Bad news, bacon pecan waffle-lovers: The Shanty Cafe is shuttering after more than a century of serving up affordable, delicious breakfasts. The beloved Queen Anne joint will close on Monday, Nov. 28—so get in those last chicken-fried steaks this weekend!
"The owners of The Shanty Café sold the building and they're taking a break from the restaurant scene," writes Kristen Drew for KOMO. "[Cafe co-owner Ginger] Crowley said the new owners of the building are planning to re-open a restaurant. The building was purchased by El Charro Mexican Food and Cantina."
The café first opened as Violet's Hamburger Shanty in 1914.
Angela Garbes took a trip to The Shanty Cafe on its 100th anniversary. Here's what she wrote:
“Of course, we didn’t know the first thing about running a restaurant when we bought this place,” Crowley continues. “It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had.” Either Crowley or Schmetzer are on-site every day, and to save money during hard times, they’ve played the roles of electrician, roofer, and plumber. (“I’ve done lots of things I’m nowhere near qualified to do,” said Crowley.) But the duo’s hands-on approach has also led them to an even deeper understanding of the Shanty’s past.
About seven years ago, Crowley and Schmetzer needed to redo the building’s distinctive siding. They removed the old siding, revealing layers of history. What they thought were two windows turned out to actually be two door frames, confirming that the building had once been a pay station for dock workers, who came in one door, picked up their wages, and walked out the other. (“Some guys must’ve been drinking on the job,” Crowley says with a smile, “because I also found a bunch of tiny alcohol bottles stuffed in between the wall boards.”) Also discovered: old advertising murals, newspapers, and jukebox tabs.
"I think it was just kind of a place for people to come and just be themselves—rich or poor it didn't matter. Everyone found someone here to eat lunch with," Crowley told KOMO.
It will be missed.