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The Burgers Were Great, but Pig Iron Has Shut Down

Good food isn’t always enough to keep a restaurant alive

A cheeseburger next to an ear of charred corn.
A burger and corn at Pig Iron
Pig Iron
Harry Cheadle is the editor of Eater Seattle.

When Pig Iron Burger Shack opened this spring, it earned a lot of positive press for a burger spot. Here at Eater Seattle we wrote about it and later put it on our list of hot new restaurants, praising its sweet, flavorful pork patties and its fried green tomatoes. And it wasn’t just us: The Infatuation raved about it as well, writing, “This is a lunch worth canceling midday meetings for.”

Well, you’ll have to put those midday meetings back on the schedule, because Pig Iron closed permanently on August 6, the owners tell Eater Seattle.

Restaurant closures aren’t like restaurant openings. There are no press releases or fanfare. Sometimes the owners compose a melancholy Instagram post; in other cases, like with Pig Iron, there’s no public-facing announcement at all. Understandably, restaurant operators aren’t eager to publicize a setback, and may just want to move on to the next thing.

The owners of Pig Iron, Michael and Celeste Lucas, declined to comment for this story. They also own the roadhouse Slim’s Last Chance, next door, and will be focusing on that. Pig Iron was initially a barbecue-focused restaurant, but after the pandemic lockdowns (and in response to the rising cost of meat) the Lucases decided to pivot to pork burgers.

That pivot was unsuccessful — maybe because of the location, maybe because of the difficulty restaurants have hiring workers right now, maybe because of the myriad of other reasons small businesses close.

But it wasn’t because of the food. Not only was the food worth seeking out, Pig Iron received a decent amount of media attention for a newly reopened restaurant. And it still lasted less than four months. When we say that this is a tough environment for restaurants right now, this is what we mean.