Come January 25, Belltown’s crown jewel will be Queen City no longer. But owner Linda Derschang is far from abdicating the throne.
The restaurateur behind Oddfellows took over the former Queen City Grill in September 2018, dropping extraneous "grill" and adding her signature spin (namely, vintage fixtures and a touch of taxidermy). A Friday press release cites “lower than hoped for sales” as the main reason for the closing.
But Derschang is holding onto the historic building—”we love the romance of the location,” an 1890s-era saloon by the same name—with plans to open this spring with a new name and a new vibe, similar to her beloved dive bars, Linda’s Tavern and King’s Hardware.
Here’s how I read that: Less classy place to start the night, more raucous place to end it.
While Queen City’s cauliflower fritters and classic cocktails will certainly be missed, especially at their discounted closing prices, it’s tough for me to be too bummed about the promise of anything resembling Linda’s. It's a rare bird: the ideal nicer-than-dive bar, with the requisite casual vibe and kitschy decor; the kind of place where solid cocktail specials and great local draft beers don’t preclude the occasional Jager bomb.
And, frankly, I think Belltown could use that: Most every bar there is hyper-focused, from Neon Boots’s desert dreamscape to Navy Strength’s upscale tiki. The only thing missing from the city’s most perfect neighborhood bar crawl (I’ll fight you on this!) is a perfect neighborhood bar. All the better if it's a Derschang.