First, Kingfish Cafe shuttered in this North Capitol Hill space after 18 years of soul food. Then, the Guild Seattle restaurant group—made up of Jason Lajeunesse, Dave Meinert, and Joey Burgess, who you might recognize from their respective establishments like the Comet Tavern, Lost Lake, Big Mario's—took it over. They opened Ernest Loves Agnes, a love letter to Italy via pizza, brunch, and amari-based cocktails. About a year after its debut, it shifted gears, at least in flavor, leaning more broadly Mediterranean. Then early this year it reconcepted entirely: Contadino was born with chef Brian Clevenger at the helm.
But yesterday evening on August 31, Contadino served its last bowls of strozzapreti pasta and rounds of Neopolitan-style pizza.
Chef Brian Clevenger will no longer be a part of whatever's next for the conjoined spaces at 600 and 602 19th Avenue East. But surely Clevenger is plenty busy with his growing empire expanding to Eastlake—his love of crudo, fresh seafood, handmade pasta certainly in tow.
Meanwhile, Lajeunesse is deciding if he will yet again reinvent the restaurant or lease it or sell it... So, we wait.