In another blow to a once-beloved sandwich shop, the latest owner of the HoneyHole seems to have disappeared, according to the Stranger, leaving some employees unpaid and with no option other than to close the Capitol Hill restaurant.
In May, Eater Seattle and other outlets published stories about working conditions under then–owner Kristin Rye, who was accused of tolerating transphobia and not paying employees on time. Not long afterward, it was sold to HoneyHole employee Evan Bramer.
But according to the Stranger, Bramer has now disappeared. “No employee has heard from Bramer since Thursday,” the paper reported on Tuesday, October 31. Employees contacted four area hospitals to see if Bramer had been admitted but none said that he had. On Monday, they filed a missing persons report with Seattle Police Department.
The Stranger also reports that some workers who receive paper checks rather than direct deposit have had their paychecks bounce. When a manager gave the Seattle Police Department the address listed on those checks, “cops told her the place did not exist within the city of Seattle,” the Stranger wrote.
The HoneyHole website has a message indicating the hosting fees have gone unpaid, and a manager told the Stranger that the restaurant owed $3,000 to one of its food vendors. On Wednesday, Eater Seattle went by the HoneyHole and found two signs taped to the door. One was a hand-written sign reading, “Closed sorry for the inconvenience.” The other was a 48-hour notice from the landlord informing HoneyHole that the owner intended to go inside on Thursday “to verify Resident has abandoned premises.”
Former HoneyHole employee Cody Deasy was outside the storefront giving an interview to a local news station and talked to Eater Seattle afterward. He described Bramer’s style as “very laissez faire.”
“He didn’t care as much about the quality of the food as Kristen did,” Deasy said. “He let go a lot of the key people that were responsible for food quality.”
Deasy added that business had been bad since the articles about Rye came out earlier in the year, and staffing issues were causing long wait times. “We just naturally started losing customers,” he said. Three weeks ago, Deasy quit his full-time position at HoneyHole because his hours were cut in half.
Eater Seattle has reached out to the HoneyHole’s official email address. We’ll update this article if we hear anything back.