Paseo quietly reopens in Fremont, Ballard coming soon

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According to our news partners at The Seattle Times, Paseo quietly reopened in Fremont yesterday to the rejoice of many local fans.

After its abrupt closure two months ago, many Seattleites have been eagerly awaiting this day!

The opening was without fanfare to ensure that the kitchen was not completely slammed.

“We literally didn’t tell a soul,” new owner Ryan Santwire (pictured above) told The Seattle Times. However, the open doors and signature Paseo aroma caused an “avalanche of business.”

According to the report, fans are set for the usual Paseo taste and quality. Santwire told The Seattle Times that “the food is better than ever.”

In terms of the menu, Santwire confirms that it is exactly the same and that the ingredients are being delivered by the same suppliers. Many original Paseo staff members have also returned to work in the kitchen.

The Seattle Times reports that there are only two changes under Santwire’s ownership. Credit cards are now being accepted and the team are striving to never run out of Macrina Bakery bread, an issue that often disappointed fans in the past.

“We will do a better job of getting sandwiches to people without running out. But get here early,” Santwire told The Seattle Times.

The Fremont store is set to be open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eventually, Sunday hours are set to be added to the schedule.

Ballardites should not fret, however, as the store on Shilshole Ave NW is set for reopening in the next few weeks. The My Ballard team will update readers with the opening details when they are known.

Photo courtesy of The Seattle Times. Photo credit – Mark Harrison.

Paseo to reopen with same recipes and employees

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Just when we thought that the ongoing Paseo closure saga had come to an end, a final installment has arrived.

According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, Paseo is set to reopen with the same famous recipes and employees. The My Ballard team reported the sale of the Paseo assets and name to Pike Place Market Board Member Ryan Santwire earlier this month.

The $91,000 bankruptcy sale included the Paseo name, all of the equipment and everything else that the company owned apart from the famous recipes themselves.

Former owner Lorenzo Lorenzo did not allow the recipes to be included in the court filing confirming that the recipes were always “held by him personally, not the restaurant”.

Many My Ballard readers, although excited about the possibility of the reopening, expressed their disappointment about the absence of the recipes. My Ballard reader Nicole commented on our Facebook page stating that “without the recipes it just isn’t the same Paseo.”

However, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal report, fans need not be disappointed any longer.

The report confirms that Santwire met with several former Paseo employees who had worked in the sandwich store for over eight years and they have come together to recreate the sandwich recipes.

“We’re able to make the exact same food and that’s really what it comes down to,” Santwire told the Puget Sound Business Journal. “We made the food and I said ‘wow, OK, these guys are the right guys.'”

According to the report, Santwire is set on opening the Fremont location as soon as possible and intends to also reopen the Ballard spot. The lawyer for the Ballard location, Marc Stern, has confirmed, however, that his client has been contacted by multiple other people who are interested in leasing the spot.

Santwire confirmed that he decided to buy the business because it is a “Seattle institution.” “The only way I was going to purchase it was if the business was going to be replicated the same way,” Santwire told the Puget Sound Business Journal.

The My Ballard team will update readers with the opening date when it is known.

Paseo name and assets sold to new owner

The latest installment in the ongoing Paseo closure saga has been reported by the Puget Sound Business Journal. According to Friday’s report, all of Paseo’s assets, including the well-known name itself, were sold at auction on Friday for $91,000.

The sale comes after nearly a month of controversy since the abrupt closure of the restaurant, the subsequent bankruptcy filing and the launch and failure of a Kickstarter campaign to bring the sandwich shop back to life.

The Puget Sound Business Journal report reveals that the winning bidder is Ryan Santwire, a Seattle resident who is reportedly on the board of the Pike Place Market Foundation, a partner at Wine World Warehouse and an investor at RockCreek Seafood and Spirits.

Although the assets and the name itself have been sold, the recipes were reportedly not included in Friday’s auction. Paseo owner Lorenzo Lorenzo objected to the sale if the recipes were included.

According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, the recipes were not listed in the court filing and Lorenzo confirmed that the recipes were always “held by him personally, not the restaurant”.

The $91,000 sale included the Paseo name, all of the equipment and everything else that the company owned. The assets were reportedly appraised at approximately $53,000, however, the value is likely much higher due to the popularity and fame of the name itself.

The auction reportedly did not go to a public bankruptcy option as the trustees were trying to “speed up the process.”

According to the report, six bidders took part in the auction that started at $35,000. After the sale is approved, wages will be paid to previous employees first, then creditors and taxes if needed.

Savvy Orders pulls plug on “Save Paseo” Kickstarter

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In the latest installment of the Paseo sandwich shop closure saga, the “Save Paseo” Kickstarter has been cancelled by campaign organizer Savvy Orders.

The Kickstarter campaign, aiming to raise a total of $250,000 to reopen the Seattle sandwich staple, was canceled last Thursday after 312 backers had donated a total of $34,180.

According to a GeekWire report, donations to the “Save Paseo” campaign topped $40,000 last week, however, after a couple of negative reports from The Stranger and KING 5 some backers began to withdraw a total of $5000 in donations.

According to the KING 5 report, former Paseo employees were not in favor of the Savvy Order campaign. Former employee Gil Butler stated that “two of his former colleagues don’t want to work under new owners,” and former employee Tyler Grantham told The Stranger that “none of us are interested in what [Savvy Orders] proposed.”

Savvy Orders founder, Greg Gans, was reportedly surprised by the negative reactions from the former employees of Paseo. Gans attempted to reach out to the former employees, however, he told GeekWire that “they wouldn’t even have a conversation with us or hear us out.”

In the face of the criticism and the lack of support from the former employees, Savvy Orders cancelled the campaign. Check out their final statements on the “Save Paseo” Kickstarter page below:

November 19:

Hi fellow Paseo lovers,

We apologize for not giving any updates in the past few days, but we want to let you all know that we were working around the clock to gain a greater understanding of what we can do to Save Paseo!

We, like the rest of you, have had one goal in mind: keep Paseo open! But as we have proceeded with the earliest stages of the asset acquisition process, we have run into some pushback. We have not been privy to all of the behind the scenes details, but we would fully support Paseo’s reopening by its previous owner if the allegations in the lawsuit against them are untrue.

Our goal has never been to be involved in a controversy or a “fight” for Paseo. We only started this project because of our early and limited understanding that Paseo had closed “forever” based on its filing for bankruptcy. We believed that with the support of the community, reopening would be a relatively uncontentious undertaking. When some of the previous employees explained that they were not interested in working with us, we offered to turn the Kickstarter over to them.

But, if, as one of the previous employees put it, “[T]he recipes [are] his old boss’ best chance at starting over”, the last thing we want to do is stand in the way of someone making a living by acquiring his recipes through bankruptcy proceedings.

We gave it our all and tried to do what we thought would be best for Paseo lovers. But at this point, it seems highly unlikely that Paseo will be reopened and restored to its original glory by us.

Thanks again to everyone for your amazing show of support!

November 20:

Dear Loyal Paseo Fans,

We were happy to see that we were not alone in our love for Paseo and were thrilled about how many members of the community were willing to show their support when it closed. We truly appreciate all of your efforts and donations, however it appears extremely unlikely that we will reach our goal. As such, we are going end the Kickstarter, and refund everyone’s donations.

Thanks again!

Cheers,

The Savvy Team

Local entrepreneurs launch Kickstarter to re-open Paseo

Investment group Savvy Orders has launched a Kickstarter campaign in the hope of raising funds within the community to re-open Paseo. The group is hoping to raise $250,000 from the Kickstarter to add to their investment in the business.

“We don’t want to change a thing, except we plan on paying its (previous) employees a living wage, give them benefits and offer profit sharing. We want to keep this staple a part of Seattle life forever,” says Savvy’s Community Manager Greg Gang.

Check out the statement featured on their Kickstarter page below:

Ranked No. 2 on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in America. Paseo was a Seattle staple near and dear to our hearts.

We won’t be changing the employees or recipes, but we will be changing the work environment, including providing benefits and fair wages to all employees.

When we found out Paseo was shutting down, we were stunned, sad, and angry. How could it be?

The $250,000 goal represents a small portion of the total cost to purchase and operate Paseo, we created the Kickstarter to give the community part ownership, and a stake in the operations of Paseo.

Paseo is more than a sandwich shop. It’s part of Seattle culture. Help us save this Seattle Institution. Be a part of Paseo forever!

The “Save Paseo” Kickstarter webpage goes into detail about how funds will be used and the experience of the investment group within the industry.

“We have worked pretty much every job from bussing to ownership, and everything in between. Fast forward to today, our entrepreneurial spirit in bringing technology to the restaurant industry has provided us a unique opportunity to save something that means a lot to us personally,” writes Gang.

Savvy Orders do acknowledge that $250,000 is a small part of the total cost that is needed for the re-opening. They have also reached out to the Paseo owners and have confirmed that all backers will be refunded if no sale is possible.

The Kickstarter campaign will run through December 12. As of this afternoon the Kickstarter had 13 backers, with $1,851 of the $250,000 goal already raised.

To find out more about the re-opening check out the Save Paseo Facebook Page. To contribute to the campaign click here.

Paseo abruptly closes for good

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Our news partners at The Seattle Times have reported that beloved sandwich shop Paseo (6226 Seaview Ave NW) has closed its doors for good.

The sign on the front door of the Fremont store (pictured) notes that the closure is due to “unfortunate circumstances” and it thanks customers for their support and loyalty.

The My Ballard team called both Paseo locations multiple times throughout the day and no one answered the phone.

According to The Seattle Times, an employee at the Paseo’s Fremont location arrived at work expecting business as usual, but was told by the owner that both the Fremont and Ballard stores (both stores pictured below with doors closed this afternoon) were shutting down.

“We know he didn’t want this to happen,” a longtime staffer, who wished to remain nameless, told The Seattle Times. The staff member reportedly did not know what had prompted the owner to shut down the popular spot. “He said — and I believe him — he found out he had to close on Monday… he said he was sorry and wished he could find a way to keep going,” the staff member said.

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A legal document regarding a lawsuit filed in early September by former Paseo employees against the owners has surfaced online and it is not clear at this point if it has to do with the closure.

The My Ballard team contacted attorney Trevor Osborne from Davies Pearson Attorneys at Law in Tacoma who confirmed that he is representing four former Paseo employees in a lawsuit against Paseo owners. Osborne confirmed that he submitted the complaint to the owners in April and that the suit was filed in early September.

When asked if the law suit had anything to do with today’s closure, Osborne stated that he was “as surprised as anyone to find out the news this morning.”

“I would only be guessing about a correlation between the closure and the law suit,” says Osborne. He also confirmed that the law suit is currently ongoing.

Locals are sure to be devastated by the closure of the highly popular spot that Yelp listed as #2 on the list of the top 100 places to eat in the country.