Carnegie’s on Market Street is closing

At the end of the month, Carnegie’s Restaurant in the old brick Carnegie Library building at 2026 NW Market St. will be closing.

We were first tipped off by an email with this Craigslist posting, which advertises an “Elegant Restaurant Space.” The ad says:

Restaurant space available in Carnegie brick building in heart of downtown Ballard. Two fireplaces, outside garden seating. Wine cellar.

The rent for the 3,000 square foot space is $6,500/month.

We spoke with the owner of the building, Karoline Morrison, who confirms the restaurant is closing the end of January and she’s currently looking for another tenant.

We have tried unsuccessfully to get in contact with Carnegie’s chef/owner Jerry Brahm, who has been at this location since 2003.

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

51 thoughts to “Carnegie’s on Market Street is closing”

  1. that’s some high rent–no wonder they are closing.

    apparently they didn’t have pokerguy’s astute buisness knowledge of how high end restaurants work.

    will the ghost of old man Carnegie remain?

  2. We are SO sad to hear that Carnegie’s is closing. Wonderful almost perfect place to eat. Quiet, excellent food and service. We have shared many meals with friends and family there we will miss you Carnegie’s

  3. Perhaps it’s finally time for Tom Douglas to get his Northwestern butt over to Ballard. If anyone could bring enough money to that space with little effort, he could.

  4. I really liked Carnegie’s. Great food, good ambiance.

    The problem? The building is way off the street and not very friendly. When I walked by I always thought “gee, I should go there again” but then out of sight, out of mind.

  5. This used to be one of our favorite places, until last year, when we planned to go there for my 50th birthday. We showed up on time for our 8:00 reservation to find the door locked, and the staff –clearly visible through the glass door– ignoring our knocking. Never got a response when I wrote them to complain. I’m not surprised they failed, with that attitude. We’re looking forward to whatever replaces them.

  6. What restaurant in Ballard isn’t closing? It’ll probably become another Pho place. Can’t have too muchPho in Ballard! Pray Bastille stays open.

  7. I like the idea of a small hotel. More so than just another place to eat. That is one thing Ballard does not have. I think you have to go to scary Aurora, U-District, or downtown currently for a hotel/motel.

  8. Completely agree with Dweezil, Ballard would be well served by a small hotel. We’ve had so many out of town clients ask where to stay. There’s some nice B&Bs in Ballard, but B&Bs are not everyone’s style.

  9. I had the same reaction. $6,500 really isn’t all that high for commercial space, if it’s desirable and workable.

    (Though Rob’s “out of sight, out of mind” comment about its relationship to the street is its Achilles’ heel.)

  10. I like that idea! But McM’s probably won’t do it unless they can buy the whole building. It’s been a long time since I remember them opening a new location in a rental space, they seem to focus solely on renovating historic buildings now. This library certainly should qualify.

  11. I did a series of client events there over a year ago. I called them numerous times during the holidays (in 09) to schedule more for the new year (2010) and they never called back. The food and service was excellent, but the place was nearly empty every time I had an event so you would think that they would have been chomping at the bit to continue the business.. but after trying several times I gave up and started doing my events at Anthony’s. I thought they were about to close then so this unfortunatley isn’t a suprise. A lot of business’s in Ballard need a business 101 class. Following up with a paying customer who is willing to continue spending would be a first step.

  12. Any retailer is foolish for going in there — especially a restaurant.

    It does not invite foot traffic.

    But I’m sure someone in Seattle will be stupid enough to pay the rent, eventually

  13. It is an awesome space. Use to house Pandora’s Castle..Antique Store owned by Karoline Morrison. Would love to see a place like Pegasus Pizza on Alki go in there….I party at places like the Tractor Tavern for the music and the ballard vibe…Love Ballard. Lots of People there, walking around all hours.

  14. It’s a sad day for Ballard to lose a restaurant with the “class” of Carnegie’s. Jerry, Susan, Andy, you will be missed!

  15. It took me years to realize a restaurant was in that building. I think a place could make it with a bit more advertising, and maybe a more trendy menu. Not sure what; we seem to be overloaded on burger places. And there has to be a way to respect the historical look of the building but also put up signage or awnings or something that announces “restaurant here” more clearly.

  16. Build out a big front patio all the way to the street, and voila, big invitation to foot traffic.

    There are plenty of “hideaway” type places in Chicago that I went to with my friends when I lived there for ten years. Maybe you never knew about them cuz you are mean and call people you don’t know stupid, which keeps you from having friends to dine with. Go back to Lincoln Park crabby.

  17. I doubt this story. I know Jerry & Susan, and I’ve been eating here since the day they opened- and at the 24th St. Bistro before that.

  18. I ate there last night. After reading this, I hopped to the phone, and made a reservation. I had absolutely the best crab cakes I’ve ever had- unlike Ray’s, they use no filler. The brie & mushroom soup is to die for. My party of 6 all had fantastic meals.

    They are NOT CLOSING AT THE END OF THE MONTH. And they don’t have “financial troubles”, they have “landlord troubles.” They will move in 6 months, and they are looking for a new location.

    So, for everyone who is shouting to be heard above the din at Bastille’s for twice the price, head on over to Carnegie’s. It’s quiet, elegant, and the food is unsurpassed.

  19. Last night’s dinner for six- 5 of us had the mushroom/brie soup,one had a salad. Two of us had crab cakes (absolutely, bar none, the BEST I have ever eaten) one had pork, one duck, one scallops, one veal. We all had dessert. The cost? $35 per person, plus alcohol, tax and tip. THIRTY-FIVE dollars a person for 3 courses of some of the best French food, ever. And 3 of the people at our table spent $700 for lunch, at a 3 star Michelan restaurant in France last year- without wine, and reported that the food was every bit as good at Carnegies. It’s a true bargain.

  20. We eat out a LOT (too much really). From crappy fast food to trendy places. I just checked the Restaurant list on this site and, in my ten years in Ballard, there are only two places on the list I’ve never dined at, nor been interested in trying. One is ‘Zaw Pizza (I want my pizza cooked.. yes, I’m that lazy) and the other is Carnegie’s.

    I’m all for pricier food fare — I enjoy Bastille, Staple & Fancy, the Walrus & the Carpenter, even Ray’s once in a blue moon — but the vibe I get from the outside of Carnegie’s is of a stiff, quiet restaurant that my older relatives might enjoy but that I’d find a bit joyless. This is all based on the menu posted in the front and the imposing, stately vibe of the building itself, mind you. So I just have no interest in trying it, despite the positive reviews.

    I think a building like this could benefit from a McMenamins or something similar, just to liven the old place up. Right now it reminds me of the Elsinore Brewery in Strange Brew… possibly haunted, scary and from a different era.

    If they move, I hope they find someplace light and airy with windows I can peek into … I’d be all for yummy french onion soup or crab cakes. I just don’t find the place inviting now and life is too short to eat at places that give you the creeps.

  21. “There are plenty of “hideaway” type places in Chicago that I went to with my friends when I lived there for ten years.”

    Yep, and there are numerous such places in NYC, SF and LA. Problem is those are major cities and Seattle isn’t – at least not at that level.

  22. Carnegies is for the old farts about to keel over, which is appropriate since it looks like a morgue from the outside.. Eating there was like eating a in retirement home.

    The food? Good enough but dull, uninspiring. Like the people eating there.

  23. ‘Tis true, but all of my friends are from the cities you mentioned (and then some) and we are trying to make this a real city. We own 4 businesses and 8 buildings between us, and counting. We may not make it a big city, but our kids will.

  24. Some of us enjoy being able to eat a meal in an atmosphere devoid of frat boys, where we can actually hear our dining companions speak without shouting.

  25. $6,500. is an exorbitant amount to charge for this space! Old bathrooms, drafty single pane windows, poor access, certainly not ADA standards, poor exterior lighting – why would anyone gouge and toss a long-term customer in this economy? I thought our government and businesses needed money! Bad property management.

  26. That place smells like pee. The food was good but that building is just so old and musty. I don’t know what you’d do with it, but it’s tough to keep up an appetite in hundred-year-0ld-pee smell.

  27. After you guy’s get done knocking the owners thinking “no wonder they failed” – note Karoline Morrison (building owner) paid them to move out of their lease early. Journalism folks! Journalism!

  28. They are NOT CLOSING AT THE END OF THE MONTH. And they don’t have “financial troubles”, they have “landlord troubles.” They will move in 6 months, and they are looking for a new location. The staff shared this info with your party of six while you were dining??? How professional was that? Six months you say? HMMMMM they were gone by the end of January….. as planned.

  29. $65oo. a month for the rent,what joke,that is why small business people dont last this level of retard economy is not made to help average business only is made for corporations and greery landlords,this restaurant was great,another example of greed,no body helps anybody,is happening all over Seattle to expensive for not much,good luck Carnegies,Joe.N.

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