Biz-ness

Ethan Stowell Will Close Three of His Restaurants

Farewell to mom tacos. Hello to Tavolàta.

By Allecia Vermillion December 4, 2019

The future home of North Seattle's first Tavolàta.

Wow, when Ethan Stowell said he was realigning his restaurant group to focus on Tavolàta and How to Cook a Wolf locations, he wasn’t kidding. 

The restaurateur announced today he will close three of his 15-ish restaurants: Marine Hardware, Bramling Cross, and Super Bueno. All three will call it quits after service on New Year’s Eve. 

I’m pretty bummed about Marine Hardware; to my mind it’s one of the most adventurous, unexpected, and best of the Stowellian restaurants. In January this little pocket of Ballard’s Kolstrand Building will become an event space, with longer-term plans to make it a popup spot for aspiring chefs looking to wade into the brick-and-mortar world. 

Bramling Cross is getting a brief remodel and a similar future as an event space, geared toward larger events, corporate parties, and such. 

Super Bueno will become a Tavolàta; look for it to reopen in late spring, after a remodel to shift from sunny vibes and mom tacos to fresh pasta and sorta-industrial Northwest minimalism. Stowell’s gleefully non-authentic Mexican restaurant was for sure an outlier in his brand (his ex-wife, Angela, came up with the concept, a smart take on family friendly dining where kids can play and parents can down margaritas). 

In today’s announcement, Stowell was pretty candid, especially for a press release, saying he loves the concepts, but they’ve been an operational challenge and not as profitable as some of his other spots. 

When I spoke to Stowell about his forthcoming How to Cook a Wolf in Madison Park, he said his company is going all in on How to Cook a Wolf and Tavolàtas. He’s got one of the latter slated to open downtown, just before this new one debuts on Stone Way. Earlier this year the chef opened a HTCAW sibling, called simply Wolf, in Nordstrom's new NYC flagship.

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