Though it hung tough for awhile, celebrated Capitol Hill cocktail den Canon is throwing in the towel trying to stay open during the pandemic — at least through the winter. The bar announced on Twitter that November 25 would be its last day doing takeout and delivery orders. After that, it will be closed through at least the spring, although there may be a couple of “events” before the end of the year. “We are losing more money being open than closed,” owner Jamie Boudreau tells Eater Seattle.
This has been a fear Canon expressed before, reflecting the tenuous situation of many other bars and restaurants. Shifting to takeout was an adjustment that took months to develop for the destination known for its rare, deep spirits list and cocktail craftsmanship, and was possible with the newly-relaxed Washington state booze laws that allowed for to-go drinks. Earlier this fall, the Boudreau said the business was losing thousands of dollars every week just staying open for takeout, and would have to shut down if things didn’t pick up. Though there was a bit of a reprieve in October, and Canon featured a full food menu with some popular items (like crab rolls), it wasn’t enough to make up for the steep revenue drop. And dine-in was not in the cards for such a small space.
Now, Canon will follow the lead of several other establishments throughout the city that are hibernating for the winter — not closing for good, necessarily, but hoping for better days on the other side of 2021. Boudreau says “the events” he has in mind between now and January are one-day pop-ups for cocktails and other sales, which will be announced in advance on Canon’s social media pages. The first one is planned for December 5.
As for when the bar will eventually reopen, it all depends on the path of the pandemic and getting COVID under control. In the meantime, Boudreau says he’s looking on the bright side of closing down: it may afford him a bit of breather. “I really need a break as I was ready for a vacation before this pandemic started,” he says. “I haven’t had a day off (but for injury) since 2019, and quite frankly have actually been working more hours than before to try and make this thing succeed.”