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 firstname.lastname@example.org -- LAST UPDATED: 12/29/20
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