RAINIER VALLEY – A south-end institution is preparing to close next month so Safeway can build a new gas station on the corner of Rainier Avenue South and South Charlestown Street in Mount Baker.
The Silver Fork Restaurant has served the Rainier Valley for decades and many neighbors are upset to learn of their impending demise.
“I understand maybe some people think we need another gas station in the area,” said Jennifer Maile in an email t the RVP. “But do we need to lose the restaurant to get the gas station? Can’t the plans be shifted so the restaurant can stay?”
And from Goldy at the Slog:
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.”
Safeway currently operates three grocery stores and one gas station in the Rainier Valley.
Maile said she plans to speak up and let the City’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) know how she feels.
“The time for comments on the gas station permit has not closed,” she said. “[If] the people who eat at the Silver Fork are many of the same people shopping at the Safeway, I would think our voices count for something.”
In fact, comments may be submitted through Wed., Aug. 22, and according to DPD, this may be the only opportunity to weigh-in on the environmental impacts of this proposal, which includes a retail kiosk, four fuel pumps, a 2,610 square-foot canopy and the installation of two 20,000-gallon underground storage tanks.
According to Goldy, you can also email Sara Osborne (Sara.Osborne@safeway.com), the public and government affairs director for Safeway’s Seattle division, to let the company know how you feel about the project.
The Fork is located at 3800 Rainier Avenue South. Photo/Rainier Valley Post