NYTimes/SFGate with an excellent article on how the Seattle restaurant scene is suffering - very similar to what’s happening here in the SFBA:
Seattle restaurants pulling back or closing down: Sound familiar?
The riots certainly didn’t help.
I had read that article shortly before seeing it here. I expect most of our cities are experiencing similar, but perhaps Seattle is among the worst. I find it sad and depressing, as there was such a robust culinary scene. Don’t know how it’s all going to shake out.
Yes, the news that Tom Douglas closed 11 of his 13 restaurants was stunning.
My spouse just commented last night he is reluctant to dine out for at least another year, no matter what anyone says. And I’m afraid that a lot of others feel the way he does.
Yes @Lethe2020, I’m afraid we’re in for a long haul. It’s hard enough in the restaurant business in the best of times, based on their thin margins. Don’t know how many original ones will survive. But there will be lots of new ones to try, of that I’m sure.
Restaurants have been over saturated and under profitable for years. The bubble has burst.
I’m sure you’re absolutely right @Babette, although I believe we’ll still see quite a few new ones pop up. People are tired of staying home.
Really made it hard to get to all the businesses that had closed 2 months earlier?
Yes, there will still be cooks with a dream. And as Maria and Tom said in the article, what else are you going to do when you’ve been cooking all your life? It’s a reckoning though, 50% labor cost is insane. Chefs I know have had to design their menus around labor more than ever before. Food cost used to be the main thing, now it’s not just what’s on the plate but how much prep it takes to get it there.
That is sad news indeed. I have such fond memories of Il Corvo. Best pasta deal in town hands down. I had no idea about his wife. Poor family! There were 3 yrs in a row when my husband and I (we generally live apart during the week for my job) would send the kids to overnight camp for a week, he would stay in my SEA apt, and we would have date night all week, checking out all the grown up restos, Tilth, Walrus, Dahlia, etc. and then catching some Shakespeare in the park. Those times were unforgettable, but sadly, it looks like a lens into the distant past now, and who knows when this type of thing will be “normal” again. But I agree with Lambchop. There are so many people with cooking chops and a dream, I don’t think the industry will ever flame out in Seattle. It will just be a new crop of folks at the stove 2, 3 yrs from now.