Gnocchi bar seattle hpdg2o

Farewell, sweet gnocchi. See you at the grocery store?

Last year, Lisa Nakamura turned a gelato shop on 12th and Pine into a casual house of gnocchi, complete with creative sauce and adornment combos that showcase her years of experience in high-end kitchens. Now the chef says Gnocchi Bar will serve its last bowls on November 20.

The news came via Nakamura's email newsletter. She's not renewing her lease, but Nakamura's gnocchi will live on via the lively retail side of the business. You can buy her gnocchi frozen at a variety of local markets, and the chef says closing the restaurant gives her more time to work on grocery store sales. 

Nakamura put a very personal stamp on Gnocchi Bar, from posting punny jokes to keeping a running social media commentary on the restaurant's daily operations. "For me that was the greatest joy," she says of running a place where she could greet both customers and their dogs by name. "Sometimes I feel like that human connection gets lost."

Freeing up more waking hours lets Nakamura focus on her dream of expanding her gnocchi sales out of state. She also has another project lined up, she says: "Something that I’m very excited about; something I think is a very positive thing." For a women whose resume includes everything from writing a children's book to a sous chef gig at the French Laundry, this could mean any number of things. Nakamura says she'll spill more closer to December.

Gnocchi Bar's wall lists all the people whose contributions helped launch the business, and on November 20, the restaurant will retire as it lived—with a genuine community focus: That day, Gnocchi Bar will be open per usual until 8pm, then serve its very final dinners to the Living Positively group formed by Capitol Hill's own Lifelong AIDS organization.

There you have it—Less than three weeks for your final go-round of mushroom gnocchi.

[Updated later in the day after I got a chance to speak with Nakamura directly.] 

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