After 14 years, James Beard Award-winning chef Matt Dillon has decided to close his beloved first restaurant Sitka & Spruce in Melrose Market. The Capitol Hill restaurant, located at 1531 Melrose Avenue, will serve its last meal on December 31 of this year, though lunch hours may be affected in the mean time.
Sitka & Spruce originally opened in 2006 in a strip mall in Eastlake. Quickly gaining notoriety, Dillon was awarded Best New Chef from Food & Wine the next year. Sitka & Spruce was known for its popular brunch, which was praised by roving national Eater critic Bill Addison. It moved into its current location Melrose Market in 2010, expanding with a bar in 2014.
In an emotional email (that he noted was supposed to go out last week), Dillon shared:
It has been a beautiful run, and the time has come for us to move on. (...) at this mesmerizing juncture of our world, continuing Sitka’s relationship in Seattle, does not make me a better father, partner, activist, employer or friend. And that is the future. To be better. It has to be, and it will.
Dillon, who was won the James Beard Award for Best Chef, Northwest in 2012, still owns several restaurant in Seattle: tasting menu restaurant the Corson Building in Georgetown; excellent wine bar Bar Ferd’nand on Chop House Row (a second location in Melrose Market closed in 2017); cafe London Plane and Latin American spot Copal (formerly Bar Sajor) in Pioneer Square, in addition to his farm Old Chaser Farm on Vashon Island, which supplies much of the ingredients for his restaurants.