Another upscale place in Amazonland bites the dust, what happened to Redmond's Spazzo, and Roux's last Mardi Gras hurrah (tonight!).
After a spate of closures at the end of last year, the past month brings a not-unreasonable eight Seattle-area restaurant shutdowns — nine, counting Roux, closing this weekend. Roux, however, has already found a new owner, and two other shuttered spots are also already set to reopen. And for those keeping score on the minimum-wage impact front, the Washington Post reports that a new large-scale analysis of the effects of minimum-wage increases — 137 such increases, since 1979 — shows that on average, “The decline in jobs paying less than the new minimum wage is offset by an increase in those paying more.” Onward!
Restaurant Roux in Fremont: Fans of New Orleans-style Roux will have their last Mardi Gras hurrah there tonight — chef Matt Lewis’ place will close for good after brunch this Sunday, after four-plus years. He says on Facebook that “after some soul-searching, we decided to accept an offer to sell Restaurant Roux… however, in true New Orleans fashion, we are going out with a bang, so COME PARTY WITH US!” He promises “nothing but love on Wednesday for Valentine’s Day, and a rowdy weekend to close it down!” Lewis’ Where Ya At Matt food truck will keep on rolling. No word on who the new owner is yet.
Mistral Kitchen in South Lake Union: Chef William Belickis transplanted his critically acclaimed, unrepentantly formal Belltown restaurant Mistral to Denny Triangle in 2010, adding “Kitchen” to the name and multiple kitchens to the place. Different interior zones offered different menus, from a la carte to eight-course prix fixe; the “Jewel Box,” where the priciest tasting menu was served, eventually bit the dust, replaced by a lounge. (In 2015, Belickis also took on the role of chef at Frelard barbecue joint Bourbon & Bones, since closed.) After an eight-year run — through the development of Amazon, a fraught time for restaurants in the area — Belickis only says he’s “very ambivalent” about the closure.
Phorale in South Park: People loved this Vietnamese/Tex-Mex fusion sandwich shop inside a South Park mini-mart, but almost two years in, it’s over. Co-owner Young Cho told Seattle Magazine that “it wasn’t viable” to pay for necessary plumbing renovations with no guarantee on a lease renewal from their landlord. “With that being said,” the Phorale Instagram account notes, “they say as one door closes another opens… we will be waiting with our knives sharpened.”
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Spazzo in Redmond Town Center: Open since April 2007, the Schwartz Brothers’ Italian outlet closed at the end of 2017. CEO Lindsey Schwartz says that Spazzo’s 10-year lease was up and that the location had been “underperforming for us for the past several years.” He also sees dining at the Spazzo level moving to new Bellevue restaurants, and further says that when the movie theater there became an iPic, serving dinner and drinks, it “went from being a big contributor to our business to being a competitor.” (The company also runs the multiple Daniel’s Broilers and Chandler’s Crabhouse.) Fearlessly taking over the space soon: Fuji Steak House, with “Teppanyaki tableside grilling, including steak, vegetables, rice and possibly sushi,” according to Redmond Town Center.
Seattle Pho + Bar in Denny Triangle: This Stewart Street spot made it almost six years after replacing La Lot. “We are moving on to a new and exciting adventure,” they say.
Salted Sea in Columbia City: While their Facebook still says the closure is just “temporarily due to a kitchen management change,” looks like we can put a fork in Salted Sea — the phone number is no longer in service.
And pruning the branches of a few chains: Greenlake Bar and Grill expired on February 11, but, the Neighborhood Grills chain says, “when one door closes, another one opens… Stay tuned for what’s next!” (People on Reddit suggest it might be a Lunchbox Laboratory, owned by the same company, but they’re not too enthusiastic about either the old or the potential new.) And the Homegrown in Fremont and Skillet in Ballard have also closed.