Diners haven’t eaten out more this year and restaurant traffic is projected to stay flat for the rest of 2011 and the first part of next year too... blame “the continuing economic saga of high unemployment and low consumer confidence”... Only fine dining, which suffered double-digit plunges in 2009 before recovering in mid-2010, has seen steady growth.
Chelsea Deli's namesake. SOB!
Meanwhile, restaurant closures in Seattle:
· CHELSEA DELI in Columbia City: Today is its last day (sob!). According to manager Pon Sakounthong, the closure is due to landlord issues, and they hope to find a new location in Columbia City. "We hope we can reopen and find another spot where we won't have to deal with this situation ever again. It's been a rollercoaster since day one. We love Columbia City. I love this place, the people are really supportive. It's just the landlord."
· BAD MONKEY BISTRO in South Lake Union: No one knows why it closed, and frankly, no one cares, because it's becoming another edition of the great-and-also-inexpensive Thai Curry Simple. YES.
· BEEHIVE BAKERY in the Central District: After just a few months, the kosher bakery that took over the former Philly Cheese Steak (and murder) site at 23rd and Union has departed, saying thanks for the support but that it will not re-open, according to Eater Seattle. (Goldy liked it, which may have been a curse.) Meanwhile, neighboring Thompson’s Point of View, which closed recently owing lots of back taxes, will be reincarnated as the Neighbor Lady, an “urban-bordello themed” bar, according to new owner Stephen Mollmann (of the CD’s great Twilight Exit).
· GALERIAS on Capitol Hill: After a fire in the kitchen, the owners of the building have hired a private firm specializing in arson investigations—which says there is “nothing to report at this time” and that the investigation is “open and active.” The air outside Galerias smells terrible, like burnt plastic/dreams.
· PORTERHOUSE in West Seattle: No word (or sign on the door) from the owners yet, but West Seattle Blog reports that the place has been closed during regular business hours, the website yields a 404 Not Found, the Facebook page is gone, and the restaurant is listed for sale. The phone rings nearly endlessly, then emits a solitary beep. An employee at the Porterhouse in Mount Vernon—thought by multiple sources to be a sibling establishment—denied any affiliation, adding, "But from what I hear, I think they did close their doors."
· BUILTBURGER in Pioneer Square: In an email, the owners—whose gimmick was toppings ground into the patties—say they’ve “decided to ‘pause’ the BuiltBurger brand” and relocate to the East Coast.
· EL MESTIZO on First Hill: This really good Mexican place bit the dust due to “an impending development and a change in landlord,” per Nosh Pit Blog. El Mestizo itself says thanks to all and to “Stay tuned as we look to re-open in a better location during better economic times.” Could be a while.
· KRISTOS on Eastlake: No reason for the closure can be found, but the space has already reopened as the Ship Canal Grill, a nautical-themed sports bar with a (presumably non-nautical-themed) “Dawg Den” for Huskies.
· LOCAL 360 MERCANTILE in Belltown: Not the restaurant, which is still open (and recommended!), but the adjoining butcher-and-other-foodstuffs shop: “Unfortunately, there just wasn’t enough volume.”
· ELLIOTT BAY CAFE in Pioneer Square: When the Elliott Bay Book Company moved to Capitol Hill, a second cafe opened there, while the Pioneer Square version soldiered on all alone. Now the original EBC has become a private events space, and the great Tamara Murphy (Brasa, Terra Plata) plans to open a street a street-level cafe there in 2012 called the Globe Cafe and Bar. Former bookstore employee Paul Constant opines, “That’d be a nice space for a bar—it’ll be really pretty. I’ve been drunk in that room before.”
Find restaurants that are still open (and recommended!) over here.
Thank you to trusty Chow intern Christina Spittler for fact-finding and etc.!