SODO's Gastropod and Epic Ales—that wonderfully quirky combination of nanobrewery and closet-sized restaurant, where the kitchen turned out inventive dishes using butane burners, for crying out loud—closed in September to make way for the team's shinier, more mainstream Mollusk, which opened in October in South Lake Union. But it seems the perpetually-under-construction area isn't quite built up enough yet to support what the owners have in mind.
In response, the restaurant dropped lunch effective January 8 and laid off several staff.
"Lunch was killing us," says brewmaster Cody Morris. "The neighborhood just wasn't dense enough to support a lunch program. [Chef] Travis [Kukull] and I talk pretty frequently about how to do lunch down the road. It's something we're interested in but it's an enormous challenge to provide quality food at the price point most people expect for lunch. We hope to have an answer to that question sometime in 2017."
Morris says Mollusk is opening at 3 p.m. on weekdays "with a really strong happy hour, which we call Gavage Hour," a term meaning "force-feeding."
Seats aren't full for the weekend brunch program, either, but the restaurant is keeping it with the hopes that it will catch on soon.