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As Cinerama Plans Food Upgrades, Questions Arise Around Staff Treatment [UPDATED]

Plus, Columbia City is about to get a new Vietnamese coffee shop and Jak’s Alehouse in Green Lake will close

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A bag of chocolate popcorn sitting on a pile of more chocolate popcorn at Cinerama.
Cinerama’s chocolate popcorn has been a source of much delight for Seattle moviegoers.
Photo by Myles Haslam, Courtesy of Cinerama

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As Cinerama Plans Food Upgrades, Questions Arise Around Staff Treatment [UPDATED]

Belltown’s iconic big-screen destination Cinerama — known for its decadent chocolate popcorn, comfy chairs, and monster screen — announced it will be closed for renovations starting this week, and won’t be open again until later this year. As part of the overhaul, the theater will expand its food offerings beyond Uli’s Famous sausages and that aforementioned popcorn. Most concerning, though, was that — according to at least two recent reports — a majority of the staff was let go without notice by Cinerama’s parent company, Vulcan Inc. “We retained the necessary staff to complete the renovation,” a rep for Vulcan tells Eater Seattle. “We were unable to retain concession staff, since we will be closed and unable to give staff hours over the next several months. While we don’t discuss employment terms publicly, we are working with impacted individuals to ease their transition.” According to KUOW, Vulcan told fired employees that they would be eligible to apply once jobs once renovations are complete and jobs are posted.

Vietnamese Coffee House In the Works for Columbia City

South Seattle is about to get an intriguing new cafe. Coffeeholic House, which is billing itself as a Vietnamese fusion coffee shop — plans to open soon at 3700 S Hudson Street in Columbia City, right near the Korean-Hawaiian destination Super Six. The cafe is partnering with Nguyen Coffee Supply, which sources its beans from Da lat, Vietnam. It will also serve up coconut coffee and honey lattes, while featuring the phin brewing method for its espressos, a combination between a pour over and a French press that is slow, but produces rich, complex brews. Pending final details and inspections, Coffeeholic House should be ready around the last week of February.

Green Lake’s Cozy Neighborhood Watering Hole Jak’s Alehouse to Close Soon

The days are numbered for one north Seattle bar. After four years in Green Lake, Jak’s Alehouse, the gastropub offshoot to popular local steakhouse Jak’s Grill, will be closing permanently after service February 23. “Our lease was up for renewal this year and we made the decision to not re-sign,” the director of operations Jeff Kanzler tells Eater Seattle. “We love the neighborhood and have enjoyed our time down there. Unfortunately, we just haven’t been able to make it work financially.” The bar was known for its robust list of beers from local breweries, along with a meaty menu of snacks, including a prime rib special on Monday nights.

UPDATE, February 6, 4:00 p.m.: The Cinerama item was updated with more information about the fired employees, linking to more recent reports and a statement from parent company Vulcan Inc.