BIZ UPDATE: Three New Businesses, Four Re-Openings And Identity Of Potential New Cinema Company

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UPDATE 10/21/09: We have added one new business (Bratz, a German cafe) and one re-opening (Skippers) to this story, which we hope will continue to develop…

by Ralph Nichols

It may not be a boom. But even as the recession continues to buffet Highline communities, businesses are discovering – and returning to – Burien.

“We have a trickle of new businesses coming in here,” Burien Economic Development Manager Dick Loman told The B-Town Blog recently. “We’re gradually filling up our vacant (commercial) spaces, and it’s happening in the worst economic climate in decades.

“You’d think it would be very quiet, but it’s not,” he said. “It’s very amazing and we’re very fortunate to have this happening.”


  • Grand Central Bakery, with popular stores in Pioneer Square and on Eastlake Avenue in Seattle, has announced plans to expand its business by moving into the vacant retail space at 626 SW 152nd St., next to Sylvan Learning Center.

    Bratz, a German food store, should open on 6th SW before the end of November.

  • And Redfish Grill, already doing a successful business in Tacoma, is going to open a second dining spot in the building recently occupied by The Keg on SW 148th St. at the entrance to the Safeway shopping center.
  • Bratz, a German-style fast food cafe, has its signage in place in a spot on 6th SW, just across the street from Sal’s Deli. We spoke with co-owner Robert Lang, who says that the store should open in “two to four weeks” and foodwise to expect “German beer, the world’s best sausages, schnitzels, red cabbage, pretzels, potato salad and more.” Robert and his brother John are both from Germany, and they have one other location in Seattle’s U-District.


  • Remaining in Burien, after closing its doors when displaced by the third-runway flight path north of Sea-Tac International Airport, is Filiberto’s Cucina Italiana. This popular Italian restaurant, long a local favorite, is moving downtown and will reopen at 653 SW. 152nd St (next to Key Bank).
  • Already back in business with new owners is Wizards Casino at 15739 Ambaum Blvd. SW, next to the Hi-Line Lanes bowling alley. The return of Wizards was especially good news for the city – it’s one of Burien’s 10 largest employers.
  • Skipper’s Seafood & Chowder, located at the corner of Ambaum Blvd. and SW 148th, has also re-opened.
  • In the meantime, Car Pros of Tacoma continues to indicate it will reopen Burien Nissan at Five Corners as soon as their business plan is finalized and approved.

Why this interest? “It starts with the availability of property … on a reasonable-cost basis,” according to Loman, together with marketing studies that indicate these businesses will do well.

Burien has “a reputation of being friendly and a cool place to be … these are destination-type businesses that draw from a much larger area than just Burien. It’s location, location, location.”

As these businesses locate or relocate in Burien, another is expressing interest in coming here – and being the anchor of the phase two development in Town Square.

The Galaxy Theatre in Gig Harbor.

  • Loman identified the company that wants to develop a 10-screen cinema complex in Town Square as Galaxy Theaters, headquartered in Los Angeles.
  • Galaxy Theatres runs 10 different “first-run” movie complexes in four states, including three in Washington – Monroe, Tacoma and Gig Harbor.
  • Here’s a blurb from their website:

Galaxy Theatres, LLC is a fully integrated movie theatre company.

Privately owned, it is ranked by size in the top 10% of its industry, according to the National Theatre Association and currently has theatres in California, Nevada, Texas and Washington.

Formed in 1998, its focus is to develop and operate a portfolio of high impact, state-of-the-art movie entertainment theatres in selected markets of the western United States.

Galaxy Theatres’ award winning business philosophy of “More than just a Theatre” incorporates the best in movie entertainment with the Company’s philosophy of active community service.

“Being socially entrepreneurial builds strong bonds and goodwill in the communities we serve”, according to Frank Rimkus, the Company’s CEO.

  • Representatives of both Galaxy and Urban Partners, the private developer of Town Square, will appear before the Burien City Council at the Nov. 2 meeting to discuss their proposal.

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10 Responses to “BIZ UPDATE: Three New Businesses, Four Re-Openings And Identity Of Potential New Cinema Company”
  1. Burien resident says:

    How can it be, none of these buisnesses will be in the new town center, what a laugh.

    • Jess says:

      They may not be located in the town square but I think it is an arguable point that without the existence of even a vacant town square Burien would not be as desirable of a place to open up shop. It makes perfect business sense for small proprietors to choose the lower cost available retail spaces first. However they are filling up fast and pretty soon the best location in town is going to be the town square. The town square represents part of Burien’s potential. If these new businesses succeed than the town square project will have a greater attraction to future tenants.

      • Keith says:

        if the Town Square owners would realize they cant charge such outrageous rents for downtown Burien they would be full of businesses already.

        • CC says:

          Lots of people don’t think the center of Burien ought to be another low rent district. Eventually people that are ready to – will buy those units.

          • keith says:

            I am not saying it should be low rent, but the prices they are asking for retail and condo space are outrageous. Especially when compared to rents elsewhere along 152nd.

            They seem to think they can charge downtown Seattle rates. I will say it again, offer those properties at a more acceptable price and they will be taken quickly. Someone is greedy.

  2. Jess says:

    While not that exciting it should also be noted that the Skippers in Burien re-opened recently as well.

  3. Tcb says:

    I can’t find any information about a Redfish or a Red Fish grill in Tacoma. I find it in New Orleans LA, and then I find a Pacific Grill in Tacoma. There is also a Mackay property, that I think seemed like it was called Red Fish, that went out of business. Any info on the correct restaurant or website that I can’t find?

  4. Judy LiCastro says:

    Perhaps if Burien would allow and welcome big box stores, there would be a reason to come to the downtown area and shop at all those over priced boutique stores. For me I go to Tukwila and so do my tax dollars.

  5. Tcb says:

    Burien once was the “Southgate” that was supposed to be the answer to Northgate for the South area. Then they built that dam and all the cheap land down there opened up and Southcenter stole all of Buriens thunder. Now Southcenter is going to flood and everyone is going to act surprised. I don’t think that Burien is discouraging a Big box (like say…Fred Meyer?) it’s just that the land was and is cheaper down there.. at least until it floods. As far as the “over priced” Boutique stores, I’ll take those over a Wal-Mart shopping experience any day. 152nd is going to keep developing character while Wal-Mart obviously robs the readers of their soul.

  6. Kurt says:

    I cannot find anything on a Redfish Grill in Tacoma as well. Not on the internet or with directory assistance. I thought I might try it out, but am unable to locate it.

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