If you had tried to get a meal at Chop Shop on Saturday, you'd have been disappointed: The restaurant put up a hand-written note on the door, saying, "We have permanently closed. Thank you for your support."
Later on, the news made its way to Facebook and the company's "spiffy new website," launched just last week. A slightly longer, more formal message now greets visitors: "We regretfully announce that Chop Shop will be closed indefinitely. Thank you for your support and patronage!"
It's a shocking turn for the high-profile Chophouse Row anchor that celebrated its one-year anniversary in July. Yet it's the second time this year that owner Ericka Burke has closed a business; her Canal Market in Montlake shuttered in February after less than a year in operation. And there were perhaps warning signs at Chop Shop when the opening chef lasted only two months and then another chef departed in March. Burke took over the kitchen at that time.
Burke told Seattle Met the closure of Chop Shop was "sad and abrupt," but that the venture was underfunded since the beginning and daytime business never truly took off. For now, Burke will return her focus to Volunteer Park Cafe, her first and only remaining restaurant.
Update, 8/8/16: Chop Shop has now released a statement about the closure of the restaurant. Burke thanks developer Liz Dunn, the designer behind Chophouse Row, and Chop Shop's staff for all of their help. Burke once again notes the challenges created by construction and a lack of foot traffic: "Sadly, I think it was mostly bad timing. Evenings were nice and busy, but I took on more space in the building than I had originally planned to, and the lack of street visibility during the day was hard and we just couldn't catch up. In hindsight, I also should have put the juice bar in a more accessible location."