Don't panic! Tons of new places have opened, with several of the shut-down spots already set to house yet more restaurants and bars — and the longtime Eastside deli favorite just might be coming back.
It’s been two months since our last count of Seattle-area restaurant closures, and in that time, a dozen-plus more have shut their doors. But don’t panic: In the same two months, 60 — sixty — new restaurants have opened. A number of the fresh closures also have silver linings in the form of even more new places already lined up to take their spaces. And one Eastside favorite that shut down to major mourning just might be coming back.
Phinney Market Pub & Eatery in Phinney Ridge: After “seven wonderful years,” the owners of the neighborhood spot decided to close down this past summer. But it doesn’t get much better than the replacement: Dave Lichterman’s Windy City Pie, moving from Interbay at the beginning of 2019. Seattle Times readers declared it the city’s best pizza in 2016, and my colleague Tan Vinh and I agree that it is truly great. About getting the space, Lichterman says, “I’m pretty damn excited!”
The Saint on Capitol Hill: The triangular-shaped Saint has given up the ghost after a full decade of a lot of tequila on Olive Way. The good news is that the owners of Madison Park’s excellent The Independent Pizzeria (another one of our “6 Seattle spots for truly great pizza“) are already at work on their new place in the space: Dacha Diner. Joe Heffernan and Tom Siegel promise a family-operated spot for “Eastern European cuisine with Jewish fare,” set to open in December. This one should be really good, too — follow their progress on Instagram.
By the Pound/Bar Justice on Capitol Hill: After opening last December, the not-so-great deli with the “hidden” bar — eventually advertised on posters around the neighborhood — closed in August. But “Bar Justice 2.0” is coming soon, according to a note on the door, with bar manager Shane Sahr saying that’ll happen next month (and that it’ll be all bar, no more deli-business in the front).
Cafe de Paris in Edmonds: A reader by the name of George writes, “After 35 years, the chef is retiring … Not many restaurants like this one anywhere, anymore.” But myedmondsnews.com reports that chef Firmin Berclaz is delighted about time to travel and for family, and that a new spot called Calypso is already on the way.
Chávez in Pike Place Market: This outpost of the popular Capitol Hill Mexican restaurant shut down after less than six months, but word is that the same owners will reopen it as a bar. Their next-door Mercato Stellina and the original Chávez remain open.
Goldbergs’ Famous Delicatessen in Bellevue: This local favorite — one of our 2015 “corned-beef kings,” doing the classic right — just closed down after 13-and-a-half years. Owner Ben Cukier says the location had become a liability, with an unexpected rent increase, parking issues and more. He calls the outpouring of support at the end — people showing up, emails, crying — “mind-boggling.” Will Goldbergs’ return? “There is a chance,” Cukier says, and that chance sounds good — they’ve got most of the furnishing and equipment in storage. (And when one deli door closes, another opens? New, albeit pricey, Dingfelder’s on Capitol Hill absolutely deserves deli-lovers’ attention.)
Petite Galerie in Madison Valley: After just seven months — and a couple of stellar reviews — high-end Petite Galerie shut down suddenly in September. Chef/owner Rob Sevcik told Nosh Pit blog that “operational challenges and a significant bout of illness this summer” led to the closure.
Tentenyu on Capitol Hill: The Kyoto chain is done (after coming in last in our Capitol Hill ramen ranking — maybe one of the five new places had to go?!). Its website directs fans to the Culver City (California!) branch, now the only one in the U.S.
Babirusa in Belltown: After the sad departure of chef Charles Walpole for health reasons, erstwhile Eastlake favorite Babirusa is no more, with the rent on the much-bigger Belltown space said to be a factor.
Frank’s Smoked BBQ in the Central District: The replacement of the Barbeque Pit at 23rd and Cherry has closed, with no plans to return, according to Vanishing Seattle. (But! Edward “Pookie” Whitfield’s Barbeque Pit is back, now at 23rd and South Plum.)
Bengodi on Beacon Hill: The Italian place near the light-rail station closed in mid-September after three years, saying on Facebook that they appreciate all the support, and that “We keep praying for all of you and this neighborhood.”
Elysian Bar downtown: This branch of Elysian Brewing Co. is gone, preparatory to a new skyscraper condo development, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.
Le Petit Cochon in Fremont: As previously planned, “After 5 amazing years,” chef/owner Derek Ronspies decided to close the doors of his farm-to-table/nose-to-tail restaurant in mid-October.
Chandler’s Crabhouse in South Lake Union: Also as previously planned — and due to Vulcan’s plans to redevelop the property — Chandler’s Crabhouse said goodbye on Sept. 30 — after 30 years of going through, they say, more live Dungeness crab than any other restaurant in the U.S.A.