We just got done talking about Brad’s Swingside Cafe counting down its final months, not long after recovering from the news of Piecora’s closure, while still mourning El Puerco Lloron. Now, brace yourselves for this weekend, when another old-school classic, Louie’s Cuisine of China, will serve its final meals after 37 years in Ballard.
A manager’s warm farewell letter to customers read, in part, “Nothing lasts forever, and, as I like to say, even the finest dinner has to end sometime. Still, I feel a certain sadness and melancholy. I spent more than three decades with the much beloved Rose, as well as George, Art and Steve Louie. We were like family, and you, dear customers, were part of that Louie’s family. We’ve laughed together, cried together. We’ve shared your most treasured moments: birthdays, anniversaries, and wedding celebrations.
“But this is not the end. I am very hopeful that I will be able to open another restaurant, both to honor Rose and to honor you as well, my faithful customers.”
The building sold last month for $2.49 million, according to this report.
The Louie family’s roots in the Seattle restaurant world go back to the 1930s. When the late George Louie opened the Ballard restaurant with wife Rose in 1977, a Seattle Times story said, “he put on an extravaganza never seen before in Ballard: a lion’s dance and a three-day grand celebration.” Back in the day, Louie’s banquets were “the pride and joy” of its longtime head chef, “Jack” Dong, while server Taneko “Kay” Felder told Nancy Leson at age 71, decades into her career with the family, “I just love to be here. I’d rather be here than home.”
The restaurant’s last day will be Sunday, June 29.
If you need a little heartening news, remember that Beth’s Cafe is still flipping 12-egg omelets after 60 years, and the Five Point Cafe is celebrating 85 years the week of June 30-July 4 with daily specials.