After over four years of soul food–filled brunches and dinners done up New Orleans style, Restaurant Roux in Fremont will close. Its last service will be brunch on February 18.
Owner Matthew Lewis of his eponymous food truck Where Ya At Matt announced the impending closure on Facebook on Wednesday, but in true New Orleans fashion the Fremont restaurant is going out with a bang—live music, dancing, a party, the works—says the post.
Lewis said he received an offer for the restaurant and after some soul searching, he knew closing Roux was the right decision for him and his family. "It was something that was in the back of my mind for a while," Lewis told me. "Seattle is a tough market for restaurants not only from the competition of other restaurants, but also the cost of doing business within the city." And, hey, Lewis is certainly not alone in that—a lot of beloved spots closed in 2017.
But it's not all sadness. "It's not like we were forced to close our doors," explains Lewis. "We kind of got to do it on our own terms." Plus, Where Ya At Matt, the po'boy peddling mobile truck that launched it all eight years ago, is still going strong. It'll still be parked outside some of your favorite breweries and all over town as per usual, and you can catch it at the New Orleans Jazz Festival too.
Lewis says he doesn't have plans to open up Roux elsewhere, or pursue another brick and mortar concept, but "don't count anything out," he laughs. "My wheels are always spinning."
For now, it's party time. At Roux for Mardi Gras on Tuesday, February 13, they'll have a DJ at 4pm, then live music by brass troupe Super Krew at 7pm, then around 8 o'clock tables will make way for a dance floor. Then Valentine's Day is the February 14; better make your reservations fast. After that, it's business as usual until the final Sunday brunch.
As far as what will replace Roux, there aren't any official details to report as of yet. Lewis thinks not too much will changed, except the menu of course. But it should by all accounts remain a neighborhood restaurant space with a similar layout if all goes to plan. Stay tuned here for any developments on that front.
In the meantime toast to "a great four-plus year run with Roux," says Lewis. "We'll always appreciate that!" And should you need reminding why Seattle got down with Roux for those four years, revisit "Southern Charmers" from the May 2014 issue of Seattle Met for a brief walk down memory lane.