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Owner of Ma’ono Takes Over West Seattle Landmark the Benbow Room

Plus, Rainier Beach favorite King Donuts readies some significant changes, and Ballard’s SeafoodFest is canceled

The interior of the Benbow Room in West Seattle, which has dark wood and elements reminiscent of an old sea vessel
The Benbow Room has a history on Admiral Way that goes back to the 1950s.
Benbow Room/Facebook

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Owner of Ma’ono Takes Over West Seattle Landmark the Benbow Room

Some new life is coming to a famed landlocked vessel. As West Seattle Blog reported, restaurateur Mark Fuller — owner of Hawaiian fried chicken destination Ma’ono — is taking over the Benbow Room, a decades-old venue known for its kitschy Pirates of the Caribbean vibes. The space has undergone multiple ownership changes over the past 20 years and was most recently an old school arcade called Vidiot, which closed permanently in late 2019. Fuller told the blog that he’ll be bringing the Benbow moniker back and has several months ahead of him in getting the location in shape for opening, but few other details were revealed. The last time the original name was used was a short-lived revival in 2014-15 as the Admiral Benbow, a music and cocktail bar. When it’s ready to roll, the Benbow will join Ma’ono, Supreme, and New Luck Toy (reopening soon) as Fuller’s West Seattle restaurant and bar properties.

King Donuts in Rainier Beach Is About to Undergo Significant Changes

After years building an eclectic reputation as a bakery-teriyaki-laundromat shop, King Donuts will focus on its namesake dish from here on out. The South Seattle Emerald reports that the Rainier Beach favorite will take a short break from August 5 through the 17, then reopen without the teriyaki offerings, and officially nixing the laundromat aspect (which had been closed since 2019). Originally, the components of King Donuts were three separate businesses brought together under one roof, but the Chhuor family — who took over the operation in 2017 — told the Emerald maintaining the laundromat machines proved difficult, and rising food costs during the pandemic required to keep savory items on the menu was a challenge. The sweet treats are still some of the best in the city, though, from chocolate- and sprinkle-coated cake doughnuts to glazed and cinnamon sugar-coated rounds.

Ballard’s SeafoodFest Canceled Due to Delta Variant Concerns

Just weeks after plans emerged to revive Ballard’s SeafoodFest for fall 2021, the event is now off once more. “Due to circumstances beyond our control, we could not guarantee that we could create a safe and enjoyable event for all,” read a statement from the Ballard Alliance, which organizes the popular festival each year, featuring live music, drinks, and smoked fish galore. SeafoodFest had been canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, but the Alliance had hoped to bring it back this September with a more scaled back format. However, as COVID cases have increased in the region due to the more contagious delta variant in recent weeks, it seemed safer just to nix things altogether. Organizers hope to host it once again next summer.

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