City The Pizza Menace
This week, as part of the Stranger’s ongoing coverage of Mayor Greg Nickels’s crackdown on nightlife, I wrote about an Alki restaurant called Slices Pizza, whose liquor license application the city has opposed because some residents fear it will lead to public drunkenness, noise, litter and underage drinking. Slices owner Patrick Henley, seeming bemused by the imbroglio, told me, “It seemed pretty basic for a pizzeria to get a beer and wine license.” Nonetheless, the city has asked that Henley and Slices co-owner Tom Lin sign a “good-neighbor agreement” agreeing to certain conditions (typical good-neighbor requirements: no noise, no litter, extra security, no outdoor seating) before it will relinquish its objections.
Curious about why the city would view a tiny pizza joint as such a clear and present danger to the West Seattle beachfront strip, Stranger news editor Josh Feit and I ventured out to Slices on a recent weekday night.
Unfortunately, the tiny shack, which also boasts a postage-stamp front yard (from which the city believes patrons will be tempted to pass beer and wine to people on the sidewalk) was closed at 9pm. But we took some pictures (sorry they’re tiny; blame my camera phone):
As you can see (or not), Slices is basically a tiny shack with a single counter, a couple of seats inside, and a tiny front yard. The idea that it would somehow turn into a “beer garden” after hours (meaning when? between 8 and 10, when Slices closes?) is pretty tough to swallow.
(City Attorney Tom Carr says the city negotiated a good-neighbor agreement, which centered on “an assurance that they would monitor the front yard” for illegal activity, with the pizza joint, but Slices ultimately refused to sign. He also says Slices could always decide to extend its hours, serving the late-night beachgoing crowd until well into the evening if they wanted to. However, he adds, “I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, serving pizza and beer. I’ll probably go there myself.”)
Of course, if people really had their heart set on handing booze to passing minors while munching a slice of pizza, they could always go down the street to Christo’s, where Josh and I enjoyed a Greek special (feta, Kalamata olives, and spinach) while drinking wine (me) and a frou-frou mixed cocktail called an Orange Crush (Josh).