Food & Drink

Now Closed

Recent Restaurant RIPs

Now Closed

Kelly O

THE COUNTER More than 312,120 build-your-own-burger combinations no longer in Ballard.

ALKI CRAB AND FISH CO. in West Seattle: The little linoleum-and-picnic-table place at the dock for the West Seattle water taxi lost the Seattle Parks concession for the space; fans can find the same menu and some of the staff at the owners' Admiral Pub, according to West Seattle Blog. Moving in: another Marination Station (Marination Marina!), which will make taking the water taxi this summer for no particular reason even more magical.

GRUBWICH on Capitol Hill: Some hated the name, but many liked the sandwiches (which were "the size of a well-fed schnauzer," according to Cienna Madrid). Despite this—and despite free Tetris—Grubwich lasted only six months in the former Pita Pit space. No word from the owner on why.

TRATTORIA CIOPPINO in Green Lake: Despite (suspiciously?) high ratings on Yelp and Urbanspoon, TC shut down after just nine months; on our visit in September, the food was uneven at best and a bird died outside the window (not their fault, but it didn't help). My Green Lake reports a branch of Mio Sushi will take over the space.

COPPER CART in Belltown: The club where a doorman was shot in the hand in 2009 closed down and reopened forthwith as Empire Lounge, apparently under the same ownership. You may join them for "Sex Appeal Saturdays," with no cover charge for "ladies."

SOLOM in Columbia City: The owner of this little Ethiopian/Eritrean restaurant and grocery—known to her customers as "Mom"—is facing federal charges for buying stolen goods and paying cash for food stamps, according to [Eds. note: Solom has reportedly reopened.]

• THE COUNTER in Ballard: The international burger chain with more than 312,120 build-your-own-burger combinations ended up marooned in a yet-to-be-developed area near the Ballard Bridge and lasted only a couple years.

AMORE INFUSED downtown: AI had a "heinous" kitchen fire in January, and their Facebook page says they're involved in legal action against their landlords, alleging that "Archstone Apartments has blocked access, tampered with staff and property, or otherwise prevent [sic] us from moving forward."

DAMIANA'S BLUE TRUCK SPECIAL mobile: After a winter hiatus, Damiana Merryweather is retiring from the road except for catering and special events, according to Nosh Pit. A December 11 tweet offers some insight: "Sometimes, being a one-woman operation isn't all it is cracked up to be. I would trade a bit of my badassness for some help."

SPLASH LOUNGE in Belltown: This party spot lasted approximately five months—before that, it was the also short-lived V-Bar, and before that, the great Saito's Sushi (sigh). Meanwhile, according to the Wall Street Journal, Saito is in New Delhi as the executive chef at the new branch of New York's Megu.

COOL WHIRLED in Fremont: Despite a poster with happy rainbows of fruit suspended over ladies jumping and a virtually infinite toppings bar, this family-owned fro-yo shop lasted less than six months. The space is now Naos Lounge, a juice/smoothie/wheatgrass bar.

ZESTO'S in Ballard: After 63 years; now the third branch of RoRo BBQ. • OTOTO SUSHI on Queen Anne: After 10 years and failed negotiations to decrease the rent; the space remains vacant. • POLPETTA on Queen Anne: Same landlord as Ototo, same story, also remains vacant. • AVALON in West Seattle: Per the West Seattle Herald, low foot traffic combined with untenably high rent did them in after exactly one year and one month. • TENOCH MEXICAN GRILL on Queen Anne: Now Five Hooks Fish Grill; the Tenoch in the ID remains open. • DETENTION in the U-District: School's out forever at the Po Dog spin-off on the Ave, which apparently closed in December and nobody noticed. • KABAB HOUSE in Greenwood: New location in Kirkland remains open. • UPTOWN ESPRESSO on Seventh Avenue downtown: Eight other Uptowns remain open. • LOUNJIN in the U-District: Has already become Tea Republik. • QUIZNOS in the U-District. recommended

This article has been updated since its original publication.


Comments (15) RSS

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Bye bye "The Counter". Now the Mars Hill Crowd will have to go somewhere else. Now if only marzhill church would relocate to the bible belt.
Posted by laaaazy sat morn on March 31, 2012 at 10:15 AM · Report this
disintegrator 2
Quiznos?!? Nnnnoooooooooooooooo!!!

Gone, but not forgotten.
Posted by disintegrator on March 31, 2012 at 10:57 AM · Report this
Also closed, Cherry Blossom on Dexter & Aloha (yet somehow Sushi Bay remains open).

As for Uptown, I hope whoever takes their place goes with something other than a green carpet.
Posted by madcap on March 31, 2012 at 11:34 AM · Report this
Aw man, I loved Grubwich. Whenever I went there it was always just one lady behind the counter, doing like 15 things at once, and I was always impressed by her ability to multitask and remain nice and chipper to customers. Hope she got a good reference/job somewhere else, sheesh.
Posted by crabflex on March 31, 2012 at 1:30 PM · Report this

So the surviving "trendy downtown restaurant" is a burger joint?

At this point, the U-Top-It make your own frozen yogurt cup in Timberlane sounds more au current!

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on March 31, 2012 at 1:32 PM · Report this
I don't usually rejoice in the misfortune of small businesses, but hooray for the demise of Alki Crab and Fish!

In multiple attempts, at varying degrees of famishment, I not once succeeded in getting those people to actually take my order and cook my food in time to catch the water taxi outside.

And I'm not talking about during the busy season. I'm talking 6:45 pm on chilly autumn weekdays, when I'd gotten to the dock 25 minutes early so as to be sure not to miss the last boat, and when there were maybe half a dozen people anywhere in the vicinity.

Fried fish takes less than five minutes to cook and serve. More often than not, though, they had some weird excuse for why they couldn't even take orders for another 20 minutes (something run out, something on the fritz, someone on break).

If your business relies on symbiosis with a transit facility, you can't make it impossible for customers to patronize you and still be on the boat!

Hopefully, Marination can do better. (And good thing Seattle Parks didn't offer the concession to the lazy/disorganized fucks from Skillet.)
Posted by d.p. on March 31, 2012 at 2:19 PM · Report this
not too surprised about the Counter. I had one good burger there, but it was pretty expensive.

The other time I tried to go there, the service was so lousy I walked out--a group that came in after me got their drinks before I was even given a menu. Fail.
Posted by slugbiker on March 31, 2012 at 2:49 PM · Report this
T 8
Really sad to see Grubwich go, they made some outstanding gut-bomb sandwiches and it was very reasonably priced. It only ever seemed busy during Friday and Saturday nights though.

Zesto's, on the other hand, I won't miss. They were always ridiculously slow, and it was kinda overpriced for what it was - an above average burger joint.

And fuck The Counter. Setting up in Ballard was a dick move with Lunchbox just up the street. Now I have to go to SLU to get one of those mind-blowing LL burgers (which admittedly aren't as good as they used to be).
Posted by T on March 31, 2012 at 3:43 PM · Report this
Would that be the same Lunchbox Laboratory that serves $12 heart attack burgers of dubious origin with a side of attitude and obfuscation?…

Posted by d.p. on April 1, 2012 at 10:55 AM · Report this

LL burgers suck but who cares.

Do you live in a socialist burger world?
Posted by LIlllll on April 2, 2012 at 8:53 AM · Report this
slade 11
They are closing downtown like The queen closes Her Legs? only Starbucks seem unaffected.
Posted by slade on April 2, 2012 at 9:57 AM · Report this
Baby Blue 12
Bummed about the Counter. I'm not usually a fan of chain joints (or burger joints in general) and the service really did suck but they had the best veggie burger I've ever had in my entire life (and a full bar). Sad to see them go!
Posted by Baby Blue on April 2, 2012 at 12:43 PM · Report this
The Counter in Ballard . . . hideously overpriced nothing special ala carte burgers. Did they think it was still 2006?
Posted by Purrl on April 4, 2012 at 1:00 PM · Report this
Certainly! 14
@12 (Baby Blue) If you ever make it just South of our Fair City you owe it to yourself to try the black bean burger at Zippy's Giant Burgers (formerly of a kinda strange corner in "West Seattle," now just a block down from Big Al's Brewing on 14th in White Center.)

They make the bean burgers themselves and the burgers are delicious.

Posted by Certainly! on April 11, 2012 at 7:42 PM · Report this
wilbur@work 15
Cool Whirled was nothing but a sign for 9 months. Not sure whats so difficult about plugging in a smoothie vending machine.
Posted by wilbur@work on April 13, 2012 at 1:49 PM · Report this

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