Though Seattle has emerged from pandemic lockdowns, the restaurant industry remains on uncertain ground. Even at the best of times, running a restaurant is a stressful, low-margin proposition, and these days the margins are tighter than ever. Rising food and labor costs have led to reduced hours at many restaurants and bars, and in some cases businesses have been forced to close because of these challenges. In other cases, restaurant operators may decide that the rewards aren’t worth the effort that they put in and choose to move on to other opportunities.
Here, we track and memorialize notable restaurants and bars the city loses each month, even while exciting new businesses appear. New restaurant names will appear as we confirm closures. If you know of a restaurant that has closed, please send us a tip by emailing email@example.com.
HALLER LAKE — Pop Pop Thai Street Food, which had been serving incredible noodle soups and other dishes for nine years, announced on Facebook that it would close after November 21. But it will go out in style with a free farewell dinner the following day, November 22, from 4:30 p.m. “until we run out of food.”
MOUNT BAKER — After 30 years, Viengthong Lao Restaurant closed on November 12, reports Vanishing Seattle. Owners Thongsoun and Ken Khanphonphanh are retiring early for health reasons, and a pho restaurant will take Viengthong’s place. The Laotian-Thai restaurant was one of the first Laotian places in Seattle and it’s loss leaves an undeniable void.
CAPITOL HILL — Crumble and Flake, a small bakery known for its French-style pastries, moved to Issaquah on November 12. The new Crumble and Flake location will be inside a historic cottage-style house in Gilman Village, where owner Toby Matasar will have the kitchen space to serve hot food, including the Reuben she used to make at Eats Market Cafe.
BELLTOWN — Owner Trey Lamont was hoping to save the original location of his Caribbean restaurant Jerk Shack, but after the landlord refused to offer Lamont a long-term lease, the restaurant is permanently closed as of early November. Lamont still has his counter-serve spot Jerk Shack Kitchen in the Central District and is hoping to expand soon, maybe to South Lake Union.
BALLARD — Station 18 Drinks & Eats, a relatively new restaurant from co-owner Kate Barrett of Kate’s Pub in Wallingford, closed in early November, reports My Ballard. Station 18 occupied a historic firehouse that is best known as the longtime home of Hi-Life. The restaurant’s website indicates that it’s now for sale.
BALLARD — Owner Keaton Tucker built up Cycle Dogs from a vegan hot dog stand to a food truck to a full-service restaurant, but debts incurred in the last few years have made it no longer viable as a business, he told Eater Seattle. Originally, the last day of service was going to be October 31, but Tucker now says he’ll stay open through November.
CAPITOL HILL — This is a weird one: HoneyHole, which was once one of Seattle’s best sandwich shops, closed abruptly in late October when new owner Evan Bramer apparently vanished, reportedly leaving employees and vendors unpaid. Bramer bought the restaurant earlier this year from the previous owner, who sold after being accused of transphobia and not paying workers on time.
BRYANT — Bryant Corner, a longstanding neighborhood cafe (previously called the Sunflower Cafe), shut its doors on October 30, reports Vanishing Seattle. Owners told Vanishing Seattle that staffing shortages and rising costs had put “a tremendous strain on our personal lives and family.”
WEDGWOOD — Longstanding neighborhood institution Thai of Wedgewood is closing on October 29, reports Vanishing Seattle. Owners Gina and Paul Asavarahapun told Vanishing Seattle that their lease was being terminated by their landlord and they hoped to reopen in a new location. Their second restaurant, Wedgwood II Vegetarian Thai in Capitol Hill, closed last year.
DOWNTOWN — The Hard Rock Cafe location steps away from Pike Place Market is closing on December 1, the chain announced in early October. It’s unclear what is going to take the place of the venerable rockist burger chain, which had 425 seats, a live music venue, and one of the area’s most underrated rooftop bars.
WEST SEATTLE — West Seattle Blog reported on September 30 that Pizzeria Credo, which chef Jacques Nawar has been running for over a decade, closed for good. The French-born chef is staying in the neighborhood, however, as he’s keeping his choux-focused bakery Panterelli going.
CHINATOWN-INTERNATIONAL DISTRICT — When Eastern Cafe opened in 2013, it was apparently one of the few “Western” style coffee shops in the neighborhood. But after reopening post–pandemic lockdown in 2022, the cafe, owned by I-Miun Liu, has now been shuttered. “After 10 years in business, we have unfortunately had to make the decision to close Eastern Cafe,” reads the announcement on the cafe’s website. Eater Seattle has reached out to see what the cause was and will update this item if we hear back.
BELLEVUE — Hakka House Chinese Cuisine, a restaurant on 120th Avenue Northeast, has closed down, according to readers who wrote into the Seattle Times. The Times couldn’t reach the owner for comment but fans of the place told the paper that the owner is retiring.
WEST SEATTLE — Lily’s Salvadorean closed its brick-and-mortar location on September 17. It opened in March 2022; owner Lillian Anaya Quintanilla had been selling pupusas and other dishes at farmers markets around the city since 2011. Quintanilla said on Instagram that she plans to continue the farmers market part of her business and will launch a food truck as well.
GEORGETOWN — Pig Iron Burger Shack closed on August 6, just a few months after reopening. Originally a barbecue restaurant from the owners of neighboring roadhouse joint Slim’s Last Chance, after pandemic lockdowns lifted it was reinvented as a pork burger specialist. The owners are now focused on Slim’s.
CAPITOL HILL — Karachi Cowboys was one of Seattle’s most unique restaurants, a mash-up of Tex-Mex and Pakistani cuisines, closed sometime in late August. Karachi Cowboys began life as a pop-up, then turned into a brick-and-mortar restaurant. But earlier this year it went from being a full-service place to a pop-up host, and now seems gone entirely. Its Instagram no longer exists and attempts to contact the former owners were unsuccessful.
BELLTOWN — Lai Rai, a well-reviewed Vietnamese restaurant and bar closed on August 13, according to its former chef Christopher Ritter, less than a year after it opened. The food was good, but as noted by the Seattle Times, the vibes were a bit confused — it was part Belltown bar-slash-club, part sophisticated new-wave Vietnamese restaurant.
WEST SEATTLE — Ephesus, a formerly Turkish restaurant that had switched to Greek cuisine, closed in August. West Seattle Blog reached out to the owners, who said that they closed rather than agree to a rent increase imposed by their landlord. The mini chain still has locations in Pioneer Square and Everett.
PHINNEY — Arc Restaurant and Lounge announced that it would be closing at the end of August, with the last day of service being Saturday, August 26. “With our lease extension up for negotiation, the rising cost of doing business, and our own many extracurricular projects pulling us away, we had to come to terms with ending this chapter,” wrote the owners on Instagram. The restaurant was launched last year by Travis Clark of North Star Diner and Todd Hamm of Tom Douglas Restaurants.
WEST SEATTLE — Autumn Lovewell and Monica Colgan are closing their three Morgan Junction businesses — Youngstown Coffee, HeartBeet Organic Superfoods Café, and the coworking space Launchpad — effective September 30. In messages to customers, they said the reasons for these closures were “mostly financial-related,” adding “Were we in a better financial position, were financial institutions more supportive of small restaurant businesses, were the delivery service fees through UberEats and DoorDash (which comprise a large volume of our sales), not 30%, and were it not getting so hard to hire staff, things might be different.” The Queen Anne HeartBeet location is closing as well.
CAPITOL HILL — Following a sale to Ballard-based brewery Stoup, Optimism Brewing closed its brewery and taproom effective August 19. Though Stoup is reportedly retaining the taproom staff and keeping everything functioning, the Optimism brand and brews are being “STOUPified,” a brewery spokesperson said. The new taproom opened August 23.
BELLTOWN — Trade Winds Tavern shut down for good, marking the end of the bar, which was formerly known as No Anchor. Trade Winds opened in 2021 as a ‘70s-themed sports bar (the name was an homage to an old neighborhood tiki bar) and lasted about two years, but closed on July 31. Owners Chris Elford and Anu Apte still run Rob Roy, Navy Strength, and Vinnie’s Wine Shop through their company Canoe Ventures.
CAPITOL HILL — Kaladi Brothers closed its coffee shop on Capitol Hill on July 29, the only location in the lower 48 operated by the Alaska-based roaster. Opened in 2006, the cafe had become an important component of LGBTQ life on the Hill and had partnered with community nonprofit Gay City to create a “queer living room.” The Pike Street property is being torn down and replaced by an eight-story mixed-use development.
CAPITOL HILL — Marmite announced that it was closing at the end of July because chef Bruce Naftaly was retiring. Naftaly, a fine dining legend in Seattle, has been running restaurants since 1985; he told Eater Seattle he will continue to host events and teach cooking classes and he was “looking forward to doing a lot of work building and strengthening ties between local farms and ingredient producers and the community.” A Vietnamese restaurant called Xom run by Cuong Nguyen will take over the space.
DOWNTOWN — The E3 restaurant group closed waterfront spot Salt District on July 8, just over a year after opening. E3 founder Jim Rowe told Eater Seattle that the company was focusing on its other restaurants because of “labor shortage challenges” and that “the large pier renovation approaching quickly would impact the success of the restaurant.”
SOUTH PARK — Resistencia Coffee closed in early July after its founders, Tim and Côté Soerens, decided to move to Chicago. Opened in 2017, Resistencia aimed to be a community hub as well as a coffee purveyor; the space has been sold to Michelle Lang-Raymond, who will continue that mission with a new coffee shop called the Scene.
CAPITOL HILL — Kimchi Bistro, a Capitol Hill mainstay, closed its doors for good on June 25, Vanishing Seattle reports. It had been serving classic Korean dishes for 21 years, during which time it changed owners several times. The space is now home to the Korean-influenced burger spot Galbi Burgers.
SHORELINE — Black Coffee Northwest, one of the metro area’s most famous Black-owned cafes, closed on June 17 following a dispute with its landlord. Opened in 2020 by Darnesha and Erwin Weary, the shop was the target of racist vandalism before it even opened, and at one point BCNW provided self-defense training to staff because it was concerned about their safety. The coffee shop isn’t going away, however, as the owners plan to open locations in North Seattle College and Shoreline Community College as well as a flagship store in the Central District.
BEACON HILL — Breezy Town, the pizza spot inside the Clock-Out Lounge, closed on June 14. On Instagram, owner Dave Lichterman, who also runs Windy City Pie, said that “due to personal family matters and other assorted complications, it is unfortunately time to focus fully on one location.” He added that many Breezy Town employees were coming to work at Windy City, which will expand its menu and be open seven days a week.
BEACON HILL — Chef Sun Hong’s restaurant By Tae started as a chilled-out lunch-only omakase spot on Capitol Hill, then moved to Beacon Hill and did grilled meat, then burgers. On June 1, it announced abruptly on Instagram that it was closing. According to the Seattle Times, Hong is “taking a fresh breath” and moving out of Washington State.