After 11 years serving popular French fare in Madison Valley, Luc will close permanently on August 28. Chef-owner Thierry Rautureau made the announcement to customers via an email newsletter last Thursday, July 1, with the subject line “Our Final Summer at Luc Bistro,” noting that “due to Covid we could not financially sustain our lease.”
The James Beard Award-winning Rautureau — nicknamed “the chef in the hat” due to his ubiquitous fedora — opened Luc in 2010 as a more casual follow-up to his acclaimed fine dining destination Rover’s next door. When Rover’s closed in 2013 after more than 25 years, Luc carried on, drawing in fans for its satisfying takes on classic French bistro fare, such as boeuf bourguignon and duck confit cassoulet, in an approachable, lively environment. Luc also earned praise from some local outlets, like Seattle Met, who wrote that the low-lit dining room “is perpetually packed and fizzy as a sexy cocktail party in full roar; the unofficial Third Place for the well-heeled neighborhoods surrounding the Madison Valley.”
Over the next two months, Luc plans to continue serving its longtime favorites as it bids adieu. “We will miss having a restaurant in the valley, close to home for over 34 years,” says Rautureau, who has many fond memories of the place. One of those recollections was having his mom visit from France six months after the restaurant opened and watching her shed tears of joy as she stood in front of one of the large paintings in the restaurant, an artistic recreation of a family photograph.
As Luc prepares to close in August, the fate of Rautureau’s eight-year-old downtown restaurant, Loulay Kitchen & Bar, is uncertain. Even though Luc adjusted with takeout offerings during the pandemic and has returned to full indoor service, Loulay — located at the Sheraton Grand — is still closed at the moment. Rautureau tells Eater Seattle, “We have no decision made on its future yet.”