All six branches of Bill the Butcher closed suddenly last week. In 2010, Matthew Richter wrote in The Stranger about how the local butcher-shop chain would not divulge its purportedly local/organic meat suppliers, nor label its meats by source. After that, the company became more transparent in its labeling and suppliers. Then cofounder William von Schneidau and the COO parted ways with Bill the Butcher, filing lawsuits for breach of contract and more, with cofounder and marketing consultant J'Amy Owens (who seeks to "push the boundaries of conventional retailing," per jamyowensgroup.com) taking over. In summer 2012, the Madison Valley and Bellevue branches closed; last week, Eater Seattle and Wallyhood reported that the remaining six shops suddenly closed, with no reason given. In further drama, the Seattle Times reported on a September 26 blog post by Sleep Country USA founder Sunny Kobe Cook entitled "The Price of Friendship," in which the mattress-store magnate claims that J'Amy Owens owes her more than $40,000 from a personal loan. Cook also deploys the word "deadbeat." Then the Times reported MORE drama on October 13—namely, that the cash-strapped company "spent hundreds of thousands of dollars over two years" to help buy CEO J'Amy Owens a five-bedroom Queen Anne view home, with the payments portrayed as "a lease of 'corporate facilities.'" J'Amy Owens couldn't be reached for comment, as her voicemail's been full for days.
The Lost Lake/Comet/5 Point guys are buying Capitol Hill restaurant/bar Grim's and its upstairs dance club the Woods (1512 11th Ave, 324-7467/915-2852). Jason Lajeunesse, David Meinert, and Joey Burgess announced the acquisition along with the fact that they now have a formal company called Guild Seattle (perhaps unaware that "guild" is an old-fashioned term for "workers' union"). At Grim's, you can "Sit at long hand-crafted reclaimed wood, cafeteria style tables... and enjoy drinks in mason jars [in a] steampunk atmosphere"; it also has good versions of fancied-up grilled cheese. The Woods is popular with the Pike/Pine weekend-warrior-and-warriorette crowd. Asked whether Guild Seattle intends to make any changes to the Woods, Lajeunesse responded noncommittally, "Right now as it stands everything will remain the same until we have time to get more familiar with the ins and outs of the existing business." Lajeunesse recently said that rumors of the group's plans to open a gay bar are "just rumors."
Single Shot is now open on the west slope of Capitol Hill (611 Summit Ave E, singleshotseattle.com). The place's namesake is the oversize wooden replica of a single-shot shotgun above the marble-topped bar; beyond that, the decor is restrained, which is a relief. Rory McCormick of Re:public runs Single Shot. The chef is James Sherrill, formerly of Re:public, Crush, and Restaurant Zoe; his menu is a seasonal, worldly, midrange one. Adam Fream is managing the bar, after recently leaving Elysian Bar along with five-sixths of the original bar staff, including Murray Stenson. In charge of wine and service: Guy Kugel, formerly of the excellent Altura. Single Shot looks pretty, and the food and drinks just might be great.