(L-R) Ms. Helen’s daughter Jesdarnel Henton, Ms. Helen Coleman, and two friends. The Stranger


22nd Annual Port Townsend Film Festival - Virtual! Streaming Sep 23 - Oct 3, 2021.
80+ films, filmmaker interviews, & special events. 10 days of on-demand independent film. Passes On Sale Now!

Seattle soul food legend Ms. Helen Coleman is coming back—at least for a while. The owner of the Midtown Center at 23rd and Union, Tom Bangasser, who owns the property with his family, announced that he's approving a lease with Ms. Helen for 2,100 square feet.

Ms. Helen, who learned of the news at the same time as a roomful of community members, was elated and replied, "Thank you, Jesus! I love you and your family."

The restaurateur said she had been looking for a new space for a while. In 2001, her building was damaged in the Nisqually earthquake, and it eventually had to be torn down. A month ago, the Seattle Weekly reported that the Rose Petals had reopened in White Center, with Ms. Helen's involvement. But then Ms. Helen said she was not actually part of that endeavor.

Bangasser said there's still a lot that needs to be worked out, including building a kitchen. One hitch: He and his family are also planning to sell the property, but Bangasser said it's unclear when that will happen and Ms. Helen will have 180 days after any sale.


A local entrepreneur wants to help Seattle's food truck scene by starting a food truck and beer park in Ballard. Steve Katsandres, who used to own Bad Albert's Tap and Grill, plans to open Ballard Bites and Brew in April (pending some final permitting) in a formerly empty lot at 1502 Northwest 50th Street. The park will include a "draft shack," half of which will be a drive-through espresso stand serving "gourmet breakfast sandwiches" from 6 to 10:30 in the morning, the other half of which will serve beer. From 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., there'll be three or four food trucks, which will rotate.

Katsandres said the idea initially came from his (silent) business partner. They noticed the city only had pods, in which food trucks are stationary and there's no seating. "We didn't see anything that had a parklike setting," he said. "The idea was to bring a really nice environment for food trucks. They don't have a lot of places to go." Katsandres and his partner will supply the espresso, beer, wine, and gourmet sandwiches, but the rest of the offerings will be from other vendors.

Support The Stranger

The "park" will actually be a fenced-in lot with trees planted around the perimeter. The space itself will be enclosed and covered. Truck owners will have access to power and the sewer. There will also be wi-fi, full bathrooms, and a stage for bands to play in the summertime.

Interested in having a food truck there? Monitor Ballard Bites and Brew's Facebook page (facebook.com/ballardbite) for application information. recommended