Snacks! closes on Ballard Avenue

Snacks! Ballard’s Bodega, which opened a year ago on Ballard Avenue by entrepreneur Dante Rivera of Dante’s Inferno Dogs, is now closed.

Rivera tells us that the building was being sold and the new owner agreed to extend the lease for the shop. That sale didn’t go through. Rivera says the current building owner gave him two options: keep Snacks! open month to month with a 70-percent rent hike or vacate.

Rivera is deciding what to do next. “I may just go online? Neighborhood delivery? I don’t know.”

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

131 thoughts to “Snacks! closes on Ballard Avenue”

  1. umm, what kind of landlord raises rent by 70 per cent in the current economic and commercial real estate climate? a greedy one, not a smart one

    bummer for dante, but i hope he vacates and that space remains empty…

  2. Seems like the landlord would be better off going month to month with Dante at the current rate until they find a tenant willing to pay the new rent rate. I guess I’d rather have some revenue flowing in rather than zero.

  3. GOOD!!!

    Did you know Dante is a “board member” at the Ballard Chamber of Commerce which sued Seattle to stop the Burke Gilman trail?

    Serves you right, hot dog puppet boy.

  4. The owners of Ballard Oil and Salmon Bay Gravel must be having a good laugh today.

    Their hot dog selling companion at the Ballard Chamber of Commerce board of directors thought he could swim with the big business fishes but just got swallowed whole.

  5. And did you also know that Dante does so much good for this neighborhood…such as supporting little league baseball and AA?

    How’s that for supporting Ballard families?

  6. Wow, some of you commentators are just ruthless. Of course not everything goes the way you see it should go in your own little world, but this is not the place to judge Dante’s, The Chambers, Salmon Bay’s, or anyone else’s motives. Or maybe your mommy didn’t cc you on that email.

  7. If you actually knew Dante the human being, you’d stop bitching about the BCC and recognize all the great things he does for your neighborhood.

    I’m all for a completed bike trail, but the mudslinging really needs to stop. So effing childish.

  8. The space where Epilogue Books is still vacant too. What the heck are these landlords thinking?
    Count me in for an online delivery customer if you decide to do that, Dante. Your a good guy who does good dogs.

  9. Oh yes stop the mudslinging and bring on the lawsuits instead!

    “Ballard Chamber of Commerce Board Member” is all anyone needs to know about this guy. Evil.

  10. It’s just people who don’t have the guts to say anything in person! It’s easy to make harsh criticisms on the internet, but would you say all of these things to his face?? Passive aggression runs rampant…

  11. J – Where Dante got that specific set, you could call the office (206) 283-3647 and ask him. I’ve found similar hanging sliding door hardware available by order at NW Casters on Aurora at about 49th. Ballard Hardware and Limback may also be able to order it, and you can always go online.

  12. I’m assuming you’ve written letters to the Chamber and to local politicians to express your discontent? Or are you one to just bitch online and think that you’ve made a big impact on the world??

  13. I think his participation as a board member at the Chamber far outweighs anything else.

    The Chamber is the most anti-family group in Ballard, I think. Suing to stop the bike and running and walking trail that families will love?

    And selling hotdogs isn’t such a great contribution to society either. Hotdogs and junk food peddler? Ballard can do better.

  14. Big fan of Dante’s (who has a sweet Snacks custom Dutch cargo bike, hosted a killer Obama inauguration party, and is generally a warm-hearted community guy), big fan of the Missing Link.

    If his mere membership on the board is enough to generate this amount of vitriol from people who obviously don’t know him, I think it just illustrates how the Ballard Chamber went from obscure, who-cares entity to hate magnet from a considerable segment of the community in 1 stupid, ill-considered swoop.

    Make that 2 or 3. They could have dropped out of the appeal. Or explained their support for the lawsuit with a coherent explanation instead of their winning “it’s about the parking WHOOPS delete web page ERRR it’s about safety, somehow?” PR strategy.

  15. They can sue the city at our expense, but we can’t judge their motives?

    What planet are you and your mommy living on?

    Dante is listed a board member on the Chamber of Commerce website. I could not believe it until I saw it myself. I just lost any sympathy for his little shop closing.

  16. Or Beth Miller could come to MyBallard and explain why, during times when we can’t afford to keep libraries and parks open, her organization believes taxpayers and Ballard residents are best served by ongoing lawsuits and appeals trying to stop a trail that in all honesty is inevitable.

    I’m glad posters here keep the heat on Dante and others. As a board member, he’s much more responsible for the Chamber’s actions than your regular member business.

    And hotdogs ARE disgusting!

  17. Um, I think bitching online makes a bigger impact than writing a letter to the Chamber.

    Write them a letter? Ummmmmm hello what year are you living in?

    “Excuse me ma’am, do you have an extra stamp? I just wrote a letter and why if they keep suing us then I’m going to MAIL IT.”


  18. For starters, get off your ass and take a walk! You’re talking about health while sitting at a computer desk… A bit hypocritical.

  19. Why aren’t people a little MORE outraged that some NEW property owner has raised the rent on a local business by 70 %. SEVENTY PERCENT! What kind of slum lord does THAT in a recession? I’d love to know who it is, and where they are from.

    The MORE people on this board complain about the freaking bike trail anand the Chamber, the more I feel like supporting them…and I used to ike commute to work. Bottom line : Bike Riders do NOT support the local econmy of Ballard.

  20. Bottom line: Regardless of how much ike you rode back in the day, your last assertion doesn’t make any sense.

    People who ride bikes (or broadly, trail supporters, since it benefits strollers, joggers, etc etc) don’t support the local economy? Based on what standard?

    The majority of the community, and the majority of business owners surveyed along the Missing Link route (as part of the endless planning process) support the trail. Not all of us are as strident as the MyBallard frequent posters. And people on bikes are more likely to shop and dine locally.

  21. What “great things” does Dante “the human being” do?

    Sell unhealthy hotdogs?

    Serve on the board of a business group suing Seattle?

    Fail at running a convenience store?

    I must be missing something.

  22. Personally I would not do anything without a computer, no.

    Are you that stupid that you think actual change can’t happen online? Thanks to MyBallard and Facebook thousands of neighbors know about this issue.

    Crawl back into your cave. Does it have electricity? And stamps? And clipboards? And some stickers? Stickers are good. Stickers get things done.

  23. So Beth Miller is going to read these bitchy posts and reconsider her position on the BGT? When you bitch at people, they tend to stay firm on their opinions. When you approach them with reasonably thought out, constructive criticism, they’re more likely to listen to you… Sure, continue to post, at least it gets people worked up and is entertaining. But don’t think it makes up for not doing anything. The whole world can *know* about something, but if nobody *does* anything, then nothing happens!

    What happens when all of the bitching doesn’t change the Chamber’s standing? Just a bunch more bitching?

  24. Builder’s Hardware Supply (BHS) on Elliot has a good selection of sliding hardware in their showroom. Only open M-F though…

  25. The only thing that is going to change the Chamber’s standing is a court order. They’ve made that clear again and again. Taxpayers pay the price of all this with closed parks and pools.

    So like you say, at least it’s entertaining. I wonder if Beth loves it when Dante’s thick juicy hot dogs slide down her throat.

    Awareness is not a bad start and it only takes a few minutes of my day to reach lots and lots of people for free.

  26. Oh, sad! I always liked that quirky shop. And Dante’s (or any for that matter) hot dog’s aren’t unhealthy eaten every so often.

    I hate the bike trail. I hate all the young dinkwads that became BOB stoller pushing breeders that have change Ballard from blue collar to uber-sensitive yippie white collar. My Ballard family is blue collar and proud to eat hot dogs from a vender that gives back.

  27. I have two honest questions, and I am not trying to fan the flames or continue this argument.

    “people on bikes are more likely to shop and dine locally” I have heard this asserted a number of times. Do we have statistics on this. Would the trail being complete actually bring buisness into downtown Ballard especially since it isnt the “end” of the trail, that being Golden Gardens. It seems to me that I dont stop when on a trail until I get to my stopping point. If I was riding on the BG why would I stop in Ballard and not just ride through to my destination.

    Also, what is the impact on parking along Shilshole? For example every Friday and Saturday Shilshole is full of Ballard-outsiders coming for the bars, venues, and eating establishments. Sundays cars line the street for the Sunday market. Will those parking spots still be there if the missing link is built? Last time I rode through there I counted 200 cars that have no other place to park in Ballard if not on Shilshole.

  28. So, who’s working on the court order, then? Seems like that would be worth the time everyone’s spending on forums… Unless you only care about things enough to spend a few minutes a day on them?

    And you’re trying to be taken seriously, but you have to hide your infatuation with Beth by making crude innuendo? Or maybe it’s Dante you fancy??

  29. the chamber is anti-family?

    so that means that Ballard Swedish Hospital, the Evergreen Children’s Center, the Ballard Boys & Girls Club, the Ballard First Lutheran Church & Childcare Center, St. Alphonsus School, and the Seattle Waldorf School, all of whom are chamber members, are anti-family?

    Dante has created jobs by expanding from his single hot dog cart to multiple carts and a retail store. what contributions have you made?

  30. actually, yes, writing them a physical letter would have more effect than bitching on a blog.

    there is no guarantee that the chamber will ever read your posts

    however, sending a registered letter would pretty much guarantee the chamber would hear your complaints. so would a phone call

    but it’s clear you’d rather hid behind your PC and post on this blog, which will accomplish absolutely nothing towards your goal of getting the trail built.

  31. thousands of neighbors know about this? really? can you prove that?

    while i don’t personally know thousands of my neighbors, the couple dozen that i’ve spoken to about this issue knew nothing about it before I brought it up.

    so far, no chamber members have rescinded their membership. no members have gone out of business, or even seen reduced business, from the alleged boycotts that have been suggested.

    but keep hiding behind your PC, instead of going out into the community with a petition, which I would sign. your posts have certainly been effective so far.

  32. If it is so ineffective why does it bother you so much?

    You spend more time posting on this blog than I do and I’m on the clock anyways.

  33. What’s with the anti-small-business attitude. It’s hard to get by in this economy and sometimes a chamber of commerce is what a business needs to do to get situated in the community.

    70% rate hikes are evil and shows greed or poor planning from the landlord. Isn’t there a law against it? He probably figures he can cash in on New Ballard. He’s probably right. This is no longer a hood where you can find cheap quick eats or comfort food (unless you are a pho place apparently)

    Don’t bash the guy for selling dogs… people can make their own health choices. (Anyway he sells a mighty fine spicy veggie dog!)

    I want the bike trail too, but I fail to see what Dante’s landlord jacking the rent has anything to do with it.

  34. board of health,

    anonomously calling someone you’ve never met names on a blog is really mature.

    what exactly have you eaten today? please do enlighten us as to what your perfectly healthy diet consists of.

  35. “swallowed whole”

    how so?

    dante still has multiple hot dog stands and other retail outlets that sell his products.

    i guess you enjoy hearing about people losing their jobs too

  36. Bash him for being a board member of a business group that is wasting tax dollars by suing to stop a trail that families in Ballard want, was funded, and approved by the city transportation department.

    Small business has nothing to do with it.

  37. Oh no, the cars will have no place to park! The world will end!

    Here’s a solution that will really blow your mind: Try not to drive everywhere.

    I guess for the people who think home-delivered hot dogs are a good idea, that’s too big of a mental challenge.

  38. The landlord obviously wanted the current tenant to leave, but recognizing that it might take time to get another tenant in place, offered the current tenant a not very attractive in the long-term option while they looked for another place.

  39. A lot of people come from outside the Seattle area to enjoy the Ballard scenery on the weekends – they keep places like the Tractor, the Sunset, Connor Byrne, People’s Pub, La Isla, and countless other local bars and venues busy on the weekends so they can stay open and pay rent. These crowds are coming in from Issaquah to Olympia. I talk to a number of them each week. They support the Ballard business we love so much, but don’t have the option of biking in. So, Bamm314’s question of whether the parking spots would be overtaken by a bike lane is legitimate, and something I’d like to know the answer too as well.

    Not to mention, all of the people who work in the businesses along shilshole during the week need somewhere to park during the day as well. Biking is a fine endeavor and an admirable lifestyle for those who can do it, but if you’re commuting from outside of Seattle, or you need to haul more than yourself and a backback, then a car is a necessity.

    What do you do for work, Pho, that allows you to bike everywhere?

  40. I definitely enjoy hearing about Ballard Chamber of Commerce board of directors losing their stores!

    The Chamber board members can’t keep their own stores in business? Priceless.

  41. The bike trail is being built on city owned land.

    Since when is it the city’s responsibility to provide free parking to private businesses like the Tractor or Salmon Gravel?

    And besides, the lawsuit is not about parking. It’s about safety remember? Oh no wait it’s about the environment. That’s right, it’s about the environment! NOT parking!

  42. Seriously? This isnt about me or any of us. Its about bringing buisness in from other parts of the city.

    Do you think we would have the best farmers market in the city if we didnt get people to come from other neighborhoods?

    Do you think the current old-ballard buisnesses want no parking?

    It was an honest question? Does the parking go away? Does all the out of ballard people bringing their money to Ballard evaporate?

    If it does then sign me up for backing the BCC and not wanting the missing link.

  43. Can you read? People are not outraged at something that did not happen. The sale did not go through. There is no new property owner and so you can’t hate him because of where he’s from!

    Learn to read, you old batty fool. The current owner raised the rent. THAT IS HIS RIGHT. Don’t like it? Buy your own building!

  44. Dante has a huge catering business that has been so successful that he’s far outpaced where he was last year at this time, even in this recessionary climate. So your comment about his inability to succeed is just dead wrong.

    Moreover, there is nothing in the article that said Snacks! wasn’t doing well – the reason he’s leaving is that he’s had the rent jacked 70% on a month-to-month basis.

    But your blinders have so impaired your vision that I guess you missed that.

  45. Is this true?

    A ” trail that families in Ballard want”. I dont want my kid anywhere near the BG. I ride, run, and walk and I could care less about the BG.

  46. There are no legs to the argument that more bicyclists would shop and dine in Ballard if the trail were completed where planned because the trail bypasses the downtown Ballard core and actually takes riders further from it than they are now. So I don’t see any real merit to the argument. Nice thought though.

  47. There are no legs to the argument that more bicyclists would shop and dine in Ballard if the trail were completed where planned because the trail bypasses the downtown Ballard core and actually takes riders further from it than they are now. So I don’t see any real merit to the argument. Nice thought though.

  48. Some of the parking goes away.

    But that has nothing to do with the BCC’s lawsuit which is about the environmental impact.

    And believe it our not, losing some parking spaces will not destroy Ballard. It will probably bring more people to the Sunday market, not less.

    But there will be fewer fatsos who need to drive everywhere they go and park within a block.

  49. WTF? I was born and raised in Ballard and I still love this neighborhood. Why would you hate a bike trail? I’m sorry you are so insecure that you let others make you feel inferior, but you should really get over yourself. Does your poor downtrodden blue collar family really eat $4 hot dogs regularly?

  50. Ohhhhhhh, just what I want in a caterer… hot dogs, potato chips, cigarettes, and a litigious anti-bike ‘tude.

    Can some blue collar Ballard type please invite me to their next party?

  51. Riiiiiiiiight. Because the Lockspot, Ray’s, Paseo, and Little Coney aren’t in Ballard? It’s the westward riders that are less likely to come to Ballard by bike as it stands.

    Besides, the businesses and chamber are suing to block the interim trail design that takes cyclists right up Ballard freaking ave. Would it kill some of you would learn or even think a bit about this issue before posting?

  52. What an idiotic comment. The low intelligence of the trail opposition is one of the things that makes this so difficult.

    Yes, the Fred Meyer parking lot is not any closer to the Ballard core than the new trail will be.

  53. My reply is stuck in comment limbo because of links, but briefly, this issue has been studied after bike infrastructure was put in place in Toronto and SF, and the majority of business owners on affected streets felt that the world didn’t end, bike lanes brought them additional business, and that in fact they would support additional bike projects and traffic calming on their street.

    Google this:
    The Economic Benefits of Bicycle Infrastructure Investments

    You’ll find plenty of data.

  54. Blah, Blah, Blah, same old BS from a couple of CBC spammers using different handles. We don’t want the trail along Shilshole Ave. The family argument is straight from the republican play book. It’s a waste of public money that could be used for something to benefit all Ballard residents. The problem here is the non Ballard residents trying to impose there own agendas on our community. It’s our town, go away.

  55. Come on, folks. I’m as bikey holy-roller as they come, and I still wouldn’t call Dante litigious or anti-bike. How do we know the board unanimously voted to litigate and then appeal with the businesses? Was Dante even on the board back then?

  56. Who cares if he was or how he voted. He still decided to serve on the board. I think anybody with principles would have resigned or refused to serve.

    He should come here and answer his critics. But of course he will not.

  57. This argument is as stale as the trail being built. I’m all for getting the bikers off Shilshole. There too many riders that get in my way.

  58. Why would he go to a web site and answer questions from web ghosts?

    Maybe his principles told him to do the right thing and vote to join the lawsuit. Maybe he felt it was his obligation to support the Ballard industrial area and all the family wage jobs that go with it.

  59. You could put all the economists in the world end to end and they still couldn’t reach a conclusion.

    Economic studies can be made to prove a point either way.

  60. Nice, Pho. Your level of rudeness and nastiness is impressive -referring to people you’ve never met but yet have no compunction referring to in an anonymous forum as “a bad parent,” “fatsos,” “dumb as rocks,” “idiotic,” having “low intelligence,” etc.

    Very impressive.

  61. wow. why don’t we just call these the whining boards? no amount of comments you make on here are going to change anything. pretty powerful behind your keyboard aren’t you? pour yourself another glass of red wine… you are making a difference! good work.
    dante is a rad guy who is just selling hot dogs…bummer he had to close down his Snacks location but there will still be carts out there.

  62. Fair enough. I would love to know how much of the parking, but if it is only some thats great. Honestly I didnt know and I dont remember reading anywhere where it was said.

    Anybody have a good link to the plan? I have to admit I dont know the exact route. Is it basically the RR line? What will the path do when it gets up toward the Market Arms?

  63. What? I’m aVERY bad parent because I dont want my kid on a small bike on the Burke Gilman?

    Honestly you are a rude crass indvidual. You know nothing about me.

    You said that families in ballard want something. Is there a poll? How do you know what people want?

    Can you actually debate something or answer a question without calling someone you dont know a name?

    You do your cause more harm by casting insults about. In fact the more I think about it the more you insulting me is pushing me to side with the BCC and tell everyone I know that the BG shouldnt be built because by evidence of you it is only wanted by a small vocal and vulgar community that doesnt represent the best intrests of Ballard.

  64. By that logic, if you had principles, you wouldn’t post here, on a BCC-member-run blog site.
    I strongly encourage you and any sockpuppet friends (doug11?) to act in accordance with your logic.

  65. I totally agree. And his “voice” is evident in many posters’ posts (another trademark of his), so I’d wager that the number of “real” posters out there bashing Dante is actually pretty small.

  66. Yep! Signs in the window as I passed. I was afraid it was coming as I never saw more than maybe 1 person. It is becoming a dead zone with Via Verde Moo Berries, Camera Shop, etc.

  67. Yep! Signs in the window as I passed. I was afraid it was coming as I never saw more than maybe 1 person. It is becoming a dead zone with Via Verde Moo Berries, Camera Shop, etc.

  68. Haha! still at it about the stamps, eh? Sure, a letter may not make a big difference, but a community letter-writing campaign might! But that would probably take more than a few minutes of your time, so it’s not likely something you’d do.

    Sure thousands of people read the neighborhood blogs, but how many sift through all of the comments? A few dozen?

  69. Obviously not, but 22 hours later, still no one has noted anything done outside of this forum to push their cause… Lots of people bickering on a forum isn’t going to make changes if the people are too lazy to get out of the house and actually do anything about it.

  70. Exactly! I’m thinking the number = 1. Multiple personalities in the same head don’t count :), but then again, there was that smokin’ hot girlfriend…

  71. karma,

    did you read the article? he can’t keep one store in business because they landlord wants to raise his rent by 70%

    why don’t you give some examples of businesses that have managed to survive after a 70% increase in their rent?

  72. thanks for that comment! let me quote it back to you in case the meaning is lost on you:
    “no amount of comments you make on here are going to change anything”

  73. Wow, I’m really sorry that someone’s business had to close because a landlord got greedy. I wonder how many times we will have to hear this story? Abraxus, Epilogue, Camera Shop…still vacant. Dante’s dogs are tasty and I for one will continue to eat them regardless of how many posters call me fat.

    Should my regret at the closure stop me from asking what will happen to those lovely display pieces? Because they would look awesome at my house, should there be a closing sale.

  74. i heard a rumor that you don’t need a bike to be on the burke gilman!! just a tip.

    I enjoy it a great deal. I like to take my little one out for runs with me and the BG is a perfect surface and a safe route to do it. none of us can speak for all of us, but i think you’re a little misguided now that a troll got you flustered.

  75. They haven’t spoken up if they have… so I don’t know if for a fact, but I’m willing to assume that anyone who has done something significant in the community would be more than willing to boast their accomplishments here.

  76. Neighborhood delivery would be great! But at the same time I wouldn’t want to be the one competing with amazon fresh.

    I don’t get why all these landlords are hiking up the rents and thus losing their tenants with no one else lined up to rent the place at higher rates. Epilogue Book’s spot on Market has been vacant for what – over a year now? Surely the lower rent would’ve been better to have coming in than no rent at all.

  77. Bosefussss, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

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