Restaurants come and restaurants go. The recent wave of restaurant closings in Seattle has caused concern among the city’s foodies, but it’s not the first time once stapled restaurants have been forced to close their doors due to the rapidly changing landscape and rising cost of the Emerald City.
Click through the slideshow above and read on to take a look back at famous, historic Seattle restaurants and bars that have since departed.
1. Zestos: Generations of Ballard High School teenagers hung out at Zesto’s for their burgers, fries, and cool jukeboxes. It opened in 1952 and was known as a place with a ’57 Chevy on the roof. It was closed in early 2012.
2. Red Robin Tavern: The restaurant, a University of Washington meeting point on the corner of Furhman and Eastlake Avenues, was originally named after the owner, Sam’s Tavern. After being sold to a local restaurant owner, the franchise’s first restaurant opened in 1979 in Yakima.
3. Twin teepees: The Twin Teepees, opened in 1937 on Aurora Avenue North near Green Lake, were destroyed after a fire in 2000. You were part of a vanished generation of road companies and a one-off job for chef Harland Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame. There is a legend that he perfected KFC’s fried chicken recipe at the tipis, but it has never been proven.
4th Tini Bigs: The popular bar on the corner of Denny Way and First Avenue closed in 2017. Before the smoking ban in 2005, guests in Tini Bigs could smoke. The neighbor Hula Hula has moved to Capitol Hill.
5. Two bells tavern: The Belltown Joint served its five and a half ounce “tavern burger” on a sourdough bun with a selection of great side dishes (coleslaw, beans, and potato salad). The historic pub closed in 2018 when the owners were ready to retire.
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6th Red door alehouse: The landmark bar was a biker hangout at its original location on Fremont Ave. Red Door was housed in a building in 1902 and eventually moved one block west into Fremont. The iconic waterhole announced that it will be permanently closed in March 2020.
7th Catfish corner: The Soul Food Center in the Central District closed in August after 30 years. Since then, a new location has been opened in the Rainier Valley.
8th. Andy’s Diner: Housed in a collection of historic railroad cars, the restaurant was a familiar sight on Fourth Avenue South for many years. It opened in 1949 and quickly became a hot lunch spot for Boeing executives grabbing steaks from the charcoal grill. One of the cars at Andy’s Diner was one that President Franklin Roosevelt reportedly rode in during his 1944 re-election campaign. The South Seattle landmark closed in 2008.
9. The dog house: When the Dog House 24-hour restaurant and bar closed in 1994, an era passed. KCTS streamed its final day live, and Seattle PI columnist Jon Hahn wrote that it was “an epoch in Seattle history, a virtually uninterrupted 24-hour array of food, alcohol, music and community.”
10. The border area: In the early 90s, the Frontier Room was a popular hangout for musicians looking for the potent highballs worth $ 1.50. It opened in 1954. The “old” Frontier Room with cheap strong drinks was closed in 2001. The newer incarnation was offered for rent on March 24, 2014.
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11. Alki tavern: For more than three decades, Alki Tavern was West Seattle’s most famous pub with a view. But the Taco Thursdays and biker regulars said goodbye in March 2013 when the bar closed to make way for condos.
12. Big Top: This circus-themed restaurant on Northgate Mall was part of an empire run by Walter Clark, an industrial giant that also owned Twin Teepees.
13. Old spaghetti factory: After 46 years of fun spaghetti and lasagna dinner in the brick building, Seattle’s Old Spaghetti Factory closed in 2016.
14th Kingfish Cafe: The Soul Food Cafe closed in 2015 after serving quiet puppies on 19th Avenue in Capitol Hill for nearly 20 years. Owner Laurie Coaston said her restaurant tapped into this delicious secret ingredient called “passion”.
15th Piecora’s pizza: Piecora’s on Capitol Hill had big stalls, hot pizza, cold jugs, and friendly service. After more than 30 years in the neighborhood, the Piecora family gave up in April 2014 after selling their property to a giant apartment developer.
RELATED: Red Door in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle closes after more than three decades
16. The greedy one: Seattle foodies died a little in 2012 when Le Gourmand closed its doors in Ballard. Owned by Bruce Naftaly, his fresh, seasonal cuisine from the north west of France had swooned guests.
17th Bakemans: That busy, no-frills lunch spot on Cherry Street. was loved for its signature oven-roasted turkey sandwiches. It closed in 2018 after 47 years of service downtown.
18th Ernie Steeles: The bar of the same name run by an UW soccer star was known for its walls made of hunting trophies and stalls with hard-drinking classic cars. It took 46 years to become Ileens Sports Bar in the early 90s. This bar is also closed and the room is now home to Julias, known for his drag brunch.
19. Trader Vic’s: The Polynesian-themed restaurant was located in the Washington Plaza Hotel in Seattle (now the Westin) and took advantage of the Tiki fashion of the 1950s and 1960s. The place was known for its service in Mai Tais and was closed in 1991.
20th Labuznik: The Czech restaurant opened on First Avenue in the 1970s, long before the neighborhood became trendy Belltown. After almost 30 years of delicious tournedos Rossini, the restaurant closed in 1998.
21st The Pittsbourg brasserie: Before Maximilien on Pike Place Market, there was Brasserie Pittsbourg on Pioneer Square in 1969, serving French cuisine. The French chef Francois Kissel opened both restaurants. The sign “table for women” referred to tables reserved for “real” women who wanted to eat alone without giving the appearance of a prostitute, a predominant notion of single female guests.