Shifts & Shakeups

This Week in Restaurant News: Brunch at Sawyer and a Curtain Call at Tango

Six dining developments on our radar this week.

By Courtney Cummings July 12, 2019

As if we needed yet another reason to love Sawyer, the Ballard restaurant will start dishing out cinnamon roll monkey bread.

Tango's Final Dance

After almost two decades of service, Tango served its final tapas last week, according to a Facebook post from owner Travis Rosenthal. Though Capitol Hill is mourning the loss of the Iberian spot, Tango's legacy (thankfully) lives on at its sister restaurants Rumba, Sand Point Grill, and Agua Verde Cafe, where the El Diablo dessert—a firm dark chocolate mousse dusted with cayenne, burnt meringue, and tequila caramel sauce—will make appearances in the coming months. If patio expansions and Capri Rums (ahem, bagged cocktails) are any indication, the restaurant group is otherwise doing just fine.

Ballard Brunchtime Blessings

Sawyer, the Ballard restaurant that manages to make nachos, jojos, and choco tacos their most elegant selves, will soon add brunch service. Dishes like smothered hash browns (with beef cheek chili, Tillamook cheddar, and eggs) and cinnamon roll monkey bread (with, of course, cream cheese frosting) suggest weekend mornings will be just as much fun as dinner hour here—not to mention the coffee-bourbon cocktail dubbed the Champion of Breakfasts. Brunch kicks off July 21.

More Money, More Problems

Earlier this week, The Seattle Times reported that Restaurants Unlimited filed for bankruptcy on July 7. The company—which owns a few longstanding Seattle spots including Palomino, Stanford’s, and Scott’s—pointed to minimum wage hikes as one driving force behind the decision. David Bagley, who’s ushering the company through bankruptcy, claims Seattle’s “progressive wage laws” increased wage expenses by $10.6 million in the last fiscal year. The Bellevue location of Palomino has already shuttered, though the company is currently seeking a buyer.

Casco Antiguo 2.0

Pioneer Square hot spot Casco Antiguo will open a second location this month on Seventh and Lenora, per Eater Seattle. The menu will be much the same (braised beef tongue, grilled octopus), but with several new additions, including squid tacos and shrimp in garlic gravy. In 2017, owner Harvey Van Allen took a crack at expansion and opened up shop in Tacoma, but shut down shortly thereafter. This time, he hopes the bustling area around the Spheres (read: hungry Amazon employees) will keep business booming; Rachel's Ginger Beer is betting on the exact same Denny Regrade location.

New Scoops in Bellevue

In May, Molly Moon's announced its expansion east to Bellevue, and the scoop shop has finally landed. The newest location of the beloved Seattle ice cream chain sits across from Bellevue's Downtown Park, slinging the same staple flavors along with July's rotating ones: cherry chunk (both vegan and not), strawberry shortcake, and pink lemonade sorbet. Owner Molly Moon Neitzel envisioned her ice cream shop as the perfect date spot and this Eastside walkup, she writes, is “hitting that mark perfectly."

Last Call for OutWest

Pour one out for OutWest Bar, West Seattle’s only LGBTQ+ venue, whose doors will permanently close later this month, per West Seattle Blog. But first, one last hurrah: The bar will have a going away party on July 19 for patrons to celebrate and say goodbye to the safe space. Raising costs, competition, and the property owner's new plans for the space factored into owner Bob Lunke's decision to close. Seattle still has a thriving gay bar scene, but it’s safe to say West Seattle is losing a good one.

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