Several local chefs are frantically looking for new commissary kitchen space to keep their businesses going after learning they'd need to vacate The Downtown Cookhouse in SoDo by September 30, reports The Stranger.
Commissary kitchens are essential prep spaces for businesses like food trucks, small producers, and delivery-based operations that lack a traditional storefront and don't have their own kitchen space. The Downtown Cookhouse has been open since August 2015 and is used by food trucks like Roll OK Please, Caveman, The Peach & The Pig, and HoloHolo. Windy City Pie, which delivers Chicago-style deep dish pizza, and ice cream stand Sweet Bumpas are also among the tenants.
According to The Stranger, Amazon is rumored to be taking over the space for a possible new meal delivery program called Atlas Kitchen, which would deliver boxed meal kits similar to Blue Apron.
Commissary kitchens are tough to come by in Seattle, and Windy City Pie says this development may threaten the popular company's very existence. Per a note on its Facebook page seeking help:
We've got some less-than-awesome news: we're getting ousted from our kitchen come September 30th.
Unless we find a place to cook by then, we'll have to close for an unknown amount of time. We've looked at all the local commissaries and our space and time requirements are too much for them and while we've got some leads on other options nothing is firm yet. If you know of a bakery that finishes production at or around lunch time, send us a message. If you know of a bar or restaurant with a type-II hood that would like to host us for some number of months, send us a message. We're good tenants, we pay rent on time, we have a stable business model, we want to keep making you pizza, and we want to provide stable employment for our talented kitchen team.
Windy City hopes to eventually find a permanent home, but that won't happen before The Downtown Cookhouse shutters.