A replacement of a replacement in Pioneer Square can't make it, while nearby, another restaurant space gets its second try. Also: the downfall of a high concept, and an abrupt chef change-up.
Mike Easton’s Il Corvo Pasta Studio in Pioneer Square has closed after less than a year. His lauded Il Corvo is still serving (fantastic) pasta, but his second Pioneer Square space has proved difficult. He opened Pizzeria Gabbiano in 2014, but despite its excellent pizza, the numbers just weren’t there, and it closed last March. Now the replacement — the Pasta Studio, a retail spot for his handmade pastas and sauces — has followed suit. Easton says that Pioneer Square “is a funny place — you can be one block off the beaten path, and traffic will be zilch.” (On Facebook, his postmortem was “All this talk about people having a ‘shower beer’ — after moving restaurant equipment all day, I’m thinking an ‘epsom-salt-bath Manhattan’ is more appropriate.” He reports said bath was “damn fine.”)
There’s been other evidence that up-and-coming Pioneer Square hasn’t come up as fast nor far as predicted, with chef Matt Dillon‘s upscale Bar Sajor also failing to thrive. It’s just been replaced with Copal, a lower-priced place with tacos and other Latin American dishes, with Taber Turpin of Tacos Gringos fame (and Tavolata, and Campagne) in charge of the kitchen. Dillon is one of four partners, including industry longtimers Chris Rice and Emma Schwartzman, who brought Seattle the hot dog boat Summer Dog (“You’re welcome,” they say).
In the Denny Triangle, Josh Henderson’s Bar Noroeste is becoming Kiki Ramen. Noroeste had an ambitious (some might say odd) concept: versions of Mexican favorites made with all-Pacific-Northwest foodstuffs (meaning, among other things, controversial guacamole with eggplant instead of avocado). Ramen should be a much easier sell — on Facebook, Henderson writes, “While it is bittersweet in that we have to say goodbye to Noroeste, I am personally grateful that we are able to pivot and do something we feel the neighborhood will love.” He notes he’s very proud of the crew there, “however, sometimes you have to know when to fold em… so onward!”
And Eater Seattle reports that chef Nick Coffey has left Ciudad in Georgetown, a departure that sounds amicable but comes precipitously after just six months. Ciudad’s a grill-centered collaboration between entrepreneur Marcus Lalario (of Li’l Woody’s and Fat’s Chicken and Waffles) and chef Matt Dillon. Replacing Coffey: Aaron Willis, previously of Pioneer Square’s Delicatus.