One of Seattle’s most original, most careful, and most consistently terrific neighborhood restaurants is up for sale. After we named it one of Seattle’s unsung gems, La Medusa general manager Pepa Brower confirmed that the Columbia City stalwart at the corner of Rainier and S. Edmunds has been on the block just under a year.
Yes, we are late to this news. We are glad potential buyers are, too.
Owners Evan and Julie Andres have been diverting their energies for some time. Evan also owns the deservedly acclaimed Columbia City Bakery down the street; Julie—late chef at La Medusa—gave that up to chef Gordon Wishard three years ago to focus her energies on travel and a new gig as a yoga instructor.
Nothing is imminent in the way of a sale, and so far that’s just fine with the restaurant. “There’s not a sense of urgency the way you might expect when you put a business up for sale,” Brower explains. “I’m still running the front, the chef is still cooking, we’re still busy every night.”
This restaurant critic and former Columbia City resident is glad there’s no hurry. The fact is, it would be impossible to overstate the impact this one restaurant has had in its 15 year run. Not only was it a bold business pioneer in a neighborhood that was still plenty sketchy in 1997—it kicked off the culinary renaissance of Columbia City, helped spark broad new residential interest there, and became a model for the city for how neighborhood restaurants are done.
Namely, with specific, unique vision—Sicilian food—brought off with care and consistency. La Medusa will be missed. Just thankfully not yet.