Toulouse Petit "is not closing," says Chad Nixon, the restaurant's wine director and evening service manager. He's trying to dispel rumors which have been swirling since the building was sold last year, after its owner passed away. A post early this year on the blog Queen Anne in Seattle further spread the gossip and added to the uncertainty.
Both Nixon and Peter Zapareski, the administrator for Toulouse and neighboring Peso's Kitchen and Lounge, say as far as they know the building's new owners, Limantzakis Properties, are not looking to develop the property.
"Limantzakis Properties is not a real estate developing firm, they primarily purchase buildings with 'good tenants,' raise rents and hold property for a fair amount of time," Peter tells Eater. He says both restaurants have at least a couple years remaining on their current leases and expect to sign extensions soon. Limantzakis Properties declined to comment on the matter.
Rumors of a restaurant's demise are insidious in the way they can become self-fulfilling prophecies. "We believe that these rumors can negatively effect sales; diners tend to go to new hot spots as opposed to soon to be shut down spots," Zapareski says. "In addition, diners may hear the rumor and think that there's other reasons for closure, i.e. food, service, etc. It's definitely not the message we want to propagate."
Nixon says for now this particular rumor "hasn't affected our business at all—we've just had our busiest March on record," but admits it has been "awkward having some of our guests ask about it."
Peter concludes, "We are here, we are still serving well prepared food from local sources, we are still providing great service with a phenomenal atmosphere."