After eight years of business, Anchovies and Olives will close to end 2017. Seattle restaurateur Ethan Stowell, one of the city’s most prolific chef/owners, says not to try to read too much into the closure. It’s not always about trends and demographics. Sometimes, it’s just time for restaurants to close.
“We’ve loved this restaurant,” Stowell said Thursday after the announcement of its planned December 31st last night of service at 15th and Pine. “You never want to close down a business. You wish everything was a home run.”
Bittersweet Announcement: Anchovies & Olives will serve its last crudo on Dec 31st. It’s been a great run—Ethan and Angela want to thank everyone for 8 years! Join us for one last Oyster Power Hour or to experience Feast of the Seven Fishes 12/23. For more https://t.co/bYqtu24fA2 pic.twitter.com/46ZMJG3Pu4
— Stowell Restaurants (@ESRseattle) December 14, 2017
Eight years ago, A&O’s Italian seafood concept helped Ethan and Angela Stowell build on their start in building a small Seattle restaurant empire. The parking situation was easier back then with a big, mostly empty parking lot right across the street. Years of development has taken up that open space. Stowell said that became part of the drag at Anchovies and Olives.
The other part was the natural evolution of the neighborhood. Capitol Hill didn’t really spread to the east the way you might have thought it was headed a decade ago. It will probably get there someday as the eastern Hill collides with investment and gentrification around 23rd and Union. But Stowell said Anchovies ended up outside of the main centers of Capitol Hill where other Stowell properties like Rione XIII — which opened in 2012 on 15th Ave E — or Tavolata — which opened on E Pike in 2016 — make their homes.
Stowell’s neighboring Bar Cotto, meanwhile, will stick it out and hold down the fort. The joint remains open and will add a new element in the new year as it gets the run of the old restaurant as an expanded event space. Stowell said the package of Anchovies and Olives remains on the market — you can buy them both for $300,000 if so inclined:
Two concepts for the price of one in Capitol Hill, Seattle! Two chic, modern destination spots within the heart of Capitol Hill. Incredible opportunity to own two restaurants in the heart of Capitol Hill! Share your management/kitchen overhead to oversee two distinct concepts with shared restrooms or knock down a wall to create one larger concept. $650,000 worth of build out, wood burning pizza oven, Type 1 hood, two bars, top of the line kitchen equipment, patio, modern build out. Last year these establishments net 1.5 million in yearly sales combined and were profitable with management teams in place. Owners are not currently pulling any shifts. Or manage the dining room/kitchen yourself and really make some money! Long term lease available. Key management will probably not stay with new ownership group.
But Stowell is also ready to see how the new event space business works out.
While some long time fans will be sad to see it go, Stowell doesn’t seem like the sentimental type.
“Some restaurants just have a life,” he said. Our company has changed as well. If something is underperforming, it doesn’t make sense to maintain it. We made the choice to move on.”
Happy December, readers…
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