News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood


Railey’s saying goodbye at end of year

By master · November 30th, 2009 · 17 Comments

After seven years of helping people pamper their pets, Railey’s Leash & Treat (513 N. 36th St) is closing its doors on December 31. 


Owner Mark Smith says a combination of factors is why he decided to close his boutique pet store.  On top of a poor economy, he says the pet product industry has become somewhat saturated.  “You can find a store in every neighborhood now.  Not to mention being able to buy online.”  Another reason stems from how Fremont has changed over the years.  “The vitality that used to be here no longer is here.”  That said, he adds, “I’m totally proud of what we have here.  We’re going out on a high note.”  


Many items are on sale now until Christmas.  After that, you can expect even more deals on everything, including fixtures, through the rest of the year.  It’s a good time to stock up on pet treats out of the bakery case or pick up a new pooch outfit or two.  Tonka (pictured above) will be happy to greet you at the door, too!  (Thanks to Paul for the tip.)

17 responses so far ↓

  • 1 bangonthe // Nov 30, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    Sale starts after Christmas? So, 5 days of sale? If you’re going out of business due to the economy, it would be smarter to put items on sale sooner in order to make sure he can clear inventory before he closes.

    “The vitality that used to be here no longer is here.”

    Oh, and Fremont sucks now? Gee, thanks. Gonna miss you neighbor.

    Just because the change in the economy means that people no longer want to or can afford to spend exorbitant amounts on pet couture does not mean that Fremont has lost its “vitality”

  • 2 FremontSheila // Dec 1, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    I’m sad to see it go.

  • 3 schuze // Dec 1, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Yeah, Fremont does kind of suck now. (Unless you are more the Belltown type, of course.)

  • 4 sdrake1958 // Dec 1, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Sad to see a business close it’s doors. In a state 2.6 billion in debt already, it’s one less source of revenue for Olympia too now. Does this mean more red-light-cameras/higher taxes sooner? Limo-liberals and their mutts next on Oprah. Trend sucking Freakmont. he he he “And when rents are too high in Fremont they’ll only come to Ballard”. And they did! Now where to hide?

  • 5 borninballard // Dec 1, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    dear hater… its fun to see you getting this bent out of shape over a pet store closing. i wonder how you deal with REAL issues in you own life.

    the truth is, this place was great. when i have gone there, the owner treated me like an old friend and we would alway end up chatting about more than dog bones. to me this is what a small buisness blueprint should be.

    smiles, selection, advice > savings.

    good luck in whatever it is you do next

  • 6 Guest // Dec 1, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    I liked Railey’s up to a point. Or at least, I liked the idea of Railey’s. Unfortunately, they didn’t carry some of the items we used the most. And after multiple times of hearing that they’d start carrying them and then not finding it when we went in, we moved on to Petapoluza down the street. Not as close, but they had what we needed. And they’re just as much of a small and local business. Sorry, Railey’s, we tried.

  • 7 Name // Dec 1, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Could you be a little more rambling and incoherent in your comment next time?

  • 8 holz // Dec 1, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    head to bark before petapoluza. yech.

    railey’s was a decent store. it’s unfortunate none of the bars are closing instead.

  • 9 PAW // Dec 2, 2009 at 8:37 am

    Nice store, nice staff, and an up-scale pet store mainly for dogs was the sort of odd niche store Fremont used to be about.

    Though when the recession started to bite it was the third on my list of places I expected to close (first and second were any new and high priced clothing stores – eg Ians – and any place that moved into Space).

  • 10 bangonthe // Dec 2, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Who is the hater? I’m not the one who is leaving the neighborhood claiming it has lost its “vitality”.

    I do just about all my shopping in the neighborhood. I am a big fan of supporting local businesses. Railey’s closing has more to do with Mark’s business skills than with the neighborhood. Case in point – the sign in the window says “Everything’s gotta go” yet he isn’t doing anything until after the 25th to entice shoppers who aren’t already his customers.

    There is another pet store in Fremont that is locally owned and not a chain. They seem to be doing just fine and not bagging on the neighborhood.

  • 11 psilocynic // Dec 2, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    That’s just stupid. Petapoluza is a great store, the owners are terrific and they have ample street parking and a parking lot.

  • 12 AMJRAL // Dec 3, 2009 at 2:10 am

    Anyone know who did the awesome painting on the glass?

  • 13 SPG // Dec 3, 2009 at 5:06 am

    Too bad Raileys is closing.
    Years ago when our new pup was growing fast and it was getting chilly Mark cut us a great deal on one of those dog coats since he knew we'd only be using it for one season. He also hung around after closing once just to wait for me to come in and exchange a collar. Not buy one, but to exchange one. That's the kind of store and owner that we need more of.
    Unfortunately the stuff we've bought from Railey's has lasted so long that we're not in there buying stuff over and over to keep him in business.

  • 14 Amy // Dec 4, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Why wouldn’t you support a local business like Petapoluza? They are independently owned, have great customer service, and have a great selection.

    If you want to see the neighborhood business succeed, I’d recommend shopping in the neighborhood and not bad mouthing it.

  • 15 vic // Dec 5, 2009 at 8:53 am

    We are devastated to hear Raileys is closing as we are over from England in February to stock up. Come over to England and open up here- english doggies need you! Many people comment on Lily's coats and we often talk to fellow dog owners about the fabulous dog deli.
    On a more serious note, there will always be change on the high street. However you only need to look at your average UK small town centre and see the impact of rising rates and influx of chains to see what a negative impact it has. Of course all business needs to be sustainable but independants are unsuprisingly vunerable to these changes and unlikely to be replaced in the current climate. The attraction of Raileys was the friendly reception which made it more that just a shop to buy stuff in.
    Living in Fremont for two years we have fond memories of a diverse and vibrant offer which is a rare thing these days and one that local communities need to fight hard to sustain.
    Either way, Lily has never got over her relocation (!) and we will be ordering all remaining Etta stock!

  • 16 Trouble Puppy // Dec 8, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    What’s your beef with Petapoluza? They are a locally owned (non chain) business too. I guess you can drive to Ballard if you want, but I prefer to shop in my neighborhood and I can walk to Petapoluza and they have a wide selection of food, treats, collars, leashes, etc and the owners are super helfpul. Oh, and they are open until 9pm during the week which makes it super convenient to pick up my dog’s food after work. And, my dog loves going in there because the owners are so nice to him.

    Railey’s was a charming store that had some cool collars and clothes. I bought a couple of items there that I really liked. It’s a shame that it’s closing. But, I never viewed them as a competitor of Petapoluza – the two stores carried different items. I assume when the owner of Railey’s talks about the neighborhood losing its vitality he means the economic boom is over and when people tighten their belts they keep feeding their pets, but don’t buy as many designer items or high end treats.

  • 17 seattlegeorge // Jan 3, 2010 at 1:59 am

    I will miss them!! Railey's was an awesome store. How many pooches will be walking down the side walk, anticipating a friendly handout of pupperoni (sp?) by Mark & the courtesy watering hole that they've become accustomed to? Oh sadness!!

    Fremont isn't what it used to be it seems & change is inevitable. From the posts I’ve just read people seem to be hatin’ on Railey’s & they are of course entitled to their opinion, but don't hide in your anonymity, its spineless & cowardly.

    I wish Mark & staff the best!!

    George & Moe

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