Further proof that this city is insanity right now—and that the old superstition about restaurant closings happening in bunches may not be so off base.
Maria Hines sent word that she will close Young American Ale House in the next few weeks. Late last year, the chef transformed her Mediterranean-leaning Ballard restaurant, Golden Beetle, into a casual pub that still reflected Hines's impressive commitment to certified organic ingredients. I was particularly fond of the local beer list and pizza here—and it turns out Maria Hines makes a great burger—but the space couldn't shake the feel that it had recently been something else. In the statement she circulated yesterday, Hines was pretty candid: "Restaurant survival on its own is hard enough and adding the debt [from Golden Beetle] on top of that proved too difficult to overcome." She plans to save the Young American Ale House concept "for another place at another time."
While Hines didn't share a firm final day, the restaurant is still taking reservations for Mother's Day.
Meanwhile, in Belltown, a sign is up on the door at Clever Bottle, announcing that the Belltown bar has shut its doors after seven years serving charming cocktails in a surprisingly mellow space suffused with candlelight. The sign includes a list of other nearby bars would-be patrons might support—a telling sign of how warm and lovely this place was.
All this news follows Tuesday's announcement that Miles James is closing Dot's Butcher and Deli in Pike Place Market. Like Hines, he didn't pull punches about the reasons (and financial realities) behind his decision.