One of Seattle’s best, and perhaps most under-heralded restaurants will say farewell before the end of the year. The owners of the Shambles announced recently they will not renew their lease.

So far, attempts to find a buyer (or at least a buyer who will continue this places as the Shambles) haven’t gelled, says co-owner Matthew Brady. While the space’s future is uncertain, he and partner Joel Klemenhagen plan to serve food—and beer—through December 23.

The Maple Leaf restaurant opened in 2017 as a bar-butcher hybrid. Which is a woefully inadequate way to describe the Shambles’ particular combination of Washington beer and careful, even beautiful plates that happen to focus on meat. Yes, the charcuterie board and sandwich of tri-tip rubbed with mole amounts to carnivorous nirvana, but this is a place where even the kale salad and chickpea stew will blow your mind.

Klemenhagen oversaw the beer list, and brought the full force of his background as a beer buyer for Whole Foods to bear on a tap lineup that doubles as a roadmap of what’s happening rightthisveryminute in Washington beer. The deli counter up front wasn’t just performative. Butcher Thomas Coss (who came here from Bateau) kept it supplied with pork tenderloin and stew beef and a host of cuts from weeknight workhorses to showstopping rib eyes.

This place was a no-brainer to appear on Seattle Met’s list of the town’s 100 best restaurants. And I hate that I’ve been writing all this in the past tense, because the Shambles will be open for another week yet (with a few closures for private parties). Instagram should let us know any additional updates.

Correction: Apologies for the mortifying moment of flakiness. The Shambles is very much in Maple Leaf, not Ravenna as originally stated.

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