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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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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FOLLOWUP: Opening night for The Roll Pod

November 6th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Food, Restaurants, White Center news 3 Comments »

(WCN photos)

Meet Anu and P.K., proprietors of The Roll Pod. They opened the doors on their new White Center restaurant (9602 16th SW) tonight. We stopped in for photos, including the mural wall:

This is the Indian fast-food restaurant’s second bricks-and-mortar location; the other is in Bellevue.

See the menu here. The Roll Pod will be open 7 days a week, 11 am-8:30 pm.

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RESTAURANTS: The Roll Pod opens Saturday

November 4th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Food, Restaurants, White Center news 3 Comments »

Thanks for the tips! The sign’s been up for months at 9602 16th SW – now finally The Roll Pod is about to get rolling. The Indian fast-food mini-chain says its White Center location will open its doors this Saturday (November 6th) at 6 pm. It’s also offering 15 percent discounts with the promo code WESTROLL. Hours will be 11 am to 8:30 pm, 7 days a week. You can preview the menu here. This will be the fifth incarnation for the space in less than five years – 3.14 Bakery, Brass Knuckle Bistro, Biscuit Bitch, and Bloom Bistro.

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WHITE CENTER FOOD: Tomo booked up weeks before opening

August 10th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Food, Restaurants, White Center news Comments Off on WHITE CENTER FOOD: Tomo booked up weeks before opening

(WCN photo)

Between Taboo Video and Southside Pizza, new restaurant Tomo is on the way, and it’s a hot ticket – or should we say, hot plate – weeks before opening. First day will be September 9th, and it’s already fully booked for the month, with October reservations to be offered starting at 10 am September 1st. James Beard Award-winning former Canlis Chef Brady Ishiwata Williams‘ restaurant promises food “created with micro–seasonal, ethically–sourced ingredients and inspired by the heritages of our culinary team.” Tomo is named for the proprietor’s grandmother, Tomoko Ishiwata Bristol, and the restaurant’s website also notes that “tomo” is from the Japanese word for “friend” (tomodachi). The space at 9811 16th SW, which will seat 28 diners, has some food history – Meander’s Kitchen and San Fernando Roasted Chicken in the early 2010s. See sample menus for Tomo here. Tomo will offer two 5-course set dinner menus, and a la carte lunch on weekends; the restaurant also will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

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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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