Downtown’s long-running diner, Ludi’s Restaurant and Lounge, is still trying to relocate rather than close after service on August 31. Owner Gregorio Rosas says he’s still trying to find an affordable place downtown to move his restaurant, but so far the search hasn’t panned out.
Ludi’s (200 Pike St) announced its move-or-close-forever plans in April. The business has operated at various locations downtown since the 1930s, serving all-day breakfast with Filipino specialties like ube pancakes with coconut sauce, lumpia, and longsilog alongside chicken-fried steak and eggs and corned beef hash. Rosas says the city’s rising rents aren’t in his favor as he searches for a new home for Ludi’s.
Rosas, who has owned the business since 2001, said the building’s owner does not want to keep a restaurant in the space. Rosas guessed that his landlord intends to build more parking for the newly opened State Hotel, located across the street from Ludi’s.
Rosas was born in Manila and moved to Seattle in 1978. His first job upon relocating was as a dishwasher at Ludi’s, which was then a diner called The Turf. When the owner died, she passed the restaurant on to Rosas. “In a way I’m sad, because this is my life, but at the same token, I don’t have any bad feeling,” he told IE. “Whether good or bad there’s always an end to everything.”
Ludi’s has attracted regulars for years, thanks to its low prices and friendly service. Rosas even honors longtime customers who have passed away by putting their picture or a notice on a board in the restaurant.
Rosas is working with a broker to relocate, but he has doubts about whether he’ll be successful. “If there’s a chance we can move to another location, I’ll go for it, as long as it’s still affordable,” Rosas said. “There’s a lot of ‘ifs.’”