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August 12, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Goodbye to Stopsky’s and Katsu Burger

File photo of Stopsky's by John Lok/The Seattle Times

File photo of Stopsky’s by John Lok/The Seattle Times

New restaurants face long odds to survive. Even the seemingly successful ones, though, can have struggles. The owners of Stopsky’s Delicatessan on Mercer Island announced that Sunday, Aug. 17, will be the 3-year-old restaurant’s final day.

“Stopsky’s was a project of the heart whose mission was to reconnect people to Jewish heritage, connect the community, and create homemade Jewish comfort cuisine from scratch. We achieved a lot of this, but in the end could not discover the magic formula to break even,” they posted on Facebook. Fans immediately protested. “Not sure why Jewish Delis don’t last in Seattle (metropolitan) area, we want them so bad!!” one wrote. (Consolation prize? Goldberg’s did open a to-go branch on the ground floor of the Washington State Convention Center earlier in the summer.)

Deli fare is inevitably the topic of hot debate, but Providence Cicero wrote that Stopsky’s, after a chaotic debut, was a place where “you shouldn’t leave without stopping for a bag of bagels to go; maybe a little chopped liver, too.”

The Stopsky’s news hit just after we learned that Katsu Burger, the inventive Georgetown hole-in-the-wall, was also closing its doors after three years in business. Katsu Burger, a mashup of Japanese and American fast food, was created by Hajime Sato of Mashiko restaurant & sushi bar.

“We have been fortunate to employ some fantastic people, but not as many as needed to maintain a consistent quality of food and service. If we cannot guarantee you a great experience, the honorable thing to do is to step down. Rather than lowering our standards, we have decided to close our doors,” said a post on Katsu’s Facebook page, though it left the door open for a future owner to continue the operation.

Tucked in a strip mall, the little place featured green tea milkshakes and nori-dusted fries and deep-fried tonkatsu-style cutlets on buns, all presented with a sense of humor. The towering Mt. Fuji burger, worthy of an eater’s challenge, included a fried beef patty, pork cutlet, chicken breast, American, Jack and cheddar cheeses, fried egg, bacon, wasabi mayo, spicy mayo and tonkatsu sauce. I preferred the more mortal-sized burgers, but always thought Katsu Burger was a likely candidate for a franchise operation, not a shutdown.

Got another favorite place for deli dishes or creative fast food? Leave it in the comments!

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