RESTAURANTS: Inside newly opened Alpine Diner/Big Mario’s Pizza

December 10th, 2023 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Restaurants, White Center news 1 Comment »

This was the first weekend for the co-housed Alpine Diner and Big Mario’s Pizza at 9635 16th SW in downtown White Center. Thanks to Gill Loring for sharing some photos from inside the new two-in-one restaurant:

As we first reported a month ago, other repaired storefronts in that block are now up for lease.

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FOLLOWUP: Alpine Diner and Big Mario’s set White Center opening date

December 4th, 2023 Tracy Posted in Restaurants, White Center news 1 Comment »

We told you three weeks ago about the ex-Bizzarro space at 9635 16th SW getting two new co-housed restaurants – Alpine Diner and Big Mario’s Pizza. Now they’ve announced their opening date:

Alpine will open at 9 am Thursday, and Big Mario’s will open at 11 am.

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FOLLOWUP: Changes ahead for downtown White Center’s fire-ravaged block, including 2 restaurants

November 14th, 2023 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Restaurants, White Center news 4 Comments »

If you’ve been in downtown White Center lately, you’ve probably noticed changes to the fire-ravaged block on the west side of 16th SW south of Roxbury. It’s been more than two years since fires ravaged multiple spaces in this block of businesses. Now seven of the spaces are up for lease to new business tenants (here’s the flyer). The spaces totaling 22,362 square feet could be leased in various combinations, the listing says … Not far south, next to Full Tilt, the Huong Xua Deli is finally getting ready to reopen, with COMING SOON signage … And on the other side of the September 2021 fire site, two venues have uncloaked with plans to share the former Bizzarro Italian Café space at 9635 16th SW:

The Alpine Diner and Bar, touting an “apres-ski” theme, and Big Mario’s Pizza. From the Alpine website:

Try our full food & beverage menu available daily from 7 AM to 10 PM, or visit the bar counter and cozy up to our vintage fireplace in the game room for ski ball and hoops. Enjoy our large outdoor patio with bocci ball and outdoor seating, opening Spring 2024. We share our space with the newest Big Mario’s location, meaning you can order from either menu.

The Alpine is from the same company that operates Lost Lake Café in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood; Big Mario’s Pizza has a location there too, one of four in Seattle. The remodeled White Center space is expected to open this winter.

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New White Center restaurant: Burger Planet launches Saturday

September 28th, 2023 Tracy Posted in Restaurants, White Center news 2 Comments »

(Also published on partner site West Seattle Blog)

Saturday (September 30th) is set as opening day for Burger Planet, going from food truck to bricks-and-mortar at 9614 14th SW in White Center, former home of Zippy’s Giant Burgers. After hearing about a note on the door announcing the date, we stopped by Wednesday evening and found owner Marco and chef Marco, who invited us in for a look:

The decor is “Star Wars”-themed, in keeping with the “planet” name. There are games, as there were in Zippy’s.

They’re planning to open 4-11 pm and promise “new menu items” in addition to what their truck has offered (you might remember it from a stint at the 30th/Roxbury gas station in 2017), along with local beer on tap.

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HOLIDAY FREEBIE: Free burgers at Li’l Woody’s on Labor Day

August 28th, 2023 Tracy Posted in Restaurants, White Center news Comments Off on HOLIDAY FREEBIE: Free burgers at Li’l Woody’s on Labor Day

The burger mini-chain with a White Center outpost is offering you a free burger next Monday:

It’ll be 2-5 pm on September 4th, with these ground (beef) rules:

*No other sandwiches
*Extras cost extra
*Limit 1 burger per customer
*Online and phone orders will be off during this time

Li’l Woody’s is right next to Beer Star on the southwest corner of 16th and 98th.

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Pho White Center temporarily closed for public-health violations

May 3rd, 2023 Tracy Posted in Food, Health, Restaurants, Safety, White Center news 3 Comments »

The sign on Pho White Center‘s door at 9642 16th SW simply says “temporarily closed,” hours after Public Health – Seattle & King County announced it had shut down the restaurant for violations:

Pho White Center at 9642 16th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98106
Closed: May 1, 2023 at 5:30 pm

-Permit suspended due to repeat critical violations including:
-No designated Person-in-Charge of food safety
-Inaccessible handwash station
-Improper cooling of foods
-Holding foods at room temperature
-Inadequate procedures for holding foods at room temperature

Status: Closed

A check of the Public Health inspection database showed Pho White Center most recently had an “okay” rating.

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FOLLOWUP: Opening date set for new home of Tim’s Tavern in White Center

March 5th, 2023 Tracy Posted in Beverages, Businesses, Music, Restaurants, White Center news 5 Comments »

(WCN photo: Matt O’Toole, Mason Reed, and Elvis)

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

The transformation of White Center’s ex-Drunky Two Shoes into the new Tim’s Tavern is about halfway complete.

That’s the assessment of co-owners Matt O’Toole and Mason Reed, who sat down to talk with us this week, one month after they announced they were taking over 9655 16th SW.

They plan to open March 31st. But first, the rest of the transformation. If you ever went to Drunky’s, you might remember the taxidermy. All gone (though the salmon over the front door might stay). Since Tim’s is all about music – “music is our vibe” – they plan to fill the venue with history and memorabilia, new and old. And they’ll keep adding to it.

What has them particularly giddy is the extra space. The original Tim’s Tavern, which closed a year and a half ago in Greenwood, was only 1,000 square feet, they ecplain. Now they have so much room, they plan two music stages – out back with the Airstream bar (which stays), inside in a space dubbed the “Jesus room” – its new decor will be a “shrine to Seattle music history,” and it’ll be for acoustic acts, open mics, weekly trivia (Wednesday nights).

Inside, they’ll feature the sign that previously hung outside their Greenwood location; all new signage is planned outside, arriving soon, so that part of the transformation is close too.

So why White Center? They explain that it took almost two years to find a site that worked – big enough, not close enough to residences to “make the neighbors angry” – but in the end, it turned out to be a place they wanted to model Tim’s Tavern after anyway. Coming out of COVID, they explain, they thought outdoor space would be important, and so they kept telling their real-estate agent to look for someplace “like Drunky’s.” Mason marvels, “This was our model – then it became available!” (It closed rather quietly at the end of January; the Tim’s team says the prior proprietors are focusing on an establishment in Spokane.) Matt adds, “We’re going to put a lot of love in this place.”

They’ll have music seven nights a week, counting open mics on Mondays, with hours expected to be 2 to midnight for starters, then hoping to shift that earlier for lunch by June – White Center has limited lunch options, they note. Once lunch is launched, they’ll go for weekend brunch, “with some entertainment.” And yes, Tim’s will be all-ages, except for some 21+ shows outside. So what kind of food will they serve? Mason is in charge of that, with a resumé including gigs as a “backstage chef” for music stars. “Fun bar food, Northwest pub” is the style, he suggests, later adding that vegan and gluten-free options will be available too. They’ll even have a separate gluten-free fryer. Beverages? “Full wine list, full beer list, some slushies,” and a non-alcoholic cocktail lineup too. They promise it’ll all be “high quality (with) exceptional service” – Mason’s been in the restaurant business for 30 years. (Both co-owners are musicians, by the way.)

We tried to coax them into revealing what’s in store for the opening weekend’s music lineup, but they’re not ready to make the announcements. They do say they plan to book local favorites, mentioning that Billy Joe and the Dusty 45s, for one, will be there every month or so. And their longstanding reputation was as an “incubator,” which means rising stars are likely to be in the mix. So watch for news on the music slate later this month. Till then, as they continue “transforming” their new space, they are impressed by the “great vibe” in White Center, and how welcoming they say everyone’s been so far. They observe that people in White Center are “very proud” of their community, and they hope to be part of the reason for that pride, soon.

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WHITE CENTER BIZNOTE: Drunky’s out, Tim’s Tavern is in

February 4th, 2023 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Music, Restaurants, White Center news 3 Comments »

(WCN file photo)

Announced via social media, Tim’s Tavern – formerly an iconic North Seattle hot spot for live music – is taking over the Drunky Two Shoe BBQ spot in downtown White Center:

After almost 2 years of searching for a new location, local music champion and legendary live music dive bar Tim’s Tavern will be moving to White Center and setting up shop at 9655 16th Ave. SW, formerly Drunky’s BBQ.

“The wait is over for Tim’s and we couldn’t be happier with this new space and neighborhood. It’s finally time to rock again!” says co-owner and music curator Matthew “Matto” O’Toole.

The new location will be family- and dog-friendly and will feature live music 7 days a week on their covered/heated outdoor patio stage. Inside you’ll find a small arcade, full dining area, and bar.

Co-owner and Chef Mason Reed has spent the last few years preparing meals backstage as a personal chef for many of music’s major artists that have passed through Oregon and Washington. Reed says, “The food menu will consist of Pacific Northwest pub fare with plenty of plant-based and gluten-free options. We are excited, honored, and proud to be a part of the White Center neighborhood.”

The Tim’s team is planning on a soft opening for the end of March, with a week-long grand-opening celebration planned for early April. Please keep an eye on for further announcements.

Tim’s Tavern closed in Greenwood a year and a half ago – read the backstory here. It’s been six years since Drunky’s took over the site, which previously had been DK Café.

ADDED MONDAY: A commenter asked about the Drunky’s closure. A note on the door says January 31st was their last day.

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January 13th, 2023 Tracy Posted in Food, Restaurants, White Center news Comments Off on WHITE CENTER RESTAURANTS: Que Chevere now open

More than a year after we first reported the plan for Que Chevere to open in the former Taradise Café space at 9808 16th SW, it has quietly opened. We noticed the “OPEN” sign last night and went back today for a closer look.

We’re told they opened in late December. When we talked with proprietor Felipe Maqueda in 2021, he was planning on Latin American cuisine, and the menu reflects that, including Mexican favorites – see it here, here, and here.

Que Chevere is open for lunch, dinner, and/or drinks Mondays through Saturdays.

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FOLLOWUP: Crawfish House reopens in White Center

October 22nd, 2022 Tracy Posted in Restaurants, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Crawfish House reopens in White Center

Six months after being shut down by Public Health-Seattle & King County for food-code violations, White Center’s popular Crawfish House restaurant reopened today. The restaurant at 9826 16th SW – which previously had a sign up saying that it was remodeling – announced that today’s its grand-reopening day, open until 11 pm, with a number of specials.

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CAN YOU HELP? Crowdfunding for White Center restaurant El Catrin

October 11th, 2022 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Restaurants, White Center news 1 Comment »

Thanks to Lauren for the tip on this. The Velasquez family, who run White Center restaurant El Catrin (9641 15th SW), are crowdfunding to keep their doors open. They write on the GoFundMe page, “We have been working for the last year to catch up on rent. Since we’re a new business, we don’t qualify for any government assistance, and with the increase of all costs in our city ( ood costs, utility insurance, and the closure of the street etc.), and losing battles with covid. Then the accident our Dad had with his hand, we’re running dry.” Lauren said in her note to us, “We would hate to lose them as they’ve always done tamale giveaways to families in need and Thanksgiving turkeys for families that couldn’t afford them.” If you can help, here’s the link.

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FOLLOWUP: One fire-damaged White Center business that won’t be making a comeback

September 18th, 2022 Tracy Posted in Fire, Restaurants, White Center news 3 Comments »

Thanks to David for the tip. One year after the Locker Room fire closed adjoining businesses too, one has announced it won’t be reopening: Bizzarro Italian Café‘s White Center restaurant. Bizzarro had been open only nine months before the fire hit. Their announcement this weekend says there were “MANY deciding factors” that led them to drop plans to reopen here, without elaborating on any of them.

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FOLLOWUP: Zippy’s Giant Burgers moves up closure date

July 9th, 2022 Tracy Posted in Restaurants, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Zippy’s Giant Burgers moves up closure date

9:30 AM: Just a quick note – after selling out early the past three nights, Zippy’s Giant Burgers now says today (Saturday, July 9th) will be their final day, as they won’t be able to resupply for one more day beyond that. They plan to open at 10 am.

10:30 AM: Our photo above shows the line shortly before 10 am.

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WHITE CENTER RESTAURANTS: Zippy’s Giant Burgers closing

July 5th, 2022 Tracy Posted in Restaurants, White Center news 2 Comments »

Since 2011 – three years after its opening in West Seattle – Zippy’s Giant Burgers has held down the north end of a strip mall on 14th SW just south o Roxbury. Today, Zippy’s announced it’s closing after this Sunday. Zippy’s is West Seattleite-owned and was founded in WS, so you’ll find the full story on our partner site West Seattle Blog.

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WEEKEND SCENE: 31 ways to enjoy the Taste of White Center

June 25th, 2022 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Restaurants, White Center Food Bank, White Center news 3 Comments »

The booth on the northwest corner of 16th/98th is one of three places you can buy $5 tickets for the Taste of White Center, benefiting the White Center Food Bank – each ticket gets you one of the special menu items that 31 establishments are offering – here’s the list:

Participants are all flying red balloons:

The Taste of White Center is on until 4 pm, but take note that some venues have slightly different participation hours – for example, Tomo has a sign saying it’ll open at 2 pm (it’s offering smoked sable fish congee), and Good Day Donuts is participating until 2 (their menu item is listed as “surprise”). The other two ticket booths are outside Mac’s Triangle Pub at 16th/Delridge/Roxbury and outside Patrick’s Café and Bakery at 15th/100th. Along with the $5 taste tickets, you also can buy tickets for a drawing that’s also benefiting WCFB – two round-trip Alaska Airlines tickets. Alaska is one of the sponsors whose support is enabling compensation for the venues so that all the ticket proceeds can benefit the food bank.

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King County Public Health closes Crawfish House

April 18th, 2022 Tracy Posted in Health, Restaurants, White Center news 1 Comment »

Just announced by Public Health Seattle-King County:

The Crawfish House restaurant at 9826 16th Ave SW was closed by a Public Health food inspector on April 15, 2022 at 5:30 pm due to failure to comply with the following outstanding violations:

Demonstration of knowledge in food safety
Lack of handwashing
Inadequate handwashing facilities
Environmental contamination of foods
Effective pest control
Lack of proper cold holding of foods
Contaminated food contact surfaces

The establishment will be reopened once the inspector confirms that these issues have been resolved.

The restaurant’s overall rating from past inspections is “OK.” You can check for other current closures here.

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WHITE CENTER RESTAURANTS: Tomo named as semifinalist in James Beard Awards

February 23rd, 2022 Tracy Posted in Beverages, Restaurants, White Center news 1 Comment »

The most prestigious awards in the restaurant business have a White Center establishment on their semifinalist list this year. Tomo, opened at 9811 16th SW last September by chef Brady Ishiwata Williams, is a James Beard Awards semifinalist for Outstanding Wine Program. That award is explained as for a “restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence in wine service through a carefully considered wine list and a well-informed approach to helping customers choose and drink wine (and that m)akes efforts to create and foster a diverse portfolio of wines and wine team members.” Williams, formerly with Canlis, is already a James Beard winner, honored as 2019 Best Chef in the Northwest.

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WHITE CENTER FOOD: Full Tilt founder to serve up vegan Elder Gods Pizza

February 22nd, 2022 Tracy Posted in Food, Full Tilt Ice Cream, Restaurants, White Center news Comments Off on WHITE CENTER FOOD: Full Tilt founder to serve up vegan Elder Gods Pizza

Pizza and ice cream will be cohabiting in downtown White Center starting this week – Full Tilt Ice Cream‘s founder is adding vegan pizza under the same roof (9629 16th SW). Here’s the announcement we just received:

Full Tilt Ice Cream today announced Elder Gods Pizza, a new vegan pizza place inside Full Tilt. Elder Gods Pizza offers the only all-vegan pizza in the area.

“The only vegan pizza we liked was way up in the U District.,” says Justin Cline, owner at Full Tilt and Elder Gods. “Also, we wanted to bring Detroit-style pizza to White Center.”

Features and benefits of Elder Gods Pizza include.

-All-vegan pizza kitchen. No chance for cross contamination.

-A unique pizza style for White Center. This is a rectangle pizza, cut into squares with the sauce on top.

-Once the pandemic quiets down a bit, we will offer in-store dining.

Elder Gods Pizza pre-order will be available starting 02/23/2022. For more information visit

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Franchisees are small-business owners, too, says Amber Reese of soon-to-open White Center Zeeks Pizza

February 14th, 2022 Tracy Posted in Restaurants, White Center news 8 Comments »

(WCN photos unless otherwise credited)

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

If you look at the signage for Zeeks Pizza, opening soon at 9809 16th SW in White Center, and think “oh, just a chain moving in,” think again.

Proprietor Amber Reese is a franchisee. That means she’s a small-business owner, she wants you to know. She’s also a single mom whose 9-year-old son is as excited as she is about the soon-to-open restaurant.

(Photo by Emma Lee Photography)

Opening her own restaurant has been a longtime dream for Reese. She worked for Zeeks for 9 years – in Belltown, Lynnwood, and West Seattle, where she lives – and she’s been working on securing this franchise for more than half that time. (She also has the rights to open Zeeks in Burien, but that’s further down the road – it’s all about White Center right now.) She has had a career of almost 20 years in the industry, since graduating from the culinary program at South Seattle College, which is actually in West Seattle, at 6000 16th SW – “same street where I’m opening my own restaurant,” Reese exults. She originally planned a career path in cooking, but turned out to have a talent for restaurant management, so that steered her toward “front of the house work,” and now ownership.

She says she’s lucky to have been able to take over a space that was already set up as a pizza restaurant (previously Southside), and hasn’t made too many changes. To get a liquor license (for beer and wine), they had to wall off the space from neighboring Li’l Woody’s, which means there are now separate entrances, and new booths along the new wall, too.

Some of the final touches yet to come include new ovens that are on the way – what’s in the space now is a 21-year-old oven, Reese notes. The menu will be classic Zeeks – pizza, salads, breadsticks. They’ll be delivering as well as being open for dine-in and take-out, 11 am-9 pm daily.

But the special flavor Reese wants to infuse is community involvement, in keeping with White Center’s legendary identity as a close-knit community. “Once we’re open, I really want to give back to the community,” particularly organizations that work with women and children. She says she’s already been supporting other White Center businesses, even popular Proletariat Pizza just down the block.

So how soon will she be serving up her own pizza? By mid-March, if all goes well the rest of the way.

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BIZNOTE: Patrick’s Café and Bakery temporarily (partly) closes

January 5th, 2022 Tracy Posted in Restaurants, White Center news 1 Comment »

One of White Center’s most popular newer food businesses has announced a temporary closure – but you can still get some of its specialties. Patrick’s Café and Bakery announced today that it’s temporarily closing the café, but you can place catering and custom cake orders online – go here. “We will try to reopen ASAP,” promises the announcement,.

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