Beset with challenges from the start, it seems Dexter Brewhouse ultimately couldn’t find its footing. The South Lake Union restaurant and brewery will close after service on February 1. Until then, the restaurant is dialing back its hours and its menu. The company’s Sand Point sibling, Magnuson Cafe and Brewery, will remain open.
Dexter Brewhouse announced the closure via social media, saying, “We are forever thankful for the continuous support the South Lake Union community has shown us and we hope to see you all one last time.” It called the decision “voluntary” and didn’t offer any further insight into the closure. Owner Cody Cluff told Eater, “While we increased business significantly over the past year the location still was not viable for us to support a brewpub that size.”
The embattled venture was originally born as Gastropod, a tiny yet adventurous kitchen in Sodo, alongside the off-beat nanobrewery Epic Ales. Brewer Cody Morris and chef Travis Kukull relocated to bigger digs in South Lake Union and rebranded as Mollusk in October 2015.
It’s been a tough road since, which struggled to get customers in the door despite a largely positive critical reception for both the inventive initial food menu and the exciting beer program. The restaurant underwent a number of changes to try and make it work: It cut staff and dropped lunch, parted ways with Kukull, and switched to a less avant garde menu. Then, it reinvented itself entirely as Dexter Brewhouse in July 2017. It seems all that effort wasn’t enough to keep the business afloat.
Fans can take heart that Magnuson Cafe and Brewery, which debuted this past July, will remain open for waterfront dining and Mollusk beer.