The Saint, the tiny tropical Capitol Hill cocktail bar known for its tacos and tequila, has announced that it will shut down its kitchen in part due to Seattle’s chef shortage, a struggle that’s by no means unique to Seattle nor a new phenomenon. The Saint will also close for a month-long renovation in September. The last day of service will be September 3, and the reopening — sans tacos — is planned for early October, though the bar hasn’t set an exact date.
The Saint has been known for its massive selection of agave spirits since opening in 2008, but the tacos came later, when Ertel hired Sitka and Spruce chef Alvaro Candela in 2014. Candela helped put The Saint on the map for its food, though he quietly left “a while ago,” according to restaurant representatives. Ertel had promoted a replacement from in-house, though that move apparently hasn’t been enough to salvage the kitchen.
When it reopens, The Saint will renew its focus on booze; the bar encourages patron education through tasting flights as well as a passport program that rewards die-hard fans with a party after they’ve tried all 80 available tequilas and mezcals.
“I’ll miss our tacos, but I’m excited to amplify our bar program,” owner Quentin Ertel said in a press release. “It’s always been our mission to do interesting and fun things with tequila and that will not change.”