Monday, June 17, 2013

Carmelita Restaurant Closing!

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Carmelita For Happy Hour!

By far my favorite vegetarian restaurant in Seattle, is closing. *big frown face!
Here's what they said:


Yes, that's right! Goodbye, 
But... not... quite... yet...

We'll be closing Carmelita's doors for the last time on September 29th, 2013. But wait! We're going to have some fun first, and we hope you'll join us!!

Certainly many of you thought Carmelita would be around forever, as did we. But times change, and no matter how much you love what you're doing there gets to be a point when you know it's time to pursue something else. For Michael and me that time has come. As sad as we are to bid you all adieu, we're excited for the next few months. We want to exit with the same enthusiasm we had when we opened. We want to end this long and successful run with gratitude to everyone who has supported us along the way. We want to go out with a bang! And we need YOU to get this party started!

Over the next several months we'll be sending out regular emails with details for celebrations. To receive these emails, you can sign up on our website In the meantime, we encourage all of you to check Carmelita's Facebook page. That way you can receive up to the moment announcements of special events and offers. Time is limited - do it now - you don't want to miss anything!

Though we can't answer all the questions you might have, we'll give it a try.


Why are you closing?

Well, it's just time. We've been open since December 1, 1996. That's almost 17 years! That's a long time in the restaurant biz, especially for a mom-and-pop operation.

Who is buying Carmelita?

The buyers are successful, local entrepreneurs,
who are committed to the Phinney Ridge neighborhood! It is a partnership of Chris Navarra (Prost, The Ridge, Martinos), Chris Gerke (Nickerson Saloon, The Ridge, Martinos) and Shannon Wilkinson (Little Water Cantina).

Will Carmelita be gone for good?

Yes, I'm afraid so. Carmelita was our dream; after all we named the restaurant after Michael's mom! It's been a personal pursuit and it's difficult to impossible to have someone else take that over.

Will the buyers of Carmelita keep it vegetarian?

We know that Chris, Chris & Shannon, will be collaborating to open a neighborhood friendly restaurant with a new concept that isn't vegetarian focused. Though undoubtedly there will be abundant choices that will be appealing to all! In the years since Carmelita opened, there has been a growing number of quality restaurants that are offering many well thought out and expertly prepared vegetarian choices. We look forward to see what this new partnership will present!

Is the economy partly to blame for Carmelita closing?

Unquestionably, yes. The "Great Recession" hit us hard as it did many small businesses and individuals. It's been a challenge to bounce back. Consultants have suggested "reinventing" to include meat or raising our prices. Neither of those options seemed like the right decision. The truth is that the cost of everything (food, alcohol, labor, utilities, insurance, etc.) has gone up so substantially that, even in the best of times, the margins are very small for a single-store operation.

I have a gift certificate; can I still use it?

Of course! But you'll need to use it before September 29th. After that it will be rendered invalid. Our policy will remain in place regarding gift certificates not being redeemable for cash.

What will happen next?

Good question! Immediately our plan is to celebrate and have a great summer! Celebrate what, you may ask? Carmelita! All of our happy years! Our fantastic staff present and past! And YOU, the best patrons ever!! We hope you'll join us!

Then what will you do?

Go forth to a new adventure, I guess. (No, not another restaurant) We'll hold the memories close and always be thankful for such a great run!!


Kathryn, Michael & Chef Jon...and all the staff at Carmelita...Cheryl, Dee, Kate, Erin, Keenan, Amanda, Ariel, Adalberto, Zach, Tomas, Neftali, Jose, Ben and Jesus

Thanks for your continued patronage!!

And here's my Carmelita foodporn Set on Flickr!

Oh how I will miss you!!!  Thank you for all the wonderful food, great service, ambiance and libations!
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