This week Ravenleaf Public House, so named for its location nestled between neighborhoods Ravenna and Maple Leaf, announced on Facebook that "the rumors were true," they were closing their doors with a final service this Thursday, March 29.
Owners Holly Meyer and Matt Swain signed the public social media post thanking their regulars for their support, closing with a most famous line from Edgar Allen Poe's poem about a dark-winged bird, "Quoth the raven, 'Nevermore.'" The parting words are fitting, if still pretty grim.
But it turns out that Swain had actually moved onto to other opportunities back in October of last year, helping to open Tavern 12, a new pub that debuted inside the Residence Inn this February in the University District. Word is Swain might be assisting on another new restaurant project, though that's not confirmed as of press time. Meanwhile, executive chef Jesse Rahn, who helmed the kitchen for the past five months, and Joshua Smith, Ravenleaf's front of house manager who knew most of the pub's clientele by name will both move on to other restaurants—hopefully after a bit of a breather. As for the rest of the staff, they've been offered opportunities with the chic Thai fusion restaurant that will soon take over the restaurant's space. The food truck will also be sold to the new restaurant owners. And Meyer, well, she says as much as she loved being a part of the neighborhood, she's won't be pursuing the restaurant world any further. "But I will be returning to the graphic design and architecture industry," she told me.
Then there's the slow and silent closure of Choukette on Western Avenue. It opened back in the summer of 2016 to the delight, and near obsession of eclair lovers in Seattle and beyond. The French eclair bakery was the brainchild of owners Ludovic Guillaume and Elizabeth Bastoni who were inspired by their 18 years living in Paris. The quaint 400-square-foot bakeshop, nestled underneath Pike Place Market's skybridge, changed their hours in January, then again in February—it's winter, traffic tends to wane, nothing to see here—but throughout most of March the lights never flicked on, the pastry case remained empty, and the shop never seemed to be open at all. As of this week, a business for sale sign has been taped onto its front door.