After more than half a century, beloved Pike Place deli Bavarian Meats announced today that it will permanently close its Market location May 31. However, fans should take heart that the sausage purveyor is currently seeking out a new outpost, and will provide details on reopening somewhere else soon.
The shop traces its roots to 1961, when German immigrant Max Hofstatter (known as “Grandpa Max”) established the storefront for his sausage-making business, then made a name for himself when the World’s Fair came to town the next year. Bavarian Meats has stayed in the family through four generations, serving a variety of German food, from weiner schnitzel to currywurst, hearty Jäger schnitzel with spaetzle and knodel dumplings. And always brats. Lots and lots of brats.
Though it was a grab-and-go place throughout most of its history, the deli offered some dine-in seating eight years ago, and it has a retail arm, which supplies area delis, butcher shops, and a few markets with packaged goods.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating effect on business around Pike Place Market, starting in early March. With tourist traffic dropping precipitously around the area — and dining rooms completely shut down — there wasn’t much opportunity to generate cash from takeout orders, even as some Market vendors attempt to adjust. However, manager Gabrielle Kessler tells Eater Seattle that the reason for the Pike Place closure was more of a “lease issue.”
The good news is that a comeback may not be far off. Kessler says there will be an announcement soon on a hunt for a new location, and they are eyeing Georgetown as a possible landing spot, though nothing is set in stone. She adds that the first order of business is to replenish stores with their product, as the supply chain has been a challenge during the pandemic. (Currently, another family-owned sausage business, Oberto’s, is carrying Bavarian Meats and helping out.)
“We want to take this moment to thank each and every one of you that have made this 4-generation family deli a success.” read a post on the official Bavarian Meats website. “Our appreciation for you all runs very deep and we will miss this wonderful location.”
UPDATED: May 14, 2020, 3:33 p.m.: This post has been updated with a few more details on the closure and plans for the future from manager Gabrielle Kessler.
- Bavarian Meats [Official]