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Category: Restaurant Closures
November 21, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Recipe for the Paseo sandwich at home: Make your own and let the healing begin

Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times A Paseo sandwich was enormous and attracted huge crowds over the course of its 21-year run in Seattle.

Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times
Paseo’s enormous sandwiches attracted huge crowds over the course of its 21-year run in Seattle.

By Bethany Jean Clement

Seattle Times Food Writer

No one had a chance to go to Paseo one last time—that’s what has made Seattle’s great sandwich trauma of 2014 so traumatic. Last week’s overnight shutdown, followed by Paseo’s declaration of bankruptcy, meant that nobody got to say goodbye, using even more napkins than usual to soak up their tears along with the mess from their very last bites of Paseo pork. (It might’ve been construed as a sign of trouble, but last month’s lawsuit in which some former employees alleged they hadn’t been paid overtime or allowed breaks — allegations Paseo denied — went unnoticed.)

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Comments | Topics: Lorna Yee, Paseo

November 11, 2014 at 11:52 AM

With labor suit pending, Paseo’s mystery closure hard for fans to stomach

Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times Some folks will really miss Paseo’s famed sandwiches. Matthew Crane lights a candle and leaves a flower Tuesday in front of the shuttered Paseo’s restaurant in Fremont (the Ballard shop closed, too), under a sign saying it closed due to “unfortunate circumstances.”

Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times
Some folks will really miss Paseo’s famed sandwiches. Matthew Crane lights a candle and leaves a flower Tuesday in front of the shuttered Paseo restaurant in Fremont (the Ballard shop closed, too), under a sign saying it closed due to “unfortunate circumstances.”

By Alexa Vaughn

Seattle Times staff reporter

Jaws drop all the time outside the Fremont and Ballard locations of Paseo, ready to take big, sloppy bites out of some of Seattle’s best and most beloved sandwiches.

On Tuesday, customers’ jaws could only drop at the sight of a sign taped to the window of Paseo in Fremont: “Due to unfortunate circumstances, we are closing our doors,” the sign read. “We appreciate all the support and loyalty you have shown us over the years. We will miss you.”

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Comments | More in Food and Restaurant News, Food news, Restaurant Closures, Restaurants | Topics: Fremont, Paseo

August 21, 2014 at 3:39 PM

Adios to Aragona: Downtown restaurant’s concept changes to Italian

Aragona, Jason Stratton’s nine-month-old nod to Spanish cuisine, won’t be around much longer. Stratton confirmed rumors that he is changing the downtown restaurant’s concept to Italian, matching his Capitol Hill ventures, Spinasse and Artusi. The new restaurant will be called Vespolina. Though not quite ready to reveal all the details, Stratton says…

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Comments | More in Food and Restaurant News, Restaurant Closures, Restaurants | Topics: Aragona, Artusi, Jason Stratton

April 2, 2014 at 5:03 PM

Goodbye to a stalwart Seattle pizzeria

After 32 years, Piecora’s Pizza will serve its last slices. The restaurant, a landmark for New York-style pizza and a link to Seattle’s past, will close on April 15. “(Owners) Deb and Danny Piecora are retiring, and they sold the property,” said longtime assistant manager Tim DiJulio. Staffers heard the news Tuesday, he said, and it…

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Comments | Topics: Deb and Danny Piecora, Mike McCready, Piecora's

October 3, 2013 at 8:55 PM

Popular Seattle restaurant shut down by health department

The county health department has temporarily shut down Green Leaf, the popular Vietnamese restaurant that’s consistently considered one of the city’s best. The restaurant’s original International District location (418 8th Ave. S.) was closed Thursday afternoon for three violations, according to Public Health – Seattle & King County. The issues the department listed: Handwashing…

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Comments | Topics: Green Leaf, Health Department, Rebekah Denn

December 13, 2011 at 8:14 AM

Ballard’s Thaiku and Fu Kun Wu to close December 23

The end of the year inevitably brings a long list of restaurant closures. Far too many come as a surprise. So I extend my thanks to Jon Alberts and Graham Graham for announcing the planned closure of their 10-year-old restaurant Thaiku and its bar and lounge Fu Kun Wu. The last full day of operation will be December 23, so get in there while the getting is good.

According to Monday’s news release, the closure will idle 25 employees: cooks, waitstaff, bartenders and dishwashers including some who have been with the Thai restaurant since it opened. In a follow-up phone conversation, Alberts explained “the building has been for sale for about three years, and because it was for sale the landlords were reluctant to give us a long-term lease — so there was no real security for us.”

Quick! Get over and bid adieu to Thaiku and Fu Kun Wu (5410 Ballard Ave. N.W.) before the closure.

Alberts said the landlords were unwilling to pay for building improvements he deems necessary and “it wouldn’t have made [financial] sense for us to do them” if the building were to sell in the next two years. In addition, continued rumors of the restaurant’s imminent demise (thanks to “For Sale” sign on the building) and a considerable spike in rent meant “we couldn’t come to terms, and decided to vacate.”

So, is that the end of Thaiku and Fu Kun Wu?

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August 16, 2011 at 10:36 AM

French bistro Madison Park Cafe closing after 32 years, Italian restaurant Cafe Parco opening in its place

After 32 years as a restaurateur, Karen Binder has finally found her “out.” Madison Park’s unofficial Jewish mother has spent years in search of the right person to buy the business she’s birthed, nourished and held onto through thick and thin — and she’s finally done it.

After brunch on Sunday, August 28th, Binder will bid adieu to Madison Park Cafe, turning over the keys to Celinda Norton. Norton, a talented chef, sold her 6-year-old Pike Place Market bistro 94 Stewart in July in preparation for the move. If all goes as planned, Norton expects to reopen in October as Cafe Parco. Her “New World Italian” menu should appeal to a neighborhood short on Italian restaurants.

“Oh my God, I’m so happy!” says Binder, who’d hoped to find another woman entrepreneur to take over at 1807 42nd Avenue East. “I’m thrilled about Celinda. She’s got a big-enough personality so I feel I have a replacement. I think she’s going to knock ‘em dead.” Speaking of, given the news of the impending closure, “I just hope all the people who’ve been eating blintzes here for the last 32 years don’t have a coronary.”

Karen Binder opened the Madison Park Cafe in 1979. As co-owner of the property on which it stands, she’s not likely to be a stranger when her bistro reopens this fall as Cafe Parco.

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July 5, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Barrio Bellevue closed, to become Heavy events-space

Barrio, the Mexican kitchen and bar in Bellevue, closed for good Sunday night. “It was just not performing as well as our other restaurants,” explains Larry Kurofsky, owner of parent company Heavy Restaurant Group, the corporate name behind Purple Cafe & Wine Bar, Lot No. 3, and Barrio — whose Capitol Hill location is still going strong.

“I’ve never had to do this before,” said Kurofsky, whose original Purple Cafe opened in Woodinville a decade ago with only nine tables. “I opened seven places in eight years, and I wasn’t gray when I started.”

Got a jones for some Mexican food and drink at Barrio? You’ll have to head to the Capitol Hill location — seen here at Cinco de Mayo, 2010. [Seattle Times/Mark Harrison]

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June 14, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Marie Callender’s closed: reader looking for affordable, old-fashioned restaurant asks “Where do we go now?”

Charlotte and Harry Spizman were regulars at Marie Callender’s. Two, sometimes three times a week – and always on Sunday — they’d show up at the restaurant’s sole Seattle location where they’d treat themselves to the salad bar, soup and cornbread included. The couple regularly spent about $200 a month on soup, salad and (on the rare occasion when Mr. Spizman would go for the gusto) Marie’s mac ‘n cheese maybe, or a roast beef dinner.

Then came last Sunday’s abrupt closure, when customers and staff alike were shown the door, just as the Spizmans were coming in. Corporate owners of the chain restaurant have filed for bankruptcy: a blow to the to the many loyal patrons who considered Marie Callender’s their home-away-from-home.

“We were shocked,” said Mrs. Spizman, who notes the Northgate location was always busy. “When we pulled into the lot, one of the waitresses was driving out. She said, `Don’t bother going in because the door is locked,’ and then we looked around — and all the staff were on their way out. They were told to leave!”

Sign of the times: at Marie Callender’s in Daly City, Calif. Same story here in Washington State where Marie Callender’s locations were closed in Seattle, Federal Way and Spokane. [Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

“The staff were like family to each other,” said Mrs. Spizman, recalling her favorite servers, Rhea, Isobel and Danielle, who knew what kind of soup (chicken) and beverage (Diet Pepsi) she and her husband always ordered, and without having to ask served those promptly with a smile. The Spizmans recognized other regular patrons and sometimes chatted with them, too, including one man who ate there every day.

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