West Seattle, Washington
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!”
Last month, we reported that Lily’s Salvadorean Restaurant was on the way to 2940 SW Avalon Way. You probably know proprietor Lilian Anaya from her popular Farmers’ Market booth. We finally got the details tonight – including that the restaurant will open tomorrow (Wednesday, March 9th). Anaya tells WSB, “I am planning to serve typical Salvadorean food, along with some Mexican food. We will be bringing a real taste of El Salvador to everyone. The hours are going to be 6 am to 10 pm every day.” She says she decided to open a restaurant here “because the West Seattle Farmers Market is one of our best markets in Seattle and I believe that we will hope to do well in the West Seattle area. In West Seattle, our customers now know us and enjoy the food, and we would like to keep bringing that joy when people eat the pupusas.” Her booth will hace to skip the market for a month or so “due to the fact that we don’t have enough staff for both the Restaurant and Farmers Market.” Anaya adds that while tomorrow is opening day, the Grand Opening will have to wait until her liquor license is finalized.
This is the last week that our state and county will require people to wear masks in many indoor settings. The end of the mandate does not mean that people can’t choose to continue wearing masks, nor does it mean that businesses or other facilities/institutions can’t choose to continue requiring them. Shandon Armstrong, proprietor of the gift shop Alair (3270 California SW), told us, “I’ve been struggling with how to handle masks this time around. … I finally came up with a solution that I’m happy with and my staff is comfortable with. I thought it might help other businesses that are also struggling with what the right thing to do is …” So as of next Saturday, March 12th, this will be Alair’s policy:
*Masks (will be) no longer required in Alair
*Our staff will usually still wear masks per their own wishes and we are all fully vaccinated and boostered
*Masks are still awesome and keeping everyone safe, so:
*Anyone that chooses to wear a mask while shopping will receive an appreciation discount of 5% off their total purchase
Even after next Saturday, masks will continue to be required in health-care and long-term-care facilities, aboard transit, and in correctional facilities.
Thanks for the tip. Signs at the two co-owned Chevron stations in Admiral (41st/Admiral, shown above, and California/Admiral) are displaying prices above $5/gallon. These are outliers in West Seattle so far as we can tell from driving the arterials – the (corrected) Chevron station at Delridge/Orchard is the only one close, with a $4.99 on its sign.
Most others are considerably cheaper. National updates say the average nationwide price may break a record this week. Way back in the volatile times of 2008-2009, we published weekly gas-price checks, long before sites/apps specializing in that popped up; the $4-plus records were set in mid-2008, but by late 2008, prices were dropping below $2.
12:25 PM: Just Poké has long had West Seattle in its sights – more than four years – but for the first time, there’s a sign of progress. Hope tipped us today that the banner was up in the window of Just Poké’s future location, the former Wallflower Custom Framing space in Mural (4735 42nd SW) across from Jefferson Square. That’s the space that Just Poké’s founder Norman Wu mentioned to us one year ago, though the company’s website shows a different WS address (the space since taken by West Seattle Liquor & Wine [WSB sponsor]). We have an inquiry out seeking an update on their timeline.
3:34 PM: Wu tells WSB they’re expecting to open in June.
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.
Today we welcome Sky Printing (4151 Fauntleroy Way SW) as a new member of the WSB sponsor team. We offer new sponsors the opportunity to let you know what they do – so here’s what Sky Printing wants you to know:
Sky Printing has been a part of the West Seattle community for over a decade. We are a family-owned small business, and we strive to uplift the community while offering unique services such as business cards, architectural prints, silk screening, graphic design, simple black and white or color copies, and much, much more!
We have a collaborative relationship with our customers. We work one-on-one with every customer and they leave feeling cared-for and respected. Our turnaround times are faster than any other printer in the city, and our dedication to our work and community is unparalleled!
We’ve updated our shop page to be as simple, fast, and intuitive as possible. We’ve made local/curbside pickup available for contactless delivery. We are now also shipping via USPS anywhere in the country!
Sky Printing also designs websites. We can help you build out your e-commerce platform and make your products shine. We can create a professional presence for your business on the internet. We can help you gather clients with email marketing and basic search-engine optimization. And we offer all this with your budget in mind. Make an appointment with our design team today for your free consultation.
Contact Sky Printing by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 206-933-5900.
We thank Sky Printing 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.
Tomorrow is Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday – if you’re looking for tasty ways to celebrate here on the peninsula, here’s what we have so far:
CIRCA FESTIVITIES: The owners of this Admiral restaurant/bar (2605 California SW) have strong ties to New Orleans, so it’s a big day. We asked co-proprietor Gretchen what’s planned – her reply: “Big special menu for Tuesday, plus Hurricanes will be flying. Music and decor.” Reminder, Circa is now open earlier, as reported here three weeks ago – 9 am, seven days a week.
BAKERY NOUVEAU ‘POP-UP’: The beloved bakery‘s locations (including 4737 California SW in The Junction) are all Fat Tuesday-focused tomorrow. Here’s the announcement:
March 1, 2022 will be our 2nd Fat Tuesday Pop-Up Shop! All 3 cafés will be open from 7:00am – 1:00pm on Tuesday, selling exclusively Mardi Gras products.
You can stop by any of the 3 shops and pick up the following items:
– Pączki (chocolate, raspberry, lemon, vanilla & apple caramel)
– King Cake
– Twice-Baked Croissant
**PLEASE NOTE: NO OTHER PRODUCTS WILL BE SOLD THIS DAY**
Anyplace else? Please let us know so we can add!
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“We’ve had a lot of fun – I believe it’s important to have a lot of fun, and laugh.”
That philosophy has propelled Sue Lindblom through almost 44 years of owning and operating the trailblazing West Seattle salon Illusions Hair Design (5619 California SW; longtime WSB sponsor). So much fun, she couldn’t bear to retire until now. Illusions has just announced it’s closing permanently at the end of May. (Read her full emailed announcement here.)
“I thought I’d retire at 65, or 67, or 68 … here I am, almost 74. But those numbers are just numbers.” This isn’t just her decision, her retirement. The entire Illusions team, with a collective century and a half at the salon, decided to call it a day, all planning to leave the hairstyling business. “It was just time – seemed like the right time for all of us.”
Lindblom has operated Illusions differently from most other salons. No tipping, for one. But that’s just part of it.
She was 30 when she and then-business partner Linda Rhoton opened Illusions Hair Design on June 1, 1978, ten years after she started in the business. She became sole owner when Rhoton had to retire early. “I didn’t think I’d be doing it this long.” A previous employer’s innovations inspired her. “I was managing that salon and started to think I could run one.” But it took a decade or so before she started “different ways of doing things.”
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.
Three food-biz notes:
TACONTAINER CHANGING: Thanks to Kathy for the tip. After 13 months, TACOntainer – the taco stand in a small repurposed shipping container at 2530 Alki Avenue SW – is closing. But the container is staying. Proprietor Victor explains, “We’re concluding our TACOntainer operations due to family reasons, unfortunately. This will be our last week for now. We might open a few more times before mid-March but that is uncertain at the moment. Our friends (another Mexican food vendor) will take over our spot and the name will change and the concept will change, but the container will stay.” Victor says there should be more news on that in mid-March, and if his family situation allows, “We hope to be able to come back in a year or so.”
NO-NAME DINER NO MORE: Just down the street, at 2738 Alki Avenue SW, the No-Name Diner has closed. We noticed a sign on the door recently that said “closed for remodeling.” But according to a social-media post, the restaurant closed at the end of January, with proprietor Renae explaining, “A good friend named Vittor and our chef Shawn, along with a small team, will be starting up a whole new concept for a restaurant, and The No-Name Diner will be no more.” The location has gone through a long list of concepts since the sudden closure of Alki Bakery there in late 2010 – before No-Name, it was It’s BBQ Time in the Kitchen, which followed Alki Chicken and Waffles, which was preceded by B’s Po Boy, and before that Fatburger from fall 2013 to early 2017, following Bada Bistro‘s less-than-five-month run, after two years for the Beachside Café.
3 MORE DAYS IN WEST 5 AUCTION: When West 5 in The Junction announced its closure, there was mention of an auction. That auction is happening online right now and has three days to go – with items including its most-famous signage, indoors and outdoors:
Dozens of other items too, as shown here, where you can bid until 8 pm Friday.
Thanks to John for the tip. Emerald Water Anglers (4502 42nd SW; WSB sponsor) was hit by grab-and-run thieves this morning, and it’s at least the second theft of that kind in The Junction in recent days. Matt at EWA tells WSB that it happened around 11:40 am today; two thieves stole $2,700 worth of Patagonia outerwear. He says one “had been in previously and looked at prices of items closest to the door.” As for descriptive information, he says “both male, one about 5’10” and the other about 6′; (they) ran to a running red Dodge 2500 truck without plates left running on the corner outside the shop.” If you have any tips, the SPD case number is 22-043860. This happened three days after what a reader told us was also a grab-and-run theft at West Seattle Optix (4555 California SW) on Thursday; no other details but the case number for that one was 22-041148.
With the redevelopment project at 4508 California SW getting ready for construction, both restaurants on the site now have closing dates. We’ve already reported on the impending closure of Kamei Japanese Restaurant – which set March 15th as the date a few days ago – and now we’ve confirmed the plan for Lee’s Asian Restaurant next door. It, like Kamei, has been in The Junction for 20 years, and Lee’s tells us they’ll be closing at the end of March. (Thanks to Tom for the tip; we went by to confirm today.) The future mixed-use building also includes the vacant storefront that previously held Naked Crepe. The new development finished going through Design Review more than two years ago; it was described at the time as a project with 58 apartments, 12 lodging units, 17 underground parking spaces, and ground-floor retail space. City permit files indicate demolition and construction could start as soon as April. It’ll be the first major construction project on California in the heart of The Junction since Junction 47 and 4730 California were built 7+ years ago. (Image: Google Maps Street View)
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!).
Three quick notes:
NO MORE SEE’S CANDIES: The temporary See’s Candies shop at Jefferson Square extended its stay until Valentine’s Day, but tonight we noticed that it’s officially gone, with a thank-you note on the door.
The Jefferson Square website lists the 1,400-square-foot space as “available.”
BED BATH BEYOND’S FINAL DAY: When the Westwood Village store’s closure was announced after Christmas, no date was given. But now the countdown is on, and posters in the windows are even announcing how many days are left. We stopped in today to ask; February 26th is the last day, they told us.
KAMEI STILL OPEN: You might recall that the Japanese restaurant at 4512 California SW announced back in October that it would close “early this year.” But so far, into the second half of the second month of 2022, they’re still open. So we asked this week if they have a date yet. Short answer, no – they’re awaiting an update on the development plan for the site. (The most recent construction plan in city files suggests that work could start as soon as April.)
(FRIDAY UPDATE: Commenter Michelle C. posted a photo of a sign that’s gone up since our conversation earlier this week – it now says the closing date will be March 15th.)
St. Patrick’s Day is one month from tomorrow. Since it’s on a Thursday this year, many celebrations will be held on the preceding weekend – like this one for which West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) invites you to register now:
We are doing something cool and partnering with Good Society Brewing on Sunday, March 13th at 9 am!
Join us for Group Run to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Meet at West Seattle Runner for 5k route around the ‘hood. Finish at Good Society Brewing
We ask that you sign up to take part (so Good Society can plan; they are opening early for us! And so we can decide if we need to arrange waves and an outside gathering). Please note that you need to mask up in the shop. You will have the option to be outside or indoors at Good Society. And of course, the run takes place outdoors, so this can be something to participate in a COVID-safe way.
Sign up by stopping by West Seattle Runner [2743 California SW] and purchasing an entry for $1.The dollar is to hold your place (if you choose to not attend after registering, please let us know, so your spot can go to someone on the waitlist). Each dollar will be given to Good Society staff as a tip. Soon, we will post a link to purchase on our web store. But we want first dibs to go to our customers before the public can sign up remotely. There will be a cap on the number of participants.
Good Society will donate part of proceeds to The West Seattle Food Bank or Social Justice Fund.
Wear your green or risk being pinched! There will be a raffle drawing to boot!!
Businesses and community champions are honored every year with the Westside Awards, which start with nominations that can be made by anyone. Just announced, the four-week nomination period is on:
Annually the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce presents the Westside Awards, and the nomination portal is now live for you to submit your selections for:
1) Business of the Year
2) Not for Profit of the Year
3) Emerging Business of the Year
4) Westsider of the Year.
You can submit your nominations online here . Deadline to submit nominations is Monday, March 14, 2022 at 5 pm.
Each year at the Annual Westside Awards Breakfast, we celebrate the successful business environment and community involvement found in West Seattle. At this event, we honor three local businesses and one individual who demonstrate results-oriented leadership, a cornerstone of a thriving economic region.
“It’s so nice to get to recognize our local businesses and individuals for their contribution to our community,” said Dawn Leverett, 2022 West Seattle Chamber Board Chair. “We look forward to hearing the stories of triumph from the past year.”
Save the date for the Annual Westside Awards Breakfast to be held in-person on Tuesday, May 17th, 2022 from 7:30 am to 8:30 am. Event details to follow at www.wschamber.com. Take a look back at the previous Westside Award winners in each category here wschamber.com/westside-awards.
Questions? Ask Chamber executive director Whitney Moore at email@example.com.
In our coverage of last month’s quarterly Morgan Community Association meeting, we noted the new owner of the Ivy Court mixed-use building announcing a new tenant for a vacant commercial space. West Seattle Pilates and Fitness proprietor Jenny Melville says the move is now complete:
West Seattle Pilates and Fitness has moved from the ActivSpace building to Morgan Junction. The new address is 6521 California Ave SW. We offer private/duet lessons and will be adding semi-private classes (up to 4 people) starting February 28th. Feel free to call or email with questions! 206-822-5844 * firstname.lastname@example.org
2940 SW Avalon Way, until recently the home of Allyum, has a new tenant – someone you might already know from the West Seattle Farmers’ Market: A liquor-license application this week revealed that Lily’s Salvadorean is taking over the space. A note on the window confirms it:
The note promises Mexican food as well as Salvadorean. Founder Lilian Anaya Quintanilla‘s business is more than a decade old. We briefly made contact at the market today, where Lily’s booth was very busy as usual, and we’re working on a followup conversation for details.
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.
Biznotes related to the big occasions that is just four days away – Valentine’s Day:
VALENTINE’S DAY AT WYATT’S JEWELERS: Extra shopping time if you’re thinking about jewelry for a Valentine’s gift – longtime WSB sponsor Wyatt’s Jewelers in Westwood Village (2600 SW Barton) will be open this Sunday (February 13th) and Monday (February 14th), days the store otherwise would be closed. 10 am-6 pm both days!
VALENTINE’S DAY AT ALAIR: Alair gift shop (3280 California SW) also is adding extra days/hours – noon-8 pm Friday (February 11th), 10 am-5 pm Saturday and Sunday, 10 am-3 pm Monday. Proprietor Shandon elaborates:
I know a huge number of West Seattle small businesses are closed on Mondays (as we usually are), and with Super Bowl being so late this year, we adjusted our hours a bit to give people chances to come in. We also have some cute bags and necklaces from West Seattle makers Nordy Made and Sea+Pine Designs that were custom made just for Alair!
CAKE POP-UP AT PAPER BOAT: If a sweet treat suits your Valentine plans, check out Sunday’s pop-up at Paper Boat Booksellers (6040 California SW):
Stop by and pick up a delicious treat for Valentine’s Day from local cake makers Emily & Drew Cain of Lovely & Dapper Desserts. They will be selling mini cakes with a festive Valentine twist, “My Passion For You” (chocolate and passion fruit) and “ Honey I Lavender You” (honey lavender) from 2-5 pm Sunday at the front of the shop. We can personally vouch for the deliciousness of these cakes and we are thrilled they will be joining us!
PET PHOTO BOOTH AT MUD BAY: On Saturday, Mud Bay in The Admiral District (2611 California SW) welcomes you and your dog, cat, or other small animal to a free Valentine-themed photo booth, noon-4 pm.
Anything Valentine-y at YOUR biz this weekend? Let us know so we can add – email@example.com – thank you!