There are some big holes in Capitol Hill food+drink real estate to fill — Sitka and Spruce’s centerpiece restaurant in Melrose Market will close on New Year’s Eve, the relatively giant space left behind by Trove on E Pike, and the biggest empty cafe on Capitol Hill where Starbucks pulled up the stakes on Roy Street Coffee in April.
And there is now a small one we knew was coming but still makes us sad to report.
Saturday night, little Little Uncle served its final meals after three and a half years at 16th and Madison. The small restaurant born at the city’s farmers markets and honed inside an E Madison walk-up before its short but popular run in new mixed-use construction on the same block made the announcement Saturday night giving fans a few final hours to visit.
It’s our last night of service tonight. Thank you for your support over the past 9years. pic.twitter.com/ZSsKCtvTu2
— Little Uncle (@littleuncletwit) September 29, 2019
Owners Wiley and PK Frank announced in July that they were ready to move on from the restaurant and were looking to sell or close the business down. It’s not clear if a buyer emerged. So far, there are no signs of some of the typical permitting or licensing changes that can come with a restaurant sale but it’s early in the process. We’ve reached out to the Franks to learn more.
The restaurant 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.
Along with the closing announcement, the weekend brought a brief goodbye message from the Franks:
Little Uncle has always been about cooking the food we love to prepare, eat and share. From now on, our 1523 E Madison location will cease to exist. Many of our loyal customers will be asking, “How can this be? Things are so good? We crave your food! We simply encourage these folks to consider their experience with Little Uncle as a place and time in their lives when they found a dish to eat that made their day perfect. We thank you for your generous patronage.
While the closure joins a small flurry of shutdowns, there are some new openings around the Hill to look forward to.
Pike is a hotbed of activity with Indian restaurant Zaika is under construction to take over the former home of Tango, the new Pagliacci slice bar and test kitchen also under construction farther up the Hill, and La Dive replacing the Other Coast sandwich shop with natural wines and frozen wine cocktails near Broadway.
North Broadway is also home to a burst of new life as the Altura family is set to bring Carrello to the former Poppy space.
Meanwhile, the hole-iest of Capitol Hill food+drink restaurant real estate holes is also about to be filled in and repaired as the Witness family expands with Olmsted in the old Broadway Grill space.
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