Island Soul celebrates 15 years of food and community in Columbia City

The Caribbean-inspired soul food restaurant is a South Seattle fixture. # k5evening

SEATTLE – A delicious eatery in Seattle’s historic Columbia City neighborhood is celebrating its 15th anniversary.

Island Soul Rum Bar and Soul Shack opened on Rainier South Avenue in 2007. It existed about 4 years earlier on Martin Luther King Jr. South Way and South Judkins Street.

But owner Theo Martin says the start goes even further – with his father, who opened Judkins BBQ in the 1970s.

“It’s been in my family all my life,” I said. I was among them. Today when I wake up – and both are dead – to me this is still my dad looking at me and I have to make him proud. And it’s not about pressure, it’s about fun. I like it.”

Popular menu items include oxtail, jerk chicken, bok choy, and Cuban black beans. The bar has an impressive selection of rums and a colorful drink menu. (Note: indoor seating is a plus.)

But for Martin, there’s more to the menu than just what’s on the menu.

“For me, this restaurant is my father’s restaurant. It will be here to support the community because that’s what he raised me to do,” Martin said.

During the height of the pandemic, the restaurant focused on supporting maids – catering to frontline workers, nonprofits, women’s care centers and more. If someone called out for assistance, Island Soul responded — and the restaurant’s efforts were later supported by donations from Columbia Bank, Google, and Microsoft.

“I’m only here because the community supports us,” Martin said. friend.'”

Martin also credits his employees with the success of the restaurant – many of whom feel like (and really are) his family.

“I have chef Bobby, who has been with me since I first opened,” says Martin. I wouldn’t say 30, but it’s easier than 15.”

Island Soul is located at 4869 Rainier Avenue South and is open for dinner Monday through Saturday.

King 5’s Evening Northwest celebration. Contact us: Facebook, TwitterInstagram, Email. Island Soul celebrates 15 years of food and community in Columbia City

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