St. Clouds, a Madrona neighborhood gem with a sense of social activism since its founding in 2000, closes after service October 28. The restaurant has long charmed locals with a family-friendly vibe, a hidden backyard patio, and wide-ranging, often-seasonal American fare, from pumpkin ravioli to smoked ribs with guava barbecue sauce.
Announcing the shutter October 10, owner Michael McGoin — who bought the restaurant in 2017 — said, “We have generated some new love, but food costs, labor costs and the shortage of cooks in Seattle have created challenges for being able to offer simple, consistent and exceptional food at a reasonable cost.”
St. Clouds was founded in 2017 by John Platt and Paul “Pablo” Butler, who named the restaurant after the orphanage from John Irving’s novel The Cider House Rules. When he took over, McGloin continued Platt and Butler’s monthly tradition of bringing in volunteers to prepare meals for more than 500 people experiencing homelessness. He said in a newsletter October 12 that while yesterday’s Homeless Cooking night would be the last in its current form at St. Clouds, he still holds out hope it will be possible to find a new home for the charitable program.
In another newsletter last week, on October 10, McGloin said the future of St. Clouds is wide open: “It is possible that the restaurant will be sold, it is also possible that we will restart with people who have the right energy, vision and resources to create a new restaurant gem in this very unique space and neighborhood.”
But the same day, McGloin told Madison Park Times he doesn’t believe the business can continue as St. Clouds, so anyone hoping for a third act for the restaurant is likely to be disappointed.