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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Now Closed: Vessel, the Beacon Pub, Rizzo's, and More

Posted by on Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 8:33 AM

RIP, Vessel.
  • CURT DOUGHTY / The Stranger
  • RIP, Vessel.

Later, tons of new restaurants. But first—because everybody loves a funeral!—here's what's newly no longer with us:

VESSEL downtown: After multiple rumors of closing, the Seattle cocktail-revival original is officially dead—Vessel was the first place in town where each drink on the menu bore a date, a place of origin, and a composer. Here's a review from the time machine, back when fancy ice cubes were still a novelty.

THE BEACON PUB on Beacon Hill: Supposedly moving, but still, another great dive bites the dust.

RIZZO’S FRENCH DIP in Ballard: The owner—an admitted felon with at least one alias—rescued a toddler from a fiery car wreck, then moved to L.A., allegedly leaving landlord and employees in the lurch. Want to see the movie version of his life NOW.

HIDMO in the Central District: Good restaurant, great cultural center (though sometime center of controversy): RIP. Hidmo will hopefully, eventually reopen in Washington Hall, but meanwhile: BOO!

THE BOHEMIAN in West Seattle: It was weird.

LUNCHBOX LABORATORY in Ballard: The place with the really expensive, really good burgers (though the turkeyburgers are—gasp—Butterball); chef/owner Scott Simpson (he of the really bizarre backstory) confirmed by phone that it will be revived in the Southlake Grill space in South Lake Union this month.

ToST in Fremont: According to Facebook, there's "a new ownership team," with reopening in a few weeks in the works (though we can't reach anyone to verify).

MAHARAJA CUISINE OF INDIA on Capitol Hill: Indisputably had vermin, but still, ANOTHER great dive—the last on Capitol Hill (the Comet doesn't count)—bites the dust. RIPs and rat-sighting reports over here.

AFRIKANDO AFRIKANDO in Hillman City: a Senegalese spot people really liked. Sad sad!

DON EDUARDO in the U-District: Wacky tile, "bad food, worse service" (according to a reader-reviewer)—adios.

TOTEM HOUSE in Ballard: A neat old place with good fish 'n' chips, overcome by the bad economy. A man named Darryl had a chocolate milkshake there every day for 14 years. Cry.


Comments (21) RSS

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Fnarf 1
That Rizzo's guy just makes me mad. He didn't "owe money" to his employees; he never paid them at all. He gave them room and board and let them have the tips. That's SLAVERY. He needs to be extradited back to WA to face labor charges. Hero my big fat ass.
Posted by Fnarf on January 6, 2011 at 8:39 AM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 2
RIP Totem. God help us all if Lockspot ever closes. I think I'd cry.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi on January 6, 2011 at 8:46 AM · Report this
boxofbirds 3
Doesn't the Crescent count as a dive?
Posted by boxofbirds on January 6, 2011 at 8:59 AM · Report this
Rotten666 4
Where is the Beacon Pub moving to?
Posted by Rotten666 on January 6, 2011 at 9:10 AM · Report this
Josh Bis 5
RIP Vessel and their excellent cocktails. If only they'd offered more cheap tequila shots, they might have made it. (…)
Posted by Josh Bis on January 6, 2011 at 9:19 AM · Report this
michaelp 6
I played a show at Beacon Pub once, with Those Damn Twins and ManPlus. It was interesting, to say the least. Suffice to say, TDT and ManPlus didn't really fit in, but neither did the punk rock awesomeness that is the Wise Guys. Although, this one gentleman, who was clearly a bit intoxicated (and I later learned was the bartender's brother, and had just gotten out of jail or some business) was by far one of my favorite folks to watch while playing a show.

Sad sad sad.
Posted by michaelp on January 6, 2011 at 9:20 AM · Report this
So sad about Totem! I have so many childhood memories of going there whenever we were in Seattle (grew up in Portland, but the parents lived in Seattle before I was born and frequented it then), and we used to always go across the park and watch traffic through the locks while we ate...
Posted by megsmegs on January 6, 2011 at 9:28 AM · Report this
Why is the Beacon closing? That neighborhood needs one bar. It has the most mixed cliental of any place in Seattle.
Posted by Ignatz Mouse on January 6, 2011 at 10:05 AM · Report this
Cornichon 9
Afrikando came & went in Belltown, too.

Meantime, Campagne (upstairs) is closing Saturday for "remodeling." Downstiars Cafe Campagne stays open.
Posted by Cornichon on January 6, 2011 at 10:17 AM · Report this
leek 10
"Indisputedly" no es una palabra.
Posted by leek on January 6, 2011 at 10:40 AM · Report this
@1 You don't deserve a "hero my ass" if you save a little girl from a flaming car -- but you don't deserve a free pass on back taxes and labor laws, either. Just as the heroism doesn't negate the crime, the crime doesn't negate the heroism.
Posted by Lo on January 6, 2011 at 11:55 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 12
Tost changing hands came as a bit of a shock.

What Ignatz said @8.
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 6, 2011 at 12:05 PM · Report this
Chefgirl 13
Sad that Totem’s gone but its star fell after it was sold about (I think?) ten years ago. They used to bring in the cod fresh every day and hand filet and after the sale they switched to frozen and bumped up the prices a bit too high for what they were serving.
But the breading/crumbing! Best in town and I managed to crack the recipe, I think. It tastes and crunches the same as the original. Here it is.
Totem-ish Fried Cod (I can’t take too much grease in one meal so I serve with baked spuds instead of fries but do what you like).
1. Wait for a good sale. Buy fresh cod (1lb will feed three people), portion (1 ½” x 4” works well) and soak overnight in a mild saltwater brine (I add a bay leaf and about a dozen whole peppercorns)
2. Drain and dry off the filet portions and roll thoroughly in flour and then dip into an egg batter (an egg or two beaten with a little water and heaping tablespoon of flour). Finally, roll in a mixture of 75% crushed plain cornflakes mixed with 25% cornmeal.
3. Deep fry in peanut oil. Drain on paper towels and serve.
Posted by Chefgirl on January 6, 2011 at 12:12 PM · Report this
I believe this is the second time that the ToST location has changed hands--the first time was a few years after it opened and just didn't involve a name change.

It's closing comes as no surprise to me--the place was rarely full, and Fremont rent doesn't allow for that. The critical mass of drinking spots may have been reached there now.
Posted by tiktok on January 6, 2011 at 12:29 PM · Report this
@9 Afrikando came & went in Belltown a couple years ago.

Posted by Wheedle on January 6, 2011 at 1:20 PM · Report this
I happened to be in Rizzo's on their final night. They were saying that they were moving down either in or next to the two-bit.
Posted by sleepy on January 6, 2011 at 1:35 PM · Report this
@3: The Crescent, yes, maybe? But I kind of think of a dive as not having insane live music/karaoke, which is why the Comet doesn't count in my mind—maybe that's just me... Coincidentally, was just at the Crescent last night: LOVE.

@10: How right you are—fixed, pardon me.

@Beacon Pub fans: The Beacon Hill Blog says the B.P. is moving to Hillman City, no specifics—the phone's been disconnected, so no further info. (Also says the vacated space will become a pizza place.)
Posted by Bethany Jean Clement on January 6, 2011 at 1:36 PM · Report this
Where is Hillman City? How can it be the Beacon Pub in some other place?
Posted by Ignatz Mouse on January 6, 2011 at 1:48 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 19
@15 le sigh. That place rocked.
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 6, 2011 at 1:59 PM · Report this
@18: Hillman City is the next neighborhood after Columbia City going south down Rainier/MLK. Think Orcas Street. I know the Beacon Pub will be missed, but Baja Bistro has a bar now, and BEHI really could use a pizza place (I expect the Pizza place will have a bar too, as it would be foolish not to have one).

There are some nice Mexican and Filipino food options on Beacon Ave. But otherwise, it's pretty slim pickings. So a lot folks I know up here are definitely looking forward to another food option. Maybe if the pizza goes well it will inspire a few more places up here too.
Posted by j-lon on January 7, 2011 at 3:24 AM · Report this
The Totem was incredibly bad the last time I went there. The prices were high, and they probably hadn't changed the oil since they bought it from the orginal owners. The fish and chips were inedible.
Posted by geewhizbang on February 2, 2011 at 3:28 PM · Report this

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