Capitol Hill Tex-Mex bar and grill Rooster’s kisses Broadway — and ‘irrelevant and unnecessary’ critics — goodbye

(Image: Rooster’s)


There is another opportunity on Broadway opening up for a food and drink entrepreneur to make a big, comfortable splash on the neighborhood’s central drag.

After four years of Tex-Mex by way of Madison Park on Broadway, Rooster’s Bar & Grill is set to close at the end of the month.

Owners Stan Moshier and Lori Campbell announced the impending closure with a sign in the window of the north Broadway restaurant. Thanks to eagle-eyed reader Todd for the tip. 

 

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Here’s the Rooster’s goodbye letter. Thanks, reader Todd.


In the message, the Rooster’s owners say they are closing to “pursue other business and personal interests” including a Stan’s Fine Foods mobile business. The letter concludes with a “special thanks” to the restaurant’s “loyal customers” who found Rooster’s to be a “welcome, friendly safe harbor.” It also concludes with a jab at the media: “To the famous Seattle Times Food Critics who chose to never write us up, thank you, you were irrelevant and unnecessary.”

The letter, inexplicably, is signed, “ATLAS SHRUGGED.”

CHS would have asked Moshier about that but the restaurateur is ending his Rooster’s run much as he began it. When we first met Moshier, he was working on the restaurant space and claimed he was only there as a contractor. Later in May of 2015 when the joint opened, Moshier was a little warmer. “There’s no polished metal. We wanted something warm and comfortable for everybody,” he told CHS at the time.

Moshier and Campbell created the Tex-Mex themed Rooster’s from the literal ashes of the space left behind after a never-solved arson destroyed the Galerias Mexican restaurant in 2011. Moshier tells CHS he won the bid to work as a contractor on rehabbing the restaurant in preparation for finding a new project to lease the space — it was a real mess by the time work began three years after the fire, Moshier said, with copper pipes and wires stripped by thieves and people using the burned out building as a place to hang out and shoot up — and as he built it back up, the longtime owner of Madison Park’s Bing’s decided it might be time to saddle back up in the restaurant biz.

Bing’s, which Moshier reportedly sold long ago, also closed suddenly this summer.

We asked Moshier for more information about the Rooster’s closure and timing but he declined to comment — “I think I’ll pass. We’ll be open until August 31st. You’re certainly welcome as a customer anytime,” he texted back.

UPDATE: Moshier did reply back and say the restaurant has been sold. We’ll see what else we can learn.

The Rooster’s closure comes around the five year mark from the start of its buildout, a typical option period for long-term commercial leases. The empty space will eave another major hole in the North Broadway commercial scene as Roy Street Coffee’s huge cafe space remains empty. The closure also comes as a few ripples of new investment are passing through the northern end of the Broadway core. Carrello, a new project from the folks at Altura, is set to open in the form Poppy space. Lionhead also has new owners. And Olmstead is coming to an overhauled Broadway Grill space.

 

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27 thoughts on “Capitol Hill Tex-Mex bar and grill Rooster’s kisses Broadway — and ‘irrelevant and unnecessary’ critics — goodbye

  1. What a weird, bitter message. Maybe if the Times had covered them, it would’ve brought more business in; that would certainly have been “relevant.” We went in once, and the service was so lousy we didn’t go back. Though I did eventually return, and to my surprise the meal and service were decent. However, when you can’t afford to go out much, I’d always pick a favorite place over a hit and miss place. So long, and don’t let the door hit you, etc!

    • I think The Seattle Times did them a favor by not reviewing the place, because it would have been a very negative review and their business would have been even worse.

  2. Regarding, “Atlas Shrugs,” from a discussion at https://www.quora.com/What-does-atlas-shrugged-mean-literally, “Atlas Shrugged refers to the notion that if all the productive people, those who think, could be persuaded to go on strike, the world would fall apart, because the non-productive (non-thinking) would not be able to run the world and keep it running. Essentially, the men (and women) with mind and will enough to keep production going join the strike because they are no longer willing to live under the irrational code of conduct that has been in place for centuries.”

  3. I really tried to like this place, but it never really figured out what it was. It started out as tex-mex but then added burgers in what appeared to be a desperate attempt to get any business they could.

    The tables and chairs were uncomfortable and the chairs would hit the wide foot of the table so that you couldn’t really scoot up to the table, it always seemed like I was miles away from my dinner companions. It was big and cavernous, only exacerbated by the fact that it was generally pretty empty too.

    The food was just ok. With Tacos Chukis, Poquitos, Fogon, etc, etc, etc, it really needed to be something special for my limited dining out funds, and it was just ok.

    I think a Seattle Times review would likely have hurt rather than helped this place.

  4. “Themed” is an appropriate choice of wording, because Tex Mex it was not. Here’s to bigger and better things (ideally without the Ayn Rand influences).

  5. RIP Rooster’s, I lived in the neighborhood and really liked to hang out at this place. We will miss surly Stan and lovely Lori, as much as I’d like to have more information, personally don’t feel they owe an explanation to anybody, whether it be personal or business decisions. Similarly, the critics probably didn’t owe them anything either, I found the food good and margaritas great, but don’t think the comfortable concept was going to blow anybody’s mind. This place did build community (active in Pride, Halloween, sporting events, neighborhood celebrations) so wish it could have stuck around — much like a number of the bartenders I came to love here over the years, and that, for whatever reason, abruptly left.
    The hot sauce is tasty! Good luck with it Stan!

  6. Stan and Lori will be missed. I can understand bitter when you watch your dream die. Stan is the master of sardonic, wry wit. But he is a great guy. He loves dogs. I will dearly miss free “Brisket for Dogs” on the patio. Those bits of fatty brisket were better than most any other offering in town. The brisket for humans was delicious too, BTW. We loved to sit on the patio with our pup and Stan would feed her brisket personally. No charge. The restaurant business is as tough as it gets. Low margin, high rent, long hours and hard to find/keep help because of the demand. This same story is playing out all over the hill right now and these are the boom times. Thank you for the good times Stan and Lori. All the best in your next endeavor.

  7. I’ve been all over Texas more times than I can count. This place was not Tex-Mex. If you eat on Capitol Hill, you will not get authentic food from any country that a restaurant is trying to pass itself off as!

  8. This place and the original bings were not good. After bings was sold it was much better. This guy just never got the hint. Saying the recipes at roosters were authentic or traditional is just a pathetic lie. Maybe people want to eat good food and have good service. I hope now he’s learned his lesson and won’t open another restaurant.

  9. I was so excited when that place opened, as I missed Tex Mex after living in Texas a few years prior. But Roosters truly sucked and I recall the staff being weird. Anyway I never went back and now I’m glad to try whatever new takes over.

  10. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out who was responsible for the fire at Galerias

    Didn’t the owners report thousands of dollars supposedly “stolen” from their safe just weeks before?

    Not sure how they would have had thousands of dollars laying around as the last few years of business they were always completely EMPTY

  11. I’ve been to this place many times and found it very friendly and reasonably priced and tasty, unlike apparently many of the other people commenting. And even though one memory is severely tainted because I happened to be here stress eating and getting wasted on election night 2016 — a truly awful day in history — I will still miss it.

  12. I’m so sad to say goodbye to one of the last precious hipster-free places on the hill.
    The queso was scrumptious comfort food. The bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers, a party in the mouth. Stan and Lori were always so welcoming and kind. It made me proud of my little part of the hill – it was unpretentious and affordable/good value. (Their large entrees were the the same price as a “small plate”). Roosters will be dearly missed.

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