Some Bad News, Then Some Good News, Then More Bad News

Covering what has to be the most volatile restaurant scene in the city right now, MyBallard blog announces the Patty Pan Grill, the tiny vegetarian restaurant known for its vegetable medleys and ginger-mint iced tea, has just closed. I have a feeling the closures are going to come thick and fast this month. January and February are often the deadest months in the business, and a many restaurants rely on their November and December peak sales to coast through the winter slump. This holiday season, the recession and the snow hit everyone hard.

Over at her Seattle Times blog, Nancy Leson reports some bittersweet news. According to Ethan Stowell, whose new restaurant on 15th Ave. E. and Madison opens this month, the cook shortage that's been plaguing high-end restaurants for a few years appears to be resolved for the moment, thanks to all the closures. Leson also lists a ton of dining deals and new happy hours. Just like the insane Barney's sale this winter that allowed my friends to buy couture-level clothes at real-people prices, if you have disposable income right now, it's possible to eat out much more cheaply.

Back to the bad news: Voracious has decided to set up a new blog category, called "Final Seating," to group together recession-related restaurant closures. If you want to keep track of all the closures we have record of, bookmark in your browser, and keep me posted if you learn of any new ones.

1/12 UPDATE: Rebekah Denn at the P-I reports that popular farmers-market stall GreenGo has taken over the Patty Pan space.

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