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Capitol Hill Tapas Favorite Tango Closes After 19 Years

But its popular El Diablo dessert will live on

Tango served up popular paella on Pike Street.
Tango Restaurant and Lounge/Facebook

Time to bid a fond farewell to a longtime Capitol Hill favorite. Tapas restaurant Tango Restaurant and Lounge — known for its paellas, intimate atmosphere, and killer spicy dessert, El Diablo — announced its closure this week, expressing gratitude to the customers that have supported it for 19 years. “Well, Seattle … I’m afraid we’ve had our last dance,” read a message from the restaurant on Facebook, adding that El Diablo (a cake made with chocolate and cayenne pepper) would possibly live on at Tango’s sister restaurants, Rumba, Sand Point Grill, and Agua Verde Cafe, over the next few months. In a separate Facebook post, owner Travis Rosenthal explains the reason for the closing was that “sales were starting to go down and costs were continuing to go up.” He also says that all Tango staff were offered jobs at the other sister restaurants.

While it may have lost its buzz over the years in a trendy dining neighborhood, Tango nevertheless provided a good date spot on the corner of Boren Avenue and Pike Street for years, with a pretty strong happy hour as well. The Stranger called it “posh, but comfortable,” with a “cute and varied crowd,” while Seattle Met gushed over El Diablo and the “intelligent food, crisply executed.”

No word yet on what will take over the prime Tango space, but Rosenthal’s Pike Street Hospitality Group — which owns those aforementioned sister restaurants — isn’t letting the closure slow down its momentum. It recently gave Portage Bay’s Agua Verde Cafe a major overhaul, with a new menu and a large patio.