In this relentless year that has seen many high-profile restaurant closures, another Seattle favorite is saying goodbye. After 10 years, Lecosho — the tucked-away Harbor Steps spot with a meaty menu and popular happy hour pre-pandemic — is going to shut its doors permanently at the end of December. Co-owner Jill Buchanan tells Eater Seattle that, besides the toll COVID has taken on business, the restaurant’s lease was up and the team wasn’t able to come to “agreeable terms” with the landlord on a renewal.
Lecosho was founded by Buchanan and Matt Janke (of Matt’s in the Market fame) as an upscale but welcoming spot near the waterfront and the Seattle Art Museum, well attended by locals and tourists alike. It quickly gained a dedicated following for its decadent Painted Hills burger, sausages, risotto, porchetta, pork chops, and other comfort food items, with local ingredients thoughtfully sourced. It also offered some decent late night eats for those extending casual after-work drinks into something more committed, and had staff who went on to become stars of the Seattle dining scene, including Mike Easton, who left in 2011 to open up Il Corvo, and Meredith Molli, the current chef at La Medusa.
During the pandemic, Lecosho stayed open in a limited capacity, making the adjustment to takeout and taking advantage of its sizable patio, while launching a GoFundMe in the spring to help with expenses. Buchanan owns Eve in Fremont, and Janke has delved into other projects (developing the food menu at Sunset Hill cocktail bar Baker’s). But the longtime colleagues had tried to keep the Harbor Steps restaurant going as long as possible, only to run into the aforementioned lease issue with the landlord. “We were really hoping they would approach this nightmare of a situation more holistically,” says Buchanan. “It would have made a difference in our decision to close.” Eater Seattle reached out to the company that owns the building, but did not hear back before this piece was published.
As for trying to revive the restaurant in another location, Buchanan says they are “hopeful opportunities will arise to continue in the future, but currently have nothing in the works.” In the meantime, fans who want to say goodbye still have a few weeks to get one last meal, either as takeout or on Lecosho’s covered heated patio.