Bar Sajor's sudden shutdown, two more chefs depart Pioneer Square, Eric Rivera arrives at Tallulah's and more restaurant news.

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Bar Sajor in Pioneer Square closed with no warning on Saturday, July 10. James Beard award–winning chef Matt Dillon has not said much about the obviously painful ending — he’s taking care to let his staff know how valued they were, saying to Seattle Met, “It’s my own fault for not being more on the mark.” If you’ve been in Pioneer Square in the evening lately, it’s apparent that the much-ballyhooed revitalization of the neighborhood isn’t exactly happening in a hurry. Game days also present challenges to restaurants without TVs.

Dillon can take solace in the multiple glowing reviews that Sajor earned with its lovely setting and wood-fire-cooked food after opening at the beginning of 2013. Sajor’s kitchen also launched chef Edouardo Jordan into his own already-storied career and his own already-beloved restaurant, Salare.

Meanwhile, Dillon’s had his hands full elsewhere — he’s a partner in Georgetown’s new Ciudad, and he’s often in the kitchen at his Upper Bar Ferdinand. He says he’ll have details on what will take Bar Sajor’s soaring-ceilinged place soon.


Eric Rivera is the new chef at Tallulah’s on Capitol Hill: Rivera has a resume that includes Chicago’s massively acclaimed Alinea, and his hiring represents a huge score for Linda Derschang’s neighborhood spot. Originally from Olympia, he returned to the area to become culinary director at Josh Henderson’s Huxley Wallace Collective, but that didn’t last long. Best bet is that his role at Tallulah’s is an interim one, before he opens his own place… please?

Eli Dahlin is moving to Portland: The very talented chef of Damn the Weather is leaving us for some town in Oregon, where he’ll be the executive chef of a restaurant called Dame. However, they can never take the fact that Dahlin invented the Caesar salad sandwich here in Seattle away from us — and it’s staying on the D.T.W. menu, now under the care of chef Brian Papenfuss, from Capitol Hill’s splendid Stateside.

Brandon Kirksey is moving to San Francisco: Another chef who was doing much-praised work in Pioneer Square leaves Seattle in the dust — Kirksey’s leaving Korean steakhouse Girin after July 23, returning to his native California to head up the storied The Slanted Door.

Cody Westerfield is the new chef at Cicchetti: Westerfield leaves Lecosho (which was something of an industry favorite under his watch), where Zephyr Paquette is now in the kitchen.

Nathan Batway is the new chef at the Dunbar Room: Chef Seth Caswell, who took over after last year’s remodel of the restaurant at the Sorrento (and whose work left “room for improvement,” according to The Seattle Times’ Providence Cicero), has been replaced by Nathan Batway, formerly of Anthony’s and Compass Group, “where he planned and executed events for up to 5,000 guests.” The new menu tends toward Italian.