On Tuesday, the legendary Northlake Tavern & Pizza House by the University of Washington closed. It had opened in 1954.
But perk up, those of you missing the old Seattle.
On Wednesday, Beth’s Cafe, another legendary joint that opened in 1954, but which closed in September 2021 because of the pandemic, was back in business at its old location near 73rd and Aurora Avenue North.
At its height, the 24/7 greasy spoon was going through 450,000 eggs a year, said a May 28, 2014, Seattle Times story. Its 12-egg omelet was featured on the Food Network and Travel Channel.
If Beth’s was a fancier place, you might have called Wednesday a “soft opening.” You know, just a little something for the cognoscenti to have as a little specialness.
Actually, says Karla Warren, who answered the phone and said she was the manager, it was more of a case of not advertising. She says fewer than 100 customers showed up during the hours it was open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Warren says the owner of Beth’s, Hazel Dalton, wants to take her time — “She wants to make sure this thing is going to work.”
To start, Wednesday-Friday hours are 7-3; Saturday and Sunday, 7-5.
On the cafe’s Facebook page, fans expressed some wariness.
Alis wrote, “GREAT NEWS! BUTTTTT- Remember after the previous close, you reopened with these same hours and it didn’t work. A lot of customers won’t be able to come see you during the week, and weekends are iffy too with those early closes. Been coming to Beth’s for decades now and I KNOW that late night hours are absolutely vital to the survival of this place. There was ALWAYS a wait for a table at 11, 12, 1am at night!”
By 6 p.m. Wednesday, over 300 comments were posted. Azure Sweet, of Seattle, said, “Are there plans to go back to 24h eventually? The best time for diner food is 2am.”
Don Marco Laureano posted, “I hope late night Beth’s will be a thing again. There was nothing more Seattle than eating a 12 egg omelette at 3 in the morning and watching the sun rise.”
But with egg prices up 60% from a year ago, longtime customers should expect 2023 omelet prices.
The “Full House” 12-egg omelet is $27.95. The “Triple Bypass” 12-egger is $34.95.
A photo on Yelp from October 2020 showed that same Triple Bypass at $22.50.
Tim Brooks of Seattle commented on Facebook, “do people have to take out a mortgage to get a 12 egg omelet now?”
That’s inflation, says Warren. She says about sourcing supplies, “My goodness, it’s crazy. The prices on items are ridiculous.”
What’s a few dollars, right, when you have a legacy back?
As the late Chris Dalton, husband of Hazel, said in that 2014 story about what Beth’s is all about, “I love spinach and feta in my eggs as much as the next guy, but sometimes you just want bacon and eggs, and that’s what we do well. We don’t do the fancy stuff.”
The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.