CLOSING DECEMBER 29
Kurt Farm Shop
The food writer, farmer, and cheesemaker Kurt Timmermeister announced via Instagram that he will be closing up his adorable Capitol Hill ice cream shop, where he made ice cream with Jersey milk from his own cows, after almost five years of business, as he is retiring to focus on cheese-making and photography on his dairy farm. Author Amy Ettinger, who journeyed across America on a mission to find the best ice cream in the country for her book Sweet Spot: An Ice Cream Binge Across America, proclaimed Kurt's product the "perfect scoop." Fans are encouraged to come by to pay their respects before the final day of service on December 29, and Kurt is making pints so that everyone can stock up their freezers. The silver lining: Kurt also dropped the news that Sweet Alchemy will be opening a new location in the space in 2020.
CLOSING AT THE END OF 2019
Bramling Cross, Marine Hardware, and Super Bueno
Chef and restaurateur Ethan Stowell is opting to close his Ballard restaurants Marine Hardware and Bramling Cross and his family-friendly Wallingford restaurant Super Bueno at the end of the year. In the release, Stowell said, "We love these concepts. But if I’m being honest, they’ve all been challenging from an operational perspective and never been as successful as they need to be.” Marine Hardware and Bramling Cross will transition into becoming dedicated event spaces, with Marine Hardware eventually serving as a space for aspiring chefs to host pop-ups (not unlike chef Eric Rivera's experimental culinary incubator Addo), while Super Bueno will re-open as a new location of Stowell's popular Italian restaurant concept Tavolàta in late spring 2020. (Stowell is also opening a location of Tavolàta downtown soon, in addition to bringing a new outpost of his well-liked Queen Anne restaurant How to Cook a Wolf to Madison Park in 2020.)
Ballard and Wallingford
Chungee's Drink N' Eat
This intimate, beloved Capitol Hill bar, which has served up homestyle Cantonese fare since January 2010, will bid farewell at the end of 2019. Owners Wen Long and Tom Farrell have chosen to close the restaurant after failing to establish a long-term lease with the family trust who owns the property, who would rather have a month-to-month tenant, according to Capitol Hill Seattle.
The Grizzled Wizard
Quirky neighborhood bar the Grizzled Wizard is closing up shop on December 31. The much-adored Korochka Tavern, which Stranger contributor Meg Van Huygen praised earlier this year for its "cozy, unpretentious chill" and which closed without warning this fall, will re-open in its place after a successful crowd-funding campaign, hopefully sometime in February 2020.
Sitka and Spruce
It's the end of an era: In an emotional email sent out in September, James Beard Award-winning chef Matt Dillon dropped the news that he will close Sitka and Spruce, his famous, locally-sourced restaurant inside Capitol Hill's Melrose Market, after service on New Year's Eve this year. The restaurant, which originally opened in an Eastlake strip mall 14 years ago and quickly received widespread praise and national attention, was an influential establishment in the Pacific Northwest dining scene. Dillon encouraged guests to visit before the closure and wrote, "Sitka & Spruce will always be alive in her energy. We will always participate in the relationship and conversation between our beautiful place in the world and everyone and everything that makes it turn and makes it whole. But at this mesmerizing juncture of our world, continuing Sitka’s relationship in Seattle, does not make me a better father, partner, activist, employer or friend. And that is the future. To be better. It has to be, and it will." The Stranger's Charles Mudede wrote about the death of Sitka & Spruce in a post titled, "High Wages Did Not Kill Sitka & Spruce, Seattle Did."
University Seafood and Poultry
The longtime Pike Place fixture University Seafood & Poultry, known for its high-quality seafood and comprehensive selection of exotic meats ranging from iguana to python to camel, will close permanently on December 31 after 75 years of business, due to co-owners Dale and Jeanette Erickson (ages 91 and 89) retiring. The business has been in the Erickson family for four generations.
GOING ON HIATUS JANUARY 1
Wallingford's nautical-themed restaurant Westward, which chef and restaurateur Renee Erickson took over from previous owner Josh Henderson in 2018, will temporarily close for a refresh on January 1. When it re-opens in April, it'll likely hew more closely to the branding of the rest of Erickson's Sea Creatures restaurant group (which includes the Whale Wins, the Walrus and the Carpenter, and others) and focus on seafood from "British Columbia to Baja California," but some things, like the classic Adirondack chairs and half-chicken, will stay the same. Earlier this year, Erickson rebranded her Laurelhurst restaurant Saint Helens (also acquired from Henderson) to Bistro Shirlee, a French-leaning cafe and wine bar named in tribute to her mother.
CLOSING BY THE END OF JANUARY 2020
Assembly Hall, Home Remedy, and Tanakasan
Come the end of January, Tom Douglas's massive empire will be a little smaller: The celebrity chef/restaurateur is closing three of his projects inside the Via6 building at 6th and Lenora, including the modern Asian-fusion restaurant TanakaSan, the neighborhood lunch spot Home Remedy, and the casual cafe/bar/juice bar Assembly Hall. In November, Douglas settled a $2.4 million class action lawsuit for allegedly not properly disclosing how much of an included 20 percent service tax on customers' bills went to the workers and for not providing adequate rest and meal breaks; however, a rep told Eater Seattle the closures are unrelated and that the concepts were not "financially viable."