Yesterday, an anonymous “tipster” posted a comment on my Cremant-sale blog-post, claiming the Metropolitan Grill was being sold. I wonder if it was one of the employees laid-off from the Met on Friday. I may never know. But I do know that when I spoke to Carrie LaMarr, who was speaking for (parent company) Consolidated Restaurants regarding that comment, she assured me The Metropolitan Grill was “absolutely not for sale.” Which sounded reasonable, considering that The Met, along with Elliott’s Oyster House, remain the company’s cash cows: notions that were seconded by two sources with close ties to Consolidated Restaurants.
Let’s face it: those cows have been looking a whole lot leaner of late — as have restaurants and every other business everywhere. (During the past 24 hours I’ve heard about layoffs at several well-regarded restaurants, including the Met, the Wild Ginger/Triple Door and El Gaucho.) And when I asked LaMarr whether rumors that Union Square Grill wasn’t long for this world she didn’t deny it. Instead, she graciously hedged, saying something that could easily have been construed as “no comment.” And now I know why: that rumor turned out to fact rather than speculation.
Here’s the formal statement regarding the sale, in its entirety, sent an hour ago. I received it, according to the accompanying email from the PR firm, “as Consolidated Restaurant management is making Union Square Grill staff aware of the sale”:
Union Square Grill Purchased By Renowned Texas Restaurateur
Dale Wamstad and Family
SEATTLE — January 14, 2009 – Union Square Grill, owned and operated by Consolidated Restaurants Inc. (CRI), has been purchased by Dale Wamstad and family, founder of nationally recognized Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouses and III Forks, the company announced today.
“The sale of Union Square Grill fits well into our company strategic plan of focusing on concepts with strong growth prospects, so when the Wamstads approached us about buying the restaurant the deal made a lot of sense,” said Jim Rowe, president and CEO of Consolidated Restaurants, Incorporated.
Union Square Grill has been a part of the CRI family for almost twenty years. Located on the corner of 7th and Union, Union Square Grill is a sister restaurant to renowned Seattle institutions Metropolitan Grill and Elliott”s Oyster House.
Born and raised in Spokane, WA, Dale Wamstad has purchased residential property in Seattle and will locally own and operate The Lost Lady American Cantina. Wamstad says he is excited to be returning home to his roots and to unveil this new concept he has been working on for a couple of years.
The Lost Lady will feature a blend of Mexican and American fare such as beef, lamb, and seafood. In addition to house specialties such as Mexican lasagna, grilled scallops, and beef tenderloin fajitas, The Lost Lady American Cantina will feature an extensive tequila selection along with dozens of creative house made cocktails. Wamstad plans to create a theatrical setting at The Lost Lady American Cantina and believes Seattle is the ideal city for his latest restaurant.
The Lost Lady American Cantina is slated to open March, 2009. Union Square Grill will close its doors on February 15, 2008.
About Consolidated Restaurants, Inc.
Consolidated Restaurants, Inc. owns and operates Metropolitan Grill, Elliott’s Oyster House, DC’s Grill on the Sammamish Plateau, Steamer’s Seafood Cafes, Quincy’s Chargrilled Burgers, and Wing Dome Restaurants. Consolidated Restaurants is headquartered in downtown Seattle at Second and Marion.