Tom Douglas’ famed Seattle restaurant Dahlia Lounge permanently closes after 32 years

Dahlia's famous coconut cream cake.

After more than three decades as one of the most famous fine dining restaurants in downtown Seattle, Tom Douglas’s Dahlia Lounge has closed for good.

The restaurant area, which has been closed since March 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, is being taken over by Douglas’ Serious Pie, according to The Seattle Times.

The flagship restaurant serves dishes from the Pacific Northwest of the region and was popular with celebrations. It even appeared in the movie “Sleepless in Seattle,” despite Tom Hanks (Sam) and Barbara Garrick (Victoria) dining at its former location on Fourth Avenue.

The long-standing restaurant serves Douglas’ famous coconut cream cake from the adjoining bakery, which has become one of the city’s most popular desserts. When former President Barack Obama was running fundraisers in the Seattle area, he asked for it by name.

The cake even found its own place as an ice-cream flavor made from Portland’s most popular salt and straw.

“At the time, cake was on every casual diner menu; it was a very popular American dessert,” said Douglas. “People had this idea of ​​what cake was and no gourmet restaurant had cake on the menu. Cake wasn’t cool enough for gourmet cooking, and I think we helped change the conversation.”

Dahlia’s famous coconut cream cake.

Courtesy Tom Douglas Seattle Kitchen

Before the restaurant closed after the novel coronavirus, around 125 triple coconut cream cakes were sold every day across the Emerald City, according to Douglas.

Fortunately for cake lovers, the Dahlia bakery is not going anywhere: the bakery is being expanded into the former lounge area together with Serious Pie.

Despite Governor Jay Inslee’s newly released guidelines allowing indoor eating to resume at 50% capacity, the Seattle food scene is still struggling in the face of the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. Over 90 bars and restaurants in town have closed since last March.

Last July, Douglas closed two restaurants in South Lake Union – Brave Horse Tavern and Trattoria Cuoco – which were popular happy hour spots after work. Both restaurants have had great success with many technicians who typically flooded the neighborhood teleworking.

Facebook is the only tech company to announce a return for workers to their Seattle offices, and even then they will only be 10% busy.

While the future of Douglas’ other Emerald City restaurants such as Palace Kitchen, Lola and The Carlile Room remains in the air, some of its restaurants have since reopened to diners, including Pike Place’s Seatown Market and Fish Fry, Serious Pie in downtown and Ballard’s Serious Takeout.