Restaurant Openings

Dulces Latin Bistro to Occupy Long-Empty Typhoon! Space on Western Avenue

The Madrona mainstay reinvents itself downtown.

By Jessica Voelker September 12, 2011

Dulces will reopen in October.

Photo: Dulces Latin Bistro via Facebook

Last January, Carlos Kainz and his wife Julie Ann Guerrero shut down Dulces Latin Bistro in Madrona after 19 years in business.

Kainz said the restaurant suffered from the changing demographic of the neighborhood—the older clientele that so loyally patronized Dulces was moving away, and in their place came young families with small children. Kainz said he and Guerrero attempted to accommodate the new neighbors, removing tablecloths and adding a kid’s menu, but they couldn’t make it work. He remembers one incident where a table called to cancel after driving by the restaurant. “You’re too nice for us,” explained the would-be diner. Kainz was baffled. “I thought, do I have to put a big TV screen in the bar area?”

Ultimately, they decided to relocate, but negotiations on a Capitol Hill space fell through.

So instead, Dulces is moving downtown. In October, it will reopen at 1400 Western Avenue, which has been unoccupied since 2009 when Typhoon! shuttered suddenly. Kainz says the long-vacant property was impractically large, so he convinced the owner to divide it up and create a smaller space for Dulces. A remodel that includes new paint throughout and a new ceiling in the kitchen is currently underway.

Kainz says the interior will resemble that at the Madrona Dulces, as will the menu structure (small plates, main dishes, and appetizers). Fans of Guerrero’s paella and cassoulet won’t be disappointed either—those, along with many of the other traditional Mediterranean dishes, will reappear on the dinner menu. Happy hour will be offered Tuesday through Sunday from 3 to 6pm and will include $5 wines by the glass and $4 beers on tap. Lunch will be served daily and a weekend breakfast/brunch menu will be offered beginning at 10am. Free Wednesday night wine tastings will recommence once the restaurant opens, as will a monthly tango demonstration. Kainz anticipates a livelier bar scene at the new Dulces, and the restaurant is well-situated between the Zig Zag Cafe and Lecosho, two boozy establishments that do swift business during happy hour and on weekend nights.

Kainz says he has rehired much of his Madrona staff and will bring on a few new bartenders and lunchtime servers. He and Guerrero hope to open downtown Dulces in the first 10 days of October.

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