The History of Salty's on Alki Beach, Seattle
The Seattle landmark restaurant Salty's on Alki Beach is near the location that is known as the birthplace of Seattle. The building on piers that houses Salty's on Alki was originally constructed as the Novelty Flour Mill a very long time ago in 1893. It ground out “Excellent Flour" for many decades. The area was known as the West Side and had entertainment everywhere with sports, parks, clubs, festivals and a nationally distinctive roller-skating rink. The pursuit of amusement centered around Luna Park, a combination swimming palace and carnival which opened in June of 1907. This 12-acre amusement center was set on pilings just north of Duwamish Head, where a small newly opened waterfront park currently commemorates its location. The historically famous and significant Luna Park was a seaside pleasure resort with a large saltwater natatorium (swimming center) with several tanks, a skating rink and a dance pavilion. The carnival attractions of Luna park closed in 1913 but the saltwater natatorium stayed in business for many years afterwards.
Local history books tell us the area had a bad year in 1956, in the middle of an otherwise promising decade, and the Novelty Flour Mill ground to a halt. It was the West Side's oldest industry at the time. You can find out more about West Seattle history at www.loghousemuseum.info. If you love history, plan a visit to the Log House Museum when you're in the West Seattle area. It's located only a few miles from Salty's Restaurant.
Before Gerry and Kathy Kingen bought the waterfront property from Joyce Entus in 1985, it had been operating for many years as a locals' favorite seafood grill called the Beach Broiler. After extensive remodeling, the Kingens reopened it in December of 1985 as the third Salty's Restaurant, the flagship of the group. This Salty's ranks in the nation's top 100 restaurants in Restaurants & Institutions magazine.