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Peek at what’s on the block

November 13, 2007 10:00 am
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 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news

geeauctionsign.jpgAs of right this moment, it’s preview time for the items that the ex-Gee dealerships are auctioning this week as part of the process of getting cleared out by the end of the month. The preview (till 4 pm today) and auction (10 am both Wednesday & Thursday) are likely to be quite lively; the official auction webpage mentions “food service available at auction site” (personally, we’d just walk over to The Junction, so many tasty options). If you’re curious, here are full lists of what’s on the block: “day 1” is here (from item #1, a battery charger, to #814, miscellaneous plants), “day 2” is here (from #831, a pneumatic fuel tank, to #1145, whiteboard and cabinets), downloadable PDF of the whole catalog is here.

Gee/Huling, the next chapters

November 12, 2007 11:28 am
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 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news


The vehicles are off the lots, and now the next chapters in the Gee/Huling saga will unfold this week: Tomorrow is the preview day for the auction that Gee plans this Wednesday/Thursday, to sell parts and other equipment from the now shut-down dealerships along Fauntleroy, which Gee has said it will finish vacating by the end of this month. (You can preview the auction items online at this website.) Meanwhile, the trial is under way for Paul Rimbey, one of the suspects from the criminal case that is at the heart of events that have led to all this; nothing is happening today because courts are closed for the holiday, but this article says the victim is expected to testify this week. The other two former Huling employees charged in the case, Adrian Dillard and Ted Coxwell, are due back in court later this month. And it’ll be a while yet before any trial in the Gee lawsuit against the Hulings; most recently, the Hulings filed a motion saying the dispute should have to go to arbitration, mostly because of terms in the original dealership-sale agreement; the Gees filed a response saying they disagree.

West Seattle Sunday scenes, including a Shadowland update

Veteran West Seattle photojournalist Matt Durham, from MattDurhamPhotography.com, has agreed to contribute photos and reporting to WSB from time to time, and we couldn’t be more pleased – his excellent work fits so well with our mission of bringing you West Seattle news, information, and discussion 24/7/365. Here are three of Matt’s photos from today, with his captions below each:


Japhy Witte (with Sign Savant, a West Seattle business) puts the finishing touches on the marquee that will welcome patrons to the new tapas restaurant Shadowland, slated to open around the week of Thanksgiving. Shadowland will offer tapas, small plates, and entrees in a variety of cuisine types, according to owner Ben Jenkins.


With a steady gaze, a loyal lab waits for its owner to exit Capers Sunday afternoon.


The cold, blustery Sunday weather did not deter shoppers from purchasing their fresh produce and organic groceries from West Seattle’ Farmers’ Market.

We look forward to more from Matt in the future. (Prints of these photos and his other work, by the way, are available through his site, MattDurhamPhotography.com.)

Welcome to WSB’s fourth sponsor

This morning, Click! Design That Fits in the Admiral District clickforpost.jpgjoins Hotwire Coffee, Garlic Jim’s Pizza, and Prudential NW Realtor Bill Barna on the growing list of West Seattle businesses sponsoring WSB to reach out to you and the thousands of other local folks who come here daily for 24/7/365 West Seattle news, information, and discussion. (Read our “why ads on WSB?” explanation here.) Click! Design That Fits is at 2210 California Ave. SW, a few blocks north of Admiral (map and hours are on the Click! site), and just celebrated its third anniversary; as Click! owners Frances and John Smersh explain on their website, they opened the shop “to bring contemporary design to our neighborhood of West Seattle … We believe that everyday things should be conscientiously made, functional for the task they were designed to accomplish, and should contribute beauty to daily life.” They also offer online shopping at the Click! site, with gorgeous pix of the jewelry Frances designs and makes by hand, and much more, including a “gift ideas” page. To find out more about joining them as a WSB sponsor, click here to see how to get in touch with our WSB Sales Guy. And thanks again to you and everyone for being part of the WSB community!

Friday afternoon notes

-Two store openings in The Junction today: Craze Clothing in the ex-mortgage space @ the NW corner of California/Oregon (thanks to Keith for the sighting!); Starbucks in the ex-Infinity Espresso space at Jefferson Square.

-Congratulations to a Junction business on its 20th anniversary! Square 1 Books is celebrating with a 20th-anniversary sale through tomorrow.

-Orca fans, be on the lookout again today – We just signed up for the Orca Network e-mail notification list about local sightings (you can sign up here), and not only is there a new photo of the baby orca we mentioned this morning (not linked on the web yet but we’ll put the link here when it is), there’s also word of orca sightings today around Three Tree Point south of West Seattle, and off Maury Island.

-The pirate radio station we mentioned last night seems to be up and playing its promised “warmup music” prior to the FCC media ownership audiocast starting around 4 pm. We heard it (calling itself “Radio 33”) at 93.7 FM.

Junction business owner mourned

Notes are posted at Leisure Books in The Junction in memory of its co-owner Curtis Clement, who died last week at age 65, and now there is an online obituary as well, which notes that Mr. Clement’s Funeral Mass is November 19th at Holy Rosary.

Packing up, heading out


One week till the parts-inventory auction at the ex-GEE (previously Huling) lots — and now it looks like the vehicles are heading out (as we reported 2 weeks ago, the Gees said in court documents that the inventory was being repurchased). Thanks to Andy S for the tip and pic. We also are working on another update about the latest back-and-forth in the court battle related to the Gees’ suit against the Hulings; short version is, the Hulings say the dispute should be arbitrated per a clause in their original agreement, the Gees say no.

Alki Ave updates

Looks like we have a name for the store coming to the last remaining space in the ex-Alki Market (next to All the Best Pet Care, two doors down from Cactus): According to a construction permit just granted by the city, it will be “Alki Urban Market.” A little further east, the windows at the former Coyotes on Alki (former Chez Million, former Lighthouse, former Point Grill, that’s as far back as we go) are now brown-papered (photo below) — no construction permit for this site so far, and no revelations are to be had for a peek through the window — though it’s been widely speculated that might be where Pegasus Pizza could/would move when the construction project on their site begins. (Or maybe this mystery restaurant?)


On the block

Just received two notes in the past few minutes (thank you!!!!) about “PUBLIC AUCTION” signs up at the ex-GEE/ex-Huling site. As we reported last week, an auction was indeed part of the plan to enable the Gees to officially clear out by the end of November. 6:30 PM UPDATE: Thanks to Mike for finding this webpage about the auction and sending this photo:


Reader Recommendation Request: Best nail salon?

Before we all get immersed in the day’s news … the latest WSB Reader Recommendation Request. (You can find all previous RRRs here.) Nancy writes:

I’m hoping the WSB community can suggest a good place for nails, both natural and acrylics. A really good, affordable place is key to the all-important Saturday afternoon ritual enjoyed by women (and men!) all over town. A place I’ve been going to for a couple of years is lacking, and I’m looking for a new place.

The high points of any worthy nail establishment should include cleanliness (above all), efficiency, be affordable (i.e. a regular manicure under $25!), and it would be great if you could understand what the technician is saying, and they you. I mean, when we’re talking about avoiding drawing blood from my hands or toes, I would rather not have to repeat myself.

Click the comment link under the headline to share your recommendation(s). Thanks!

Junction soon to go Craze-y


Even more is afoot at California/Oregon in The Junction: The mortgage office is gone at the northwest corner, and the storefront window has the makeshift sign you see above … promising Crazé Clothing on the way. Only thing we have found out so far — the business license is in the category the city titles “women’s, juniors, misses suits, skirts, and coats.” P.S. Big thank you to the WSB readers who first spotted this and e-mailed us about it, so we could share the news.

GEE/Huling update: The deal to clear out

If you drive along Fauntleroy, you’ve probably noticed the lots are finally starting to empty out, more than 2 weeks after closing:


Today we have more details on what’s going on, now that court documents are available for the agreement reached in the Huling suit to evict GEE (we reported last Tuesday that the Huling lawyer said the agreement was in the works to give the Gees till November 30th to clear out):Read More

Show the world you (rock) West Seattle

Remember our bumper-sticker PhotoShop “competition” last week? (Updated here with all the images we received; thanks to everyone who played along!) The “I (rock) West Seattle” version inspired Skylark proprietor Jessie Summa-Kusiak to write to make sure we all know her fab restaurant/club is actually selling hoodies with a similar inscription:


Get ’em at Skylark … “soft and cozy for fall,” notes Jessie … $34.95.

Huling/GEE eviction lawsuit: They’re talking

We’re into the second week of idleness for the ex-GEE/ex-Huling dealerships along Fauntleroy. Since the Gees had till today to answer the eviction lawsuit filed by the Hulings, we checked with the Hulings’ lawyer to see what was going on. geehulingicon.jpgRandall Beighle of Lane Powell tells WSB that instead of an official hearing, he met informally this afternoon with Ryan Gee, and that they are in the process of coming up with an agreement for when the Gees will vacate the dealerships. Beighle says this would mean they’ll avoid a court fight over when the Gees will depart, though he also reiterates these talks have no bearing on the other lawsuit, filed by the Gees against the Hulings. He says the Gees hope to keep possession of the lots till the end of next month. As for another question many have asked — what’s the Huling family’s plan for the dealership sites? — Beighle says the Hulings are not currently marketing the properties and are still deciding what to do next.

Still closed, now scrutinized

Still seems Chuck and Sally’s Tavern north of Morgan Junction is the sort of place that should have had a “we’re closing” party rather than just fading away. Whatever the case, it’s still closed, and as we reported here and here, seems unlikely to be reopening. Latest action at the site is a city violation notice of “illegal land use” — according to the notation on the city website, the alleged violation constituted “using the property (used to be a tavern) as a parking lot.” Not much action when we went by, though:


First weekend for Alki pumpkin patch

Student entrepreneur Erik — formerly of the produce stand by The Homestead — is back in business with a pumpkin patch in the Wheel Fun spot next to Coastal, scarecrows & all:


Erik told us he didn’t reopen last weekend as he had hoped because of some trouble lining up a pumpkin supplier – but from here on out, he will be there Fridays-Saturdays-Sundays, 11 am to dusk, selling some produce as well as cider and tea:


Pumpkins are priced by size, $1 through $8.



Beach biz buzz

Buzz on Alki (reader tip — THANK YOU!) is that the last open space in the ex-Alki Market (easternmost space of the building where Cactus and All the Best Pet Care now hold court) is going to some type of food store. Haven’t found the business’s name yet. The city construction-permit application is to “alter and change use of east tenant space … to restaurant/deli in existing retail/restaurant/apartment building.”

Reader Recommendation Request: The heat is on

WSB reader Natalie is looking for reader recommendations on “a good, local heating oil company with reasonable prices.” The most recent quote she got was $3.29, and she’s wondering if that is par for the course. We are suggestionless since our house was converted from oil to gas years before we bought it; who’s got ideas for Natalie?

New allegation from GEE

Yesterday, we wrote to the PR folks for GEE Automotive to ask for the latest on the shuttered dealership — is it still for sale, is a buyer near, or will the inventory be cleared off the lot any time soon. Finally got a response today, in the form of the following press release claiming Steve Huling is to blame for a sale not going through. 6:05 PM UPDATE: A response from the Huling family is in the comments following this post (excerpt: “This whole episode is yet another attempt by the Gees to blame the Hulings for Gees’ lack of execution.”) Also, linked after the press release, is a document also sent by the GEE PR representatives, from Ryan Gee to Steve Huling:Read More

The next big West Seattle retail trend?

We’ve had a cascade of cupcakes, a plethora of pet stores … now, perhaps, a surge of supplement shops. A year after Super Supplements moved into The Junction, a new permit granted for space in Westwood Village (we haven’t done the backwork yet to figure out which space “E8” refers to) reveals the impending arrival of “Fresh Vitamins.” A quick websearch shows they have several other outlets around the metro area.

Huling vs. GEE: The rent/eviction lawsuit

It was barely a footnote (see comments here) to last week’s coverage of the GEE vs. Huling lawsuit, but geehulingicon.jpgHuling has indeed sued GEE for “unlawful detainer” (eviction) centered on the alleged nonpayment of rent as of the start of September. Since we offered you the chance to read the GEE vs. Huling lawsuit in full, now that we have the paperwork for the Huling vs. GEE lawsuit, we’re posting a link to that one too: 39-page PDF, get it here. Most of this document consists of the GEE lease for the Huling properties, plus the 3-day notice dated September 27th to pay rent or get evicted. (If you’re just joining us, GEE had announced plans to close today, but instead shut down Friday.) Our notes from the first readthrough:Read More

As Steve Winwood once sang …

“while you see a chance, take it.” (1981) Seen tonight, a stone’s throw from the now-closed ex-GEE/ex-Huling dealerships:


GEE closure: The signs of shutdown

Before we headed out again to check out the closure status and seek new pix, WSB reader Andy S sent us the photo below (thank you!). He says copies of this flyer are up at all the entrances, and “the place is a ghost town”: