John van Deinse and partner Nicola Longo see the closure of their four-year-old restaurant Tidbit Bistro as bittersweet, van Deinse told me over the phone Friday morning.
"It’s kind of a good thing," he said, adding that he and Longo may leave Seattle for sunnier pastures (California, Florida) should job opportunities present themselves. "We’re ending it on a high note."
The couple has lived in Seattle for 13 years, but Tidbit was their first restaurant endeavor, though van Deinse had worked in the business before. He described owning a restaurant as "the biggest challenge of your life," but said he was surprised at the sense of pride he felt in creating a place that diners kept coming back to. "People really appreciated what we were doing," he said.
As reported earlier today, Tidbit will serve dinner only (no lunch or happy hour) during its last week in business. Beginning Monday, August 22 it will open at 6pm and close at 10pm, with chef Kurt Stolte—who has been with Tidbit since the beginning—serving up some of his favorite recipes over the years. There will also be wine and grappa specials all week long.
Van Deinse plans to use the final week in business as a chance to catch up with regulars and say goodbye. It’s also a chance to spend time with his staff, many of whom have been with the restaurant for several years, he says.
Tidbit’s owners have been approached by an "interested party" about taking over the space, van Deinse said that party asked not to be named at this time.