The economic effects related to the novel coronavirus continues to take its toll on the Seattle restaurant industry. After a decade in Belltown, neighborhood mainstay Local 360 — known for sourcing its ingredients from farms around the area (within a 360 mile radius) — announced Tuesday it has closed. The message on its official website thanked its customers for “10 wonderful years,” an indication that the closure might be permanent. But owner Marcus Charles tells Eater Seattle “time will tell” whether that’s the case.
As the statement says, the restaurant made a difficult calculation on whether riding out the current steep drop in diners around the area was worth the risks. The decision to cancel many local events, specifically Emerald City Comic Con, seemed to have been the final straw. “After Comic Con cancelled, we had $75,000 worth of group dining cancel within two days,” says Charles. “All but one group reservation for March and April were cancelled over the weekend.” The owner adds that he contemplated reducing hours, cutting staff, and closing on Mondays and Tuesdays, but determined that the financial losses would be greater in any scenario compared to just closing the restaurant.
Whether temporary or ultimately permanent, Local 360 is just one of several restaurants in the area to make the decision to shut down in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. Last weekend, the five properties within chef Kevin Davis’s restaurant group (including Pike Place Market’s Steelhead Diner) announced they were closed for the time being, with no reopening date mentioned. In Redmond, acclaimed Vietnamese restaurant District One Saigon closed temporarily, owner Taylor Hoang tells Eater Seattle. In Ravenna, the Mexican spot Arriba Cantina announced on Instagram it was “closing for good” this Friday.
“I’m in Belltown right now, and there is no one walking around. Even when the viaduct was closed pre-tunnel, I have never seen this type of desolation on downtown streets in my 46 years of living in the Pacific Northwest,” says Charles. “I hope others can make moves that ultimately save their businesses. Sadly, this isn’t going to blow over in a few weeks.”