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Make Americana Great Again: Broadway restaurant bounces back after ‘permanent’ closure

Chef Jeffrey Wilson, founder of Americana, announced just a few weeks ago that he was permanently closing the popular brunch spot amid the COVID-19 crisis. But the Broadway Alley restaurant is unexpectedly back up and running, now in the hands of another longtime Americana cook.

Chef Jose Mendoza Gallegos has taken over the restaurant along with his family, and they plan to keep much of the menu and space the same. Mendoza Gallegos has much experience behind the scenes at Americana, working the kitchen for over twenty years back to the earliest iterations of the restaurant.

“He’s dedicated so much time to working at Americana for so many years,” his daughter Cynthia Mendoza Alvarez said. “He just thought it was a waste for Jeffrey to just close it down.”

Mendoza Alvarez says she was just as surprised as anyone to find out her father wanted to take over after Americana initially closed. “It has been surprising because I think [loyal customers] did also hear that it was closing down and they were just happy to know it was reopening,” she said.

At the end of July when former owner Wilson announced Americana was closing, he told CHS how business was hit hard by the pandemic and the economic fallout was too much. “The month leading up to it was a drastic decline in sales,” he said.

The news isn’t as good for An Americana neighbor. CHS confirmed this week that Ha Na, the longest running business in the Broadway Alley, has permanently closed.

Americana was born in 2011 when the previous ownership sold Table 219 to Wilson, their chef eager to launch his own concept. Wilson had been at the restaurant since joining at the end of its days as El Greco where the power of brunch filled tables every weekend. After taking over, he rebooted the restaurant as Americana and dedicated the menu to a creative take on American comfort food with an every-day brunch schedule.

Americana offers a variety of savory and sweet brunch options, from chicken fried steak to french toast and yogurt with granola. Specials include “The Broadway” combo of eggs and choice meat and “The Seattle Slam” pancake and egg combo. The restaurant is open for takeout along with 50% limited capacity indoor dining.

Mendoza Alvarez hopes Americana can weather whatever the COVID crisis brings and says they are working to attract more customers and business to the restaurant.

“It was stressful and it still is,” she said. “I mean we don’t know if it’s going to make it through but we’re just hoping for the best as of now.”

Americana is located at 219 Broadway E and open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 AM to 8 PM, Sunday and Monday from 9 AM to 3 PM. You can find more updates here.

Capitol Hill and Central District COVID-19 Crisis Closures: CHS has tried to confirm all reported statuses. Please let us know if any information needs to be updated -- LAST UPDATED: 12/29/20

Food and drink

  • The Wandering Goose, reported 12/29/2020
  • Barca, announced 11/11/2020
  • Suika, lease issues, announced 9/27/2020
  • Juicebox Cafe, announced 9/28/20
  • Heritage Distilling Capitol Hill, announced 9/25/20
  • Amandine, closing 9/30/20 announced 9/25/20
  • Bar Sue, announced 9/25/20
  • Marination Station, announced 9/14/20
  • Ha Na, announced 8/27/20
  • Intrigue Coffeehouse, announced 8/21/20
  • Nates Wings & Waffles, Happy Grillmore and the Central District Ice Cream Company, announced 8/6/20
  • Americana, Broadway, announced 7/23/20
  • The Lounge by AT&T and Ada’s Discovery Cafe, E Thomas, announced 7/7/20
  • Bill's Off Broadway, E Pine, announced 6/24/20
  • Stumptown, 12th Ave, announced 5/26/20
  • Adana, 15th and Pine, announced 5/21/20
  • Tougo, 18th and Union, announced early April, Yesler location remains open
  • My Thai, 10th Ave E, closed but we're not sure when it shuttered

Retail and more

  • Velocity Dance Center, 12th Ave, will continue as organization but leaving Capitol Hill space, announced 12/4/20.
  • Stock and Pantry, E Pine, announced 10/14/20
  • Take 2, 15th Ave E, announced 9/30/20
  • No Parking, E Pike, announced 9/5/20
  • Ritual House, 19th Ave E, reported 7/15/20
  • Totokaelo, 10th Ave, reported 7/13/20
  • Mode of Fitness, E Pine
  • Urban Outfitters, Broadway, youth fashion chain's exit began last summer as Broadway Market began search for new tenant
  • Le Frock, E Pike, consignment shop announced permanent closure in April

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4 months ago

A piece of good news. Hope they can make it work! Glad to see one place is sticking around, it’s been tough to see the businesses that aren’t coming back.

4 months ago

Best of luck to Jose and the Mendoza-Alvarez family! It’s going to be a real challenge to make it work during the pandemic. I’m going to do a takeout soon to help support them.