The Pink Door, Pike Place Market's iconic Italian restaurant, famous for its trapeze artists and burlesque shows, just announced a new reservations system. In response to fully booked evenings after their recent remodel, they’re launching a priority reservations option called Club Pink Door. The kicker? It’s locals only, with membership restricted to Seattle, certain areas of the suburbs, and a few nearby islands.
Why would a restaurant in the heart of Seattle’s biggest tourist attraction do such a thing? Because tourists were snapping up all the tables online and owner Jackie Roberts wanted local regulars to be able to get a table. From the press release announcing the program:
“Whether the continued swell of Pink Door patrons is attributed to the recent Pike Place Market expansion with market tourism in full swing, the ease of booking through online reservation platforms such as Open Table, or positive buzz from social media and review sites, one thing is certain: I want to ensure there’s a way to allocate tables for the Seattle residents who have sustained my business early on and helped build this business into its 36-year-old success.”
As the April reopening approached, their press release also notes, Roberts found herself inundated with “a steady stream of ‘favor requests’ from regulars who text her cell phone or send personal emails.” That's a good problem to have, of course, but apparently also enough of a problem to inspire the creation of the restaurant's new club.
Membership is $25 per year, which is enough to cover the cost of printing membership cards and administering the program, and it allows you access to priority bookings up to 24 hours in advance. The rules of use are fairly strict: The fee is non-refundable, the membership is non-transferrable, you have to show up in the flesh with your photo ID, and if you no-show—even once—you’re out of the club. The number of available memberships is described as “very limited.”
Also limited? The zip codes allowed in. Heidi Witherspoon, the Pink Door’s publicist, said that Roberts specifically excluded certain zip codes —“something about eating too much free bread and not being the Olive Garden,” in Witherspoon’s words—which is delightfully salty. Sadly, when reached for comment, Roberts wouldn't say which.
If you love trapeze with your treviso, and live in a zip code that respects the free bread, you can sign up at their website.