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Once a server, Broadway Grill’s new owner plans food overhaul, continued good times

Last week, new owners Matt Walsh and C.J. Saretto took possession of The Broadway Grill from Debbie Augustavo, who has run the restaurant for 20 years. CHS spoke with Walsh regarding the new ownership’s plans for this Broadway institution.

Matthew Walsh has ambitious plans for the Broadway Grill. (Photo: seadevi)

When asked about his reasons for wanting to buy the restaurant, Walsh told us that he had met his husband and business partner Saretto at the Broadway Grill. Walsh said that having arrived in Seattle from a small town at the age of 16 ten years ago, the Broadway Grill was the first place that he “felt at home” as a gay teen. He ended up getting a job there and working his way up to manager.

Walsh said that Augustavo approached him about buying the restaurant late last year.  She wanted to keep the restaurant in good hands and since Walsh had previously been a server and manager at the Broadway Grill, Augustavo felt that he understood why the eatery was special.

While Walsh said he plans to keep some popular items (e.g. yam fries), he plans a major revamp of the menu. In the next few months, the bulk of the Broadway Grill’s menu will focus on local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients. In addition to editing the menu, he plans on cooking at the Grill himself.  Walsh told us that they have no plans to tinker with the popular all day, every day happy hour.

Augustavo (See Mary’s comment below) opened the Grill at 314 Broadway E in spring 1991.

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41 thoughts on “Once a server, Broadway Grill’s new owner plans food overhaul, continued good times

  1. The best of luck for you and your partner on this. I’ve known and loved the Broadway Grill for (only) about a year, but I go about as often as I can, living all the way down in Renton.

    I’m excited to see the new food changes, yet a bit nervous about the future of some of my favorite items.

  2. Actually, it was a restaurant named Baffert’s — owned by Mike Malone but managed by Bill Baffert (of the horse racing Baffert family). When the Broadway Grill opened in ’91, it was managed by a man named Tom. Debbie Augustavo didn’t come on board until a year or two later. Initially she was a co-owner with Mike Malone. She became full owner several years later, sometime around 1997-8. Glad she finally sold the property — the restaurant was showing all the signs of owner burn-out. I look forward to the improvements by Mr. Walsh and CJ Saretto — and wish them the very best.

  3. The food is gross as it is now! I look forward to seeing some positive changes to the menu. I never understood how such a terrible eatery could do so well. Perhaps it is because of the lack of options. Maybe if the Bway Grill ups the ante the rest will follow suit! (I’m looking at you Deluxe.

  4. Change anything you want, but don’t you dare change my fish and chips! :)

    While we’re on the subject of tasty things, I hope Dustin stays too! ;)

    Seriously, I’m looking forward to seeing the place update!

  5. Spent many a summer night back in the bar back in the 90’s, great space, good vibe.

    Thought boondocks was on the N end of Bway, down by Babes/Siam.

  6. …but a menu change has been long overdue. I’m excited to see how this pans out for the new owners–best of luck!

  7. I feel like it was the people watching, and not the giant chicken caesar salads or the nondescript mediterranean that kept people coming back.

  8. I have it on good authority that it is not safe to consume anything from the Grill beyond a mixed drink. And I would kind of wonder about the ice.

    I hope that steps are taken to make the unseen areas less furry.

  9. Silly comment – go find the Howard Hughes bubble!!!

    Hot oil, hot grill, boiling, kills ALL bacteria.

  10. I’ve been enjoying the Broadwawy Grill for years and am excited to see what Matt has planned! My only hope is that the staff remains the same friendly fun and energetic group, not to mention the back of the house who with an open kitchen you can see them working their buns off
    Will always gives me exceptional counter service and he’s easy to look at ! Good luck Matt I’ll br in soon.

  11. …. keep the buttermilk chicken … keep the fish and chips … keep the giant salads with some added meats …. keep the grilled tuna … keep the moderate prices.

    Get a unifying new paint job inside. Crappy chairs, hurt the ass.

    Keep the ice in the urinal – paint the johns.

    Keep the sidewalk service, jazz it up there. Keep it very gay.

    Best of luck.

  12. If you’re that squeamish, I hope you never ate at the Olympic Hotel (lots of mice, at least during the Four Seasons years), or Trader Vic’s at the Westin (cockroach central).

    Face it, bugs and vermin are everywhere. It’s a port city, for God’s sake. If you can’t deal, move to Omaha.

  13. I used to go there all the time and drop tons of money on the pomegranate martinis.

    Unfortunately, other than crazy busy burger night, it’s usually too expensive to go there now. Just can’t afford $30 for dinner and two drinks.

    Also, there are some nice servers, but the last few times the servers have been real jerks.

    And several times they’ve overcharged my credit card (thought total was tip!) and I had to hassle to get the charges reversed.

    After the second time I asked the manager if they could do something for me for my time and he jerkily said he’d write me a gift certificate.

    Then I went home and realized that he had written it already expired!

    I’ve only gone back once since then, and at friends’ request. … and with cash!!!

  14. I’m really glad that it’s going to stick around! But, yeah, the chairs are awful. I never go there because I just wiggle around uncomfortably.

  15. Congrats to C.J. & Matt!!! Change is always good and the Grill will benefit greatly with the hard work and dedication of Matt and C.J. Matt has had many years of experience in the restaurant business and C.J. grew up in it having parents who owned and operated a small cafe in N.C. for 30 years. We have nothing but sincere confidence in this new ownership and wish our boys all the success in the world. Capitol Hill you are in for a wonderful experience!!!!!!

    Love you guys, Mom and Dad Saretto

  16. I just hope we can get out there to see the place, Congrats, man! This is terrific! Edgard & I wish you guys the best of luck with your restaurant, with your lives!

  17. I am so excited for you guys and I wish you all the best! I know you will have years and years of great success with this business venture and your lives together!! With both of your backgrounds in the restaurant business you can’t help but be successful!! Seattle is mighty lucky to have you two taking over the Broadway Grill. With your passion for good food, good drinks, and success the Broadway Grill will be the best eatery and social gathering place in Seattle.
    Good luck and I love you!!

  18. C.J. & Matt,
    We are very excited for you both. From the comments it sounds like you have bought a the place to go in Seattle.We (Saretto’s) all know how hard the restaurant life can be, but I’m sure you will do just great. C.J. since you were born you have always been at the top with everything and I know you will do wonderful things with your new restaurant. We want to wish you and Matt all the best with your new restaurant and your lives together.
    We love you very much. Just wish you weren’t so far away.I love trying new restaurants
    Love Aunt Cris

  19. I don’t know where you got your history on this place from but you sound like a real know it all with incorrect info. Malone owned originally The Broadway(which went defunct), then partnered with Bill Baffert and created Baffert’s(defunct shortly after opening), the location was vacant for three year’s and then Malone opened The Broadway Grill with a guy named Tom and was shortly dismissed within a few months of opening. Check the facts. Debbie came on board right after Tom. The Grill has been there for 20 years and I hope it continues for another 20. The place was in need of some updates but you perhaps are a mean and unhappy person to be rude and acting so self important… Cruel comments on the past owner, the fact it was there for a long time was a tribute to her and the dedicated staff. I like the old Grill and am looking forward to what will happen…

  20. Boondocks was furth North on Broadway (the Deluxe is around the corner from the former Boondocks site). What is now the Broadway Grill was once “Baffert’s”.

  21. Good Luck on your new restaurant! I once worked at Bafferts and had many a cozy evening of drinks in that bar. Great Space, does it still have the wonderful sky light?
    Miss Seattle terrible sometimes, nice to see that there are still those that remember the good ole days and there are caretakers in place!

  22. BTW, I also worked at Henry’s for several years… It was down on Olive. Anyone know what happened to it and the Schwartz Bros? That place was a Gold Mine!! What is there now?

  23. Ever since that little dip shit took over the restaurant sucks. I got sick eating there which has never happened so I gave them another shot and food poisoning again so I complained and they told me not to eat there. Fuck that place, I also read online that they refused to pay an employee who is now homeless because they wouldn’t give him his last check and that’s so illegal !!!