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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Now Closed: A Rash of Seattle Restaurant/Bar Departures

Posted by on Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 8:46 AM

Not to be economically morbid, but for the first time in the history of The Stranger’s record-keeping, Seattle restaurant and bar closures have outstripped openings. (Record-keeping here only extends back a couple years, but still…) So, RIP:


· THE ROSEBUD on Capitol Hill: After almost two decades, the Rosebud is gone after a dispute over unpaid rent. Charles Mudede opines that since the place changed ownership not long ago and everybody’s favorite bartender Robert left, this was inevitable. But still, he says, it is very sad. Supposedly the Rosebud will “relocate to a new venue just a few blocks from this location.” Slog readers, note: Robert is not working at The Bar at Olympia Pizza on 15th, despite what Adrian Ryan said.

· TIGER LOUNGE in Georgetown: Tipster Mack says, “There is an official-looking piece of paper posted on the front door, but I didn’t jump the fence to read it… a note posted on the fence says ‘closed forever,’ with a promise they will open a new bar somewhere else.” No further information is unearthable at this time.

· BLEU BISTRO on Capitol Hill: After what sounds like lots of back-and-forth with the landlord (“It was complicated,” they said by phone), the original Bleu Bistro is closed forever. But! Fans of the veggie BLT only have to walk about 44 steps to the new(ish) Bleu Bistro Grotto, across from the Four Seasons Cleaner where that Quizno’s used to be. “It does not feel like a Quizno’s,” Ross the owner reports, so that’s good.

Moshi Moshi: still open! Still has tree!
  • Moshi Moshi: still open! Still has tree!

· HARLOW’S SALOON in Ballard: Open only since the beginning of the year, the owner of Harlow’s said that they just weren’t making enough money. Marti Jonjak says, “BUMMER! The place was gorgeous. I loved being there.” The owner still operates nearby Moshi Moshi Sushi—and it still has a big LED-illuminated cherry tree.

· THE BUCK on Capitol Hill: According to Capitol Hill Seattle Blog, owner Ross (same as Bleu Bistro Grotto) has sold his virulently western-themed bar and it will become a probably less virulently western-themed bar called Montana. Will the scary mannequin still be in that one bathroom???

· NETTLETOWN on Eastlake: Proprietress/chef Christina Choi took over the lease on the Eastlake strip-mall space from Matt Dillon at Sitka & Spruce when it moved up to Capitol Hill—she has indicated that it all happened really fast, and that running a restaurant was kind of a pain in the ass (though not in so many words). She’s going to concentrate on catering. The space will become Blind Pig Bistro from Charles Walpole (Anchovies & Olives, Marjorie), per Eater Seattle.

· ARTID SIAM THAI on Capitol Hill: It lasted only four months. The owner told Capitol Hill Seattle Blog that “People liked the food, but there weren’t enough customers”—possibly the same story as with the two other Thai places before it, Chili Basil and Jup Jup Jup. The owner further told CHS he didn’t know what was coming next, but that “I don’t think it can be a restaurant.”

· TIDBIT BISTRO on Capitol Hill: Its closure comes barely a year after relocating from the current Easy Joe’s spot down toward Roanoke. Drinks for $1 at happy hour (ONE DOLLAR DRINKS) apparently did not help. It's rumored a new restaurant will try the space again—after Tidbit, Vi Bacchus, the old La Spiga, and maybe something else? They should talk to Artid Siam’s owner.

· VERVE in Columbia City: The neighborhood’s first wine bar lost its lease; they’re looking for a new space, but not optimistic about finding one in Columbia City.

· IPANEMA GRILL downtown: It was supposed to reopen “soon” after new management did some “updating,” but according to former sister location Amazon Grill in Bellevue, that deal fell through and the space is for lease.

· BELLA DOLCE in Madison Valley: Maybe it was too close (geographically) to the Essential Baking Co. and Ines Patisserie?

· MELT CAFE in Magnolia: Melted, maybe?

Thank you to trusty Chow intern Christina Spittler for fact-finding and etc.!

Find places that are still open (and recommended!) over here.


Comments (22) RSS

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Cato the Younger Younger 1
Well all that extra income means we just .... wait what extra income?

Yeah, no one has money to go out to eat anymore. Hell, I can only afford to go out clubbing one or two times a month.

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on September 28, 2011 at 8:51 AM · Report this
Posted by Adrian Ryan on September 28, 2011 at 9:00 AM · Report this
Not surprised about Tidbit. I kind of knew they were on their last legs when we went in there with a groupon a few months back and they gave us a coupon to get the exact same deal again. We used to frequent them in their old location - Making the move was probably one of the worst business decisions they could've made.

Posted by j.lee on September 28, 2011 at 9:05 AM · Report this
Vince 4
I used to love eating out. Sigh.
Posted by Vince on September 28, 2011 at 9:19 AM · Report this
More, I Say! 5
Fuck! I was worried when I passed the buck last week. Shit man, I liked that place. It was totally weird and awesome.
Posted by More, I Say! on September 28, 2011 at 9:39 AM · Report this
tehjakers 6
Artid of Siam sucked. Jup Jup Jup ruled!!
Posted by tehjakers on September 28, 2011 at 9:43 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 7
the nettletown/sitka & spruce space on eastlake is not where a restaurant should be. it should be a nailsalon, or a tanning salon, or a dominos.

better yet, tear that strip mall down and put in a decent mixed use building. oh, right, we're in a depression.
Posted by Max Solomon on September 28, 2011 at 9:44 AM · Report this
Gern Blanston 8
I would kill for a Quizno's in my neighborhood, or at least an adjacent one.
Posted by Gern Blanston on September 28, 2011 at 10:00 AM · Report this
lark 9
Sad to read that. In addition, one of my favorite places on Capitol Hill closed at the beginning of Sept., Chapel Bar.
Posted by lark on September 28, 2011 at 10:05 AM · Report this
keshmeshi 11
Bella Dolce was my morning mainstay when I briefly worked in Madison Valley. It had a really homey feel, and I strongly felt that their food was better than Essential Baking Company most of the time. (EBC has too much fancy, schmancy shit like flourless, Madagascar vanilla, passion fruit torte and not enough cake.)

I used to stop in from time to time when I was in the neighborhood, and the quality of Bella Dolce's baked goods had been in decline for the past few years. It doesn't surprise me that they didn't make it.
Posted by keshmeshi on September 28, 2011 at 11:30 AM · Report this
judgmentalist 12
There's a sign up at Tidbit announcing there will be a new burger place. 8oz burger? There was a url but I don't remember it.
Posted by judgmentalist on September 28, 2011 at 11:33 AM · Report this
Not to state the obvious, but have you taken a close look at all the empty commercial space downtown, at all the prime areas, and how long now so much commercial space has remained empty for record periods?

It's called a depression, sweetie pie. It's what happens when too many Americans can't do arithmetic or properly utilize the Web -- as in actually taking a few minutes to peruse the BLS site, and add up all the U- categories, thus arriving at the obvious unemployment rate of 22.8%.

Which doesn't take into account all those highschool grads (and non-grads) who can't find employment, nor those college grads who can't find employment, nor those post-grad grads who can't find employment, nor those longterm unemployed, who can't find employment.

Once those are added to that 22.8% it zooms upwards to over 28% -- how far over that is anybody's guess since the bankster-owned government refuses to divulge those stats, regardless of which sock puppet is in the White House!
Posted by sgt_doom on September 28, 2011 at 11:47 AM · Report this
Baby Blue 15
I was in to say my goodbyes to the Rosebud on Saturday and found out that Robert is taking a much needed break right now. I'm sure he'll pop up somewhere as fabulous as the Rosebud once was soon. If every bar in town isn't already begging for him, they should be.
Posted by Baby Blue on September 28, 2011 at 12:23 PM · Report this
kid icarus 16
Disappointing about Verve. I have some very fond memories of that space.
Posted by kid icarus on September 28, 2011 at 12:25 PM · Report this
Baby Blue 17
Also, I heard the promise of the Rosebud reopening somewhere else nearby soon are extremely premature. The liquor license expired Saturday (they actually illegally operated on a banquet permit Sunday) and couldn't be renewed since they weren't paying rent. In additional to the rent not getting paid, neither were the employees...for months. So, even if they could find a landlord stupid enough to take them on, I doubt the employees would be lining up to continue working for free. The only way the Rosebud is reopening is if Robert Sondheim buys it back.
Posted by Baby Blue on September 28, 2011 at 12:29 PM · Report this
I live in the building above the Rosebud and the landlord said that the new owners sold the name back to Robert, the old owner... so if the new guys are planning on opening someplace else, they will need a new name.
Posted by ajmee on September 28, 2011 at 12:47 PM · Report this
merry 19
There's a crazy backstory on the Tiger Lounge closing...

Suffice to say, it involves guns, motorcycles, and mental illness. LOTS of mental illness... sad.
Posted by merry on September 28, 2011 at 12:54 PM · Report this
jseattle 20
Capitol Hill Seattle Blot!
Posted by jseattle on September 28, 2011 at 2:44 PM · Report this
Donolectic 21
I'll miss you Bleu Bistro. We had some great memories together.
Posted by Donolectic on September 28, 2011 at 8:41 PM · Report this
@20: Hee! Fixed. Thanks!
Posted by Bethany Jean Clement on September 28, 2011 at 10:43 PM · Report this
slade 23
you coverd about 1% of the closeing carnage of the chug-n-gulps (shalots and many a 4th ave dive) so sad? for lease is the new good morning.
Posted by slade on September 29, 2011 at 2:41 PM · Report this
The economy is terrible, unemployment is high, household debt is high, people are trying to scrounge and save. Thus, bars and restaurants go away.

There is another factor at work, though ... all those places in Capitol Hill? They don't appeal to the yuppie software couples getting moved in. Capitol Hill as a neighborhood is *dying*. It is becoming a residential enclave for people who should probably live in Menlo Park.
Posted by Mob Barley on September 30, 2011 at 7:22 PM · Report this

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