Shifts & Shakeups

The Past Few Weeks in Restaurant News: Queen Tea

To paraphrase a recently closed coffee shop, Shifts and Shakeups does not require explanation, only documentation.

By Caroline Ferguson January 9, 2015

Molly Moon's salted caramel, now guaranteed listeria-free. Photo via Molly Moon's.


That's right, the dark age has ended. Paseo has reopened with a new owner (highest bidder Ryan Santwire) but the same staff, slinging what Santwire promises are identical sandwiches. The stand attempted a quiet opening on Thursday afternoon, but was promptly and predictably mobbed by Caribbean roast–starved Seattleites. Throes of porcine ecstasy commenced. All is right with the world once more.


As promised, Cantinetta owner Gabriel Chavez opened his Durango-style taco and antojito spot on 12th Avenue last weekend.

A neighborhood in sore need of a good burger joint now has one in Coastline, which opened on New Year’s Day. A menu of grass-fed, cage-free burgers (with housemade buns, to boot) is available online


Moon Temple
Ouch. The friendly Wallingford dive bar closed this week after more than 50 years of operation, so its 1929 vintage building can be knocked down and replaced with a CVS and some parking spaces. Now you can buy your aspirin at the same place you used to buy your hangovers. 

Le Zinc
Au revoir, Le Zinc. The stylish French bistro couldn’t garner enough weeknight customers in a swath of Capitol Hill dominated by restaurateurs Ethan Stowell and Jason Stratton, so it closed its doors for good after one last New Year’s Eve party. Co-owner Willy Boutillier also owns the beloved Maximilien in Pike Place Market.

Arabica Lounge
Capitol Hill's favorite coffee shop/bakery/high-concept multidisciplinary art piece announced its impending February 15 farewell with a December 29 Facebook post. Owner Jojo Corväiá, who plans to move to Berlin, wrote of the closure “It is inevitable that the intrinsic form of an artistic act that is not anchored to a specific temporal point will morph as time passes and the piece continues to exist, thus the evolution of Arabica's form does not require explanation, only documentation.” Got all that?

Duos Lounge
Though it lives on in the form of a catering company, Duos Lounge’s restaurant service officially ended on its two-year anniversary, December 20. The catering company will continue to operate in the same space.

Uma Thai
The Ballard Thai restaurant closed without explanation this week, announcing its departure in the form of a ReMax sign in the window.


The Rose Petals
Phew. Owner Helen Coleman reopened her soul food restaurant in White Center for dinner and occasional lunch service after it was forced to close when its MLK Way building was sold. Good thing, too—after the loss of the Catfish Corner, this was almost too much to bear. 

Streamline Tavern
One of several buildings in Lower Queen Anne that was forced to relocate to make room for a South Korean consulate, the Streamline Tavern’s Mercer Street location poured its last pint on December 31. They’re in the process of moving into the space formerly occupied by Jabu’s Pub, and are expected to be open for business by the end of this month. 

Il Terrazzo Carmine
The city's consummate Italian restaurant may be moving out of its 30-year-old digs and into the ground floor of a new office building going up next door, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal. Nothing is for sure yet—owner Maria Smeraldo (wife of the late, eponymous Carmine) says it will depend on the developer's incentives and design.


Murray Stenson from Queen City Grill
The local drink-slinging legend has ended his stint at this longstanding Belltown restaurant and is reportedly talking to two restaurant chains—and is still looking to start his own place. We don’t know much at this point, but rumor has it the drinks will be good. 


The Melrose Market location of the sustainable sandwich chain has shuttered its Melrose Market location for a remodel. According to co-founder Ben Friedman, they will mostly be expanding the shop’s dinky kitchen, which will allow them to serve salads and cold-press juices. The renovation should be finished by early February. 


Snoqualmie Ice Cream Recall
Following a failed health inspection in October, Snoqualmie Ice Cream had to shut down and recall all 2014 products due to two reported cases of listeria contamination. Molly Moon's, Full Tilt, Top Pot, and Emerald and Spruce all source their ice cream base from Snoqualmie. Molly Moon's reopened on January 2 after taking a few days to remake all their ice creams, and Full Tilt pulled their product and offered refunds. All products are safe to eat now (but, uh, don't read that health department report if you ever want to eat ice cream again).

Cantina Leña Ventilation Woes
T-Doug's woodfired Belltown project closed less than a month after its opening when residents in the apartments above complained of poor ventilation from the kitchen's massive fire pit. There are no plans in the works to relocate, and the clusterfrick will be resolved with a new piece of equipment. The cantina is expected to reopen on February 1.


Queen Mary Tea Room
The Ravenna tea room, purportedly the oldest of its kind in America, filed a trademark infrigement lawsuit against the Queens' Tea in Salt Lake City, demanding it change its name. Plot twist: The owners of the Queens' Tea, Anderson and Michael Ferguson, were the first couple to wed in Utah after the state's ban on same-sex marriage was repealed, and the "queen" in their cafe's name actually refers to the other kind of queen, i.e. the gay kind. The Queens' Tea has scaled down its operation to pay for legal fees, and hopes to have the complaint dismissed.


Show Comments