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- A whole bunch of restaurant closures marked the end of 2017, and there were still more to add to the list: Shalimar in the U District, Nara Japanese Restaurant in Redmond, La Toscanella and Wheelhouse Coffee in South Lake Union, and Kickin’ Boot Whiskey Kitchen in Ballard (though the restaurant’s Whiskey Wednesday tradition lives on at The Grog, the back bar at sibling restaurant Ballard Annex Oyster House).
- And here’s yet another upcoming shutter: Capitol Hill’s Europub, a bar and bottle shop on Broadway, plans to close at the end of January, citing a 31-percent rent increase. The pub opened in 2015.
- Brendan McGill’s Bainbridge Island restaurants Hitchcock and Hitchcock Deli have closed temporarily for renovations. They shuttered at the start of the year, with plans to reopen around January 15. Meanwhile, McGill’s Bruciato pizza restaurant is still firing pies across the street.
- Somewhere in the neighborhood of 230 people have contracted norovirus, which causes 24 to 36 hours of vomiting and diarrhea, after eating at two El Toro restaurants in Pierce County. It’s not clear if the outbreaks are related, but both restaurants have closed for cleaning.
- Bernie Garcia, owner of Moctezuma’s Mexican Restaurant and Tequila Bar (with locations in Tukwila, Tacoma, and more), has created an orange liqueur called Grandeza to use in upside-down sidecar bottles that his restaurant hangs from the rim of margarita glasses. Grandeza should be available in more eateries and liquor stores soon, and two additional flavors — raspberry and jalapeno lime — are in the works.