Reenacting the first drink ever served at West 5 Restaurant and Lounge, Bill Reid (left) and owners Dean Overton and Dave Montoure share a moment. That first drink? A shot of whiskey and a PBR.
West 5 celebrating ten years of comfort food and community
In 2003, on February 8, "right at about 4 o'clock", Dean Overton served the first drink to well known Seattle radio personality Bill Reid at the brand new restaurant West 5. Overton and his partner Dave Montoure (current President of the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce) had never opened or run a restaurant before.
They wanted to infuse it with the spirit of West Seattle right from the start from the name (the former phone company designation before it became all numbers) to the historical photos on the wall. Since then the restaurant and lounge has become a neighborhood fixture and the natural place to go when locals are seeking comfort food, a well made cocktail or just a place to relax and unwind. It has also become an ardent supporter of all things West Seattle often involved in causes and community events.
Montoure reflected on the first decade for West 5. "It's unbelievable. We're really thankful for the support of the community. It was rough when we first opened up. Thank God things like Yelp weren't around when we first opened up because I think I would have jumped off a bridge. But we quickly got things straightened out. When we first opened we wanted to be a cocktail lounge without too much food but really wasn't what the neighborhood was looking for so we had to invest very heavily in our first couple of years in our kitchen equipment and kitchen staffing." The long narrow space, formerly a Gallenkamp shoe store in one of it's incarnations (look at the floor when you walk in) , retains some other West Seattle elements, such as a painting that once hung at Vann's Restaurant (where the Maharaja Restaurant is today).
The menu has changed a lot over the decade but a few things have become West Seattle staples, "Things like the Mac and Cheese and the BLT, a lot of the comfort food items and we've added a few new things like our tamales which we have just re-engineered. We added a brunch menu about two years ago.
Montoure added, "We share this anniversary with some pretty good company. Places like C and P Coffee, Avalon Glassworks, our friends down at Georgetown Brewing Company, they are all celebrating ten years in business this year. I think of all those like minded independent businesses and how good it is to have their company at this milestone"
An anniversary party is set for Sunday night, starting at 8 pm and of course a cake will be offered, plus special food items some West 5 Swag and more. Open to the public. Montoure said of the event, "The Yada Yada Blues Band will be rockin' the down n dirty Delta blues-funk thing that they do. Food, prizes and there's a rumor of Chartreuse jello shots."
West 5 is located at 4539 California Ave SW .