With inflation hitting an all-time high in the United States, restaurant industry pessimists have yet to prove themselves right, at least in the Seattle area. New openings have rebounded, in a big way, with a flood of restaurants and bars debuting in recent months as we (hopefully) emerge from the pandemic and navigate summer, traditionally prime time. And meanwhile, the rate of restaurant closures in the Seattle area continues to be low — lower than before the pandemic, despite not only new inflation numbers, but also rising food costs. food and rent, as well as endemic staff shortages that date back several months.
Grants have certainly played a part in keeping some local places afloat – cross section reports that more than 28% of Washington’s Federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund awards went to Seattle-based restaurants, totaling more than $344.8 million. approximately 89% of the 145 companies awarded over $1 million were in the Seattle area. Local restaurants also have tight belts, with reduced hours now the norm – many are now only open Wednesday to Saturday, and finding places serving lunch has become a challenge. (Meanwhile, perverse good news for owners and staff, many popular locations are perpetually crowded, with the potential to squeeze revenue into fewer days while allowing industry players more free time to have lives.)
While few restaurant closures are sweeter than bitter for chefs/owners, the 11 recent Seattle closures listed here almost all have a silver lining. The majority of spaces already have new restaurants ready to move in (an indicator of industry optimism, if very anecdotal). Some of the locations continue to thrive in other locations – with, in one case, plans for out-of-state expansion. One owner intends to return with a more viable business model, while another seeks to find a better work-life balance. So, with fewer bleak outlooks, to the list…
beach bakery at Rainier Beach: After almost seven years, this community gathering place has closed, with a heartfelt Facebook post from owner Amy O’Connell calling it “the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make.” “She thanked clients for their ‘incredible support’ throughout the pandemic, but said, ’80 hours a week has caught up with my (rather) old body and I need to move on to things that allow me to take better care. of me. “The bright side: She mentions pop-ups or a cookbook. And: “I love you all so much.” And, then, in another post, “Couldn’t be more excited to share this news!” — that the equally beloved King Donuts will move in later this summer.
Glo’s on Capitol Hill: After 35 years, favorite dive restaurant Glo’s is closed after a fire caused exterior damage and extensive smoke damage inside. “It’s a super disappointment,” owner Julie Reisman said, adding that if/when the reopening will take place in the East Olive Way spot, it’s “hard to say, at this point.” Upside: Work had already begun on a new location at the Capitol Hill light rail station, with the move slated for this winter (and a liquor license in the works, for Bloody Marys and mimosas galore). Glo fans can donate to a fundraiser at givebutter.com/glowup.
Ma’ono in West Seattle: Originally known as Spring Hill when it opened in 2008, this fried chicken favorite is over, but owner Mark Fuller sure isn’t — the South Lake Union and University Village locations in Ma’ono inside Rachel’s Ginger Beer remains open, as do his other West Seattle spots, New Luck Toy and Supreme, as well as the latter’s second location in the U District. bright for those who missed its Pirates of the Caribbean atmosphere, Fuller has just reopened West Seattle classic Admiral Benbow Room with drinks, DJs and hot dogs for food. Also: Ma’ono’s flagship space is set to become a different restaurant under a new owner to be determined.
Mount Bagel to Ballard: As a pop-up, it was so popular you could hardly ever get bagels, and now, after a brief brick-and-mortar period, that place is over — in Seattle. “It’s hard to say goodbye,” owner Roan Hartzog explained on Instagram, “but life stuff happens and long story short, I’m moving” — to Bend, Oregon, where he’ll start bageling again, so : very positive side for Bend.
Zippy’s Jumbo Burgers at White Center: a favorite since opening in Highland Park in 2008 thanks to a move to White Center a few years later – with a second location in Georgetown for a time – Zippy’s farewell was met with 597 mourning comments on Facebook. “To say this decision is heartbreaking is a monumental understatement,” owner Blaine “Zippy” Cook wrote, citing “staffing, inflation and an unreasonable owner… [as] factors that ultimately led us to this. No good side was cited.
Canterbury on Capitol Hill: After a rotation of owners and a high-end revamp, the beloved former dive bar with armor finally meets its demise after nearly half a decade in business. On the positive side for the East 15th Avenue business community and fans of Fremont’s Rasai: the owners of this place are about to open Meliora, a “modern European” restaurant, in space, with the armor still standing, according to Seattle’s Capitol Hill Blog.
Little Chengdu at Mount Baker: This Sichuan spot closed after four years with — on the plus side — the owner kindly offering to teach fans how to make their favorite dishes. And, more good news: the space has already become the Taiwanese restaurant Uncle Lu.
Bar Charlie on Stone Way North: Owner Christian Thomason marked the closure “with a mixture of extreme excitement and sadness”, saying “it was one hell of a ride, a life purpose fulfilled and an incredibly humbling and rewarding experience”. But, on the bright side: famed pop-up Tio’s Baby is defined as “the new bar dwellers…fantastic guys offering delicious Mexican food and tempting drinks,” according to Thomason.
Schmaltzy Charcuterie to Ballard: In business since late 2019, this delicatessen announced “with great sadness” that “the economic measures on which we have built our business model no longer exist due to the pandemic and its lasting effects on our economy, our costs and our workforce. ” But, on the positive side of the owners: “we will come back after a few months with a new Jewish concept and a different way of executing it which corresponds to the current situation”.
cookie and bean to Ballard: “After 8 years of serving this amazing community, we’ve decided to move in a different direction,” B&B announced on FB – and, on the plus side, that different direction involves both retaining their location in Lake Stevens and “very soon an LA location!” On the plus side: the owners told My Ballard that a new restaurant is about to move in and will feature the signature cookie recipe.
Flying Squirrel Pizza Co. in the maple leaf: a clear sign in the window announced that “unfortunately” the end had come, but on the bright side: the Georgetown location remains open.
And a change: If you have planned a day trip to Cle Elum to try famous local chef Shota Nakajima Banzai Teriyakibe aware that he is no longer involved with the project, with no further details available at this time.