Shifts & Shakeups

This Week in Restaurant News: Sushi Scandal and a Vegetarian Comeback

Six dining developments on our radar this week.

By Annika Lindburg September 13, 2019

Now's the time for a sigh of relief: Feed Co.'s burgers aren't going anywhere.

Second Time's the Charm

When Eater Seattle reported that Feed Co. Burgers had been sold with plans to open a new restaurant, the alarm bells rung. Was this going to be the last time to have the classic Feed Burger? And what about those chocolate shakes? Feed Co. has been a Central District staple since 2016, and new owner, Lan Bun, has scrapped previous plans to reconcept, thus Feed Co. Burgers will stay much the same—with a few additions to the menu.

Hot Pot Delays

The popular HaiDiLao, which we first reported opening this fall, is delayed until 2020, according to Pacific Place. HaiDiLao is based in China and the location inside the downtown shopping center will be the restaurant’s first spot in Washington. You get to pick and choose which broths and sauces to put in your hot pot, while noodle dancers gracefully move and stretch perfect noodles into your pot. There will even be plastic bags for your phone to stay dry while you eat—this is the Splash Mountain of hot pot restaurants.

Back in Business

Hear ye, hear ye: Silence-Heart-Nest in Fremont isn’t closing after all. The beloved vegetarian restaurant will reopen at the end of September and the former owners' son, reports the Seattle Times, will take over. The restaurant started in the University District before moving to Fremont in 2005. For now, it seems breakfast and lunch staples like the Mediterranean omelette or the bean-and-beet patty "Bliss Burger" will stick around.

National Noms

Bon Appétit’s nominees for the 50 Best New Restaurants, released this week, included two Seattle favorites: By Tae and Dacha Diner. Occupying a small corner inside Chophouse Row on Capitol Hill, By Tae is a “hand roll counter with a surplus of personality,” says the food magazine. Meanwhile Bon Appétit lauded Dacha Diner, a hybrid of Eastern European and Jewish cuisine, for its hearty meals—ooh, like that khachapuri.

Murky Water

Blue C Sushi went out faster than it took to grab a color-coded plate of avocado or BLT rolls from the conveyor belt. Who can forget when all seven locations were quickly shuttered, with Blue C offering a vague explanation of surprise financial circumstances as the reason for the closures? Now, Eater Seattle has found that the chain was over $34 million in debt and ignored both significant problems within management and conflicts within the restaurant that left many employees and vendors without pay. The founders blame each other for the restaurant's spiraling closure; meanwhile, all that remains of the once-trendy empire, reports Eater Seattle, “is a pile of debt and equipment locked in a Seattle-area storage unit.”

Market Matters 

Whole Foods sent word this morning that its location in West Seattle will open on Wednesday, October 9—at 9am, to be precise. This will be the fourth outpost in Seattle proper for the purveyor of cassava wraps and unimpeachable avocados, which is almost like a local company since Amazon bought it in 2017. Whole Foods West Seattle (at 4755 Fauntleroy Way, in the Whittaker apartment complex) will lean into prepared foods, with the traditional soup and salad bar, plus counters for tacos, pizza, sandwiches, sushi, and rotisserie, alongside its regularly scheduled slate of groceries. —Allecia Vermillion

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