It's a rough month for the one-block stretch of Phinney Ridge between N 74th St and N 75th St, which is about to have two restaurant vacancies: Martino's Smoked Meats and Seattle Cookie Counter.
If you’ve been craving a Santa Maria tri-tip, better hurry over to Martino’s. Earlier this month, the shop specializing in California-style steak sandwiches announced on its Facebook page that it would close its storefront at 7410 Greenwood Ave N as of Sunday, December 4. Until then, expect the regular operating hours from Wednesday to Sunday.
Co-owner Chris Martino says he and co-owners Chris Gerke and Chris Navarra knew going in that the space would be tight, but ultimately both the front- and back-of-house have proved too small to work. The owners haven’t ruled out a comeback yet, though. "Martino's may return if we can expand the concept to be a bit more of a restaurant than just take out sandwiches, but for now we are closing up shop," Martino tells Eater. "We will try to continue with some catering, via other kitchen space at our other restaurants." The sandwich shop is a sibling to other nearby eateries like Hecho and The Ridge as well as the Prost! bars.
Just across the street at 7415 Greenwood Ave N, more bad news: Seattle Cookie Counter, the vegan ice cream and cookie company that Kickstarted first a darling VW bus then a brick-and-mortar, is shutting down after less than six months at its new home. This news also came via Facebook, where owners Chelsea Keene and Chris Olson apologized last week that they had run out of options in the face of many setbacks.
In a follow-up post, they clarified the situation further, laying most of the blame for their financial straits on unscrupulous contractors, who also served to delay their opening past much of the busy summer season. Apparently, Olson was involved in a head-on car collision last week as well, which "was the last bad thing we could handle emotionally." Many fans have commented on the posts that they would support a GoFundMe campaign if the owners decide to start one, but there’s no indication that will happen.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, November 23 looks to be the shop’s final day open to the public; the ice cream is already gone, but cookies should be available. Thursday, Seattle Cookie Counter will open for a couple hours just to fulfill Thanksgiving pie pre-orders. After that, the vegan sweet shop is finished; not even the VW bus will continue operating. Goodbye, milk and cookies happy hour; we hardly knew ye.