by Ronnie Estoque
Last August, Hawaiʻian restaurant Super Six closed permanently in Columbia City to pave the way for the creation of another Marination location. Super Six was part of the Marination family, co-owned by Kamala Saxton and Roz Edison. They celebrated the opening of their new Marination location in the old Super Six spot earlier this year on New Year’s Day. Since 2009, Marination has carved out a space for itself in the Seattle food scene by offering selections that reflect Hawaiʻian and Korean influences like kalua pork, kalbi beef, spam musubi, and pork katsu.
“The main reason we chose to close Super Six and reopen as Marination is because we’re trying to effectively strengthen and grow our Marination brand,” Edison said. “And we love the community that has grown around it [Super Six]. But we also know that in this economy, with all the things that everyone’s read about, it is easier and cleaner and [a] more efficient and productive model to have a single brand than to try to manage two separate brands.”
Saxton and Edison started their own journeys in the food industry 14 years ago with their own local food truck. They drew inspiration to create their business by seeing the food truck scene down in Los Angeles and ultimately wanted to bring something with a similar vibe to Seattle.
“We really wanted to bring a fast, casual restaurant that could bring Aloha on a daily basis to Seattle; like that was the culture, the environment we’re trying to support here,” Edison said.
Super Six had established itself as a Columbia City restaurant for over seven years prior to closing, but managing two separate restaurant entities during the early stages of the pandemic presented its challenges. The support of the community, however, was enough to keep the doors open.
“COVID was no fun for everyone. We were worried about the health of our employees and our customers and everything … [We] were better suited to survive it than most because we already had a model that involved a lot of take-out food,” Edison said. “We were already at a price point that wasn’t a luxury item. So as people’s incomes fluctuated, they could still afford our food.”
Their new menu at the Marination Columbia City location consists of core staples from their West Seattle location, including their crispy “fish n’ chips” and their “fish sando.” They’ve also added chicken and bubble waffles — a fried chicken thigh and Hong Kong waffle with hot honey, haupia syrup, Sriracha, and Thai basil — for brunch. Currently, they are open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Marination Columbia City features a full grab-and-go case of various drink options, added seating upstairs for indoor dining, and an updated sleek bar design.
“We just love the South End, like Kamala and I really want to continue to support the diversity that’s in the South End, the 98118,” Edison said.
Last year Marination also expanded into T-Mobile Park, serving their signature dishes like Spam musubi and huli huli chicken to avid fans who enjoyed the Mariners’ first postseason run since 2001. They are also confirmed as a food option for the upcoming Mariners season as well.
“It showed us that having sort of a single brand, again, in the city, helps everyone recognize who we are and what it is,” Edison said. “It helps us with consistency across the board for all operations and everything.”
A big goal for Edison is to ensure that all their locations are strong and operationally supported to continue building their restaurant brand name in Seattle. “We would love to expand; we would love to go into the airport. It’s not something that instantly happens,” Edison said. “We hope there will be support. We feel like our lūʻau plate lunches and our Spam musubi would be really awesome items to take on a plane.”
Ronnie Estoque is a South Seattle-based freelance photographer and videographer. You can keep up with his work by checking out his website.
📸 Featured Image: What was once Super Six is now Marination Columbia City, still owned by the same company. Marination continues to offer patio seating, a hallmark of Super Six. (Photo courtesy of John Beck.)
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