“Happy snow day Skilleteers” — reads today’s missive from the folks at that upwardly mobile Airstream — Skillet Street Food, who sent out a mass e-mail saying they’re staying off the road today due to snow. And another just in from Johnnie and Taiko Stroud at Sake Nomi: they’re staying home and drinking sake today instead of selling it at their sake boutique and tasting room in Pioneer Square.
Me? I’m telecommuting, watching the snow fall here in Edmonds, thinking of all the restaurants I’d go to — if only I had four studded snow tires. And I just got off the horn with Peter Levy — co-owner of the six Chow Foods restaurants. He’s home, too. “I was supposed to go have a tasting [at Endolyne Joe’s] in West Seattle, but I don’t think I’m going to make it,” Pete said, adding he pretty much wants to punch-out the weather service folks who kept us all home last night with their unnecessarily dire warnings.
Business at most of his neighborhood restaurants has been good by day (“I just called around, and they are busier than hell!”), but at some of them, dinner biz is off big-time. That said, “The 5 Spot and Coastal Kitchen do extraordinarily well on snow day — and nights — due to the [residential] density around those neighborhoods,” he said. “But Atlas Foods today? At U Village? Forget about it. Nobody’s going to U Village in this weather — even before Christmas.” But even in this down economy, with patrons dining out less and spending less while his operating costs are on the rise; even as the snow blankets the city keeping many of us snug at home, the longtime restaurateur is counting his blessings: “Thank God I’m not in the car business. That’s what I’m thankful for this holiday season.”
So, what about you? Are you at work today? Did you call in stuck, or (better yet) “sick”? Have you been canceling your plans for lunch or dinner out — or just hoofing it to your favorite neighborhood joint? Operators are standing by, awaiting your input. Chefs and restaurateurs: feel free to comment with, “Yo! Get in here, we’re open and would we ever love to see you!!” Or, conversely: “Baby it’s cold outside — we’re locked up and laying low.” Eaters? You getting skunked with “Sorry, we’re closed!” signs — or having a great meal out? Let’s hear about it.