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Seattle Enters Phase 3 of Reopening, with Indoor Dining at 50 Percent Capacity

Plus, Capitol Hill’s Cafe Barjot announces closure, and the George and Dragon reopens under new ownership

A sign outside a wood-framed door reads “Welcome We Are Open.”
Restaurants across Washington can increase indoor dining capacity to 50 percent on March 22.

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Seattle Enters Phase 3, with Indoor Dining at 50 Percent Capacity

Starting Monday, March 22, Seattle restaurants are allowed to increase indoor capacity from 25 percent to 50 percent, as Washington enters Phase 3 of reopening. In addition, table size limits are now bumped up to 10 people max, instead of 6 (with no same household rule), and sales of alcohol extend from 11 p.m. to midnight. While some have celebrated the steady reopening of dining rooms in 2021, several prominent spots in the city are proceeding with caution, particularly since restaurant workers won’t be eligible to sign up for vaccination appointments until March 31 (and there’s no guarantee they’ll be able to get shots right away, given the demand).

The International District’s Japanese stalwart Maneki is sticking with takeout and delivery for now after a year of drastic adjustments, as is chef Edouardo Jordan’s acclaimed Ravenna restaurants JuneBaby and Salare. On Twitter, celebrated cocktail destination Canon on Capitol Hill announced that it’s targeting a July reopening. “It’s really important to us that our staff be fully vaccinated before we start the onboarding process,” the bar’s statement read. Chef Holly Smith of Kirkland’s fine dining stalwart Cafe Juanita is likewise taking a wait-and-see approach, eyeing a later spring reopening for possible limited onsite dining options, depending on how the “state and county is looking” at that time, she says. “I will always listen to my guests and we will be responsive to feedback and the shifting environment we find ourselves in as the weeks and months move hopefully out of pandemic.”

Charming Capitol Hill Restaurant Cafe Barjot Announces Closure

After seven years, Cafe Barjot — the quaint all-day spot from Joe Bar owner Wylie Bush — will close permanently March 31. The restaurant had undergone a few different iterations over the years (including a coffee shop, breakfast favorite, cocktail haven, and a date night dinner option), but never lost its charm. It also received some critical praise for its devotion to sourcing local ingredients and excellent tartines. Though the cafe will be closing, it looks like the upcoming tenants — a restaurant called Finch and Pine from restaurant veterans Sara Moran and Paolo Gentile — won’t deviate far from the original philosophy. “Their restaurant will very much be the place I had hoped Barjot would become but with the pushing of time and circumstance never quite achieved,” Bush wrote in a recent Instagram post announcing the cafe’s closure.

Fremont Pub the George and Dragon Will Reopen Under New Ownership

Fremont bar the George and Dragon — long a popular spot to catch Sounders games — will reopen under new ownership March 27 after staying dormant for months during the pandemic. The new co-owners Jessica Carlson, Jayson Cottam, and Daniel Pagard bring 40 years of combined restaurant experience in the Seattle area, and are working on giving the space and menu a refresh, while maintaining the old school English pub vibes. Though it may be awhile before the bar becomes a raucous place to watch a game once again, there will be a few more big screen televisions installed, and events such as trivia on Thursdays to come down the line.