Wage theft? Curse you, Sawant.

Holcomb, run, run now!
So. . . .you know, those old 19th century Southern mansions were awesome places to eat, too, weren't they?
This is tragic news! Best damn sandwich ever! I'm just stunned.
At least they were accused only of wage theft and not slipping in the semen of ebola infected sodomites into their sandwiches like that coffee place.…
We could use a Jewish Deli round here that makes Stuffed Pastrami and Corned Beef sandwiches on Rye:).
I think the main reason that the Slog seems so tired these days is that half of it is just stuff that was pulled off of Reddit.
I think it's important to note that the wage theft case was lobbied by a group of Latino employees that according to the allegations were exploited by forcing them to work long hours without breaks, withholding earnings owed to them and being told the staff were told to work them 'harder' than other employees. Obviously they are just allegations, but the exploitation of Latino workers is still a major problem and I don't think human rights violations are somehow offset because the final product is loved by Dan Savage.
@6 Second that. That was the first thing I looked for when I moved here. And was quickly disappointed. Then looked for a good old fashioned diner, and once again was disappointed.

But fuck, fuck, fuck... I live 6 blocks from Paseo. I'm really going to miss that place. Very addictive! Hope the guy at least considers a food truck in the future.
Glad you're reporting news that concerns your new office location
Cash-rich, ridiculously successful "job creators" fucking over employees? Why am I not surprised?

This is basically the epitome of why a $15/hour minimum wage is necessary. No matter how successful some business owners are, they'll still treat their employees like worthless scum.
@7 - Yes, because news should only ever be reported in a single place.
Somebody better get those recipes.
As heartbreaking as the loss of Seattle's greatest sandwich spot is, the reasons behind it are even moreso. With the business they were doing from day one, they could easily have paid their kitchen workers what they deserved. Instead, the owners decided to be racist assholes and sink their business and its legacy along with it.

I'm going to miss those sandwiches, and I'm happy I got to have one final #2 for my birthday last week. But fuck the owners. I hope the book gets thrown at them.

(Assuming these allegations are true, of course.)
I think the secret to their deliciousness was the human suffering and exploitation they put into each order.
They were getting paid sick leave, right ? Because Seattle hasn't heard any complaints regarding that.
In my experience just because there is a line out the door, doesn't make it good. I had a sandwich there. It was good. Big, if I can remember right. Wage theft. That's pretty lame.
12 hour shifts with no breaks?! Yeah. Fuck 'em. I hope they throw the book at them.…
Is this for fucking real?!

Raul Castro, ladies and gents:…
am i the only person who thought the food was overrated?

i loved the rice & beans, but everything else was good... but not wait-in-that-dumb-fucking-line great.

it always seemed to me to be seattle's "voodoo doughnuts"; much more a shared cultural experience than anything mind-blowing. something everybody had to do once.

working just down the street from the fremont location, i always found myself SMDH at that line.
Oh, for fuck's sake. Ignore me and this^^^
So you mean The Stranger has patronized and its writers enjoy participating in money laundering and blood sandwiches (to use Ansel bold emphasis of inflammatory phrases).

Then again, this might be OK at a place so supportive of Marxism.
#19 Nope.
@21, that had to be a joke.

@20, Paseo's was awesome, nationally-known and you obviously had some personal beef.

@13, ftw. It seems doable to replicate it, and the money had to be tremendous. Why in God's name would they be stealing from the employees? Did under-reporting to the IRS lose its excitement?
For those wondering about 19's link, please look at their other "stories." That site is a local wannabe onion (and not a very good one)
See @21.
Lorenzo Lorenzo was the owner.
it didn't take long to figure out that calling ahead was much smarter than standing in line. DUH.
@22 I bet you think you're funny. You're not. At all. Ever.
@24 You can never be too rich or too evil.
@27 With his wife Jane Doe Lorenzo.
shut up dave.
Seems like this is a great opportunity to find another place to eat a good sandwich whose ownership treats their employees like equal adults worthy of respect. Does that exist?
Whoops, gotta pay your illegals hipsters!

At least when it's Cubans underpaying Mexicans, can't blame white people!
You know what makes food so much better? When it's made by the oppressed!
@34. Yes. All over.

But the food costs more than Paseo. That's the reality.

You want fair wages and good food? You'll have to pay more for it.

The sad fact is most people, despite what lip service they pay to wanting living wages, don't really want to pay for it.

In the same breath people on SLOG decry how places like Paseo treat workers they will complain about $15 "yuppie" burgers at the place that treats employees right.
Hi, I am the owner of the Thunderbird Tavern in Ballard, and we would like to hire a cook from Paseo. Please email us if you are interested. We wish all the employees of Paseo the best of luck.

Thank you!
I'm very disappointed to know Paseo had abominable anti-worker and racist business practices.

The usual trolls have room to talk on this. It's completely hypocritical to mourn Paseo's loss if you believe in *basic* worker rights!

"Bring back racist sandwiches!"
There is far more to this story that the lawsuit. I've live with a Paseo employee. The amount of times they came home from Paseo nearly in tears from the physical and mental abuse levied by the plaintiffs off this lawsuit was ridiculous.

Some examples being:

Screaming "Faggot" and hurling onions at them whenever he took more than a 15 minute lunch break.

Pulling knives on them when they felt like "his shift was over"

Body checking co workers into flat top grills and other hot equipment.

They got another white employed fired years ago because he didn't look "Latino enough" and wasn't getting them the tips they wanted.

They restaurant was not racist. They were told to be harder on them because they are a blood related family. They were told to he hard on because they physically assaulted their coworkers for years and everyone finally stoop up to them.

Also the plaintiffs were the highest paid employees at Paeso and one of them was the person who wrote the weekly schedule.

The plaintiffs are awful people who are the ones guilty of every claim in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit is a bunch of shit. Please don't be bleeding hearts on this one.
Hi, I am the owner of the Thunderbird Tavern in Ballard, and I would love to hire a cook from Paseo. Please email us if you are interested:

We wish all the best to all of the employees of the Paseo restaurant.

Paying cash under the table for overtime, instead of time and a half on the books, is a crappy, crappy thing to do. But there are definitely worse forms of wage theft out there.

And withholding hours, punitive or short-notice scheduling, and other evil stuff is still perfectly legal, and can hurt a low-wage worker a lot more than getting your 40 and then scale, cash and untaxed, for turn-it-down-and-you're-fired OT.
@40 We would love to offer one the cooks a job at our Tavern. We offer fair wages, and we treat all of our employees like family. Please have your roommate email us if they are interested.

Jesus, dude, just ask for the recipes already.

Does this story have any merit? Jut saw someone post it on facebook...
@6 et al: dots deli just up the street from Paseo closed, Stopsky's on Mercer Island closed. As much as I'd love to see a good Jewish deli in this town, serving a killer kinish and kashs varnishkism, it certainly doesn't seem that the market can support one. Try the pastrami and corned beef at RSquared in pioneer square (Rain Shadow meat's sammy shop(
@35 Charles mudede is on the case!
Also tats deli is better anyway.
I worked in the restaurant industry in Seattle for almost 15 years. Sadly, this kind of treatment of employees is extremely common. Wage theft, unfair hours, no breaks and bouncing paychecks - it happens all the time. It's refreshing to see people stand up to abusive employers and bring attention to it. Good riddance.
I worked in the restaurant industry in Seattle for over 15 years. Sadly, this kind of employee abuse is extremely common. Wage theft, no breaks, bounced paychecks, verbal abuse - happens all the time. I'm glad to see someone stand up to it. Good riddance.
I'm not entirely surprised to hear this. When you have a 45 minute wait for a sandwich, and are ranked so highly in the city, it's time to expand. More staff, more space, more business. I never understood waiting that long just to order, since the food took 15 -25 minutes to be prepared too. It was clear they never wanted to actually be adequately staffed, so of course the conditions were horrible. That's a management problem. They were not losing money on decor or signage (clearly), and if food costs were a problem, they could've easily reduced their over sized portions. A single salad there feeds 2 for 2 days if you get a sandwich too.

I liked Paseo, but the writing was on the wall for a while.
Paul Constant you're a douche bag. When small businesses complain that they can't deal with the minimum wage hike, they have no business owning a restaurant and a shitstorm arises. Even if they serve great products. Now that Paseo closes, no one is looking at the fact that they were NOT PAYING O/T to their employees, but boohoo let's mourn the fact that their delicious sandwiches are no longer there. Good riddance.
The Thunderbird in Ballard is looking for cooks from the Paseo. Ask for Ian

Whoops, gotta pay your illegals hipsters!

At least when it's Cubans underpaying Mexicans, can't blame white people!
@46, Unfortunately RSquared loads up their Corned Beef on Rye w/ Gruyere and coleslaw:/. Guess I'll have to stick w/ Goldberg's in Factoria.

Seattle, thy name is pretension when it comes to meaty comfort food. You'd think that something that's been made cool like Montreal Smoked Meat (Miles End in NYC) could also find a following in a city that thinks it's cool when it comes to food, but isn't all that much in reality.
I never ate at Paseo's even once. I wish I did though, I'd like to eat at an establishment owned by a real man.
The sandwiches were great. There was definitely a hostile vibe, and I have a pretty good idea who was the culprit. If you stood in line, you are a sheep. Uneeda Burger is the best burger place in Seattle across the street. No idea where I'll stop to grab something to take to Golden Gardens.
The thunderbird appears slightly desperate for attention!!!
Sorry Paseo was good, but was easily the most overrated sandwich shop in Seattle. If you've had real Cuban sammies in S. Florida you'll know what I'm talking about. It's like saying Seattle can beat the bbq legends in Texas. Lol
At $15 an hour who's going to hire illegals anyway?
This is tragic, but I think the question on everybody's mind is: HAS ANYBODY HEARD FROM THE THUNDERBIRD TAVERN IN BALLARD?????
@ 51, alleged fact.
I've worked at paseo, and the people making this lawsuit were assholes. Total assholes. They're a tight knit family that tried to reign over the rest of the crew by ganging up. Paseo was well-rid of them until this lawsuit. Working at paseo, I was ALWAYS worked hard, but I was paid even better. It's not easy. But people condemning Lorenzo based on hearsay are plain wrong.
I've been a regular Paseo customer since 1995. Why is it improper to mourn the loss of a favorite restaurant, whatever the reason for closing? Even if the charges are true, I'll still miss having the #2. And for those of you who think the restaurants in Seattle are over-rated, there are plenty of other cities you could move to and complain about the food there.
Thanks @40 and 63.

I've known Lorenzo forever and while he can be a prickly personality, I am totally willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on this until more facts emerge. Maybe he is guilty of something here, but why most everyone seems to be jumping to the conclusion that he's guilty and the plaintiffs are correct puzzles me.
Employee wage theft. Does that mean tats is next?
Employee wage theft? If that's the case Tats is next to close. Just saying?
I worked at Paseo for two years around 1996. Lorenzo Lorenzo was awesome! He had us over at least once a year for get togethers at his house. He had a young son at the time, but I don't remember him being married. He was intense and quirky, but lovable and fun. I remember some minor old school sexism, but you could call him on it and he didn't get upset. And it was more about not wanting girls to do the jobs he thought were too physically intense. Again, you could tell him, "Lorenzo, I can totally do that! You're being silly." And he would back down. I remember working there fondly. (The only thing I didn't like to do was "process pork" because I'm a vegetarian and it grossed me out.) He was paranoid about people stealing his recipes, so he came in early and made all the important stuff himself. But I've worked for many small business owners who did that. Their recipes are essentially all they have. I'm not saying that these employees claims are bogus, just that it wasn't my experience. Very sorry that this has happened.
Jesus, does anyone wait for facts to come out anymore or do we just take allegations and innuendo as fact? No one here knows what happened. Let's mourn all the employees who are out of work now and have a brief moment for the sandwich that will never be.
That's just it. In the court of public opinion, you're guilty. Period. What trial?
Head down to Portland, we've got plenty of amazing sandwiches.
Does Sawant hire many of the commenters here?
Or do most of you (cant and cliche slingers) act like fools for free?
And of course I am referring to the idiots who are sure that they have all the facts and willing to condemn Lorenzo without a trial.
You folks are the real prejudicial assholes.
@73 Are you not prejudging yourself? Innocent until proven guilty? That's a judgment.

I'm judging based on the facts at hand. I could see the conditions were horrible whenever I went there. Not a leap to see a lawsuit and then a very closely followed closure.
Wow, thunderbird. You're asking us to throw out a fundamental legal protection because someone didn't like getting fired? I don't normally need words to describe that, so I had to look up the meaning of "tendentious", and "specious".
Seattle, you were given an opportunity with Dot's, and you turned it away.
The plaintiffs are total assholes and not legal to boot. Lorenzo treated them like family, lending them money, paying for vacations etc. An entire months wages every single year for the month they were closed.

Henry is a violent jerk who has run off more employees than one could imagine and the place was well rid of all of them. Should have picked them off one by one but with the threats over the years Lorenzo (and the entire crew) had finally had enough. Can't blame him/them.

As for the suit? Bogus in that they were all very well compensated and there was zero discrimination.

To be fair, totally fair... Yes, there are all kinds of things that were done not legal. Paying overtime in cash. Paying under the table whenever possible. Major renovations with no permits. That is totally true.

He's been divorced for many years, his ex raised the kids but Lorenzo loves them and became a grandfather not too long ago...

I will not be surprised if his sons keep on the down low a while and reopen with another name. They know how to do the food but it is nowhere near as good as the original place. They are a bit on the lazy side in their father's opinion, he's been heard to say more than a few things.

I honestly hope that Henry, Paulina and her sister, their relatives, all get deported. What a bunch of low lifes!!

Who remembers the very first one restaurant? Hint, it was not on 45th. Extra points if you remember the name of it along with the location.

There's a fundamental legal protection in the court of public opinion?
@ 77: Islabelle. Northlake Ave. Boom!
@75 I don't need to look in a dictionary to see a poorly run business. We aren't talking about the legal system are we? We're talking about business, and the rules in business are different. If things look bad, they are bad. Sorry your paralegal study book skipped the part about how real people live and work.
@80 "If things look bad, they are bad."

Glad to have that settled. This gets to the real nub of the interwebs.

Speculation in real time.
i feel certain the irs and state of wa tax collectors are after this guy . it was a cash only restaurant. the only reason for this was to cheat and steal. one of the most successful restaurants in seattle, and he still had to cheat. the wage suit will only be the tip of the iceberg
So extremely popular, awesome food with 45-minute lines, a "cult following", and 2 restaurants catering mostly to the middle and upper middle classes, but still just 'cash only', really!? This just stinks. I can't opine on the employee drama. Just pay the tax man your fair share and reopen your stores when you are all caught up. Maybe you don't close for a long vacation this year. Something this successful and popular should not die like this, especially blaming your employees for your own management issues - everyone has them. Keep prices down by charging credit card users a transaction fee. Open a few more stores, maybe one in SE Seattle?! That's my 2 cents.

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