Empty Kenmore Denny’s Still Standing, Nobody Cares

One week after the iconic Ballard Denny’s building was unceremoniously smashed to bits, the 31-year-old Denny’s restaurant building in Kenmore continues to remain standing, a blatant mockery of all that is good and wholesome.

While the architecturally interesting Ballard Denny’s met the steel claw of progress last week, the exceptionally ordinary Kenmore Denny’s building has so far avoided meeting the same fate.

Since the closure of Denny’s in May of 2006, the nondescript building has been sitting gutted and empty without so much as a peep from local neighbors.

In the wake of a complete lack of political wrangling, a number of local voices have stepped forward recently not to call for the structure’s preservation, but to make it clear that nobody in Kenmore could possibly care less about what happens to it.

The city of Kenmore does not have a Landmarks Preservation Board, and Mayor David Baker stated in no uncertain terms that if there were such a thing, the city “would not even pause to consider granting the Kenmore Denny’s protection status.”

“Frankly, we have far more important things to concern ourselves with around here,” said Susan Keller, a spokesperson for the community group Kenmore Regional Activity Planners. “For example, I understand that the grass at Swamp Creek Park hasn’t been mowed in at least two weeks.”

The overwhelming apathy exuded by the community has led the property owner to question their plans for the parcel.

“We’re a little bit disappointed that we apparently won’t get to experience the thrill of fighting an irate neighborhood group,” said Andrew Stuttgart, a representative for Kenmore Lakeview LLC, the building’s ownership group. “We’re considering whether it’s even worth tearing down if we don’t get to piss off at least a few people.”

The Denny’s building was completed in 1977 on a stretch of road near downtown Kenmore, which today looks no different than it did in 1977. In its prime, the building featured tacky 70s color schemes, fluorescent lights, and a stereotypical suburban customer base.

About the Author

Frigyes Karinthy
Naked Loon Neighborhood Correspondent

25 Comments on "Empty Kenmore Denny’s Still Standing, Nobody Cares"

  1. “Downtown” Kenmore? Kenmore has a downtown?

  2. Jack LeCerveau | 2008-06-30 at 3:12 PM |

    Why not turn it into a retirement home for retired ‘french friers’ from McDonalds? Just think they can set up a big container of Crisco and fry up a bunch of french fries, fish, chicken and let the grease go all over the place. Seniors will have to have medical staff standing by to treat any hot grease burns and heart attacks from that greasy food.
    Another idea is to turn it into a RAT motel for the area. Open up the doors and put lots of Dcon all over the place along with rat zappers and traps. Then Kenmore can once and for all deal with its rat problems.
    Even better idea is to turn it into a ‘green’ police station. Futurewise can send in some armed patrol folks who can arrest anyone trying to start the engine or drive a pick up truck. That would be good for ‘global warming’.
    Or use it for a fund raiser for Obama. People can bring in their cakes, candy, cookies for Moveon dot org and have a calorie sale. They might even provide blood sugal test units for those who have a problem with diabetes. A bar could be set up for HillBilly supporters to come on by and eat their cake and have a couple of shots of ‘Wild Turkey’ to help calm the nerves!

  3. David Baker Mayor of Kenmore | 2008-06-30 at 4:10 PM |

    They old Denny’s will become the new home Ostrom’s Drug and Gifts next year! And Yes we do care!

  4. I read that Amazon-dot-com wanted this building as its national headquarters and then Jeff Bezos changed his mind at the last moment- not satisfied with the view of Kenmore. Several other high-tech firms, including Yahoo and Apple, are considering making this a regional headquarters. It would be a shame if this location becomes a drug and gift store when it has so much potential in the high-tech world.

  5. crazydaze | 2008-07-04 at 11:19 AM |

    Having become a Kenmoron 10 years ago, I am realizing that there is some sort of mental pollution along with the obvious visual scourge emanating from the Glacier
    sand and gravel Company, and the Plywood Supply on N.E. 175 in the City of Kenmore. This contamination has crept up and over Bothell Way and is doing irrepairable damage as it spoils and taints any possibility of a desirable and inviting community to do business or live in. Clifford’s(sigh) is long gone, it did have some class. We have a nail salon that has had 20 different names, in a building that has now, somehow turned into a used car lot business and a paint company,whom I assume did the new paint job, how about getting rid of the hideous awnings. Above these businesses are apartments that, truly viewed from Burke Gilman Trail, need to be condemned. In fact if you are riding down the trail, dont look at the ghetto all the way from Tracey Owen Park to City of Bothell.The Artic Mini Mart that serves no one but the jaywalkers that zigzag across the freeway called Bothell Way. This blight continues over the highway to the block long Les Schwab store and their 400,000 tires, hidden in any vacant buildings they can find. I have covered 1/2 block of a 2 and 1/2 mile stretch of SLUM.
    Kenmore City Hall has planted themselves 5 blocks from this infection but this still hasn’t prevented the contamination from creeping in and infecting the brains of city officials and staff. “Pass the Buck” is the only agenda of the day at these offices.
    Even though I have become a Kenmoron, I have not become immune to the flush of embarassment I feel, when giving my place of residence, Kenmore, to anyone.
    I am issuing a challenge to every member of this community(no slum lords allowed) too drive the perimeter of Lake Washington and find any area as big as and as ratty as Kenmore. Then drive from Lake Forest Park to Bothell, then drive it again and again. Take a good hard look…YUK.
    You will only arrive at one answer, the problem lies in the gangrene of the gravel and cement plant and the lumber yard. Dig out the infection and you might save and have a healthy community, all of the other nasty symptoms and crappy eyesores will dissappear along with the hosts.
    Sorry(no I’m not) one more thing. If we do get the foot ferry to Seattle, that we have payed for with our taxes, to be a reality, we better be thinking ahead.
    With Kenmore the way that it is now, the only fare we would ever make would be one way. OUTTA HERE!!!!!!

  6. Bob Smith | 2008-07-04 at 11:39 AM |

    With a little remodel coulda been Kenmore’s new City Hall for cheap but noooo, we need a NEW palace costing $22,500,000. It’ll still be the same ole Kenmore, wide spot in the road with delusions of grandeur populated by the silent majority, radical greenies, and self-serving politicos. Aren’t we all glad we incorporated?

  7. crazydaze | 2008-07-05 at 2:17 PM |

    As usual the fine community of Kenmore has out done its self. The fireworks display they put on for the residents of Lake Forest Park was wonderful once again this year.We were told that the barge that somehow last year found its way to the civic center in Lake Forest Park was owned by a private very rich man who lived on the hill.We were also told that this year was the first year Kenmore itself would have there own barge and would stay in the waters of Kenmore. Again as last year we had a party of about 20 folks all waiting in eager anticipation. We had watched the barge being loaded up with the soon to be display all day. We even cheered good old Kenmore for finally caring about ALL of its residents not just the few in Uplake Vista and the condos next to Tracey Owens Park. As darkness fell, we took our seats and began waiting for the display. Imagine our dismay when all we saw was the barge of OUR fireworks, Kenmore”s fireworks, once again slithering into the cove of Lake Forest Park.
    I want to know what the deal is? I want to know why the monies at spend in Kenmore don’t better anything that takes place in Kenmore? I want to know where every Pity official lives. Actually I want to know why there is a Kenmore, lets just become Lake Forest Park, then we would have City Officials instead of Pity officials and real fireworks instead of DUDS. Shame on someone…Somewhere, Somehow people need to open their eyes and see what is rapidly becoming a farce of a community.

  8. crazydaze | 2008-07-05 at 2:24 PM |

    And as for Mayor Baker’s “Yes we do care”. Put OUR money where your mouth is!!!! You act like you single handedly got Ostroms the Denny’s site, we know it took all their time, energy and drive to pull off the feat.. SHAME ON YOU

  9. Bob Snakely | 2008-07-05 at 9:59 PM |


  10. No, no, NO! not “Where” The question is “What?” What is a Kenmore… I think my wife has one in the hall closet, or maybe it is in a box somewheres in the garage… Hmm…?

  11. ballardian | 2008-07-08 at 12:51 PM |

    “Kenmore Regional Activity Planners”…K.R.A.P. …..beautiful!!

  12. I moved from Kenmore quite awhile ago, but I’m guessing that those ugly businesses that you’re complaining about comprise a good chunk of the local tax base. I also bet you rent, so you don’t care if people’s property taxes go up when businesses leave. But it’s the job of those damn politicians to care about such things.

    Shame about the Denny’s, I have some good memories from that place.

  13. Realist | 2008-07-08 at 2:05 PM |

    The best part of this story is outlined this morning in the Seattle Times. Your Mayor of Kenmore didn’t have the mental capacity to understand that this was a satirical piece – as well as the balance of the whole website. Is this an elected position, if so it speaks volumes of the people that voted for him…

  14. Some of you are pushing the limits of The Naked Loon’s comment policy. See right above the box you type in, where it says "don’t be a jerk"? Mean-spirited comments qualify as jerkitude, so tone it down a bit.

    I’m not naming any names… You know who you are.

  15. We do own and yes our taxes will go up. But we welcome that, if it improves the quality of Kenmore, it improves the value of our property. Since we have moved here we have seen the desirability of our real estate spiral down but not the taxes.

  16. I was thrilled when I read and understood the sarcasm in your article. I thought and found out other people are as agitated as I am about policy and procedure at Pity Hall. If we can’t rant here and use our free speech where can we, after all it may sound mean spirited but its the truth.

  17. shawnkempsbartender | 2008-07-08 at 7:29 PM |

    As long as the Taboo Video remains open Kenmore will remain the same.

  18. Isn’t that a horrendous thought. You know I just covered the 1/2 block on the other end of Kenmore. I am so sure you are right, it almost seems hopeless. The bikini baristas do not help. I’m willing to march,picket,boycott and write letters. Maybe we should send all of these comments to the Kenmore reporter,Times and P.I.

  19. yoyomama | 2008-07-09 at 7:13 PM |

    I don’t know what you’re talking about. The bikini baristas provide the most beautiful view of Kenmore!


  21. Hey yoyomama, yo right. I have rethought my comment about the baristas, its the stooges that stop there for their latte after leaving the Taboo Video.

  22. crowmetheus_bound | 2008-07-10 at 6:19 PM |

    Did the Denny’s feature a Kenmore Slam that was served with fries on alley 12 at the kenmore lanes? To think I missed the place on my trips through town.

  23. Wait… bikini baristas? Maybe it’s time for a trip back to my old stomping grounds.

    I’m sure that dive bar is still there as well — used to be the Kenmore Tavern, but I think they changed it to the North Shore Tavern or something. I don’t think anything besides the sign has been replaced since 1954.

  24. Rachel C | 2008-07-14 at 1:47 PM |

    23 comments? That’s amazing! Some of these people need to move over to SeattleBubble.

  25. If my taxes are going up, I would love the unlivable, foreclosed property across the street, sold and rebuilt as a single-family dwelling. It’s an eyesore. It’s also DANGEROUS – there are nails sticking up out of boards, and kids go and play over there (even though their parents tell them not to). There are no walls to keep the kids out. And then there’s the dope smokers across the street, they are liable to become squatters over there before the summer is through. They lived in tents last summer, and the City did NOTHING, and could not do ANYTHING when I called.

    I don’t think the City of Kenmore cares about MY neighborhood, here in Kenmore, and it makes me angry. Raise my taxes if you must, but can we have a little sanity here?

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