Back in March, Local 360 — a cozy farm-to-table spot in Belltown — was among the first wave of Seattle restaurant closures when the pandemic first impacted the region. But, even though things did not look promising for a while, owner Marcus Charles says he’s preparing to reopen the restaurant at some point.
“Currently we are doing an update to the space and getting everything in order,” he says. “The timing component is the big question that I don’t think any of us can answer yet.”
Since opening in 2010, Local 360 developed into a reliable neighborhood favorite, building its reputation on sourcing ingredients from farms around the area within a 360-mile radius. With a casual vibe, seasonal items, and a robust drinks list, it attracted both tourists around the Pike Place vicinity and the regular Belltown brunch crowd alike. Over the years, it tried to expand with a Bellevue burger restaurant and an all-vegan tasting menu offshoot, but those efforts didn’t endure.
When the restaurant closed March 10, a message on its official Facebook page thanked its customers for “10 wonderful years,” an indication that the closure might have been permanent. Still, owner Charles said “time will tell” whether that would be the case.
Like other closures in early March, Local 360’s initial announcement was a bellwether of what was to come for the hospitality industry, even before Gov. Jay Inslee’s first stay-at-home order was implemented in Washington. With large corporations telling its workers to stay home, tourism grinding to a halt, and many events canceling, several restaurants in Belltown, South Lake Union, and downtown made the decision to close on their own, at least temporarily.
Many more shut down for good during quarantine, but other establishments near Pike Place and the waterfront, who rely on tourists for revenue, are looking ahead to a possible spring 2021 reprieve. Local 360 appears to be among those holding out hope, though Charles is wary of what the current rise in King County’s COVID cases may indicate for the winter.
“My sense is that more lockdowns are coming,” he says. “We don’t want to open and then close again.”