Le Gourmand, Sambar closing this summer

After 27 years in a little brick building on Market Street, Le Gourmand is closing, Seattle Met reports. The French restaurant at 425 NW Market St and adjacent cocktail bar, Sambar, will close June 2nd, writes Allecia Vermillion.

Owner Bruce Naftaly tells Vermillion that he has served nearly every dinner served at Le Gourmand. Naftaly and his wife/business partner, Sara, are looking forward to life after the restaurant. Bruce wants to write that cookbook he’s been planning and Sara is tinkering with the idea of a bakery and also plans a cocktail book with Sambar barman Jay Kuehner.

Starting next month, Le Gourmand will kick off a farewell menu with favorites from the last three decades. “I’m still extremely passionate about the whole thing, and I want to go out while I’m still feeling that way,” Bruce tells Vermillion.

To read more from Seattle Met, click here. (Thanks everyone for the tip!)

Thaiku is closing

Updated: Ballard is losing one of its Thai restaurants. After nearly a decade in old Ballard, Thaiku (5410 Ballard Ave. NW) is closing.

Staff was told last week that the restaurant would close on December 23rd. The bar, however, may stay open until the end of the year will also close on the same day. Staff tell us that the landlord has raised the rent to an amount they can’t afford, so the owners have decided to close.

According to a press release sent out this afternoon, the owners of Thaiku are looking for a new location and hope to have a new space open within a year.
(Thanks Ann for the tip!)

Ballard Avenue boutique closing

The Ballard Avenue boutique, Dolce Vita, is closing at the end of the month.

According to SeattleMet.com, the owners of Dolce Vita have “decided the shut those doors and concentrate their retail efforts in New York.” The company is based in Seattle and will continue to sell their brand online and at Nordstrom, Seattle Met is reporting. Everything is 33-percent off until the store closes at the end of the month.

Dolce Vita opened it’s fourth store in at 5323 Ballard Ave NW May 2008. The company is closing its non-New York retail shops which include Ballard, Los Angeles and Santa Monica. They will have two shops open in Manhattan by the end of the year, according to Seattle Met.

Ballard Avenue boutique closing this weekend

After seven years on Ballard Avenue, 20twenty (5208 Ballard Ave) is closing.

Owner Joel Leshefka posted this note on his blog last month:

After 7 incredible, inspired, tiring, and ultimately fulfilling years, it is with bittersweet feelings that I’m announcing the final day of business for 20twenty as September 11th, 2011.

Those who know me well, know this is a decision I’ve debated for the past couple of years, and was an extremely difficult one to make. This has less to do with finances, and more with my direction as a human, and small business owner.

20twenty was my baby, the first thing I ever gave myself to fully, but it was also just a start. Anyone who has a built a business from the ground up, will tell you how consuming it is. It becomes apart of your family, your social life….

The closure of 20twenty will allow me to grow and create in ways not possible now.

I’m so thankful to the 100’s of artists that showed their artwork on our walls, sold their creative goods in our store. It was fun.

Of course special love to all the amazing employees I’ve had over the years, and the customers who’ve supported 20twenty. I’ve been working in the store the past 3 weeks, and I can say without a doubt, serving such kind, rad people has always been a big part of why I wanted a retail space originally.

Seattle is an amazing city, I feel blessed to have been apart of this neighborhood and community for so long.

What’s next?

Cairo and more Cairo. I won’t say that I’ve been playing favorites, but I kind of have for awhile now….

More than just a retail space, Cairo has helped me understand what a space without limitations can look like. It’s a retail store, online store, a silkscreening studio, event creator, and now record label.

What Cairo does, is more of what I want to focus on and keep creating. If you haven’t had a chance to come by check it out, I hope you will soon. And if you live in a nice sunny place, you may be getting a Cairo in your town soon….just sayin.

Joel Leshefka

(Thank you, Christina for the tip and photo.)

Bad Albert’s Tap & Grill closing

The economy has taken its toll on another longtime Ballard business. Bad Albert’s Tap & Grill will be closing sometime next month.

After nearly 17 years at 5100 Ballard Ave NW, owner and almost lifetime Ballardite Steve Katsandres says he had to make the tough decision to close. “We went through stock market crashes, this and that, 9/11, we’ve gone through everything,” Katsandres says. “We’ve weathered every storm. This one I can’t. It’s just too much.” The storm is a combination of the economy and health issues that he needs to tend to.

“To the people of Ballard, it’s been a great ride. I could never have gotten anywhere without the people who have supported me in the community,” he tells me at one of the tables in the dark restaurant with a red neon light around the perimeter. “In my heart I feel like I’m kind of letting people down. But I’m not because the people who know me, know how hard I’ve worked, how hard my staff has worked, it’s kind of emotional.”

The restaurant is for sale but Katsandres says he will probably close after the fourth of July weekend, possibly July 11th. “This place here is a great opportunity for somebody. Somebody who’s smart could really frickin take care of business here,” he says.

“In the end, Bad Albert’s will always be remembered for what we did and all the things I’ve tried to do for the neighborhood, for the community,” Katsandres says. (Thanks Zobmie for posting this in the MyBallard forum.)

Souvenir on Ballard Ave is closing

Early next month, Souvenir at 5325 Ballard Ave. N.W. will close.

The eclectic little shop with no signage is closing on February 6th after a decade on the now-popular street. Curtis Steiner tells Seattle Met that the landlord is closing the shop to make way for an elevator. The landlord wants easier access to the upstairs to renovate the space into condos, Seattle Met is reporting.

The last day is Superbowl Sunday and Steiner tells Seattle Met that his annual garage sale after the game will be “bigger and better than ever.”

You can read more about Souvenir and Steiner’s plans here.

Mon Petit Shoe closing, to be replaced by pub

After four and a half years at 2236 NW Market Street, the children’s boutique Mon Petit Shoe is closing.

Owner Tiffany Lysene tells us that the tough economy is the key reason that they’re closing. “We spend so much time with the business,” Lysene says, “It just doesn’t make sense to continue if we aren’t making money.”

Lysene is active with the In Ballard Merchants Association and will continue to work with that organization. She also runs a manufacturing business that will keep her busy once the store is closed.

For the next couple of weeks everything in the store will be 30-percent off. After that the deals will get better and better. The store will officially close on December 21st.

Ballard Ave Pub will replace the shoe store. They recently applied for a restaurant/lounge liquor license. According to the license application, the license is “to sell spirits, beer, and wine by the individual serving for on-premises consumption. In this case, less than 50 percent of the establishment is dedicated to dining.”

BARK closing at the beginning of next year

After 11 years of owning BARK (5338 Ballard Ave), the owner is closing up shop.

“I have decided to close the store and take a well deserved break,” the note on the window reads. “I’m tired,” Karen, the owner tells us. “If I don’t do it now, I’ll never do it.”

Karen is keeping the name “BARK” and may use it again in the future. For now, though, she’s looking forward to taking some time off. She tells us that closer to the closing date, she’ll have sales on the remaining merchandise. Karen says that Damsalfly (5346 Ballard Ave NW) will be taking over the space. We’ll have more information on this soon.

Lombardi’s to close next month

On October 9th, the 23-year-old Lombardi’s restaurant on Market Street will close its doors for good.

The news was announced today on the restaurant’s blog. Owner Diane Symms says that her daughter will take over the restaurant business, keeping the two other Lombardi’s locations, in Issaquah and Everett, open, but the Ballard location will close.

From the blog:

Symms made the decision to close the Ballard Lombardi’s after being approached by another local entrepreneur. She can’t reveal much about the transaction but said the new owner has deep roots in the Seattle restaurant community. The new restaurant will be a “gastro pub” and expects to be open in early December. Details on the new restaurant will be announced by its owner in the coming weeks.

Before closing in Ballard, restaurant-goers can enjoy the “infamous” Lombardi’s Garlic Festival with garlic creations from appetizers to ice cream. On September 25th, there will be a special musical performance by the Voices of Seattle, a local Jazz/R&B group.

Stay tuned for more information on the “gastro pub” that will replace Lombardi’s. (Thanks @toddbishop and @Carlman03 for the tip via Twitter.)