In more head-hanging restaurant news this week, Renee Erickson has announced she will be closing the doors to Boat Street Cafe on May 30. The beloved rustic Provençal-Pacific Northwest restaurant has made its home in a cozy courtyard, tucked under office buildings on Western Avenue since it was relocated in 2003, five years after Chef Erickson acquired it.
The news of the imminent closure came in a Tuesday afternoon press release, and it’s enough to take the richness right out of our pâté. While the decision was a hard one, Erickson tells Eater it’s not the last we’ll see of the Boat Street influence. "Boat Street is in my blood. It shows up in everything I do."
Boat Street Kitchen, the neighboring brunch and catering company run by original owner Susan Kaplan, will expand into the cafe's space and continue with her lunch, brunch, private events, catering and cooking classes, as well as Sunday and Monday night dinners.
In a joint press release from Erickson and Kaplan, the former says, "I cannot be more proud of these past 17 years as the owner and chef of Boat Street Café. I grew up in this business and have collected the most fantastic customers, staff (work family), and memories. Come see us before too long. Some of our favorite staff members will be making an appearance before we close along with the famous Boat Street Crab Cakes."
Though Boat Street’s closure is tough to take, Erickson is taking chef Jay Guerrero straight from its kitchen to her next spot, so his lovely food will carry on. Guerrero formerly earned his scars and stripes as sous chef at Prune, in New York.
Erickson tells us she has no plans to relocate Boat Street to a third location. She’ll be focusing her attention on her existing restaurants, The Walrus and the Carpenter and The Whale Wins, as well as her Sea Creatures company’s upcoming pair of projects on Capitol Hill.