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All You Can Eat

Trend-setting restaurants, Northwest cookbooks, local food news and the people who make them happen.

May 8, 2009 at 9:52 AM

Issaquah’s Sweet Addition, subtracted

Rich Turner stopped by Sweet Addition in Issaquah late last month and got a sad surprise: he found nothing to eat. No fresh-baked pastries, no soups, salads or sandwiches. Sweets? Nada. But, he wrote in an e-mail, “everything [else] was for sale.” Rich was told the owners had lost their lease. “They said they were looking for another place, but I suspect something else. They had wonderful food, always prepared and presented to perfection. What have you heard?”

No wonder Rich was shocked to find Sweet Addition closed: it’s been a Gilman Village fixture for nearly 30 years. Today the space is advertised on Craigslist as a “restaurant and/or bakery retail location.” ($2800 a month? Too bad I’m not looking to open a little Eastside restaurant.) Searching for answers to his question, I contacted Aaron Barouh, GM of Gilman Village — a clutch of shops that bears a striking resemblance to Peddler’s Village in Bucks County, PA before it went all chi-chi, where I hung out with my high school sweetie back when we were lovestruck 16-year-olds. Barough provided me with the shop’s extensive history, worth noting as we mourn its passing.

In 1978 Sweet Addition opened as the Sweet Shoppe, a candy store run by Grace Anderson. It expanded to its ultimate location in 1983 — taking on a moniker and a new owner: Grace’s daughter, Lynn Morris. In addition to candy, gelati and pastries, Lynn and her husband, Norm, offered light lunches of the soup-and-salad variety. And when they retired in 1998, they sold the business to Linda Kowalsky and her husband, Lee Ellis. Linda was the primary caretaker of the popular shop for eight years. In 2006, the lease was turned over to Linda’s son Steve and her daughter-in-law, Janelle — whose lease expired last year.

“The restaurant was on a month-to-month tenancy thereafter,” said Barouh. “The tenant didn’t ask for a new lease, and the landlord did not offer one.” They were, however, given an opportunity to sell the place last winter, he said. And when the restaurant didn’t sell, the owners got a termination notice. As for the “something else” you were puzzling over Rich, Barouh offered this explanation: “operational issues.”

So, now I’ve got a question: Anybody have sweet memories of Sweet Addition or its candy-Shoppe predecessor they’d like to share ? A penny (candy) for your thoughts.

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