The entrepreneurial spirit is alive in this otherwise sluggish economy as Swedish Automotive co-owners, and husband and wife, Dave Winters and Sandra Wanstall, expand their business four blocks south, from 35th Avenue SW and Webster, to 35th and Kenyon. Their repair business, at its current location for 20 years, has just four bays and not a lot of extra space for the Volvos, Saabs, and Subarus awaiting repairs, plus his 13 loaners, and 11 employees.
MRJ Constructors, who built the Viking Bank, West Seattle Branch, the Eagle Harbor Inn on Bainbridge Island, and the University House senior living facility in Wallingford is building a new 6,000 square feet green building with 12 bays on a 19,500 square foot lot for Winters and Wanstall that was once a gas station. An existing two story structure on the lot will remain, to be used as their office and rental space. They purchased the lot Dec. 29, 2006.
They plan a grand opening the Tuesday after Labor Day, and want to find another business interested in leasing their current location, also a former gas station. It is 2,515 square feet.
While the Alaska Junction has several dessert options, the Admiral Junction now has a sweet spot of its own. Heavenly Pastry & Cake officially opened Friday, May 28 at 2604 California Avenue SW, the space the West Seattle Herald office once occupied. And while some miss the old office, you can always grab a "Raspberry-Hazelnut Yum" bar and a cup of Stumptown Coffee and read our latest issue while seated on the bakery's Heavenly church pew and homemade tables.
Heavenly Pastry & Cake founder and baker Allison Barnes is a 20-year West Seattle resident.
"We built the tables ourselves," said Barnes. "They're in the basement now while the stain is drying," she said of the trimmed, butcher block "islands."
She explained, "The Full Gospel Pentecostal (Federated) Church on Delridge was giving the pew away. Clove and I got blessed when we picked it up. We'll see if that took."
Clove Burt works at the bakery. Like Barnes and her other Heavenly bakers, Burt graduated from culinary school at South Seattle Community College.
There are many places along Alki Beach to have fun. But if you want to have "wheel fun," you can rent a surrey bicycle at Wheel Fun Rentals, 2530 Alki Avenue SW, located on an outdoor gravel lot between Coastal" and Pioneer Coffee. If you drive by the lot quickly, it may resemble a large carnival ride.
But look closer, and you will see a "fleet" of 60-70 brightly colored two, three, and four-wheel bicycles in a variety of shapes and styles. There is the "single surrey," built for two, and the "double-surrey," built for four, that look like shopping carts on steroids that you peddle.
There is the slightly hipper, and more wind resistant "deuce coupe," a three-wheel, low-to-the-ground contraption for two, and the basic one-speed utility bicycle, the "beach cruiser."
The West Seattle Herald happened to run into Wheel Fun Founder, Brian McInerney at his Alki location. He has over 80 franchised locations nationwide. Most are in California, but there are several in Florida, Oregon, and still others sprinkled around the country.
She's a former science teacher, a biotech sales rep, a roller derby skater and the new owner of "knows perfume" at 4536 California Ave. S.W.
Christen Cottam is an avid fan of perfumes and fragrances. Her personal perfume collection exceeds 200 bottles. It's so large that she now keeps it at the store. "It's here because I share with my friends. I couldn't go through it in a lifetime, so if a friend smells something and likes it, they can wear it," she said.
Cottam takes great delight in helping people find what she calls their "holy grail" perfume, which she says people find when they smell something "and their face just lights up."
Her first career was as a 7th grade biology teacher and her background in that science worked out well for her stint as a sales rep for biotech firms as well as deepening her understanding of the mysteries of fragrance.
Sunset Hill's Ristorante Picolinos debuted its new 25-foot-tall, patio-covering tent, the first of its kind in Seattle, May 11.
Picolinos owner Tom Bailiff said that kind of tent has not been done before in the city, and Teatro Zinzanni has the only other structure that comes close to it.
Bailiff said the uniqueness of the tent, which covers the backyard garden, dining area and pizza oven for the restaurant located at 6415 32nd Ave. N.W., made the city very cautious, leading to a year-long permitting process.
The green-and-white stripped tent is anchored by a 30-foot-pole. Bailiff said despite its size, the tent can be opened and closed by him and two bus boys and is easy to take down to repair and clean.
He said the climate in Seattle is good but it rains too much, and a series of small table umbrellas would not cut it.
The tent has a height that umbrellas can't match and can withstand hurricane-force winds, Bailiff said.
He said customers have mostly been very happy with the new tent, and he has several parties already scheduled to eat under it.
You're a Seattleite. It’s Tuesday. It’s summer. What should you do? The In Ballard Merchants Association is hoping the answer to that question is, "Come to Ballard."
Last night, Ballard merchants met to plan the second annual Tuesdays in Ballard marketing campaign, designed to drive people to the neighborhood to eat, drink, shop and play.
With perks like kitchen tours at Ray’s Boathouse and free popsicles at Re-Soul shoe shop, plus community events like rummage sales and pottery contests, these merchants want to make Ballard the place to be from July 6 to Aug. 31.
Last summer, happy hour Tuesdays saved the Hi-Life, said general manager Dave Kearns. The American grill continued the specials throughout the year, and even last Tuesday, had to usher guests onto a waitlist after 9:30 p.m.
“It doubled our business,” Kearns said. “Tuesday is now our busiest night besides Friday or Saturday.”
There are a few new ventures in store for this year.
“Hopefully, we’ll have more involvement and momentum from last year,” said Inez Gray, In Ballard president and owner of Habitude Salon and Spa.
Ballard-born Ron Ness has been a hotel director for Carnival Cruise Lines for 15 years. He was recently in town on the 960-foot Carnival Spirit cruise ship, ready to sail to Alaska May 11 for a seven-day cruise to the Tracy Arm Fjord, Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan and back through Victoria.
This was Carnival’s first cruise from Seattle and had a full ship of 2,124 passengers. This was also the first of 18 cruises that will bring some 42,000 passengers to the city this season for cruises departing every Tuesday from the Port of Seattle's newest cruise terminal, Smith Cove at Pier 91.
Many have heard the modern cruise ship described as a floating hotel. So what does Ness do?
"I encompass 825 crew members," he said. "I'm in charge of food and beverage, entertainment, all the concessions and housekeeping. My being from Seattle and our bringing one of our favorite ships into Seattle is incredible."
Ness grew up in Crown Hill. He said his grandfather had his fishing boats in Ballard and would go up to Alaska regularly.
Now, Ness is doing the same but in a fancier craft.
Grocery Outlet is now open in the former location of the Crown Hill Value Village at 8700 15th Ave. N.W.. The store, which offers savings of up to 50 percent on brand name foods and merchandise, will have its grand opening celebration May 8.
Owner of the Crown Hill Grocery Outlet, Edmonds resident Steve Campbell has been in the retail grocery business for the past 25 years. He started as a grocery bagger in northern California out of high school and worked his way up through the retail chain, eventually serving in management for Food-4-Less, Cala Foods and Whole Foods Market.
“Having worked in the grocery industry for many years, I’m excited to be able to offer Crown Hill and surrounding area Seattle residents the opportunity to save a significant amount of money through Grocery Outlet,” Campbell said in a press release. “Our customers will notice that discount shoppers don’t have to shop in a discount atmosphere, nor sacrifice on name brands or quality. “
For the Crown Hill store, Campbell and his wife and co-owner Blanca have hired 30 local residents, most of whom live within a five-mile radius of the store, according to the press release.
On April 30 Café Revò unveiled its new spring menu which includes fresh fish, and risottos and other items to go with fresh vegetables in season. The restaurant, just south of the West Seattle Bridge on Avalon Way, has been open for 14 months.
“We still have all of our old favorites specific to Revò, in Northern Italy where my family is from,” said owner Sofia Zadra Goff. “And my husband, Sean, who opened the restaurant, all of his recipes are still on the menu, too. Half the menu has new items on it. The fresh halibut is in season now and is very Italian.”
As many Revò fans and other area residents know, Sofia’s husband Sean Goff passed away last September 17 at age 43. He was stricken with a fatal cerebral hemorrhage. There was an enormous outpouring of warmth for the beloved chef from the community.
"We are definitely carrying on with what my husband and I originally wanted for the restaurant,” Sofia said. “He got very sick just three months after we opened. He realized his dream before he died, the legacy of what we created together. The tables, drywall we laid, everything in this space we did together so I will always have that, and my children will too.”
Some say, "My home is my temple." but on Thursday, April 29, Husky Deli could have said the same thing, as two rabbis' wives worked the lunch crowd there with a tasting of their new Marian Davis' Barbeque Sauce.
Giti Fredman runs the Torah Learning Center, or TLC, a temple and school of Jewish learning for aduilt and children, with husband, Rabbi David Fredman, in the Admiral neighborhood. Rooksie David, who, with husband, Avraham, runs the Seward Park Kollel, also a Jewish learning center, and the "mother ship" of the TLC. Rooksie developed the product, and Giti helps her distribute it .
The first $225 thousand of profits goes to funding children's learning at the TLC and other Kollel affiliates.
In addition to Husky Deli, Marian Davis' Barbeque Sauce is offered at the Admiral Pub, Spuds Fish & Chips on Alki, soon at the Morgan Junction Thriftway, and now at Swinery Meats, north of the Junction.
The Swinery? Is that kosher?