West Seattle, Washington
Thanks to a WSB reader for writing to inquire why the number for O2, the Cali Ave restaurant launched by Ovio, was disconnected. Reminded us that we had seen a liquor-license ap several weeks ago for the same address under the name “Beato Food and Wine”; went by O2 back then, saw no signs of change, forgot about it till now. But today, there it is in the window — a sign saying O2 is closed but Beato will open soon. (The sign also touts a website that as is usually the case with these things, isn’t up yet. Argh.)
At least once a week, someone writes to ask if we’ve heard anything new about the longstanding rumor that Trader Joe’s will sweep triumphantly into West Seattle, at last relieving so many of us of the need to frequent Burien. Got another such note today and we’re thinking it’s time to publicly say, we unfortunately have not heard a word of anything new. The rumors for a while circulated around the future development near Metropolitan Market … which doesn’t even seem remotely close to groundbreaking anyway. But we know the WSB visitorship includes a few insiders from the business and development communities; if anyone cares to share any inside scoop, we promise your anonymity’s safe with us …
Chalk another one up for West Seattle Blog Spouse, who bet me that the ex-Remo Borracchini spot in The Junction would become a “fancy bakery with something French in its name.”
Sometime in the past 24 hours, a sign went up, as follows: “Coming soon (to delightfully spoil West Seattle with bread, pastry, cakes, chocolates and coffee)/Bakery Nouveau/home of world baking champion 2005/USA top 10 chocolatier 2004/William Leaman.”
According to a variety of online references, Leaman’s been at Essential Baking Company in North Seattle for a while and does indeed have quite an impressive resume, dating back into his teens. West Seattle’s got a fair amount of good bakeries — so could this mean we’re in for something great?
-The former Casablanca Coffee on 35th has changed its name again. After 3 months as the Coffee Shoppe, it’s now “Carosello.”
-The windows at the former Borracchini Bakery in The Junction are now papered over. Still no hint of what’s next, aside from the city permit application a month and a half ago mentioning “modifications to existing bakery.”
The owner of Edie’s Shoes (in The Junction, just west of Easy Street) wrote to let us (and you) know about a cool-sounding event she’s part of this Thursday night: Her store, Carmilia’s, and Sweetie will be open for “late-night shopping” 7-10 pm — with wine and appetizers, she says! Gee, one more nail in the coffin of our WS memories from back whenÃ‚Â apparel offerings in The Junction didn’t go much beyond Shafrans (scroll down for historical photo). A few more of these hi-fash stores, and you’ll half expect to see the “Sex and the City” gals strutting down Cali Ave.
Catching up on biz news tonight, driving most of Cali Ave for the first time in a few days … sorry if it’s old news to you, but now we know what’s replacing Emily Ann’s Dollar Boutique in the prime (but so often turned over) real estate @ the southwest corner of The Junction: Big banner in the window proclaims “A Special Delivery for West Seattle/georgia blu/a baby boutique/Opening November.” Doesn’t surprise me in the least; first came the condos, now comes the baby boom, evidenced every Sunday with the abundance of young families in the crowd at the Farmers’ Market (among other examples). But will this new arrival give birth to a neon sign, to fit in with its corner-mates?
-A visitor wrote to tell us that Swee Swee Paperie (just east of Cupcake Royale) is now open in The Junction (though its website is lagging; what is it with new businesses and site lag, like the Talarico’s site advertised in the Hi-Yu booklet two months ago, but as of this am still not up?).
Scrolling signboard at Viking Bank (which took over the former Burger King location on the east edge of The Junction) says its “lobby” opens this Thursday. We’ve been thinking about exploring alternatives to the Locally Based SuperMegaBank that inertia’s kept us with for years, but a click on the “fee schedule” link on Viking’s home page doesn’t show anything attractive — $33 per overdraft, for example, is worse than Locally Based SuperMegaBank.
You may have noticed already — the Junction boutique Clementine is now open in the former tanning-salon spot next to Pagliacci, with a sign/awning as its facade’s finishing touch. Across the street, in the old Neilsen Florist space, the city’s just accepted the construction-permit application for the food/drink spot that’s been posted for months as the future “Think Tank”; same thing’s just happened a bit to the south for the future Garlic Jim’s. Busy fall ahead (and all this amid the repaving project; a pain now, but how lovely it will be when that’s all done)!
If you were hoping for a comeback of the Cat’s Eye Cafe just north of Lincoln Park (as we sort of were), closed since a crash last winter, finally there’s proof it’s just not going to happen. The sign’s not up yet as of tonight (though the permit application for it is in), but a Web site proclaims the building’s rebirth as a yoga/spiritual counseling business, the Four Aims Center. The center’s offerings sound intriguing — but the official demise of the Cat’s Eye leaves us a bit misty, as it’s the site of fond family memories from the latter half of the ’90s, when various major life events left us quite dependent on their morning muffins as well as incredible takeout soups and sandwiches. (We remember hearing that the people who ran it back then are the same ones who opened Circa in the late ’90s, but can’t find proof.)
OUT: Just yesterday, the city issued a demolition permit for the old “West Fuel” place on 35th south of Legends. Drove by the site tonight — it’s already rubble. No indication yet what’ll replace it. (Three guesses?)
IN: Next to Pagliacci, the lights were on tonight inside the new little shop “Clementine” next door. As promised on the original butcher paper, it’s displaying purses and shoes. Likely to be a huge hit with all those trendy young ladies we see milling about the hot new Junction nightlife.
OUT: More and more of the pavement in the middle of Cali Ave in The Junction’s south block, scooped away, leaving quite the deep trench in spots. We’re thinking it might be fun to see this filled up a la the canals of Venice. Imagine navigating from Admiral Junction to Morgan Junction in a gondola. Also note, contrary to our observation from last week, in the heart of the construction zone, the NO PARKING rule is in effect around the clock TFN … makes sense since now there’s only one passable lane in each direction, fully utilizing the space all the way to the curbs.
IN: A bigger sign on the window of the forthcoming “Swee Swee Paperie,” just east of Cupcake Royale. It promises offerings including “corporate gifting.” I’m sure it’ll be a swell store, but it’s a shame SSP is participating in the verbing of nouns …
Two Junction-bound stores that seem bound to be artsy/boutiquey, at the very least — Divina (north of Hotwire & its dentist neighbors) and Clementine (next to Pagliacci) — both have now taped hand-printed sheets of paper to their storefront glass, promising “OPEN IN SEPTEMBER.” I’m a little worried; if WS gets any trendier, you all are going to have to throw declasse ol’ me out.
A little more info on what’s up at the Morgan Junction Starbucks, which has applied for a “sidewalk cafe” permit … West Seattle Blogger Spouse says it’s posted as closing at 8 pm every night for the next few weeks (a couple hours earlier than usual for this time of year) for “remodeling.”
Trivia for newcomers: That Starbucks location used to be a drugstore. Overall, Morgan Junction was fairly lowkey for our first few years on this side of WS; then came the Great Thriftway Fire of 1997 (we were out of town on vacation; seeing the smoldering debris on our return was quite the shock). The wonderful rebuild turned the store to face California instead of Fauntleroy, and things in the neighborhood really started jumping.
Got out and about for the first time in a few days … First, a couple notes from the Junction: Though the space posted as the future “Divina Cantina” does not appear open yet, a new store in front of it called “Divina” appears to be almost set to go. Its doors are posted with an artsy flyer trumpeting simply “Divina/Objects Of Beauty.” Looks like said objects include clothes, dishes, and wall hangings, among other things we didn’t quite have time to catalog while peering through the window … Also, just noticed that the former “In-Out Espresso” south of Pagliacci has changed its name to “Red Cup Espresso.” Sorry if that’s old news — gotta wonder, though, did those California burger people come after them, or did they just get tired of saying “No relation”?
Now, from Beach Drive … the “For Sale” sign at the historic Satterlee House sprouted a “PRICE REDUCED” signlet sometime in the past week or so, so we checked the listing again … wow, down to $2.5 million, from the original $3,000,000. Gosh, maybe I should try the mortgage calculator again.
Last but not least, we returned home to find out in a roundabout way that one of our favorite non-amateur blogs has poked fun at us, sort of. Wow … when the venerable Dan Savage is aware of your existence, you know you’ve really arrived.
-One more upcoming event to add to the by-no-means-all-inclusive listlet I featured below: an e-mail tipster suggests I mention the 34th District Dems’ annual Garden Party/Auction, tomorrow (Friday) night at West Seattle Nursery.
-Tomorrow’s P-I features columnist Susan Paynter investigating the Battle of the Gas Stations in the Admiral District. Brings back memories of the hue and cry when Barnecut’s finally swapped out its charming antique brick building for the current mega-station look. I agree with the person quoted in the Paynter column as suggesting Barnecut’s put up a visual reminder of its status as a longstanding family-run, “full-service” business — otherwise, if you haven’t been in WS a looooong time, you may not realize it’s something much more than “just another gas station.”
A tv news story says Bobby’s Hobbies at the north end of the Junction is running out of gas, so to speak. That would leave our area without a mini-car racetrack, as far as we know … if you’ve been in WS a while, you may remember the indoor “speedway” that used to be in the spot West 5 now inhabits so nicely. The times, they are a-changin’ … we think Them Young People are mostly home playing computer games these dayz. (Aside: The above-linked story, as of this writing, mentions people with the surname “Grieb.” Don’t they mean “Greive“?)
Another pet-related store is on its way to Cali Ave. The windows of the formerÃ‚Â “Adorn,” on the west side of the street just south of Admiral, now sport huge banners touting the impending arrival of a Mud Bay pet-food outlet. (Also on the Mud Bay site, a handy page with photo and map.) That makes four pet-related stores along Cali Ave — also including Next to Nature, Petco, and Pet Elements. (Though perhaps Petco is not long for this [WS] world?)
Well, in this case, butcher-papered.
Just hours after we noticed the demise of Urban Fitness in the Junction, we spotted butcher paper over the windows of the tanning salon next to Pagliacci. Pulled over to have a look; it’s got a notice over the butcher paper, “closed, thanks for 14 years.” (The spouse of West Seattle Blogger notes, “Lousy location anyway, no parking.” True.)
What’s going on? This can’t all be blamed on the monorail ripple effect, can it?
We always wondered if the karma from Ben & Jerry’s in the Junction would cause some sort of cosmic trouble for Urban Fitness around the street. Now, whether it’s the ice-cream vibes or something else, it seems UF has vanished — just noticed this on our first drive through the Junction in at least a week.
This may be old news; we just called the club’s number and the recording told us they shut down as of Dec. 31 because they couldn’t negotiate a new lease. Surprising just the same, as this place was at one point so trendy that people came from all over town to partake in its cutting-edge exercise classes.
Perhaps the best-known gym on our side of the bay, 24-Hour Fitness @ Westwood, will have a better time staying afloat — not just because it’s part of a chain, but also because it’s across from something more compatible.
Passed the Cat’s Eye Cafe north of Lincoln Park this morning — big hurricane-zone-style piece of wood over the door, spray-painted in orange, TEMPORARILY CLOSED. Looked like something more serious than the holiday closures local restaurants engage in. Hope it’s not the same kind of “temporary closure” that bit Chez Million on Alki (formerly The Lighthouse Grill and The Point) before the unmarked butcher paper went up over all the windows …