A World without Zippy's Giant Burgers Is Imminent

The White Center burger shop will close this weekend.

By Allecia Vermillion July 7, 2022

The Last Gasp, one of the rowdiest members of the Zippy's lineup.

Image: Amber Fouts

Zippy’s Giant BURGERS announced that they will close after this weekend. It’s news that somehow makes your gut churn with sorrow, even as it simultaneously craves a skyscraper-size Zip Royale.

Owners Blaine and Rahel Cook and longtime manager Jesse Burns-Francisco first shared the news on Facebook. As the post notes, their issues are common ones among local businesses right now: “staffing, inflation, and an unreasonable landlord.” After two years of pandemic struggle, this Sunday, July 10, will be the last day for Zippy’s.

"I've cried all I'm going to cry right now," Blaine Cook said, during a break from some therapeutic yardwork. "Probably a good 65 percent of the products we use in the restaurant have at least doubled in price over the past year." And that's before he contends with the ongoing staffing shortage. Fans have begged on social media for a popup, a food truck, any sign that Zippy's might live on in some fashion. But Cook says his horizon is mostly filled with his current band, the Accüsed AD. "I have rock and roll planned through the rest of the year."

The White Center burger joint began as a hole in the wall in Highland Park; in 2011 it graduated to a larger hole in a larger wall in White Center. Blaine Cook has fronted various punk bands, but perhaps deserves bigger anti-establishment bona fides for the 14 years he spent charbroiling fantastic, toppling burgers, served at reasonable prices in a vintage strip mall to an exceedingly broad range of people. With a side of tots.

The food alone makes this place one of the best burger shops in Seattle. But Zippy's was a good proxy for its chosen neighborhood of White Center: all the more enjoyable for being scrappy and self-made.

Zippy’s will serve burgers daily until the end, staff and patties permitting. Wednesday, the day of the announcement, was the busiest in the restaurant's history, says Blaine. The lines of the faithful, here for one last black bean burger or classic zip burger should be reliably long through the weekend.

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