FOLLOWUP: Lumber Yard Bar not quite ready to (re)open yet

June 30th, 2022 Tracy Posted in Businesses, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Lumber Yard Bar not quite ready to (re)open yet

(WCN photo, June 11th)

When we got a sneak peek inside the Lumber Yard Bar‘s new downtown location during the White Center Pride Street Festival, its owners told us they hoped to open at least part of the space July 1st. That’s tomorrow – but they’re not quite ready yet. They’re still vowing to open sometime in July. (If you’re just catching up – the new place at 9630 16th SW is across the street from the old spot, one of seven businesses gutted by arson a year ago.)

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FOLLOWUP: New location for the Lumber Yard Bar close to opening

May 23rd, 2022 Tracy Posted in Beverages, Businesses, White Center news 1 Comment »

You have probably noticed the sign is now up at the new location of the Lumber Yard Bar in downtown White Center, almost 11 months after the fire across the street that gutted the original location and other businesses. So we checked in with the proprietors to see how soon they expect to open the new location (9630 16th SW). Reply: “We are hoping to open late next month.”

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REOPENING: Full Tilt Ice Cream in White Center

January 17th, 2022 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Fire, Food, Full Tilt Ice Cream, White Center news 3 Comments »

(White Center Now/West Seattle Blog photos)

Four months after the fire that gutted the Locker Room Bar and Grill, one of the other businesses affected is about to reopen: Full Tilt Ice Cream‘s flagship location at 9629 16th SW reopens tomorrow (Tuesday, January 18th). We stopped by this evening as they finished getting ready.

That wall is an example of what had to be fixed before Full Tilt could reopen – firefighters had to break through it while working to stop the fire in September. And they’re two doors down from Locker Room; the damage was even worse at neighboring Huong Xua Deli and, on the other side of Locker Room, Bizzarro Italian Café. No updates on them yet (Bizzarro is still open in Wallingford). Full Tilt will reopen with a few new touches – like this Simpsons-themed pinball machine:

Hours will be the same as they were pre-fire – 3 to 8 pm.

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Que Chevere on the way to former Taradise Café in White Center

December 6th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Restaurants, White Center news 8 Comments »

(King County Assessor’s Office photo)

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

The former Taradise Café, closed since last June – weeks before its proprietor’s untimely death – has a new tenant. A restaurant/bar called Que Chevere – “it’s awesome” – will open at 9808 16th SW, possibly as soon as next month.

We talked tonight with entrepreneur Felipe Maqueda, who says this will be his first restaurant. And he’s adamant that while it will include a bar, the food will be the focus, not the drinks. He says Que Chevere will serve “Latino fusion” cuisine, and will be open for lunch as well as dinner, with an international menu created by a chef with experience around the world. The atmosphere will be family-friendly, he promises.

Maqueda – who lives on Beacon Hill – wants Que Chevere to be not simply a restaurant, but also a true community asset. He explains that he has a community-advocacy background, including co-founding the Fiestas Patrias celebration at Seattle Center, and running a soccer program that helps players advance in their education. He also works on Sounders FC’s Spanish-language broadcasts.

He also mentioned a love for music, so we asked if he planned live performances at Que Chevere. Maybe, he said, but they would be more on the “cultural” side – folklorico, for example. He can also envision using the site’s big lot for community events like block parties.

But for now, they’re focusing on remodeling, and getting ready to open. “Hopefully we can bring something good to the community.”

(Before Taradise, the future Que Chevere was the site of Marv’s Broiler for almost 40 years.)

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SATURDAY: White Center CDA to lead ‘Remembrance Walk’

November 30th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, White Center Community Development Association, White Center news Comments Off on SATURDAY: White Center CDA to lead ‘Remembrance Walk’

The White Center Community Development Association invites you to show support Saturday for WC’s struggling small businesses. Here’s the announcement:

We are inviting all White Center community members and storefront supporters to this Remembrance Walk Action Against Commercial Displacement on Saturday, December 4th from 3-5 pm starting on 16th Ave SW and SW 98th St.

We will highlight memories of our beloved storefront businesses and stories of resilience and resistance. We are welcoming people to write fond memories they have with the businesses or any supporting thoughts. While you walk, you will be hearing Evergreen High musicians perform pieces that are inspired by this event.

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FOLLOWUP: Here’s what will happen to the Chase Bank White Center building after the branch closes

November 29th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Here’s what will happen to the Chase Bank White Center building after the branch closes

Following up on our report of the Chase Bank White Center closure in February, we asked the company today what’ll become of the building. The regional spokesperson for Chase replied, ““Following the branch closure, the building will be decommissioned and marketed for sale through an outside real-estate brokerage firm.” The half-acre site is zoned for commercial/business use, according to the King County Assessor’s Office website.

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Chase Bank to close White Center branch next year

November 26th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, White Center news 4 Comments »

(King County Assessor’s Office photo)

The Chase Bank branch at 1616 SW 100th is closing in February. That’s what the bank announced in a letter to customers, including Marcus, who tipped us about it. The letter says the banking giant will be “permanently closing” the branch as of February 10, 2022. The letter suggests customers use ATMs or the Westwood Village branch in West Seattle once this branch closes. Property records show Chase owns the building; we’ll be asking them after the holiday what their plans are for the site. Chase closed a branch in West Seattle almost a year ago, in a Morgan Junction supermarket, but still has three freestanding branches there, as well as a branch in Burien, at 222 SW 150th. Meantime, White Center’s bank options are shriveling – you’ll recall the Bank of America branch on 17th SW closed not that long ago.

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November 11th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Beverages, Businesses, White Center news Comments Off on ALMOST OPEN: Lariat Bar

Another new White Center establishment is about to open – Lariat Bar at 9829 16th SW says it’s opening this Saturday (November 13th). Its theme: Pro wrestling.

P.S. They open at 4 pm Saturday.

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PHOTOS: White Center trick-or-treating

October 31st, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Fun, White Center news 2 Comments »

4:42 PM: You have to laugh, or else you’ll cry. We were reminded of that old saying outside still-shuttered Bizzarro Italian Café in White Center this afternoon, where one of the people handing out candy wore a hat of fake flames. White Center’s annual businsss trick-or-treating event, which started at 3 pm, is bigger than ever, despite the fire closures. We walked down the block in the heart of the fire zone, where we also found the Full Tilt Ice Cream team offering treats outside their closed shop. Some businesses have found new homes, like La Tipica Oaxaqueña on the southwest corner of 16th/Roxbury, where a very lively trick-or-treat tent was swarmed. The fun continued southward – outside the 16th entrance to Southgate Roller Rink, and beyond – as well as the other side of 16th; good turnout.

8:12 PM: A few more photos – here are Full Tilt proprietors Ann and Justin’s kids Ruby and Moss helping out:

Christine was in charge of the candy outside Southgate:

And here’s the corner crowd outside La Tipica Oaxaqueña:

Trick-or-treating is over but Halloween revelry continues into the night at venues including Boombox, which has a karaoke costume party going on its patio until 2 am.

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FOLLOWUP: Loans available for small businesses harmed by White Center’s July 5th fire

October 29th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Fire, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Loans available for small businesses harmed by White Center’s July 5th fire

(July 5th White Center Now/West Seattle Blog photo by Patrick Sand)

Following up on part of what was mentioned at the community meeting last week, King County sent word this week that the federal Small Business Administration has declared an Economic Injury Disaster. That means businesses and organizations affected by the July 5th fire can apply for low-interest loans up to $2 million if they have suffered from “substantial economic injury” (here’s the definition, and how to apply). If you’re not eligible, the county is promising “seek out more options for other fire victims.”

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FOLLOWUP: Crowdfunding to help twice-burned Locker Room’s owners

September 13th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Fire, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Crowdfunding to help twice-burned Locker Room’s owners

(WCN/WSB photo by Patrick Sand)

As reported in our original coverage of this morning’s three-alarm White Center fire, it’s the second time in five months that flames have torn through the Locker Room at 9633 16th SW – and this time, it’s a total loss. The owners were “on the cusp of starting to rebuild,” according to a crowdfunding page set up for them. It’s been a rough year, the organizer explains: “To be closed for covid multiple times…the first fire…and now just when it was looking up to start rebuilding…another fire.” Here’s where you can donate.

P.S. Neighboring businesses Bizzarro Italian Café and Huong Xua are both boarded up tonight. Bizzarro’s website says they’ll be closed “for a few weeks”; we’ll continue checking tomorrow on Huong Xua. As for the fire’s cause, we checked again with the FD at day’s end – no determination yet.

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PHOTOS: Block party in downtown White Center, as fire recovery continues

August 29th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, White Center news 1 Comment »

That’s part of the scene on 16th SW south of Roxbury, closed for a block party until 5 pm to raise money for the half-dozen-plus businesses affected by last month’s arson, as mentioned on today’s preview list. Eat, drink, shop, wander!

Some info: To get in on the raffle/silent auction, go to the breezeway by The Plant Store, midblock – that’s where we found DJ Bugzy Beatdown.

The entertainment schedule for the rest of the afternoon:

Now until 2:10 – selfdoubt
2:30-3:15: Junior on the Prowl
3:30-4:30 DJ DeVonne
5:00 DJ Bugzy Beatdown returns

That’s all midblock. You can also check out B.O.C. Music (3:30-4:30) and Monty Banks (5 pm) at Drunky Two Shoes and then at Southgate Roller Rink, DJ Dan Steely at 5 pm and Kids on Fire at 6 pm.

Another big attraction besides street-fair-style shopping – food. There’s a seating area in the middle of 16th where Chef Brady Ishiwata Williams, who’s about to open Tomo, is grilling.

You can also dine outside Buho and Bizzarro Italian Café.

At the south end of the block, the Home Skillit is offering street food including Louisiana hot links and Seattle Dogs.

This is all community-organized; we talked to the White Center Pride team about what people can do to support the businesses that are still working to get back on their feet.

Come down today, wander around, find out about the new locations some have found, they said. (Their booth is on the east side of the block – look for the rainbows.) Some of those new locations are already open – La Tipica Oaxaqueña moved to the southwest corner of 16th/Roxbury – and some hope to be open soon, like John’s Hair and Nails, moving to 10261 16th SW. And if you’ve got any tips about the arson, you can give them to King County Sheriff’s Office reps in person at the block party!

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FOLLOWUP: Taradise Café will not reopen, founder’s family announces

August 23rd, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Taradise Café will not reopen, founder’s family announces

(Memorial gathering July 17th – photo courtesy Gill Loring)

More than a month after the death of Taradise Café proprietor Tara Eckman Scott at just 51, her family has announced the restaurant/bar won’t reopen. Here’s what they posted on social media:

On behalf of Tara’s entire family, we would like to sincerely thank you for the outpour of love, words of healing, and support you have sent us during these painful times. As we reflect on Tara’s memorial and the 500+ people who were present, the countless individuals who have sent kind messages, dropped off flowers, meals, and donated time and money, we are overwhelmed with gratitude for each and every one of you.

After time to process and determine what is in the best interest of Tara’s sons, we have decided as a family not to reopen Taradise. This was a very difficult decision, as Taradise has been a community Tara worked so hard to build and a place where many loved ones found a safe space to share a warm meal and a drink. However, with so many factors at play and such uncertainty during this pandemic, it is the best decision to keep Taradise closed. Our hearts cannot bear the stress at this time. We have no doubt that the community and legacy Tara built will continue to live on through her boys and all of those she loved. We thank you for your care and understanding as we navigate these dark times, where tough decisions must be made.

For those of you who donated to the Taradise fund, please rest assured that all proceeds will be split equally amongst Tara’s three sons—DeAndre’, Baby Gee, and Zion—who are in different stages of their youth and early adulthood and are doing everything they can to move through life without their mom’s earthly guidance. Whether you donated money, time, food, flowers, or your heartfelt words, we will never forget how you have been there for us during this time.

We love you all and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for walking alongside us during this grief journey with so much grace. We appreciate you beyond words.

They’ve also announced a “closing sale” at the site (9808 16th SW) this Sunday (August 29th) – same day as the big White Center block party – 1-5 pm.

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FIRE AFTERMATH: White Center Block Party benefit set for August 29th

August 2nd, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Fire, How to Help, White Center news Comments Off on FIRE AFTERMATH: White Center Block Party benefit set for August 29th

Set your calendar:

Almost a month have passed since the arson that tore through part of the heart of downtown White Center. Businesses are still working to get back open, some in new locations. Today (graphic via @WhiteCenterPride) there’s word of a big party in four weeks to help – be there!

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FOLLOWUP: Fire that destroyed 7 White Center businesses now reclassified as arson

July 9th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Fire, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Fire that destroyed 7 White Center businesses now reclassified as arson

(Also published on partner site West Seattle Blog)

(WCN/WSB photo, Monday)

Thanks for the tips. We’ve confirmed with the King County Sheriff’s Office that the fire which gutted the LumberYard Bar and seven other businesses in downtown White Center early Monday is now being investigated as arson. Though the original tentative determination was that it was likely accidental, KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Tim Meyer tells WCN that they received “new evidence” that led investigators to “reclassify it as arson.” Though the LumberYard has posted on social media that “This most likely is also a hate crime,” Sgt. Meyer would not speculate on a potential motive. Anyone with any information should contact KCSO.

We just went over to the fire scene to see if we could find out more; no one’s around, but we did photograph the signs asking for tips – 800-55-ARSON. That’s reiterated in this statement just sent by the White Center Pride Committee:

The White Center Pride Committee is deeply disturbed and saddened to learn that the fire at The Lumberyard Bar on July 5th has reportedly been reclassified from an electrical fire to arson. The possibility of this being a hate crime targeted at an LGBTQI+ gathering space is also being investigated. Not only was The Lumberyard Bar destroyed, but also 7 other businesses, many of which were minority owned.

We will continue to stand with all of the businesses and individuals that were impacted by this horrible act. Our community is strong and will never back down in the face of adversity. We implore anyone with information to reach out to the King County Sheriff’s Office with any information at 206-263-2070 or 1-800-55-ARSON.

The fire broke out after 1 am on Monday. No injuries were reported. But along with the LumberYard, it devastated neighboring businesses The Boxing Gym, La Tipica Oaxaqueña, John’s Hair and Nails, Rat City Tattoo, Nuggi (which was soon to open), and Dottie’s Doublewide (which was getting ready to reopen)

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County offers help for unincorporated-area small businesses affected by pandemic

July 8th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, King County, White Center news Comments Off on County offers help for unincorporated-area small businesses affected by pandemic

Applications are open for a King County program to help small-business owners in unincorporated areas including North Highline. From the announcement:

As part of King County’s initiative to help our region recover from the pandemic, the King County Council has dedicated $4.5 million to help small business owners in unincorporated areas.

The application period opened Wednesday, July 7 and closes Wednesday, Aug. 4. Small business owners can apply online at or by calling 206-477-3800 beginning today.

King County Local Services will administer this new grant program, which is open to businesses with 30 or fewer employees and $3 million or less in annual gross income.

Owners who receive grants will be reimbursed for business-related expenses incurred since March 3, 2021. Reimbursable expenses include rent, payroll, business utilities, goods and services, and COVID-19 accommodation costs.

This program is specifically intended to help small businesses, as was the county’s first round of grants offered last year. Through that earlier program, more than 571 businesses received or are in the process of receiving up to $5,000 each from King County Local Services, for a total of nearly $3 million.

In 9 languages:

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UPDATE: Fire in downtown White Center guts LumberYard Bar; major damage to neighboring businesses too

July 5th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Fire, White Center news 6 Comments »

2:19 AM: County and city firefighters are working to fight a building fire at 16th and Roxbury. It was originally dispatched as a city callout so we’ve been covering it on our partner site West Seattle Blog here.

(White Center Now/West Seattle Blog photos by Patrick Sand)

2:48 AM: We’ve confirmed the fire is centered in the building holding the Lumberyard Bar and Rat City Tattoo. Firefighters are still working to extinguish it.

4:15 AM: The fire’s not out yet. City and county crews are still there, fighting it from both sides of the building.

No injuries reported; we’ll have more followup information later this morning.

ADDED 10:43 AM: We went back this morning – in the view above, you are looking into the building from the alley side. Fire crews are still there:

We talked to Chief Mike Marrs of Fire District 2, which includes White Center and the rest of North Highline. The investigator finally got into the building a few hours ago to try to determine the cause.

Other businesses to the north were damaged – including broken glass. Firefighters were expected to be on scene, with 16th remaining closed in that block, until noonish. We will check back again.

NOON: A crowdfunding page is set up to accept donations for the LumberYard.

12:54 PM: More photos of the aftermath, inside adjacent businesses too:

We’ll add any other crowdfunding links we find out about. (Added: Here’s one for the Boxing Gym. Here’s one for staff of the affected businesses. Here’s one for Nuggi, a boba-tea shop that was opening soon.)

1:47 PM: Fire District 2 public-information Shauna Sheppard says they do NOT believe this was caused by fireworks. So far they’ve traced the origin to the LumberYard’s basement, and they believe it was accidental, though the specific cause remains under investigation.

ADDED TUESDAY: More crowdfunding – this time for La Tipica Oaxaqueña, and for Dottie’s Doublewide (that page notes it had new owners who were preparing to reopen).

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

June 27th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Restaurants, White Center news 14 Comments »

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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WHITE CENTER CRIME WATCH: Grocery Plus crash-and-grab burglary

February 21st, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Crime, White Center news Comments Off on WHITE CENTER CRIME WATCH: Grocery Plus crash-and-grab burglary

That security video shows a burglar inside Grocery Plus at 16th/98th on Saturday night around 10:30 pm – a burglar who got in by crashing a car into the doors:

A member of the store owners’ family provided the video and photos, saying the burglar(s) “drove a mid-sized car/suv in a dark forest green color that police found was stolen into the front doors of the shop. Witnesses across the street have live footage they shared with the police, and the store also has a few surveillance videos that show the suspect rummaging through cigarettes and scratch tickets.” One of those clips is above; here’s a screengrab:

A plate from the car was left behind, and deputies told the victims it was stolen. This happened about two hours after closing time. If you have any information, report it to KCSO, and refer to case # C21005703.

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WHITE CENTER FOOD & DRINK: Boombox, Bizzarro, Good Day Donuts

January 31st, 2021 Tracy Posted in Beverages, Businesses, Food, White Center news Comments Off on WHITE CENTER FOOD & DRINK: Boombox, Bizzarro, Good Day Donuts

Three White Center food and drink notes:

BOOMBOX BAR: For the first time since Boombox opened at 9608 16th SW, it’s opening indoor seating on Monday, as King County goes into Phase 2 of the governor’s reopening plan. 25 percent capacity. Boombox enthused online, “It has been SUCH a long wait for us but we know it is worth it because truly we have the best community and friends in the best neighborhood ever.”

GOOD DAY DONUTS: The mega-popular donut shop at 9823 15th SW is opening seven days a week starting tomorrow, Monday-Saturday 8 am-2 pm and Sunday 9 am-1 pm. The shop adds, “Pre-order available all 7 days, yay!”

BIZZARRO ITALIAN CAFE: The new White Center restaurant at 9635 16th SW just got its liquor-license approval and is offering wine specials. 206-453-4441 is the number to call with questions/orders.

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