Another 23rd/Madison cafe calls it quits: Patty Pan sets sights on markets

Only five months after opening its doors, Devra Gartenstein is turning off the burners at her Patty Pan Cafe at the intersection of 23rd Ave and Madison. Here’s her note to CHS about the closure:

We gave it our best but it just wasn’t happening, and market season is about to start so we just felt we had better uses for our time and energy. We’ll still be holding the Humble Feast dinners there on the last Monday of each month until the end of our lease, and then we hope to move the event to a community center nearby.


Gartenstein opened the cafe in October last year as an extension of her farmers market appearances and catering business. The space had previously been home to FIXX Coffee which closed after a short run in summer 2010. For Gartenstein, it’s the second time she’s been forced to close down a brick and mortar location — her Patty Pan Grill in Ballard closed down after four years of operation.

Double bad news for any Patty Pan fans is the sad news that Gartenstein also won’t be part of the Broadway farmers market this year.

Patty Pan was a CHS advertiser and we had held an event there to try to help drum up more business for what has been a challenging location. Business success in the area isn’t impossible, however. Nearby, the Bottleneck Lounge continues to wet whistles and Philadelphia Fevre still satisfies. Across the street, Crush remains a foodie destination. But 2310 E Madison is now looking for a tenant and any neighbors in the area who had made a habit of stopping in for breakfast or a coffee are again out of luck.

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8 thoughts on “Another 23rd/Madison cafe calls it quits: Patty Pan sets sights on markets

  1. that’s too bad. But the last time coworkers and I went there for lunch (I think in February), the cafe was closed with no explanation – and I guess the moral is that we haven’t been back since.

  2. damn, i’ve watched both incarnations of Fixx and now Patty Pan close down in that spot – so sad. The location suffers really poor visibility at an odd angle and doesn’t have a ton of foot traffic. Patty Pan also had pretty limited hours (I think 7:30-3:30pm M-Sat?) which made visiting challenging for 9-5er’s (except those who work nearby).

    Oh well, best of luck to Patty Pan staff in their future endeavors, hopefully they’ll remain successful @ the Ballard Farmers Market

  3. My husband and I had disappointing experiences there. Once they were out of most of the menu items, then the ones we did have were over or under salted. In general it was difficult to find something we enjoyed there. We loved the concept, but not the execution.

    @Genevieve; we stopped by to find it closed as well! I think our experience was just encountering irregular shop hours…

  4. I wanted to love Patty Pan. Both times. First, it was in Ballard and open about four hours a day (duh.) Then they re-opened with a bizarre NOT-vegetarian but-want-to-be-like-a-vegetatian resto that consisted of a whole lot of nothing. Add to that more crappy hours and a difficult location and they were bound to fail.

    Oh, and customer service wasn’t incredibly friendly either. Oh, their burden of having to cater to a customer base.

    Whatever. And good riddance.

    Maybe next time, they’ll get a clue and get it right. Those of us who eat vegetarian don’t like meat all over the menu. AND we like CHOICES. And smiles.

    Don’t even get me started on The Stranger’s absurd gushing review of this failed business either. ;-)

  5. An ill-informed post from someone whose personal maturity issues clearly go beyond this topic.

    It was a vegetarian restaurant so I’m not sure what in world you’re talking about in regard to there being meat on the menu. Makes me question whether you ever actually visited the restaurant.

    My multiple experiences at PP were positive. It’s a tough space in which to make a go of it given it’s small area for seating and poor parking.

  6. Patty Pan has a separate kitchen facility, which is why they’ll be able to continue vending vegetarian food at the farmer’s market.

  7. FAN, your accusations are what’s immature and base-less. Perhaps work on controlling your anger? I’ve been to Patty Pan. IF it was still indeed a vegetarian café, they never made it clear that they were (could have used signage, etc). I asked the person working the counter if their “beef stew” was vegetarian and she said “no”. Could have misheard me, I guess but she did little to turn me on to the place, explained nothing and seemed pretty disinterested.

    The soup my g-friend had was mediocre, nothing special. My breakfast quesadilla was good but nothing special. The place just seemed like an amateurish trial business one might expect of bashful university students in learning. We actually really wanted to like it, Fan, but found little to love.

    You might consider, Fan, that this is the second time Patty Pan has faltered. They barely advertised. They barely put up signage that was barely noticeable. If they were so great, people would have sought them out.

    You may have liked Patty Pan. I have zero doubt. I also have zero doubt that your vindictive comments about me -laid merely because you disagree with my assessment- are indicative of just what type of person was a Patty Pan fan, “fan”. It seems you choose your perception of cool or hipster altruism over actual quality.

    Patty Pan came up a dud and the community responded in turn, saying, in effect: “Thanks but no thanks”.