Last week, an order to vacate was posted on the front of E Pike’s Rosebud Restaurant and Bar as customers looked on and wondered what was happening to one of the oldest surviving restaurants on Capitol Hill. Todd Nordahl who has owned the Rosebud since the beginning of the year wants those customers to know this.
“The Rosebud is not going anywhere,” he tells CHS.
Nordahl says the order to vacate over more than $11,000 in unpaid rent is the result of a dispute between the new restaurant owner and the people who have owned 719 E Pike since 2005.
“The owner has been less than supportive of having a type of an establishment that is trying new things and entertainment,” Nordahl said. He also declined to go into some matters as he says the situation seems to be headed for a legal battle.
“There are three sets of lawyers here,” Nordahl said. In the mix, Nordahl, former owner Robert Sondheim and Best Block, LLC’s Mark Chambers and Oda Egeland and was purchased for $3.2 million in January 2005, according to King County records.
Though Nordahl declined to go into specifics, CHS has learned that Chambers and Egeland have thrown the lease Nordahl says he has for the space into question and, according to Nordahl, are insisting any deal for the restaurant was only forged with previous owner Sondheim, not Nordahl.
There is no lawsuit — yet.
We’ve sent notes to Chambers and Egeland asking for details from them about their side of the situation but have not yet heard back. We will update if we learn more.
Nordahl says the problems stem from his efforts to reinvigorate Rosebud and add special events and nightly entertainment to the mix. The problem, Nordahl says, is it’s working. “It has been a shock — because there were actually people in the bar,” Nordahl said.
The resulting increase in night activity and noise — and business — has caused concern for some of the people living in apartments above the Rosebud, Nordahl says. Chambers also operates a business for short term vacation rentals in some of the units above the restaurant.
“The owner of the building wants a much quieter environment,” Nordahl said.
The result could end up in a legal battle over the lease — or with some king of agreement worked out.
Nordahl says this isn’t a situation like the circumstances CHS reported on around Varro where Rosebud can’t make its rent because of poor business. ”If the landowner is persistent and doesn’t want to recognize the lease, we might have to make other plans,” Nordahl said.
“This is a place that has been here for a long time.”
Seattlest was first to report that a notice was seen posted on Rosebud’s door documenting unpaid rent for their 719 E Pike location.
You can learn more at rosebudseattle.com.