Time to say goodbye to a name that’s been around for over a century. Queen City — which is a restaurant that has undergone several different iterations for over a century, revamped by well-known Seattle bar and restaurant mogul Linda Derschang in 2018 — is officially closing January 25.
“We had high hopes for success when opening in September 2018, but there were a number of issues that we struggled with, including food consistency and high kitchen staff turnover,” read a statement by the restaurant. But Derschang is hanging onto the space and will open a new restaurant there this spring. “I love the history of it,” she tells Eater Seattle.
The new yet-to-be-named place will follow in the footsteps of Derschang’s King’s Hardware in Ballard and Linda’s Tavern in Capitol Hill, with burgers and fries, cocktails on tap, and beer, embracing the original pubby vibe of its location. The brunch menu will be similar to Linda’s Tavern, including tacos and pitchers of mimosas.
Queen City Grill opened in 1987, but the venue dates back to at least 1910 (and possibly earlier), when Queen City Saloon opened at the corner of First and Blanchard, a place where local pier workers would go to hang out and have a drink. Derschang hasn’t been its steward for very long. When she reopened the restaurant in 2018 after the Queen City Grill closed down, she decorated the location with found artwork and local photos, and brought in chef Will Richey to oversee a simple, locally sourced menu, from deviled eggs to mussels in white wine.
As Derschang ponders the Queen City successor, she’s trying to think of a name that would align with the history of the neighborhood and the original saloon. She’ll also keep the rolltop bar that has been around since the Prohibition era.
Meanwhile, those who want to say one last goodbye to Queen City can do so over the next week. The restaurant will be running a limited food menu with dishes that include burgers, steak frites, and cauliflower fritters, with reduced prices on natural wines and cocktail specials.