As we reported earlier today, news came Thursday morning Txori is closing. Shortly after the announcement, owner Carolin Messier sat down with Seattle Met to give us the facts and tell us what’s next.
The Basque bar will close April 19, and on April 21 Belltown residents C.J. Chaney and Corey Chigbrow will take over the space and reopen it shortly after as Pintxo. Both Chaney and Chigbrow have been avid Txori patrons—Messier sees them as “the type of guys who are going to get to know all the regulars’ names.” They will work with Messier and chef Joey Serquinia throughout the coming weeks, as they hope to model Pintxo after its predecessor.
The decision to close Txori wasn’t an easy one. Messier likens it to giving up a child for adoption. “Emotionally, it’s been heartwrenching,” she added, noting the jewel box, 812-square-foot restaurant was a very personal project and her first solo venture. “[Closing] was purely a business decision—purely numbers.”
The idea to shutter Txori first crossed Messier’s mind last summer when extensive construction downtown hampered business. Though numbers bounced back in the fall—and continue to do so—other factors in Messier’s life (divorce, overseas investments) have made for heavy burdens.
Messier did not sell Txori’s name or recipes (“You couldn’t pay me enough”), so it’s likely a reincarnate will appear in the future. Messier said she’s eying the Pike/Pine corridor and 14th and 15th Avenues in Capitol Hill, waiting until the right time and place comes along. That neighborhood is where she first envisioned Txori, but three possibilities fell through.
What else is in Messier’s future? For one, she’ll focus more on her Madison Valley tapas joint Harvest Vine. She also has her sights set on three potential projects: A cafe and bakery in Capitol Hill, a quaint Quebecois bistro (it’s in her heritage), and a cider house. She isn’t looking for business partners yet. She’d like to see a tapas bar on every Seattle street corner, too.
“I’m good at bringing a place to fruition,” she says while looking around Txori over a table littered with pintxos.