In 1980 Gerry Kingen embarked on a creative restaurant concept, Salty’s. The first one opened in Portland as the debut of Kingen’s chain of waterfront seafood eateries. Salty’s at Redondo Beach in Des Moines, Washington, followed in 1981. In 1985 Kingen purchased the Beach Broiler, which was doing $1 million in business; he transformed it into Salty’s on Alki Beach, which did $9.6 million in 2000. Salty’s on Alki is one of the top three restaurants in its market by volume.
In 1999 it was listed as No. 70 in the top 100 largest-volume restaurants in the United States, according to Restaurants and Institutions Magazine. The popular restaurant seats 240 in the main dining area, and every seat in the house has a view of the scenic Seattle skyline. The downstairs banquet facility seats 225 diners, allowing Salty’s to compete with area hotels. Because it offers ample parking and is a quick drive from downtown across the West Seattle Bridge, Salty’s has a thriving lunchtime trade.