As the Seattle restaurant scene churns, a couple of sad surprises top the list.
Yes, this looks like a rash of Seattle restaurant closures, but deep breaths — this many (and more) new places have debuted since we last chronicled shutdowns at the end of March. And before you email us, let’s note that the owners of these places have attributed the closures to many different factors, but none of them blamed the minimum wage.
Young American Ale House in Ballard has closed, not long at all after its pivot to a gastropub from its Middle Eastern incarnation as Golden Beetle. Its excellent poutine will be sorely missed. James Beard-Award winning chef Maria Hines says that the debt from the critically acclaimed but never-packed Golden Beetle was just too much, calling the change-up (clearly euphemistically) “a very challenging way to start out a new restaurant.” The silver lining is that she had to close even sooner than planned because, with her help, most of her staff found other jobs right away. And overall, she says, “I’ll never regret it.” Her restaurants Tilth and Agrodolce are, she says, going strong.
Dot’s Butcher & Deli has closed in Pike Place Market, so after a seemingly triumphant comeback last year, it’s R.I.P. for one of the city’s best porchetta sandwiches. Dot’s owner Miles James sincerely, movingly explained on Facebook that “it’s just me running the whole place by myself, and to make ends meet I need to be doing 3-4 times the business I am now which just isn’t feasible on my own. I thought that if I could just hold on a little longer that I’d be able to make it work but you can only go on like that for so long before you have to admit it to yourself.” Dot’s, you will, once again, be missed.
Circadia, one of the most ambitious restaurants to open in 2016, found its glitzy fine-dining concept wasn’t working downtown, and they’d very recently rejiggered slightly downmarket. Then the owners precipitously announced on Facebook that the place has closed while “we ponder our next chapter.”
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Sullivan’s Steakhouse downtown is no more. Seen, sadly, through the window after the April shut-down: a book entitled “Awake at Work: 35 Practical Buddhist Principles for Discovering Clarity and Balance in the Midst of Work’s Chaos” and a blank to-do list. Asked for an explanation, Texas-based Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group sent the less-than-explanatory response “We regularly evaluate our restaurant portfolio and chose to close the Sullivan’s Steakhouse on Union Street in Seattle. We appreciate the dedication of our team members and the patronage of our many guests that have dined at the restaurant over the years.”
New York Pizza Bar & Grill has closed its restaurants in Seattle, Tacoma, Burlington, Everett, Renton, Bellingham and Lynden after declaring bankruptcy and owing about $2 million dollars, The Bellingham Herald reports. The newspaper quoted a memo that the owner sent to his employees saying that the chain’s lower Queen Anne location was its downfall. “Almost immediately the (Seattle restaurant) store started losing $5,000 a week, and we fought on to try different ways of marketing it, executing the model etc. to no avail. The store did not make money a single month it was open stretching from 2011-2017. We opened other locations after Seattle, but were never able to dilute the losses the store was generating.”
Serious Pie‘s branch located inside Starbucks’ Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room on Capitol Hill is gone. Princi, the high-end Italian bakery Starbucks bought into last year, will take over the space. More details here.
Clever Bottle, the Belltown craft-cocktail bar, has closed after seven years, Seattle Met reports, with no reason given.
And, on Capitol Hill, Resto and Vaca Loca appear to have quietly closed down.
NOW CLOSED, BUT SLATED TO REOPEN
F.X. McRory’s Steak Chop & Oyster House in Pioneer Square will close its storied doors after almost 40 years on June 11, but owner Mick McHugh tells our colleague Nicole Brodeur that he’ll move into an as-yet-unspecified, nearby smaller space. The reason given: a new building owner who wants to retrofit the basement. The last night should be a hell of an Irish wake.
Metropolitan Grill downtown will close on June 19, but don’t panic: It’s just for minor renovations that should be done by mid-August. During the shutdown, the Met’s “Prime Steak selection” will be offered at Heartwood Provisions — both are owned by Consolidated Restaurants.