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Belltown Blues

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Belltown has seen Mistral, Cascadia, Marjorie and Lampreia close in 2008. Why is it that Belltown is having trouble hanging onto top-flight destinations? Veil over in Queen Anne has closed, too, but it seems like Belltown has seen an especially high number of closings recently, and new places aren't sprouting up to take the places of the departed.

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  1. seems like the places that are succeeding are more about creating a happening vibe, emphasis on drinks/noshing/comfort food

    1. Those restaurants' time had come and gone. They were all coasting or otherwise problematic, and in the end, all too expensive for what you got.

      That said, I think it's got a lot to do with turnover and margins. Drinks are high-margin.

      1. lampreia closed? really ... ?

        1. sounds like scott's moving lampreia

          http://www.urbnlivn.com/2008/09/03/la...

          owning your space is so much smarter esp w/ the tightened credit market.

          1. Inconsistent food and amateur service---the bane of any restaurant. People like to criticize Tom Douglas, but how many of his restaurants have closed? None. Why? He focuses on consistency and good service. The same with Matt's at the Market, Harvest Vine, Maximillien's, etc. Restaurants become long-lived "institutions" by achieving this balance. And sites like "Yelp" only focus on trendy restaurants reviewed by people one half step away from the Olive Garden crowd. Long live Chowhound and the restaurants we support.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Leper

              I don't think Marjorie fits into that category. IMO the food was very good (and consistent) and the service was never amateur. Quite the opposite.

              1. re: Lauren

                I LOVED Marjorie. So sad to see it go!!

              2. re: Leper

                Well... gesh... that was a Yelp dig... it is your opinion... but I disagree. People review and comment on any restaurant they want just like Chow. There is a variety of people from all sociocultural levels and backgrounds making the reviews- just like on Chow. Also, Yelp does not focus on restaurants- it's focus is on the establishments, shops, restaurants, and events that are happening in the city. It is not like Citysearch were promotions are extremely visible and the list or suggestions by the editors is dumbed down to reach the broadest audience. Also, the talk threads on Yelp are about whatever gets asked or brought to attention- just like on Chow. I find it helpful to read the reviews posted on a restaurant before I go- use the knowledge I gleaned or believed- and then judge for myself. Just my thoughts...

              3. Spur is where Mistral departed. Buckley's is moving into the Marjorie space and Lampreia is moving, not closing. Is there anything slated for the Cascadia space? At first I thought they were remaining open after Kerry Sear left but I'm hearing now that they are closing (have closed?).

                4 Replies
                1. re: Lauren

                  When I was in downtown a couple weeks ago there was a sign on the door thanking customers, stating they were closed, and inviting patrons to visit the staff and Sear at ART.

                  1. re: natalie.warner

                    I think that the trouble with Belltown is that it has become such a night club spot. it is unbelieveable to me that there is cruising going on up and down 1st on sat nites.

                    Is Buckley's moving or adding a second location? That is too bad, for me at least, as it changes from a neighborhood joint to a belltown gig.

                  2. re: Lauren

                    There is apparently a Spanish restaurant group from Washington DC that is going to take over the Cascadia spot. Here's an article from Nancy Leson w/ all the details: http://blog.seattletimes.nwsource.com...

                    1. re: abstract206

                      That's what I was remembering! Thanks!

                  3. There were a series of shootings in Belltown last summer - it put me off of going there, perhaps others as well. As for Cascadia, the services there was bad, some of the worst I've experienced in Seattle.