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August 7, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Big changes coming for Elliott’s Oyster House

File photo by Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times

File photo by Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times

Slurp while you can at Elliott’s Oyster House. Owners of the venerable waterfront restaurant and its adjunct Cafe 56 are scheduling a 9-month closure, starting Oct. 1, as construction progresses on the Elliott Bay Seawall Project.

Re-opening is scheduled for July 1, 2015.

The 22nd annual Oyster New Year bash, a fund-raiser for the Puget Sound Restoration Fund, will still go on in November, at nearby Bell Harbor (Elliott Hall) at Pier 66. (The restaurant will have a presence at other community events, and packaged crab cakes are also available at some local grocers, although it isn’t the same.)

The decision to close will allow workers to complete the seawall project “much more safely and quickly than if we remained open during this period,” according to general manager Tom Arthur.

Several other businesses on Pier 54 and 55 had also planned closures during constructions, including Ivar’s and Red Robin, according to past reports.

Some 200 employees are being notified of pending layoffs. Parent company Consolidated Restaurants will try to find jobs in its other venues to those who are interested, Arthur said, and there also will be events like the Oyster New Year and several UW Zone games to work. The company will do some minor renovations during the break.

Elliott’s is “the ne plus ultra of slurpage,” Nancy Leson said in a 2008 “Heaven on a Half-Shell” review. “If there’s a more diverse selection of oysters available in these parts, I’ve yet to find it, and few oyster bars take their mission to educate their customers more seriously.” Follow their social media pages for updates on the work.

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