On Wednesday, longtime Seattle pizza chain Pagliacci announced it would close its Queen Anne location permanently. The spot had been around for 32 years, and was shuttered since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pagliacci notes it transferred all Queen Anne store employees to other company locations.
Via a press release, Pagliacci says the impacts from COVID played a large role in the decision, but it also admits that foot traffic in that neighborhood had been steadily declining year-over-year since “the sale of the Sonics,” who played in nearby Key Arena. Seattle’s beloved NBA team’s final season ended in 2008, and the pizza place had no doubt relied on post-and-pre-game business for a time. Key Arena is currently being transformed into Climate Pledge Arena, and will host the NHL Seattle team and the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, as well as concerts in 2021 (should conditions allow). Yet that potentially large influx of customers in the area is still a year away.
The restaurant had a decent run in the neighborhood. Pagliacci’s Queen Anne outpost debuted in 1988, and the pizzeria noted in its announcement that it hosted some famous names who came into town for concerts over the decades, including the Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam, and Queen. While Pagliacci was launched on “the Ave” in the U District in 1979, this was the first location to start delivery service, which eventually expanded to the franchise’s other spots. It was originally the home of Van de Kamp’s Dutch Bakery, and a replica windmill was once prominently displayed above the front entrance.
Pagliacci still has more than 20 locations across the city, but the Queen Anne outpost is the first to shutter for good during the COVID-19 pandemic. Though the pizzeria doesn’t appear to have plans to reduce operations further, it’s concerning that a restaurant seemingly built to rely on mostly takeout and delivery needed to scale back.