Not to make my first entry a downer, but a number of great restaurants have just closed (or are closing) and I wanted to acknowledge them. I just read in the P-I that Capitol Hill's Fork is shutting its doors Friday, June 23. Fork ruled (from our first article, pictured is the launch crew) and was just featured in our Best Restaurants issue. It was just as hard to say goodbye to Bandoleone in Fremont, which closed last month, supposedly due to Fremont Bridge construction getting in the way of business. Locals had been missing Bando's original space in Eastlake, sure, but no one thought the restaurant's new location wouldn't make it. At least Tango restaurant—from the same owner—is still up and running. Sakura Japanese Bistro (in the Maple Leaf area), is also saying sayonara; its last day of operation will be Thursday, June 22, according to an e-mail from owners Shinji and Sandy Kimura. It seems chef Shinji got recruited by the airline industry. We're not sure how cush the offer was.
Luckily for us, there are plenty of new bars opening, where we can drown our sorrows. Three of note: Vessel (downtown), Havana (10th and Pike), and Sun Liquor (on Summit, near Top Pot). On the restaurant front, we can't wait for Ethan Stowell's new place to open in Belltown and the Osteria La Spiga construction to be finished at 12th and Pike. Oh, and don't forget Victrola's new roastery and cafe in the Pike/Pine area—it's slated to open in late August. Watch this space for more restaurant buzz.