Is this the end for a downtown icon? The long-running Filipino diner Ludi’s Restaurant and Lounge announced on Facebook today that it would be closed until further notice due to a kitchen fire that extended into the ventilation ducts. Thankfully, no one was inside at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported. But the news doesn’t bode well for the future of the business, since the place was already in danger of closing permanently after service on August 31. Its lease is up at the end of the month, and while owner Gregorio Rosas says he’s still trying to find an affordable place in the neighborhood to relocate, he hasn’t had luck yet.
Ludi’s has been a fixture in Seattle’s dining scene for many decades, operating out of various locations downtown since the 1930s. It serves an all-day breakfast with Filipino specialties such as ube pancakes with coconut sauce, lumpia, and longsilog, alongside chicken-fried steak and eggs and corned beef hash. Rosas — who has owned the business since 2001 — cited the city’s rising rents for the restaurant’s fate. He also guessed that the current landlord wants to build more parking spaces for the recently opened State Hotel, which is located across the street.
“If there’s a chance we can move to another location, I’ll go for it, as long as it’s still affordable,” Rosas recently told the International Examiner. “There’s a lot of ‘ifs.’”
Eater Seattle reached out to Ludi’s for more details on the fire and the restaurant’s immediate future, but didn’t hear back before publication.
UPDATED, August 14, 2019, 5:05 p.m.: Info about the fire has been added, via a KIRO 7 report.
- Kitchen Fire Closes Ludi’s Restaurant and Lounge [KIRO 7]
- Beloved Downtown Restaurant Is Still Trying to Relocate, Rather Than Close [ESEA]
- Downtown’s Decades-Old Filipino Diner Is Losing Its Lease [ESEA]
- Ludi’s Restaurant, downtown mecca for Filipino and homestyle diner food, will close its doors in August [International Examiner]
- Ludi’s Restaurant and Lounge [Facebook]
- All Coverage of Ludi’s Restaurant and Lounge [ESEA]