Ice cream fans in Capitol Hill got some sad news Tuesday. Full Tilt — the hip Seattle dessert chain mixing cold sweet treats, pinball, and booze — will close its location on 15th Ave E at the end of this month. Owner Justin Cline posted the announcement on Facebook, explaining that the area proved to be a challenge. “We knew the cost of rent when we went into this space, but we thought we would have the traffic to support it,” he said. “That did not happen.” Cline tells Eater Seattle that this move will not affect Full Tilt’s four other locations around the city, in Ballard, Columbia City, the U-District, and White Center.
In 2018, the ice cream chain transformed a former Starbucks into its dessert-and-game parlor, drawing locals to its variety of popular flavors, such Thai iced tea, Mexican chocolate, and Fremont Troll. It marked some ambitious growth for Full Tilt, since it added all-natural soft serve to the mix (with flavors such as buttered popcorn), along with Northwest draft beers and a few other light options for food. Arcade games kept both kids and adults entertained.
But there has been a lot of dessert competition in the neighborhood over the past couple of years, from the Portland-based Salt and Straw to the decadent Hot Cakes to the vegan sweet specialist Frankie and Jo’s. This move also follows a rash of impending Capitol Hill closures of popular spots, including Chungee’s and Sitka and Spruce — although there have also been several new places opening up recently, such as Zaika in the former Tango location. All in all, this may just be par for the course in Capitol Hill’s rapidly-changing restaurant scene. No word yet on what will replace Full Tilt.