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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Community Outraged at Safeway's Plans to Demolish Beloved Silver Fork Diner

Posted by on Wed, Aug 15, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Safeway is planning to tear down the Silver Fork, a Rainier Valley institution, to build a gas station and minimart.
  • Goldy | The Stranger
  • Safeway is planning to tear down the Silver Fork, a Rainier Valley institution, to build a gas station and minimart.

The first the owners of the Silver Fork diner heard about their imminent closure was from a customer. "What's up with that sign outside?" a patron asked server Malina Bash last week. "What sign?" replied Bash, the granddaughter of owners Larkin and Estella Potts.

It was one of those ubiquitous, white, "Notice of Proposed Land Use Actions" signs. The restaurant is to be demolished, the sign says, replaced by a 4-pump Safeway gas station and convenience kiosk. A quick call to their landlord confirmed that the property was being sold and their lease would not be renewed. The Potts now plan to close down the venerable Rainier Valley institution by the end of September.

"I'm gonna miss coming down here as much as you," Larkin Potts sighed when I told him how much my daughter and I would miss the place. But if the Potts seem resigned to their fate, many of their loyal customers—including some of Seattle's most powerful politicians—are not. Some community members are rallying to find the Silver Fork a new home, while others are hoping a grassroots campaign might yet save their favorite breakfast spot from the wrecking ball.

YOU CAN HELP SAVE THE SILVER FORK!
Submit a comment to Seattle's Department of Planning and Development by filling out the form here, and let Safeway know what the Silver Fork means to the community by sending an email to Sara Osborne, the public and government affairs director for Safeway's Seattle division.

I mourned the news of the Silver Forks impending closure over a hot bowl of buttery grits.
  • Goldy | The Stranger
  • I mourned the news of the Silver Fork's impending closure over a hot bowl of buttery grits.

You have to look beyond the menu to fully understand the Silver Fork's vital role in the community, although the menu is a good place to start. Of course there are pancakes and eggs and bacon and other breakfast standards, but you'll also find biscuits and gravy, chicken fried steak, and the most authentic diner grits in the city: Salty and creamy, with a pool of melted butter floating atop. More upscale restaurants sometimes reference or replicate such classic fare (and at more upscale prices), but the Silver Fork is the real deal, like the many post-Great Migration southern-black-style diners still found in urban neighborhoods throughout the Northeast and Midwest. As an East coast transplant, from the moment I first walked through the doors more than a decade ago and smelled the bacon on the griddle, saw the thermal coffee carafes on the tables, and heard the 1970s-era R&B playing on the speakers, I instantly felt at home, despite the fact that my daughter and I were often the only two white faces in the restaurant.

There is no other place like the Silver Fork in all of Seattle, and as such it has been a central gathering place for the city's African American community almost from the day the Potts first turned on the griddle some 24 years ago. "It's a community restaurant, in the truest sense," says former King County Executive Ron Sims, who could often be seen at a back table with King County Council member Larry Gossett and other community leaders. Other regulars included Norm Rice and Gary Locke, as well as sports figures like Bill Russell and Ken Griffey. "But you left your title at the door," insists Sims. "You were no better or no worse than anybody else. Everybody was successful. Everybody lied about their kids."

On any given morning you might find church groups, business leaders, high school football coaches, and other community organizers huddled around a table conducting business over eggs and coffee and grits. The Silver Fork is the Rainier Club of the Rainier Valley, the place where important business gets done. And everybody in the place is important.

My daughter and I weren't exactly regulars, but we were regular enough that the servers knew our usual order by heart: Short stack, bacon, eggs scrambled dry, side of hash browns, toasted english muffin, coffee and a hot chocolate (no whipped cream). My favorite time to go was Sunday morning, just before the post-church rush, in time to watch the tables fill up with small, hungry children decked out in their Sunday best.

"You don't cuss in here," says Sims. "You did not cuss in front of your families. People had a code of conduct."

Not that the latest news doesn't make it tempting to spit out a few four-letter words.

Its a bad sign for patrons of the Silver Fork.
  • Goldy | The Stranger
  • A bad sign for the Silver Fork.

The Potts say they had a deal to purchase the property about a decade ago, but the owners backed out at the last minute. They'd heard talk for years that Safeway—which sits across the parking lot from the restaurant—was interested in building a gas station on the site, but the Potts say they were never told the property was on the market, let alone given the opportunity to make a counter offer.

Sara Osborne, the public and government affairs director for Safeway's Seattle division, says that a confidentiality agreement prevents her from commenting until the property sale closes, but describes her company's plan to demolish the Silver Fork and replace it with a gas station as a "corporate decision based on where we have customers that want fuel."

It's an explanation that doesn't sit well with Sims, who says he plans to boycott that Safeway location. "They just lost my business," says Sims. "I won't patronize a store that would do that to a cornerstone of the community."

Sims has had complaints about Safeway underserving minority communities since he first moved to the area in the 1970s, calling Safeway's aging Othello Steet store "appalling." A 1990 investigation by the Seattle Times found the Othello store, in one of Seattle's poorest neighborhoods, to have some of the highest prices in the city, describing it as "a totally outdated store, old fixtures, small departments with no service."

Safeway has since built two "super stores" on Rainier Avenue South, and the Othello store was allegedly renovated a few years back. They got a Starbucks counter. Yay. But the cramped, half-century-plus-old building is largely unchanged, and I can tell you from personal experience that selection and service still falls far short of Safeways located in more affluent neighborhoods.

"It's Safeway sneering at the community, spitting on it," says Sims, still sore from his previous battles with the chain, and newly embittered by the news of the Silver Fork's impending closure. "Safeway has never been a community place. Never ever, in my opinion, has it been committed to the welfare of Southeast Seattle. Ever."

"They are telling everybody in the New Holly community: 'We don't care about you. But we'll take your money.'"

"Othello is certainly on the top of our minds," counters Osborne in defense of Safeway. "But you don't want to invest too much in a store that is already standing when it is under consideration for a new replacement store in the same community in the future."

As for the Silver Fork, can anything be done to save it? "I don't think there's anything legal to do to stop it," says Seattle City Council member Bruce Harrell. Harrell says he has reached out to the Potts, offering to help them find the diner a new home and the financing to build it. "They have a recipe that works," says Harrell, and he's confident they could duplicate their success elsewhere in the neighborhood.

George Griffin, a community member, is also offering to the help the Potts... if they want it. "I'm just so tired of seeing African American establishments gone, just like that," says Griffin, who hopes to tap available community development funds to build a new Silver Fork within a mile or so radius. "Let's try to save a small business that's not only a good business, but is iconic," Griffin told me by phone.

But is there time? Osborne says she thinks the permitting and planning process could take from six months to a full year. Maybe longer. In the meanwhile, says Osborne, "I would think that we would want a tenant." And that at least suggests an opportunity.

While the city's comment period on the proposal only lasts another week, it's Safeway where public pressure would likely best be applied. Osborne says she wants to talk to the Potts, and she gave me permission to post her email address to take comments from the community (she asks that you include your phone number). Sims' cynicism aside, perhaps Safeway can be convinced that ill will generated by demolishing the Silver Fork is not worth the profit from a new gas station. Or at least, maybe corporate headquarters can be convinced to extend the Silver Fork's lease long enough to give the Potts time to explore their options.

Either way, now is the time to let Safeway know that that the Silver Fork is more than just another greasy diner: The Silver Fork a cornerstone of the community whose demolition won't be forgiven lightly.

YOU CAN HELP SAVE THE SILVER FORK!
Submit a comment to Seattle's Department of Planning and Development by filling out the form here, and let Safeway know what the Silver Fork means to the community by sending an email to Sara Osborne, the public and government affairs director for Safeway's Seattle division.

 

Comments (50) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Joe Szilagyi 1
What's the incessant 404 errors lately?
Posted by Joe Szilagyi on August 15, 2012 at 9:00 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 2
Don't all the people who will be moving into TOD apodments there need a Safeway more than this restaurant the way the downtown Target is a symbol of a "Better Urbanism".

You guys are the ones manning the bulldozers.

More hypocrisy.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on August 15, 2012 at 9:04 AM · Report this
3
As Sims noted, Safeway is pretty famously hard-nosed - if sustained, focused action results from this initial outragedness it's possible the company might be stirred to reconsider, but if it's a brief flurry of noise they are not likely to give a fuck. I hope Silver Fork can find a suitable location nearby if worse comes to worst. Plenty of underutilized space around there - fingers crossed that when the Pottses' purchase deal fell through back when, they kept an eye peeled for a suitable relocation space such as Griffin is thinking of.
Posted by gloomy gus on August 15, 2012 at 9:19 AM · Report this
Goldy 4
@2 Read. There's already a Safeway there. They're planning to knock down the Silver Fork to add a gas station.
Posted by Goldy on August 15, 2012 at 9:20 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 5
@4

A gas station? Why...LINK is right there!

Also, if it were in fact, a 75 story building full of apodments, wouldn't SLOG turn cartwheels...as they have so many times in the past.

Aren't diners -- and SFHs -- "standing in the way" of the density?

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on August 15, 2012 at 9:24 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 6
I don't think there's anything in the land use code that can stop them. Safeway just need to be shamed into giving it up. Or maybe buy a property on the other side of their story.

Another option would have been for the landlord to offer to sell the building to the tenants if they could match Safeway's price, but that's not how Job Creators operate, is it, republicans?
Posted by Max Solomon on August 15, 2012 at 9:26 AM · Report this
7
Supreme @ 5
I think Goldy adds a different note to the otherwise Capital Hill Centric voice of Stranger/SLOG, one in which middle aged people with families and maybe SFHs are also part of the "community". It's too simplistic to think of Stranger/SLOG as a unified front.

Having said that, your "A gas station? Why...LINK is right there!" even if tongue in cheek, was priceless - well done!
Posted by JAT on August 15, 2012 at 9:33 AM · Report this
Chelydra_serpentina 8
"[T]here are pancakes and eggs and bacon and other breakfast standards, but you'll also find biscuits and gravy, chicken fried steak, and the most authentic diner grits in the city[.]"

I want to go to there.
.

And who is this douchebag landlord who: 1) Backed out of selling the property to the Potts family 10 years ago; and 2) Just sold the property out from under the family and didn't even bother to inform them?

Maybe if Safeway can't be persuaded to back down, the landlord could be shamed into backing out of the sale? Goldy said the property "was being sold," not "has been sold."
Posted by Chelydra_serpentina on August 15, 2012 at 9:54 AM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 9
Why doesn't Safeway just buy that dismal vacant lot directly to the north of the Safeway store, on the east side of Rainier for their gas station? Anything would be an improvement over that mess.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay http://www.danlangdon.com on August 15, 2012 at 9:57 AM · Report this
10
Cue the race card in 3.....2......
Posted by john cocktosin III on August 15, 2012 at 10:08 AM · Report this
11
@8, the property owner appears to be an LLC connected to the Banchero family, Rainier Valley for several generations now.
Posted by gloomy gus on August 15, 2012 at 10:12 AM · Report this
12
People buy land to maximize their benefit from it.

Renters, take note.
Posted by tiktok on August 15, 2012 at 10:15 AM · Report this
13
If you would like to send me a comment, please also provide your phone number because I am happy to have a discussion about this matter. Also, out of interest in setting forth truth, I would like to correct a couple comments attributed to me. First, with respect to Othello, I said, "You don't want to invest too much money in a store that is already standing when it is under consideration for a new replacement store in the same community in the future." I also stated that Safeway has "a lot" of experience constructing fuel stations in Seattle, as oppose to "no experience."

I look forward to discussing the Silver Fork with anybody who wishes to send me a comment.
Posted by SaraOsborne on August 15, 2012 at 10:17 AM · Report this
reverend dr dj riz 14
malina bash, larkin and estella potts...LOVE those names !
Posted by reverend dr dj riz on August 15, 2012 at 10:18 AM · Report this
Goldy 15
@13 Thanks, Sara. I've updated the post to reflect your feedback. Not sure how I got the experience comment backwards: must've typed "not" instead of "lot".
Posted by Goldy on August 15, 2012 at 10:23 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 16
@12 for the win.

Wouldn't a homeless shelter with a ground floor diner be better?

Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on August 15, 2012 at 11:13 AM · Report this
17
Even if you assume that the property owner kept the Silver Fork people in the dark (which is pretty far fetched in my opinion), surely they were able to see FAR in advance that their lease was coming to an end. There are plenty of vacant buildings in this neighborhood, with landlords who would LOVE to have such a distinguished tenant.
Posted by Hobble D. Hoy on August 15, 2012 at 11:30 AM · Report this
Goldy 18
@17 Really? Name the available properties in the neighborhood that could accommodate the Silver Fork without extensive renovations, if not building an entirely new structure? It's one thing to be able to pay the rent selling $7 breakfasts. It's another thing to accumulate the capital necessary to build a new restaurant.
Posted by Goldy on August 15, 2012 at 11:36 AM · Report this
19
Talk about "shaming" a huge corporation just shows how naive people are about what little power individuals have now.
Posted by sarah70 on August 15, 2012 at 11:44 AM · Report this
20
One available spot that comes to mind for Silver Fork is the Colonial Pancake House building a little further down Rainier. It's been vacant for quite a while, so I'm not sure about the condition, but it appears to be about the same size and has ample parking.
Posted by TCC on August 15, 2012 at 11:50 AM · Report this
Rotten666 21
@9 That lot is to be transformed into a wonderful self storage center with 40 surface parking spots.

My family are big supporters of the SF. We often laugh at the schmucks waiting in line for an hour to get a sub par meal at Geraldine's. For me this will effectively end our association with the Safeway organization. And now, when a Safeway cart is abandoned on my corner for weeks at a time, I will now chop it in half before returning it.

Gas stations and storage centers is not the TOD we were promised.
Posted by Rotten666 on August 15, 2012 at 12:01 PM · Report this
22
Thanks for being on this. I always see these "Proposed Land Use" signs juuust after the comment period ends, as I'm sure is true for many others. The first thing to do should be to ask the DPD to extend the comment period, as noted. I'll do that now.
Posted by moo http://doitforthegirls.com/ on August 15, 2012 at 12:02 PM · Report this
23
Move the Silver Fork to the Othello Station.
Posted by JPMcG on August 15, 2012 at 12:04 PM · Report this
Amaliada 24
I just emailed Safeway - here's their response:

Hi Harolynne –

Thank you for sending me your comment. The article did not accurately represent the situation. The property is not owned by Safeway. The current owners put the property on the market, and Safeway is one of the interested purchasers. If Safeway does not purchase the property, another party likely will and will also redevelop it. We are not the current landlords, and had no knowledge that the landlords did not inform their tenant that they were selling the property (if that is, in fact, true).

What I hope community members understand is that even if Safeway were not to purchase the property, another buyer would appear who would also likely redevelop it. The best effort now is to try to find the restaurant another location, or this is simply delaying the inevitable.

Thank you again.

Sara
Posted by Amaliada on August 15, 2012 at 12:11 PM · Report this
25
First a Target and now a new Safeway gas station? Good to see Seattle is catching up to the rest of the county! Soon you'll have a Super WalMart complete with RV/semi parking lot and neighboring megachurch!
Posted by K on August 15, 2012 at 12:11 PM · Report this
26
re: Sara Safeway's reply to Harolynne @24: it sounds like Sara is not accurately representing the situation here. My question to her is is why are their plans at the DPD submitted by reps of Safeway to build a gas station when they don't even own the property yet? Is Safeway a current interested party or are they in contract and awaiting escrow for the money (and property) to change hands? Safeway must be awfully confident about their proposal to have plans already ready and submitted to the DPD. It sounds like they want to move as fast as possible to avoid public back-lash. This proposed development is in the Southeast reinvestment area where projects get higher priority from the city.
Posted by kdb on August 15, 2012 at 1:05 PM · Report this
27
@18, there is a way to get capital, it's called financing. Or perhaps some community members would like to start their own LLC and pool resources. And BTW, landlords commonly pay for tenant specific improvements as part of a long term lease deal. Seeing as how tenants currently are few and far between, those landlord contributions are pretty generous these days.
Posted by Hobble D. Hoy on August 15, 2012 at 1:22 PM · Report this
meanie 28
Maybe the owners could have realized that leases aren't forever, and that entitlement of being in a place for a long time is no replacement for owning property. Its not like this hasn't been happening in every other neighborhood for decades ( belltown, bauhaus etc ) and if light rail isn't I clue I don't know what is.

Its hilarious that the normally loopy bailio is NAILING the hypocrisy on this subject. The only thing he is leaving out is the obvious southern food spreads heart disease, so we should ban trans fats trope.

nimbism to the rescue! clearly Goldy, who lives in mercer island, knows that the soul restaurant tourism is more important to the neighborhood than, well anything else.

I swear the stranger was just complaining about big companies not taking the neighborhood seriously because of the demographics, whoops.
Posted by meanie http://www.spicealley.net on August 15, 2012 at 1:22 PM · Report this
Rotten666 29
@28 If it makes you feel better most people I have spoken to are upset that we are going to lose the restaurant, but more so that we are getting a new gas station in it's place.

The neighborhood wants more TOD, not another plot of car oriented sprawl.
Posted by Rotten666 on August 15, 2012 at 1:44 PM · Report this
30
This restaurant is a symbol (a symbol with delicious food and tremendous hospitality at that). Its destruction sends one more ominous message to the African-American residents of the Rainier Valley that their presence and the institutions that they've built to sustain their culture are no longer welcome here. I'm willing to participate in an organized fight to save it. The 'just move down the street' solution is hardly realistic for a family restaurant with older owners.
Posted by johnhelmiere on August 15, 2012 at 2:27 PM · Report this
Goldy 31
@28 I do not live on Mercer Island. I live in the same Southeast Seattle house I've lived in since 1997. So stop making stuff up in defense of unrestrained corporatism.
Posted by Goldy on August 15, 2012 at 3:12 PM · Report this
32
I live in the neighborhood. We already have gas station/minimarts less than a mile in either direction of the Silver Fork. We don't need another gas station--we need more walkability to go with our Light Rail. Frankly the parking lot at Safeway is HUGE and rarely if ever full. If Safeway really wants to build a gas station, then why not use existing space?

The notice of the project was placed squarely in front of the bushes in between the Silver Fork and the nearby Jack-in-box. To any casual passerby it was easy to miss or to think the project only had to do with the parking lot or the Jack-in-the-box and not the Silver Fork.
If the property has not yet been sold, I would also be surious as to how and why Safeway is getting permits to build on something it doesn't own.
Posted by ColumbiaCityResident on August 15, 2012 at 3:31 PM · Report this
33 Comment Pulled (Trolling) Comment Policy
meanie 34
@goldy oh sorry there tiger, I got you confused with your wife again, it must be all your bitching about driving to her house.

unrestrained corporatism? I mean I know hyperbole is your trade but give it a rest. As balio pointed out, if this was a apodment highrise with SHA in ravenna in it you all would shitting yourselves with praise, but now because its in raineer its a travesty.

They leased the building, if another small business came in for more money or geeze did something crazy like bought the place who would you blame then?
Posted by meanie http://www.spicealley.net on August 15, 2012 at 3:57 PM · Report this
Goldy 35
@32 You're absolutely right. That parking lot is never full. (Unlike the parking lot at the Viet Wah, where you can't find a spot on weekends.) And to be clear, nobody would grieve if Safeway tore down the Taco Bell. But the Silver Fork is special.
Posted by Goldy on August 15, 2012 at 4:01 PM · Report this
36
@32 Wow, you sound like an expert in the field. You should probably apply for a job at Safeway so you can show them what they're doing wrong. Just for everyone else's benefit, because I'm sure you already know this, it's not uncommon at all to obtain building permits prior to closing on a piece of property. Would you like to buy a piece of property only to discover you can't build on it?
Posted by Hobble D. Hoy on August 15, 2012 at 4:48 PM · Report this
37
It really is a shame to see this place go. Sad to see so many places of character all around the city replaced by more faceless urban "progress". I think that the land-owning family may have their day of profit, but their success will be shallow and short-lived as it is clear they do not take the human cost to their own neighborhood into consideration. I understand this is good business, but it is bad humanity, and that will only get you so far.
Posted by CameraObscura on August 16, 2012 at 12:42 AM · Report this
38
@36 in that case the more people opposed to the issuance of the permit the better. Safeway won't buy the property if they can't build and perhaps it can be sold to the Silver Fork.
Posted by ColumbiaCityResident on August 16, 2012 at 11:20 AM · Report this
39
Another Safeway gas station? Corporate greed at its best. I have always shopped at Metropolitan Market and Safeway as my two main stores. Well... Guess I am down to Met Market while I find another suitable store to spend my family's money. If Safeway chooses to open another gas station here and forces Silver Fork out, I shall spend nary a penny there EVER again. By the way, I do not live in the Rainier Valley, but I support community and I am getting sick and tired of this . Time to put my money where my mouth is...
Posted by Cocoyan on August 16, 2012 at 2:21 PM · Report this
40
If they have to build a needless gas station, why can't they tear down the adjacent TACO BELL, a restaurant with NO SOUL, that is not a one-of-a-kind Seattle Landmark? The Safeway company should prepare to be BOYCOTTED if they go through with this.

Can't they just ACT LIKE THEY CARE ABOUT THE COMMUNITY THEY FEED UPON??
Posted by Crooner72 on August 17, 2012 at 10:01 AM · Report this
41
If they have to build a needless gas station, why can't they tear down the adjacent TACO BELL, a restaurant with NO SOUL, that is not a one-of-a-kind Seattle Landmark? The Safeway company should prepare to be BOYCOTTED if they go through with this.

Can't they just ACT LIKE THEY CARE ABOUT THE COMMUNITY THEY FEED UPON??
SHAME ON YOU SAFEWAY!
Posted by Crooner72 on August 17, 2012 at 10:06 AM · Report this
42
It would be nice if that Safeway would spend that $ improving their crappy produce department, keeping the entrance cleaner, and employing a few more people so that shoppers didn't feel completely abandoned when needing help finding items in the store. Traffic already sucks on Rainier, the addition of a gas station is just going to make it more of a nightmare.
Posted by KayBee on August 17, 2012 at 10:36 AM · Report this
43
Can someone provide me with Sara Osborne's email address?

I just get the "default email client not installed" message, but I would like to write to Safeway about saving this valuable Seattle institution!

Posted by GoProgressive on August 17, 2012 at 3:44 PM · Report this
44
For the record, the Seattle Times sent a reporter to talk with the SIlver Fork owners:
A community effort to save The Silver Fork restaurant is in full swing, but the restaurant's owner said she was thinking of closing it anyway.

"I was relieved when I found out, to be honest," said Johnson, 51, who took over running the restaurant from her ailing parents five years ago. "It's been really, really, really stressful for me, doing this."
Johnson's mother, Estella Potts, opened The Silver Fork in March 1989 after years of operating a diner in the Central District. There was talk about a decade ago of buying the building, at the corner of Rainier Avenue South and South Charlestown Street, from the family that owns it, but the decision was to stick with a lease.
[...[
Johnson plans to meet with Safeway representatives, at their request. She doesn't blame them, she said. Why wouldn't they want to expand their business? That's what they do.
The grocery chain says the gas station is not a done deal, but the property has been on the market for two years. Safeway spokeswoman Sara Osborne said the company was told Johnson planned to retire.
"We don't want to buy a property and then evict somebody who wants to be there," she said.
The sale is not complete. The Seattle Department of Planning and Development is accepting comments about the gas-station proposal through Wednesday. A gas station is consistent with the land's commercial zoning, said spokesman Bryan Stevens.
The property's owners could not be reached Friday. Johnson is upset she didn't know sooner about their plans to sell. Still, she doesn't want to stay in the restaurant's current location.
She would consider moving, she said, "but only if it's beneficial to me."
"Everybody's pushing me to keep it open, but ... I don't know if I would want to stay here if Safeway did back out," she said. "I understand everybody wants to have The Silver Fork. It has made me feel so good, because what has kept me coming here seven days a week ... is my customers."
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/lo…
More...
Posted by gloomy gus on August 18, 2012 at 12:54 AM · Report this
45
@44 Yet again Seattle's angry white liberals make fools of themselves.
Posted by Sugartit on August 18, 2012 at 11:41 AM · Report this
46
Crooner72, bet u feel stupid now real journalists found out the owner wants to close.
Posted by Sugartit on August 18, 2012 at 11:45 AM · Report this
47
So is Goldensteinenberg and his angry white left wing hooligans out slapping flyers around the 'hood going to apologize for this totally false story?

Goldensteinenberg, what's it like to suck on the Seattle Times's cock this morning? That taste in your mouth? Those are called 'facts'.

But no one asked Johnson if she wanted The Silver Fork saved. As it turns out, she's been thinking of closing the restaurant anyway, maybe as soon as next year.
"
"I was relieved when I found out, to be honest," said Johnson, 51, who took over running the restaurant from her ailing parents five years ago. "It's been really, really, really stressful for me, doing this."

Johnson plans to meet with Safeway representatives, at their request. She doesn't blame them, she said. Why wouldn't they want to expand their business? That's what they do.

The grocery chain says the gas station is not a done deal, but the property has been on the market for two years. Safeway spokeswoman Sara Osborne said the company was told Johnson planned to retire.

"We don't want to buy a property and then evict somebody who wants to be there," she said.

The sale is not complete. The Seattle Department of Planning and Development is accepting comments about the gas-station proposal through Wednesday. A gas station is consistent with the land's commercial zoning, said spokesman Bryan Stevens.
Posted by Mercer Island Goy on August 18, 2012 at 1:02 PM · Report this
48
So is Goldensteinenberg and his angry white left wing hooligans out slapping flyers around the 'hood going to apologize for this totally false story?

Goldensteinenberg, what's it like to suck on the Seattle Times's cock this morning? That taste in your mouth? Those are called 'facts'.

But no one asked Johnson if she wanted The Silver Fork saved. As it turns out, she's been thinking of closing the restaurant anyway, maybe as soon as next year.
"
"I was relieved when I found out, to be honest," said Johnson, 51, who took over running the restaurant from her ailing parents five years ago. "It's been really, really, really stressful for me, doing this."

Johnson plans to meet with Safeway representatives, at their request. She doesn't blame them, she said. Why wouldn't they want to expand their business? That's what they do.

The grocery chain says the gas station is not a done deal, but the property has been on the market for two years. Safeway spokeswoman Sara Osborne said the company was told Johnson planned to retire.

"We don't want to buy a property and then evict somebody who wants to be there," she said.

The sale is not complete. The Seattle Department of Planning and Development is accepting comments about the gas-station proposal through Wednesday. A gas station is consistent with the land's commercial zoning, said spokesman Bryan Stevens.
Posted by Mercer Island Goy on August 18, 2012 at 1:07 PM · Report this
49
As a long time resident of the southend I will no longer patronize that Safeway. They could have put a gas station in so many area's right near that same spot. Hell, tear down that crappy ass Taco-bell or the little ceaser's pizza. Silver fork has been my favorite breakfast spot despite all the bougie-ass places that popped up in Columbia City. WAY better than any breakfast spot in all of Seattle.
Posted by TroyClops on August 20, 2012 at 3:11 PM · Report this
50
It is always sad to see unique, hometown restaurants close. Just reading the article started me craving the food. With the prices rising and the various regulations imposed-- such ashood exhaust cleaning in seattle -- it is becoming harder and harder to stay afloat in these times. When does the public affairs director need to receive the email?
Posted by SamiS22 on October 31, 2012 at 12:28 PM · Report this

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