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Music, Nightlife,
and Drunks

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Broadway Grill Is Closing

Posted by on Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Like all gay things over 22, the Broadway Grill would like to announce its death:

With great sadness, The Walsh Creative Group, the current owners of the iconic 22 year old Capitol Hill bar, restaurant and show venue, The Grill on Broadway will close its doors this Sunday night, April 28, 2013 and cease business operations. Despite a recent upturn in business and community awareness, due to improved food, service and entertainment options, severe financial obligations imposed by previously un-discovered mechanical, structural and operational issues associated with the business, prior to The Walsh Creative Group's takeover in 2010, have resulted in additional, unforeseen expenses that have totaled into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Broadway Grill—later renamed the Grill on Broadway—was a shamelessly proud anchor for Seattle's gay culture in the 1990s. It had a racy menu of grilled chicken with whipped yams, a glass chandelier that looked like Carmen Miranda's headgear on steroids, and a plastic clientele that looked like Carmen Miranda's backup dancers on Social Security. It played that role when gay people needed a safe place for a date, when flamin' waiters needed a place to be flamin', and when drunk homos needed eggs at 2 a.m. But the Broadway Grill seemed stuck in a time warp years after the Seattle scene needed a designated safe LGBT space. Us fags could date anywhere, work anywhere, live anywhere, and meet online. The place had become a relic of gay culture. Also, ordering at the Broadway Grill for a couple years there felt like playing Wheel of Fortune and hoping it didn't land on salmonella.

But the Grill was unmatched in Seattle in its day—and for that many of us fags are grateful. Thanks for all the super fun, super faggy times, Broadway Grill. And thanks to Matthew Walsh, who owned it and ran it well through in its last incarnation. See y'all for one last drink there this Sunday night. We should pack the place.


Comments (36) RSS

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I used to love the Broadway Grill back when I lived in Seattle a number of years ago, but I moved back recently and have gone there a few times. The items I liked on the menu were gone, replaced by generic, uninspired crap. Everything I tried there was mediocre, and the atmosphere felt different. After the last time I left I had already concluded that the restaurant I loved didn't exist anymore. This is just making that official.

(I'm not sure how people can think the menu improved... the food was very average compared to what it used to be when I went in the past year.)
Posted by Jajuka on April 28, 2013 at 12:50 PM · Report this
Hawke 35
Twas the first place that I screwed up my courage and used the men's restroom after I decided to transition. After that being a complete non-event, I felt free to pee in men's restrooms all across the nation. Thanks for the boost of confidence, Broadway Grill.
Posted by Hawke on April 24, 2013 at 5:35 PM · Report this
I am sooo not surprised. Staff is unremarkable and weekend management...well, where should I begin.
Posted by anti-vigilante on April 24, 2013 at 8:43 AM · Report this
Will the last hipster on Broadway please turn off the lights.

RIP Broadway Grill, RIP the 1990s on Broadway, RIP everything that used to be great about living here.
Posted by certaindoom on April 24, 2013 at 6:43 AM · Report this
well sorry to say this does not suprise me. The service sucks and there has been no creative change to the menu in along time. It has so much potential. So sad and I hope something fabulous goes in there.
Posted by Rabbitpants on April 23, 2013 at 10:57 PM · Report this
Bauhaus I 31
Always hate to see more of old Seattle disappearing and heaven knows Broadway doesn't need any more empty storefronts, but really, when Hamburger Mary's moved out of the Broadway Market and the Market Cinemas and the Jade Pagoda closed, and the Pink Zone (later) and The Cramp (earlier) closed, Broadway was over in my opinion.

Don't get me started on the Grill though. Didn't get a chance to re-try after the few disasters I experienced there from long ago. Won't miss it, but best wishes to the employees - even the waitress who went home in the middle of my meal right after bringing an unopened bottle of wine to the table.
Posted by Bauhaus I on April 23, 2013 at 9:31 PM · Report this
It always sucks when a Seattle institution goes away.

I had no idea that it was a gay icon, either.

Haven't been there in probably seven years but when I'd gone there over the years, I always had a good dining experience.

Clearly I missed the bad times, but this seems to me like a classic case of mismanagement.

How else do you fuck up a location like that, other than the landlord extorting you on a new lease?

Still, sad to see them go...
Posted by CPN on April 23, 2013 at 6:40 PM · Report this
Lissa 29
@27: Oo! Oo! I remember Ernie Steele's and the Fred Myers! It took up that whole block with one loooooooong blank wall and it never seemed to get tagged for some reason.
Posted by Lissa on April 23, 2013 at 6:27 PM · Report this
thatsnotright 28
Seattle beloved Bacon Strip Drag and Variety Show will be closing as well. Sylvia O'Stayformore announced that after moving from Rebat to chop Suey and then to the Grill, enough was enough. This is doubly sad because Bacon Strip was often a launching venue for many fine Seattle performers.
Posted by thatsnotright on April 23, 2013 at 4:41 PM · Report this

Yes, I remember Bafferts (hence the bronze "B" on the sidewalk that predates its incarnation as "The Broadway Grill".) But then, I also remember Ernie Steele's, Fred Meyer's, and the fact that there was a time when there wasn't a single Thai restaurant to be found anywhere on the Hill.

I want to say B'Way Grill opened in the early '90's, maybe around '91?
Posted by COMTE on April 23, 2013 at 4:32 PM · Report this
michael strangeways 26
I don't think Dom was ripping on the CURRENT state of the Grill...the food and service WERE terrible for much of the 2000's and my brother DID get food poisoning 2001. It's doubly sad that the Grill is leaving because it WAS getting better...the food and service, plus the vibe was different. It's much more of a mixed crowd and not so snotty gay like it was back in the day.
Posted by michael strangeways on April 23, 2013 at 3:57 PM · Report this
The Grill is where I met Dominic, oddly enough, though I'd been reading him for years. Met a lot of good people there, in fact, and am very sad to hear that it's closing.

Even if Matt did often give me crap for ordering off of the kids menu, still love him, and will miss hearing CJ rocking out singing on Monday nights.
Posted by dagard on April 23, 2013 at 3:37 PM · Report this
@22 anyone without knowledge of a dirty martini (booze 101) should not be in the food service industry.

Posted by Rowlf on April 23, 2013 at 3:07 PM · Report this
Michael of the Green 23
Kinda mean for a farewell post, don't you think, Dom? Someone from there piss you off? Anyway, yes it was run-of-the-mill fare (although their chop salad was all I ate, and there was a period when it was damn good). When I first moved here, I had some good gay times there, and I'll remember it fondly. Why rip apart a diner on its way out? It's a little like bitching about someone at their funeral because they failed to stay young.
Posted by Michael of the Green on April 23, 2013 at 2:26 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 22
I'm sorry to say I'm with Rowlf. I had the poutine there, and was disappointed, and when I ordered a dirty martini, the waitress had to ask around the staff what was in a dirty martini. I eventually got a glass of gin-tinged olive brine. Still, the atmosphere and culture of the place is not to be ignored, and as a mainstay of the gay hill, it will be missed.
Posted by MacCrocodile on April 23, 2013 at 2:08 PM · Report this
I ate there once 10 years ago and that was it for me. It was awful. So while I can't say I'll miss it, I suspect it will be replaced with something far worse, like a national chain. :(
Posted by ian on April 23, 2013 at 2:02 PM · Report this
Things I won't miss? Those tiny-ass wicker chairs that were clearly not designed to seat anyone over 6'0" tall, and getting my credit card info stolen due to a security hole in their computer system.
Posted by UNPAID COMMENTER on April 23, 2013 at 1:53 PM · Report this
Has anyone been around long enough to remember when this was Baffert's? If so, what years was that? Was Baffert's gay?
Posted by peterga on April 23, 2013 at 1:51 PM · Report this
@15, when were you there last? Seriously, it has dramatically imporoved. It took the new owner about a year, but it was way better and the last time I was there it rocked. Drinks, food, and service were spot on. I'll try to get there again before they close if in town.
Posted by nador on April 23, 2013 at 1:47 PM · Report this
zachd 17
I'll miss you, beloved crack nachos.
Posted by zachd on April 23, 2013 at 1:42 PM · Report this
Space Sausage 16
Cheers Broadway Grill, you served me a crisp martini as a fresh faced 19yr old on my first night of 12 years in Seattle. I remember fondly that martini and the really nice guy who obliged me as I watched the twilight moon. Ah the 90s is Seattle were awesome.
Posted by Space Sausage on April 23, 2013 at 1:24 PM · Report this
good riddance.

terrible food and terrible staff.

Posted by Rowlf on April 23, 2013 at 1:09 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 14
I used to go there all the time with my (hetereosexual female) ex-wife in the early 90s.

I had no idea it was gay.

But then when I listened to Yes, Queen, Bowie and Elton John in high school, I had no idea either!
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on April 23, 2013 at 1:06 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 13
What? Is there/could there be a Save Our Grill? That place was awesome and seemed like it would survive the transition from gay ghetto to gentrification.


I say this even though my credit card had been part of the great hacking of 2011.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on April 23, 2013 at 12:50 PM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 12
Wow... Kinda sad to lose that place.
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on April 23, 2013 at 12:38 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 11

Who's up for that?
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on April 23, 2013 at 12:33 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 10
The Grill's closing!?!?!? It's official Capitol Hill is no longer gay.

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on April 23, 2013 at 12:32 PM · Report this
I think I only ate there twice, but I loved Monday karaoke. I will miss singing Patsy Cline songs and drinking cheap scotch and sodas. Now I'll have to go back to The Crescent...
Posted by ERIN! on April 23, 2013 at 12:28 PM · Report this
Lissa 8
Awwww maaaan crap! I've always loved that place. We used to call it The Bar With Too Many Adjectives. I'd meet my parents there for lunch and such. My mom loves that freaking chandelier.
Posted by Lissa on April 23, 2013 at 12:27 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 7
They used to have great drinks and were a fun place to take a date for non-gay couples too.
Posted by Will in Seattle on April 23, 2013 at 12:26 PM · Report this
--MC 6
Oh for hell. Where are we going for Thanksgiving dinner now? Charlie's? They serve laboratory created turkey loaf. Julia's? I keep expecting to run into Waylon Flowers and Madame every time I go in there.
Posted by --MC on April 23, 2013 at 12:25 PM · Report this
Baby Blue 5
So sad. Matt did such wonderful things for the place. This was truly shocking news.
Posted by Baby Blue on April 23, 2013 at 12:24 PM · Report this
I hooked up there, I'm straight and they we're ladies, but stil, good times.
Posted by steakhaus on April 23, 2013 at 12:24 PM · Report this
TomJohnsonJr 3
That was a perfect summary of what that place used to mean. We always thought of it as a place for fags who couldn't unclench enough to revel in the glory that was Septieme.

I will say this for the Grill, I'd never peed into ice cubes before they opened.
Posted by TomJohnsonJr on April 23, 2013 at 12:17 PM · Report this
Eastpike 2
I agree with the owners' assessment that the food had gotten better. Ate there a few times recently after some time away, and it was pretty tasty indeed. But, the name change did irk. The 'blank on/at blank' naming protocol is so ten-years-ago. And if you're looking for a new name to spark up the joint, find a new name. Shuffling words around -- Really shows the effort to refresh the place, dunnit?
Posted by Eastpike on April 23, 2013 at 12:15 PM · Report this
Bye bye, gay Denny's!
Posted by Totalpukoid on April 23, 2013 at 12:14 PM · Report this

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