After ten years, Thaiku and celebrated bar Fu Kun Wu announce that their last day at the Ballard Avenue location will be December 23rd. In 2006 and again in 2011, Esquire named Fu Kun Wu one of the best bars in the U.S., recognizing the bar's innovative herb-infused cocktails and live jazz program. According to the press release, "management" could not reach an agreement with their landlord: "We are actively looking for a new space and we are hopeful to reopen within a year."
Seattle Times Nancy Leson asks Thaiku/Fu Kun Wu's founder Jon Alberts to explain the property dispute:
Alberts said the landlords were unwilling to pay for building improvements he deems necessary and "it wouldn't have made [financial] sense for us to do them" if the building were to sell in the next two years. In addition, continued rumors of the restaurant's imminent demise (thanks to "For Sale" sign on the building) and a considerable spike in rent meant "we couldn't come to terms, and decided to vacate.
Between now and December 23, "Thaiku will serve lunch and dinner . . . Its bar Fu Kun Wu will be open from 5pm-midnight until its final night and will offer happy hour daily from 5-7pm, with an all-night happy hour party on December 23 from 5pm-close. The live jazz on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8:30-11pm will also take place as scheduled." After December 23, the live jazz moves over to Thaiku/Fu Kun Wu's other bar, Copper Gate. According to Leson, Alberts has ownership stakes in both La Carta de Oaxaca and Mezcaleria Oaxaca.
Alberts reminds us that this is not the first challenge he has faced. Back in 2001, he was forced to close Fremont Noodle House and reincarnate it as Thaiku and Fu Kun Wu in Ballard.