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Legendary Late-Night Diner Beth’s Is Bringing Back Its Late Nights

Plus, PCC workers get closer to a new union contract, and more restaurant news of the week

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The Beth’s Cafe sign at night. Harry Cheadle
Harry Cheadle is the editor of Eater Seattle.

Add another chapter to the long history of Beth’s Cafe, a diner that has stayed put on Aurora near Green Lake for nearly 70 years through an ownership change, a fire, the death of its new owner, a pandemic, and a couple of temporary closures. This week the Stranger reported that Tim Crawley and Mason Reed (of Tim’s Tavern) have quietly bought the venerable omelet joint — and they’re bringing back the late-night hours that Seattle desperately needs.

Although Beth’s reopened last year, the former 24-hour diner’s new hours had it closing at 3 p.m.; it was a sad state of affairs (though not an uncommon trend nationwide) for those who remembered Beth’s as primarily an after-hours hang, a place where restaurant workers coming off their dinner shifts ate alongside those who needed eggs to cap off a rambunctious late night (or keep a rambunctious late night going).

Reed told the Stranger that they’ll be keeping the 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. hours Tuesday through Sunday, but on Fridays and Saturdays they’ll provide a late-night service from 8 p.m. through 3 a.m. (Eventually, Reed said, he’d like to keep it open for up to 22 hours a day — it’s hard to keep a 24-hour place clean.)

The new ownership seems dedicated to keeping Beth’s menu mostly as-is, though it’ll add some vegan and vegetarian items. (Tim’s Tavern has an extensive vegan menu informed by Reed’s background as a caterer who served a lot of pop stars, who tend to be vegan.) So the 12-egg omelet lives on, phew.

Carmelo’s Tacos plans new location inside former Starbucks

Carmelo’s Tacos, a restaurant that began as a taco stand inside Hillcrest Market in 2018, is expanding into new digs, reports Capitol Hill Seattle Blog. Carmelo’s — founded by former silver miner Carmelo Gaspar — grew from a mere counter into a larger location at 12th Avenue and Cherry and is now set to take over the former Starbucks space at Broadway and Denny sometime in the near future. (As CHS notes, this is one of the closed Starbucks that National Labor Relations Board prosecutors say the company should reopen due to alleged violations of labor law.)

PCC management and union avert a strike

A contentious negotiation period between PCC and its 1,600 unionized hourly workers appeared to end on Wednesday, January 31, when management and the union announced a tentative agreement for a new contract, the Seattle Times reports. The United Food and Commercial Workers union had days earlier authorized a strike against the upscale grocery chain, but negotiators were able to reach a last-minute deal at the bargaining table. The new contract, the union said, will bring about the “largest wage increases ever at PCC, making PCC workers some of the highest paid grocery store workers in the Puget Sound.” The new contract will still have to be voted on by union membership, which is often a formality in these situations but may not be here, as two of the 10 union members on the bargaining committee voted against the contract.

Frozen pho soup dumplings?

Finally, a couple of big local names are collaborating. Bellevue’s MìLà, which makes some of the best frozen dumplings in the country, is teaming up with the Pham family, owners of Seattle institution Pho Bac, to produce pho-flavored soup dumplings. “This limited edition Pho Beef Soup Dumpling features a rich, bold broth and a savory beef filling inspired by slow-simmered Vietnamese soup, infused with the heady aroma of onions, scallions, and cilantro,” the Instagram announcement reads. Order them here.