At least you will have time to say goodbye. Born at the farmer’s market and raised in the E Madison walk-up now home to Westman’s Bagels before eventually opening in the compact but space at 16th and Madison, Thai jungle curry and khao soi specialist Little Uncle is up for sale as the couple behind the business are set to take new paths.
Wiley and PK Frank say they wanted to be as transparent as possible for their small team of employees and large contingent of dedicated customers about what comes next as they search for a buyer:
After almost 9 years, we have decided to move on to do other things with our lives. PK has been enrolled in carpentry school for the past 9 months at Seattle Central’s Wood Technology program. Her interest in carpentry and construction will inevitably lead her away from the restaurant life. Wiley will pursue other food related avenues, such as perfecting french dip sandwiches, pies and parker house rolls.
“It is important to note that we currently do not have a buyer, so we will continue to be open until a buyer arises,” they write. “We just feel the need to put our decision out into the public so that you all can hear it from us.”
Little Uncle got its start as a vendor at Seattle farmer’s markets and then in the E Madison walk-up space before eventually opening its first brick and mortar location in Pioneer Square. The expansion to Pioneer Square was a success from a business standpoint but it left the couple wanting a smaller space to manage. In 2016, Little Uncle debuted back on E Madison on the same block as the old walk-up.
Three years later, it is time to move on, the Franks say.
“We are proud of what we have achieved with Little Uncle. We have more than surpassed what we expected with what we could do with Little Uncle,” they write. “We stuck to our basic principles of living within our means and serving food that we are proud to prepare with good ingredients and technique.”
The sale of restaurant space leases and equipment usually goes easier than attempts to sell a business brand and concept in the package. One recent example of a successful exit — to use a term from the world of venture capital — is Blue Stone on E Olive Way where owner Chong Kim found an eager buyer looking for a space suitable for the ambitious The Doctor’s Office Japanese whiskey tasting room concept. Ethan Stowell Restaurants, meanwhile, was able able to find a buyer for the space and the concept of Bar Cotto. Other sale attempts have dragged on or faded away. 19th Ave E’s Vios hit the market but apparently was unable to find a buyer and remains in business serving its Greek cafe favorites.
It’s not clear what the market is for Little Uncle’s relatively brand new build-out in The Mad Flats microhousing building but the Franks do have one request for customers in the meantime. “Come on in and eat!,” they write.
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