Sure the Quickbooks and business Web site building classes were useful, but those classes are available at any community college. What made Discover U great were the more personal, practical, niche offerings like Introduction to Stand-Up Comedy, Tantra II, Beginning Ornamental Steel Welding and Nightclub Dancing.
The institution started 16 years ago in Debbie Mellen's living room. It moved to Northgate, finally settling into a campus on prime downtown real estate offering to teach you anything you might want to learn and then some, often for less than the cost of a fancy dinner. Now the Web site only has a message: "DiscoverU has decided to close its doors. Thank you, Seattle, for your patronage."
The most recent ownersFormer owners Robert and Deborah Ederer of Redmond, are out of town until Thursday, according to an associate. In addition to owning Discover U for a time, Bob Ederer opened a vocational training company in Redmond in 2006. It's still running.
No reason was given for the closure, though the Web note also says refunds will be available for anyone missing out on the upcoming Course for Highly Sensitive People, which sounds like it might be a bit of a blow.
Just heard back from Bob Ederer in response to an e-mail. He sold the business over a year ago to a man named Terrence Lee Zehrer. Zehrer didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.