Lindsay Peyton
Laurel Trujillo opened Ounces with her husband Andrew at 3809 Delridge Way SW. The couple is dedicated to serving up local brews on tap in a welcoming environment.

What’s on tap? Ounces serves up only the best -- exclusively from Washington

By Lindsay Peyton

When West Seattle residents Laurel and Andrew Trujillo couldn’t find their ideal bar in their neck of the woods, they decided to just build one themselves.

“We’ve lived here for nine years, and we could see what was missing,” Laurel said. “Andrew and I would hop on our bikes on the weekends and want to have a beer in the sun, but there was nowhere to go.”

The couple opened their dream business around five months ago – Ounces, a taproom and beer garden serving exclusively Washington-sourced microbrews, ciders and wine.

Now that the dust is settling on their totally renovated space, the spot is becoming a neighborhood favorite.

Laurel Trujillo makes it a point to turn her customers into regulars.

“If you come here twice, I’m going to remember your face,” she said. “The third time, I’ll know your name. And either Andrew or I are always here. We’re that type of establishment.”

They both have a background in marketing – so creating their own business plan wasn’t exactly a stretch.

“For us it was about pursuing our passion and doing something on our own,” Laurel said. “We started thinking about what we really cared about. For us, that was beer.”

While opening their own beer garden had appeal, the couple was also nervous about taking the first step.

“We had benefits, well-paying jobs, security – and leaving that behind was scary,” Laurel said. “We took that leap of faith, and then it was just about making it happen. It was definitely a challenge. It was all new territory, but that was part of the fun.”

Their vision was a space where West Seattleites could bring their dogs or their kids, less of a bar and more of a community gathering place, serving only local products.

“We weren’t reinventing the wheel,” Laurel said. “You go to the Ballard breweries, and you get the same kind of thing. We wanted to bring that here. So many people live in West Seattle, but they don’t like to leave the island. We wanted to bring that brewery experience to them.”

Looking for a property to accommodate their vision was difficult.

“That probably took us the longest time, finding the right location,” Laurel said. “Commercial property is at a premium, especially with a large outdoor space and parking. We looked everywhere, high and low.”

She saw potential in a weed shop on its last legs, located at 3809 Delridge Way SW.

“You really had to use your vision,” she said with a laugh. “Once we reached out to the property owner and realized this spot could be viable, it went pretty quickly.”

Laurel and Andrew went to work remodeling the spot themselves, tearing down the interior walls to create a light, bright space inside, clean and modern and focused on the central display of their 30 taps.

“We just gutted the place,” Laurel said. “It was an extensive renovation. We hadn’t done anything like it before. I had never even picked up a power tool. It was a lot of trial and error.”

They built an exterior fence from palettes donated by Alki Lumber – and created outdoor tables from industrial wooden spools.

The couple propped up a climate-controlled tent outside so they could still have the beer garden feel, even though they opened in November.

Laurel said customers started showing up right away. “The community rallied around us,” she said. “And it’s been awesome. People from all over are finding out about us. Business has been building more and more.”

Jeremy Vrablik lives in the Delridge neighborhood and learned that Ounces was opening on Facebook.

“It was exciting to see that they were going to feature just Northwest beers,” he said. “And it was cool that they allow kids and dogs. It seemed like the perfect venue, like something that Delridge really needed.”

Vrablik enjoys walking to the establishment for a drink and to sample the options from the rotating food trucks.

“It’s an awesome place, and everyone should check it out,” he said. “Laurel’s done a great job making it friendly and inviting. It feels like you went out to come home.”

Agen Schmitz is another fan of Ounces – and lives right down the street with his wife. “We have been boosters of businesses coming into Delridge,” he said.

The couple stopped by for opening day and have been regulars ever since. “For us, it’s very important to have a family-friendly place where you can go and hang out with your neighbors,” Schmitz said. “And I’d recommend it for their wonderful selection of locally sourced beers.”

Laurel is looking forward to taking down the tent and hoping Ounces becomes the hot spot to be in the summer.

The taproom hosts a rotating selection of food trucks for hungry customers – and also serves up sandwiches and barroom snacks.

The Trujillos select everything that’s on tap themselves – and take pride in keeping the options top-notch.

“It’s all good stuff,” Laurel said. “It’s all about the fun of trying new things. We want to make this a community place – and build a great tap list -- with one or five or ten things that you’re absolutely going to love.”

Ounces is open at 3809 Delridge Way SW from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit www.ounceswestseattle.com.

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