Meet Alison Soike, the co-owner of The Lockspot Cafe in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. For nearly a century, The Lockspot Cafe has been serving seafood and classic American fare at the entrance of Seattle’s Ballard Locks. In 2021, long-time owner Pam Hanson passed the ownership to Ballard locals and restaurant owners Alison and Ryan Faniel to continue The Lockspot Cafe’s legacy and build one for themselves. Alison and Ryan are dedicated to maintaining the flavors and aesthetics that have defined this eatery for so long, while creating a gathering space that directly supports the people in their neighborhood.
Learn more about Alison and The Lockspot Cafe in this week’s Business Spotlight Q&A!
The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
What’s something your customers may not know about you or your business?
The Lockspot is a 100-year-old restaurant here in Ballard, and it’s actually two homes that were pushed together, so it’s not like a normal, commercial-style looking restaurant. It’s literally two large living rooms that are pushed together, which is something that we love about it because it’s just a really cozy space — it has a double-sided brick fireplace right in the middle, which is awkward [she laughs] but it adds to the charm of the place.
Why is it important to you and your business that people #SpendLikeItMatters?
It’s so important, and I haven’t always realized how important it is because, you know, I’m someone who enjoys a steal and a deal — everybody does [she laughs]. [Ryan and I] eat out at the same places every time, and they’re all family-owned places within our neighborhood. And I see myself when I go into these places, and if we don’t support small businesses and the people who are creating and fostering community in our neighborhoods, I don’t even want to know what they’re going to turn in to.
What does it mean to you to be able to continue the Lockspot’s legacy?
We feel super fortunate that Pam chose us to take over the legacy here, and we really feel like that’s part of the responsibility of owning this place is, you know, carrying on the tradition — and not just carrying it on but improving it, which is what we’re committed to doing, which is bringing the community back to The Lockspot. […] We’re really committed to just providing a community space and food that gets people excited and makes them feel at home, so our goal has really just been to bring who Ryan and I are to the menu along with keeping the favorites of this fish and chips joint.