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Portland’s Sizzle Pie says can’t cut it in Seattle, shutting down Capitol Hill pizzeria and Dark Bar

Burnside-born Sizzle Pie could make its recipe of metal and pizza work in Portland, Eugene and even Reno. But Seattle? Not so much. The pizzeria chain announced Tuesday it is closing its Capitol Hill joint and sister venue Dark Bar at the end of August due to what it says are the rising costs of doing business in Seattle:

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the imminent closure of our Capitol Hill location on August 31, 2019. We are eternally grateful for all of the wonderful years that we were able to be a part of the Capitol Hill community. We’ve worked alongside so many great organizations and local businesses in our time here and we will miss you all dearly.

“Unfortunately, the continually rising overhead and operating costs in Seattle have brought us to the very difficult decision to close this location,” the statement reads.

A spokesperson for Sizzle Pie said he couldn’t add much to the statement but did say the company “supports a fair wage” and the statement wasn’t meant as much as a jab at Seattle as an explanation that sales were not keeping up with costs in Seattle and elements like the new sweetened beverage tax. UPDATE: Chief operating officer Bob Peyton declined to comment on the statement.

All other Sizzle Pie locations in Oregon and Nevada will remain open, the spokesperson said.

Dark Bar

Sizzle Pie and the Dark Bar arrived on E Union on the backside of the Pike/Pine nightlife scene in the spring of 2016. “Our whole approach is to have something for everyone,” Matt Jacobson, who founded Sizzle Pie with partner Mikey McKennedy in 2011, told CHS at the time. With a menu of party-flavored standards, vegan, and gluten free pies, plus really, really loud music, the shop turned out slices and pick-up orders for Pike/Pine revelers and patrons headed to nearby Optimism Brewing.

The location was previously home to the Auto Battery sports bar and Po Dog hot dogs. There are no businesses yet publicly lined up for the pizza joint and bar spaces. The Sizzle Pie spokesperson declined to offer more details on the timing of the closure but it is common for leases to have opt-out periods.

Private dance club The Mercury, meanwhile, continues to do its thing downstairs.

The exit of Sizzle Pie will leave a large hole in the slow expansion of Pike/Pine south into the gap between E Pike and Seattle University. There are still signs of growth. E Union’s Metier just underwent an overhaul and brought in new partner Homegrown to add its cycling-focused offerings. Meanwhile, the zone south of E Pike is also facing more possible change with the Central Agency Building development now on the market.

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53 thoughts on “Portland’s Sizzle Pie says can’t cut it in Seattle, shutting down Capitol Hill pizzeria and Dark Bar

  1. Their pizza crust tasted like cardboard. zPizza on Broadway made a similar claim when they were forced to close and they had no one to blame but their awful pizza.

    • I remember when they first opened up and had $3 draft microbrews at happy hour, which was the best deal this side of the Cascades.

      Their pizza however was passable…after a few of these $3 beers.

      I remember their pizza being much better in Portland, but I’ve also been somewhat inebriated when I order it down there.

  2. Their pizza was bad and their atmosphere was worse. It felt like a fast food joint inside, only with shittier music playing so loud you couldn’t easily converse.

    I’ve started going to Southpaw a lot, which is only a few blocks away and much better.

  3. Every other pizza joint in Capitol Hill can warm up a slice in 1-2 min whereas Sizzle Pie would be 5-10 min. Maybe their ovens or their inefficient workflow is to blame for high operating costs.

  4. That’s too bad.
    My partner and I went a couple times, I thought it was very average, he thought it wasn’t even that. I agree that it did take a long time to heat up, and also never felt very clean in there. Didn’t even know they had GF either. I enjoy their pizza in Portland though, so not sure what the deal is.
    Thanks Sizzle Pie – see you in PDX.

  5. Amazon yuppies don’t like metal. They want their pizza with a side of priviledge and shitty pop music. Tech has killed the hills culture.

  6. This place was pretty okay although their quality was very variable. Shame they couldn’t make it work but there’s consistently-better pizza on the hill. Now I just wonder what’s going to be the next place that people go to for something cheap to bring to Optimism.

  7. The pizza was great if you got a fresh whole pie. I loved the old dirty. the slices sat around forever tho. I loved dark bar but my pizza and heavy drinking days are very limited these days. so it goes..

  8. not surprised. went there around 15 times over the past couple years and they consistently have the worst service of any pizza place i’ve ever been to in seattle. it’s like no one gives a shit about anything there. just a buncha goth and scene kids who think they’re too cool to serve the average customer. pitiful waste of a wonderful location in cap hill. bring back po boys!!!!!

  9. My wife and I would walk over and have a slice every now and then. It was decent Pizza but damn they had the worst customer service. RIP Sizzle. May the ghosts of disgruntled hipsters haunt the walls forever. See ya never!

  10. I will miss their enormous painted exhortation on the back of their building, over the playground of the neighboring daycare center, “EAT PIZZA EVERY DAY”.

  11. My celiac daughter will miss the GF pizza. The ridiculously loud music was a turnoff for me, and yeah, it did take forever to get your pizza, even just a warmed up slice. Bring back Auto Battery! That place was great.

  12. I really liked their pizza! However, this location was a shit show EVERY TIME I visited – I can recall two occasions that I walked out. Once was because the POS was apparently offline(?)…and all the people in line were just waiting there – staff provided no explanation about why the fuck they were hiding/not working. My friend and I left literally LOLing about how it’s was almost impressive at how consistently awful the service was – this experience topped them all.

  13. I just remembered they had a Brooklyn location that suffered a similar fate. How they thought they could break into such a saturated, high quality pizza market like New York is beyond me. If only their pizza matched up with their amazing marketing.

  14. I tried Sizzle Pie a few times, since it’s not very often I get to grab pizza. The pizza was meh (and I wasn’t expecting much in the first place) and the service felt like the were doing me a favor getting a slice that I ordered. What really got me we was the extremely loud thrash metal they played. It wasn’t the type of music that was bothersome; it was the volume. At noon on a weekday, it was cranked up to 11 and I ended up walking outside to eat because it was loud enough to drown out any conversations.

  15. Well the bar manger put in an order for liquor from their rep on Monday sooo something tells me this was a surprise to their managers too.

  16. Well, shit. The pizza was adequate, at best, but it’s the only pizza place on the Hill I know of where a person with a dairy allergy can get something besides an iceberg-lettuce salad and beer. I’ll miss their adequate vegan pies.

  17. Dark Bar was great and will be missed. I wanted to like sizzle pie, but it seems the place was mismanaged. It was always a super long wait in line to order and then to wait for your slices. Sometimes things take a while, I get that, but customer service wasn’t a priority and it effected their atmosphere. The dining room was always dirty too, which I can deal with if it was fast and cheap,but on top of expensive slices and a long wait it resulted in a handful of meh to dissapointed experiences.