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Raising the Minimum Wage Has Maybe Hurt Low-Wage Workers in Seattle (and More Updates)

Two bakeries have new owners, Lower Bar Ferdinand is closed, and more

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Workers Across The Country Demonstrate For Higher Minimum Wage Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

Welcome back to Morning Briefing, a semi-regular round-up of mini news bites to kick off the day. Have news to share? Send intel to

Opponents of Seattle’s Higher Minimum Wage Will Love the Latest Study

Last week, University of California Berkeley researchers released a study suggesting that Seattle’s increased minimum wage, a pioneering effort currently ranging from $11 to $15 an hour depending on various factors, has raised pay for restaurant workers without costing jobs. This week, another new study from the University of Washington suggests the complete opposite, finding “that the minimum-wage increase resulted in higher wages, but also a significant reduction in the working hours of low-wage earners,” according to The New York Times.

Skeptics of the UW study claim the effects are actually due to Seattle’s hot labor market, which could cause employers to replace low-wage jobs with higher-paying ones. Angela Stowell of Ethan Stowell Restaurants has the last word in the Times’ piece, saying her chain had not reduced hiring due to higher employee costs.

Two Musicians Buy Nielsen’s Pastries

Chris and Holly Prairie, the drummer and keyboardist respectively for local band The Hoot Hoots, are the new owners of Lower Queen Anne’s longstanding Danish bakery, Nielsen’s Pastries. The bakery announced the news on Facebook, as did the band; thanks to a tipster for sharing. It’s not the first time the business has changed hands — founder John Nielsen sold his shop to a former employee, Darcy Person, years ago — so presumably the transition will be smooth and the kringles, snitters, and potatoes will remain outstanding.

Congrats to our drummer Chris and keyboardist Holly on buying the finest Danish bakery in Seattle, Nielsen's Pastries!...

Posted by The Hoot Hoots on Thursday, June 22, 2017

Crumble and Flake Has a New Owner, Too

In other bakery-sales news (a growing category of Seattle business deals), the owner of Capitol Hill’s glorious gluten-free bakery Niche has bought Crumble and Flake, another pastry-perfectionist in the neighborhood. Crumble owner Neil Robertson said he’d stay on for a few weeks to help with the transition, Seattle Met reports, though it’s not clear what, if any, changes might be in the works.

Greenwood Is Probably Getting an Arcade Bar

Coindexter, presumably an arcade bar based on the name and logo, is gutting the former home of The Crosswalk at 8556 Greenwood Ave. N. A sign in the window says the new business is coming soon.

Posted by Coindexter's on Friday, June 23, 2017

And Then There Was One Bar Ferdinand

Lower Bar Ferdinand, the Melrose Market sibling to Matt Dillon’s Upper Bar Ferdinand wine bar, has closed, according to tipsters and Yelp. No word on why or if this is temporary, but Eater has reached out for more and will update if possible.


808 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122 (206) 999-2801

Crumble And Flake

1500 E Olive Way, Seattle, WA 98122 Visit Website

Upper Bar Ferdinand

1424 11th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

Bar Ferd'nand

1531 Melrose Ave, Seattle, WA 98122 (206) 682-1333 Visit Website