, May 21, 2023 @ Mel Olson Stadium (Home of DubSea Fish Sticks)
Watch the Chamber website for details.
There’s a sidewalk detour in front of Menashe & Sons Jewelers in The Junction as repair crews work to fix the damage done by would-be crash-and-grab burglars early Saturday (previous WSB coverage here).
We say “would-be” because the Menashes told us today that the burglars did not succeed in getting inside, though as we reported Saturday, video shows them making three tries – two rounds of ramming a pickup truck into the front of the store, one attempt at smashing the storefront with a mallet. It’s expected to take about a week to fix the damage, but in the meantime, the shop is open, 11 am-4 pm daily – just go around back to the alley door and ring the bell. And if you have any information on the break-in attempt, the SPD case number for reference is 22-342460.
9:15 PM: Something to look forward to in the new year: Four months after we first reported that popular breakfast/brunch mini-chain Portage Bay Café was expanding to West Seattle, the opening date is set. PBC’s general manager Peter Gunnar tells WSB they plan to open the doors at 4725 42nd SW on Friday, January 6th. Portage Bay was still finalizing the deal for the new location when we first talked with them in August, but at the start of October, after Agave Cocina quietly closed its doors, the secret was out. We’re still awaiting final word on Portage Bay’s West Seattle hours, but all four of their current cafés start the day at 8 am; you can see the current menu here.
ADDED MONDAY: Gunnar tells WSB today that the hours/days will be Thursdays 8 am-1 pm, Fridays 8 am-1:30 pm, Saturdays and Sundays 8 am-2 pm, Mondays 8 am-1 pm, closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Also: “The menu will be the same as our other four locations, but like each of our stores, the chef is in charge of his monthly specials, and they differ cafe by cafe.”
If you haven’t been out yet today, the good news is that most of the ice has melted (watch out for remaining slick spots here and there). The bad news – the usual pre-holiday rush has been compounded by people having missed a few days of shopping time. Particularly groceries. Above, West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) has people directing traffic in the parking lot. Inside stores – and we’ve been to several – you’ll find scenes like the one Bill Schrier tweeted from Metropolitan Market:
Tonight’s closing times for local grocery stores – and hours for the ones open tomorrow – are all listed here.
Every year, we compile lists with some Christmas basics – churches with services Christmas Eve/Day, grocery-store hours Christmas Eve/Day, restaurants/bars and coffee shops open Christmas Day. We keep adding to the lists until the holiday’s here, so if you have info to add, please let us know – email@example.com is the best way to send info. In the meantime, you can see what we have so far by going here for the restaurants/bars list, here for the church-services list, and to our Holiday Guide‘s Christmas section for the grocery store and coffee lists (which will have their own pages in our Event Calendar by Saturday). Thanks to everyone who’s already provided info by email, phone, or web!
P.S. We welcome info for New Year’s Eve too – the events we have so far are also in the Holiday Guide.
A timely message from Alki Bike and Board (2606 California SW; WSB sponsor):
You know what all this snow in the city means? It’s time to get up into the mountains. Our books are cleared up and we can guarantee to have the quickest turnaround in town. Call or stop in today and we can get you on the schedule.
We will be closing:
Christmas Eve at 4 PM
Closed Christmas Day
New Year’s Eve 4 PM
Closed New Year’s Day
AB&B is open until 6 today, 10 am-6 pm tomorrow, and if you do want to call and check on scheduling for ski/snowboard service, they’re at 206-938-3322.