Louie’s Cuisine of China to close at end of the month


By Joe Veyera

A longtime Ballard dining institution has announced they’ll be closing their doors at the end of the month.

Louie’s Cuisine of China (5100 15th Ave NW) will serve their final customers on Sunday, June 29, marking the end of their 37-year tenure in the neighborhood.

A letter to customers on their website said the property has been sold, forcing the restaurant to, “bid an affectionate but reluctant farewell.”

Nothing lasts forever, and, as I like to say, even the finest dinner has to end sometime. Still, I feel a certain sadness and melancholy. I spent more than three decades with the much beloved Rose, as well as George, Art and Steve Louie. We were like family, and you, dear customers, were part of that Louie’s family. We’ve laughed together, cried together. We’ve shared your most treasured moments: birthdays, anniversaries, and wedding celebrations.

According to KIRO-TV’s Casey McNerthney, property records show the building was sold last month for $2.49 million. The limited liability corporation that purchased the property, 5100 15th Ave. N.W. LLC, has West Coast Apartment Advisors LLC as a registered agent.

Despite the restaurant’s closure, the letter also stated a hope to open a new restaurant in a new location.

But this is not the end. I am very hopeful that I will be able to open another restaurant, both to honor Rose and to honor you as well, my faithful customers.

So we may part for now, but understand that goodbyes are not forever. They simply mean I will miss you until we meet again.

To read the full letter, or to sign up for email notification when the owners open a new restaurant, click here.

15 comments on “Louie’s Cuisine of China to close at end of the month”

  1. Typical! Another small local family owned business gets the shaft by some developer who will want to build more ugly out of scale apartments and condos. Really, are there not developers who can build some office space in Ballard that actually attracts jobs rather than just adding to already crowded streets and buses for all the people living in Ballard but going downtown to work? Would that be too much to ask for our supposedly ‘green’ city, that people can work near where they live?

  2. Congrats to Larry Louie! He sold the property himself, not sure why anyone would get upset. He put his kids through college and nearly sold the property before the market imploded 6 years ago then had to continue on and it looks like he will get his payoff for his hard work. For once, we should celebrate the Ballard residents that are able to make the best of their situation. 5 years ago Tom Douglas was in talks to be in the new retail there -another Ballardista -but I guess we mock him now too.

  3. If selling for $2.5M is getting the shaft, I’d really love to get the shaft by a developer.

  4. I wonder if anyone will try to preserve that interesting mid-century building. It’s as interesting as the old pancake house was.

  5. Yes, Deke, anything old and mildly interesting should be preserved. We made the mistake once of knocking down the Denny’s. Let’s not be so foolish this time and do what we can to preserve this icon.

  6. @Biff: Tom Douglas makes a living, nay a killing, off of selling mediocre food for very high prices. So yes, we should mock him. He has already turned the SLU food scene into an overpriced monoculture. He’s more than welcome to live in Ballard, but he can keep his lousy restaurants out.

  7. More development along 15th makes great sense. I do hope that we can get a great Chinese restaurant (more like the old Szechaun Bistro in Greenwood) in Ballard, rather than another burger joint.

  8. While someone may think Louie’s was chinese food for “white people”. Louie’s employees were largely chinese – from their cooks to their servers. Many of whom have been working there for many, many years. Their food was consistently good, the service was always good and their prices stayed within reach of families. I will miss going there.

  9. Louie’s is the last decent bar in all of Ballard, maybe all of Seattle. No braying hipsters, no blaring sludge rock making it impossible to hear, no $15 cocktails, no overdesigned modernist nightmare, no idiotic theme — just affordable strong drinks in a nice room. End of an era. End of a world worth living in.

    The food is pretty good, too, if you know how to order.

  10. That Louie’s is the “new” Louie’s to Ballard natives. They’ve moved once before in the mid 70’s. (from 85th and 15th) let’s hope they do it again. Congrats Louie family on the sale. I hope you re-invent again. Your family tradition has been part of our family tradition for three generations now.

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