UPDATE: Taradise Café ‘closed until further notice,’ blames basement flooding

ORIGINAL SUNDAY REPORT: Another White Center establishment that’s closed temporarily – Taradise Café. Not because of the heat wave, though. And not, its ownership says, because of the recent shootings outside the establishment that left two people dead. The sign above is what we found on the east front door this morning, checking out reader tips; below is what the café posted on social media Friday afternoon:

Taradise is temporarily closed due to an unexpected flood in the basement. Although this is an unforeseen disruption, the sheriffs came into our establishment looking for any reason to get us shut down. They have been trying to place blame on us for the unfortunate shootings that happened recently although we had nothing to do with it and it was not Taradise customers or affiliates. We’re sorry for the inconvenience and will be back up & running as soon as possible. We appreciate all the love and support from our customers, especially those that are regulars. Stay safe & we will see you soon. Nothin’ but love!

ADDED MONDAY: We checked today with King County Local Services. One week ago, they opened an investigation based on this complaint from someone, alleging a code violation: “Demolition of covered parking area and remodel of Cafe’ including addition of covered exterior seating area and possible other fire and building code violations.” However, the case is still open and a Local Services spokesperson says even if a violation is eventually found, this type of violation would not be a cause for closure.

ADDED WEDNESDAY: We also had inquired Monday with Public Health, which finally provided this information today:

During a routine site visit to the restaurant, a basement sewage backup became apparent, which presented an imminent health hazard. The operator closed the facility, as required, and may not resume operating until Public Health can verify the required steps have been taken to resolve the hazard.

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14 Responses to “UPDATE: Taradise Café ‘closed until further notice,’ blames basement flooding”

  1. “They have been trying to place blame on us for the unfortunate shootings that happened recently although we had nothing to do with it and it was not Taradise customers or affiliates.”

    What a disingenuous and self-serving statement. It harmonizes with that couple of defenders in comments who repeatedly insist (each time this happens) that it’s just the neighborhood! Strangers just using their parking lot, they can’t control that! It’s that sketchy tobacco shop across the street, nothing to do with Taradise Café! It’s all of White Center, the problem is solely a lack of police presence and anyone who says differently is just a “hater!” ​
    Taradise Café’s own video from May 7, 2017 shows murder suspect Billy Dawayne Williams enjoying himself INSIDE Taradise Café before he walked outside, crossed the street and shot someone in the head. KCSO published a report and video compilation tracking the suspect’s movements, that was posted here on White Center Now on January 24th, 2020:

    “King County Sheriff’s Office detectives are releasing (for the first time) an edited video compilation showing suspect Billy Dawayne Williams‘ movements on the night we believe he murdered a man in front of the Taradise Café in White Center in 2017. This video was gathered from multiple locations and enabled detectives to track Williams’ movements for several hours, right up to the murder itself.”

    Q13Fox website, March 7, 2018: “Surveillance video shows 26-year-old double-murder suspect Merle ‘Chucky’ Buchanan INSIDE the Taradise Café in White Center having a drink, talking on his cellphone and even smiling at someone moments before King County sheriff’s detectives say he killed Jose Garcia and Paul Tapia in the parking lot on January 6.”

    Charging documents from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office described Buchanan as a “semi-regular” at Taradise Café who had been there about an hour before the shooting.

    SHOOTING INCIDENT June 11, 2021:
    Two killed, two injured in White Center shooting
    From KOMO news website: “30 minutes before the shooting, Frank Larson said he was eating at Taradise Café.

    But he said with the high tension at the restaurant, he left.

    Witnesses say those tensions escalated outside.

    “Just the vibes in the air, you could tell something was going to happen. I could just feel it,” said Larson. “It’s really sad that something like this could have happened, what a tragedy.”

    From one of the shooting victims, Horace Anderson, in Kiro7 article June 13th: “He says he and his family members were at the Taradise Café Friday to pay their respects to the family of a friend who had died.

    “…That is how Anderson describes his reaction to a shooting in this parking lot in White Center just before 4 o’clock Friday afternoon. The violent encounter claimed the lives of his cousin and another man; critically injuring his brother, hurting him, too.

    “My cousin, he was in the car with me,” said Anderson. “My brother was in his own car. We were leaving and gunfire reacted, you know.”

    Yeah, gunfire just somehow reacted, happened, it’s all a mystery.

    Comment from an eyewitness, posted on the West Seattle Blog mentions men already at the cafe, on the premises “…3 or 4…men hanging out in the corner of the Cafe, I was…getting ready to get out of my car when a White Range Rover stoped almost behind us, then one of the guys hanging in the corner approached the passenger of the Range Rover (I don’t know what they were saying but they were shouting at each other) then the passenger of the Range Rover started shooting at the guy who approached him, then they were shooting back and forth for like a minute.”

    So three members of the same family, who were at Taradise Café get shot right outside; possibly at least one of them was shooting back (or started it?) After the injured/dying arrived at Harborview Medical Center, either the staff or SPD believed it was a gang beef: HMC doesn’t lock down their ER entrance with security to prevent possible retaliatory shootings on, you know, a whim.

    Somehow it just keeps happening with the folks who go there. Not a “hater,” just not buying the “it’s not Taradise, it’s the neighborhood!!” and “You’re hating on a woman-owned business and Slick Watts and Shawn Kemp love this place!” Yet the other bars and restaurants trying to make it in White Center don’t have this kind of grisly tally racking up year after year after bloody year.

    As another commenter posted in the most recent shooting thread: “I can’t see how you can say “it’s the hood, not the bar” when Taradise is literally the only bar this happens at. There haven’t been any shootings at Drunky’s, Beer Star, Dotties, Buho, Lumberyard or the Triangle, and yet there have been 4 shootings either at or originating from Taradise…Every other business in the area is affected by the crap that goes on at Taradise but management there doesn’t seem to care.”

  2. Elizabeth R Giba-Knowles Says:

    Did Local Services give the cause of the flooding?

  3. I have finally gotten info from Public Health. Adding.

  4. Joe Hoidysz Says:

    Taradise will always shine brighter than any darkness that befall’s them!! Nothing but love say’s it all!! Joe

  5. Joe hoidysz Says:

    TARADISE will ALWAYS shine brighter than any Darkness or Dimwitted view that befalls them!!! Nothing But Love say’s it all!!! Joe H.

  6. Flooding? “During a routine site visit to the restaurant, a basement sewage backup became apparent, which presented an imminent health hazard. The operator closed the facility, as required, and may not resume operating until Public Health can verify the required steps have been taken to resolve the hazard.”

  7. What about this shooting next to Southgate? You say that it only happens at Taradise or because of Taradise. This shooting 2 years ago next to Southgate and the Hookah lounge had nothing to do with Taradise.


  8. @KdT: I’m not taking a side, here, but you’re assuming that just because someone happened to have been inside Taradise, a local business, and then later was involved in an incident, that Taradise was somehow involved.

    That would be like someone leaving Fred Meyer and blaming Kroger for getting into a car accident on the way home after they have shopped. I suppose it could be related or it could just be the way things work sometimes.

  9. john Marken Says:

    Liz, as usual you are wrong and a NIMBY of the worst sort. Shame on you. Tara is trying to bravely do something very rare…to hold a truly diverse party and ya…even have black folk and music (RnB, funk, old school, hiphop, rap). OMG we certainly cant have THAT! according to you and yours, no Brothers party allowed! Tara can’t control what others brought from outside, their beefs etc. They try very hard. I’m a regular and love it and what she is about. Long live Taradise.

  10. There were 2 other shootings, one a gun fight from the illegal hookah lounge under the Beer Star building and one from a car parked in front of Drunky’s. Both were blamed on Taradise. I would suggest you introduce yourself to Tara. Your investigative reporting is laced with wrong information. The latest shooting happened at 3 pm, not 4 as reported as one example.

  11. Hi, I don’t know who you are addressing but we reported on the recent shootings in real time, as we have done with hundreds of incidents in West Seattle and White Center for 13+ years, and our report is time-stamped 3:58 pm, which was minutes after the 911 call.
    http://whitecenternow.com/2021/06/11/shooting-in-downtown-white-center/ (Listen to KCSO Sgt. Meyer’s briefing on video in that story, and he affirms the initial call as 3:50 pm.)

  12. Linda Anton Says:

    So sad, RIP Tara

  13. Patty Lessley Douglas Says:

    OH WOW! I just read that Tara just passed away REST IN PEACE ✝️♥️

  14. What happend? How did Tara pass? Im so sorry to hear this i was friends of a close friend of hers who passed away a few years ago. Prayers for Taras family. I know lots of.people who will miss her