"It's a small place and it was always meant to be a cozy cantina with great music and great drinks," the Saint owner Quentin Ertel tells me, adding, "the food was always going to play a supporting role to that." Now it won't play a role at all. The Saint is nixing its food offerings altogether and getting back to what Ertel had originally envisioned: a tribute to all things agave.
Tequila kind of has a bum rap. It's sometimes associated with Spring Break and lots of wooing. But for Ertel, and an entire culture of course, tequila (and mezcal) is a revered, handmade spirit. The closure of the Saint's kitchen means getting back to exactly that.
"We have really hardworking, talented people in the kitchen," says Ertel, "The challenge, however, is that we need more people like them." It's a sentiment echoed throughout the city: Seattle has a shortage of chefs; it's no secret. To that end, on Sunday, September 3, the Saint will serve its last tacos and quesos fundidos. It will then close for about a month to lightly renovate the space into a "cozier lounge atmosphere" and reopen in early October. And when it does, expect maybe one salty snack and even more agave-based cocktails, housemade gastriques, syrups, infusions, and boozy experiments.