Hungry for a business opportunity? Three Ravenna restaurants for sale (UPDATE)

As we mentioned in our newly returned Sunday Edition, there were some local restaurant sale mysteries we were puzzling over. Then, on Monday afternoon, we had a break-through: There were not TWO Ravenna restaurants looking to change hands, but THREE.

The first local restaurant for sale is the Pied Piper Ale House (2404 NE 65th St).

The family friendly pub and Geeks Who Drink pub trivia spot has been closed with no explanation since the end of 2012. Then, this week, we learned from a follower on twitter who spoke to the Pied Piper manager on what happened to be their last day of business (the end of December, either the 27th or 28th).

Here is the listing for the location, with the name included in the picture, leaving no mystery:

Commercial Brokers Association listing for the Pied Piper Ale House (click to read the full listing)

Commercial Brokers Association listing for the Pied Piper Ale House (click to read the full listing).

The second closure is a long-time Ravenna neighborhood fixture: Casa D’Italia* (2615 NE 65th St).

We were first alerted to this closure via a Craigslist post just last week, which included the ominous line, “We are no longer able to run the restaurant due to family issues but the restaurant has great potential for the future.”

Since then, three more Craigslist posts have popped up: Two on Saturday, February 16 (one showing the furniture for sale, the other listing other fixtures), and a final one on Monday, February 18, stating that the location is for lease.

We visited the location Monday evening, and found this note on the door:

To all our guests,

On February 16th, we made a family decision to close Casa D’Italia. We would like to thank everyone for your support throughout the last 12 years. We will be keeping our website running so check us out at www.casaditaliaseattle.com to keep up on our next venture and find out where Anthony is cooking next.

Again, thank you for your support.

God bless,

– The Donatone Family

Turns out the closure seems fast because it was.

Casa_DItalia_closes2

We’ve reached out to the family for more information, and will update this post if we hear anything back.

UPDATE (Thursday, February 28): From Angeli Donatone, wife of Chef Anthony (via email):

Yes, it was a sudden closure but one that had been looming for awhile. Like so many others, we have been affected by the changing economy, both personally and professionally. It was a challenge for us to say good-bye to Casa D’Italia, which grew in 11 years to be like family for so many. We trust that when one door closes, many others will open, and it is with this blind faith that we made the decision to close.

Our lease had been month-to-month for many years, and we felt the deferred maintenance on the building was catching up with it, and didn’t want this to become a liability to us, an independant family-run business. We are so proud of the community that was built and all of the fans of “Casa” “Anthony’s” or “the two tomatoes” among other nick-names…Please thank the neighbors for sharing their lives with us. We also have referrals for some great Italian caterers…They may contact us via our website where we will post updates to our whereabouts.

http://casaditaliaseattle.com/default.asp

The third local restaurant sale is more of a mystery.

The listing states a location of the Ravenna neighborhood, but is not any more specific. In fact, interested parties are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement before learning of its location.

Our only clues are in the description, which includes the following:

[E]xposed timber beams and soaring 18′ ceilings. Opened August 2011 after extensive remodel. 1,760 SF (restaurant) plus 220 SF (on site office and storage room). Seats 60 including 18 counter seats in bar area.

Craigslist ad for the mystery restaurant (click to read the full listing).

Craigslist ad for the mystery restaurant (click to read the full listing).

We have our guesses. We’ve been told we’re wrong (by a friend of friends of the owner), but with an NDA on the table, all bets are off.

____________________

*Casa D’Italia was the Ravenna Blog’s very first paying customer, in terms of advertising. We will always have a hyperlocal place in our heart for them, and we wish them the very best in the future.

Comments

  1. Will Cone says

    Maybe this could open up a dialog as to why some of the property owners are unable to see that they are not charging what the real market value of their property is. The rent for the Pied Piper is equivalent to spaces in much higher traffic and higher demand areas of Seattle such as Capital Hill. We won’t be able to have sustainable businesses and local owners until we have rates that are fair for the space.

    • says

      You have a good point. Makes me wonder how many other little neighborhood joints around the city are doing these days. I’m sure we’re not the only area feeling the pain right now.

      Times like this make me wish the area had a business association, or a chamber of commerce, or something. These businesses need help from local customers, sure. But banding together in some way, to promote and support each other, couldn’t hurt either.

  2. says

    Oh man, what a bummer about Casa D’Italia :( I really loved that place, and didn’t even know it was closing or I would have gone there one last time for some of their amazing pasta. Shoot!!

  3. JSchussler says

    The third one isn’t Mazi. I was there last weekend and asked them directly. The reply was “No way, not this place,” and a facial expression of “Are you kidding? We’re making plenty of money…”

    • says

      Hmm. Interesting. Thanks for asking.

      Related: Anyone else in the neighborhood get a postcard coupon in the mail from them this week? Something along the lines of free appetizer with purchase of an entree?

  4. mar says

    You are right! Restaurants in Ravenna are having a tough enough time surviving. SO,KEEP THE BIKE TRACK
    OFF 65th!!!!! That’s the point of our opposing the track!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • miguel escobar says

      hilarious. misguided. hilariously misguided. a bike track won’t reduce patronage of restaurants, if anything it would lead to an increase. as will the pending density.

      buy a clue, luddite!

    • John says

      I can’t wholly disagree with the initial point, in so much as I would like to see from, say, 8th up to 12th be 24×7 parking (ie, get rid of the ‘no parking 4p-6p’) and then, after 12th going east, I’m not really sure where you’re going to see restaurant patronage drop because of a lack of parking. Are people walking to Pies and Pints after parking east of 12th?

      (Note that the above could also be remapped to the Zeek’s area.)

      But, lets continue down this route (HA!), can you show me a plan that shows 65th would *lose* parking in the business zones? The only plan I’ve found talks about adding the bike lanes. Nothing about what would actually change otherwise.

      But, since you state “That’s the point of our opposing the track!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”[1], by ‘our’, are you saying you’re one of these business owners? Care to let us know which? I would like to base my buying decisions based on the values the business owners have. If you’re going to say ‘No, I just want to see our local businesses survive,’ I’d ask if you know for a fact how much of your local businesses get traffic from cars parked on the street vs. walk up traffic from neighborhood residents. Actually, if you’re a business owner, I’d love to hear that too. That’s the argument that will drive the point home. ‘I own ____ and 60% of my business is from people who have parked on the street and can’t walk here because they aren’t local.'[2] Because that argument will show that your business does, in fact, depend upon these street parking spots. If so, I could easily see sharrows in the business districts while we switch to dedicated bike lanes in the residential areas.

      But, without that sort of reasoned argument, you come across as a whiny, bike-hating NIMBY’er who has no evidence to back up their arguments apart from lots of exclamation points and a lack of suggestions of what *could* be done, just a vehement opinion on what *shouldn’t* be done.

      [1] Your excessive use of exclamation points makes you come across as an excitable windbag who just wants to whine. Try to keep your arguments impassioned but calm. A single exclamation point will do for a very salient point that you exceedingly wish to stress, but, honestly? I don’t think you like being yelled at (what an exclamation point will typically imply) any more than we do, so please, chill the hell out.

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  7. says

    A: What young people talk about are dreams, not the future. For example, it is a young man’s dream, not the future, when he says he wants to be another Einstein. But when he is in his forties, he will no longer talk about being Einstein because he focuses on reality. The future is what we can truly realize in daily life, totally different from our dreams. I’m in my forties and I only talk of the things I can realize and cope with.

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