Answered: Which closed Seattle businesses do you miss the most?

Gone, but not forgotten.

The sign outside Mutual Fish Co. on Rainier Avenue in South Seattle

This sign had been a staple on Rainier Avenue for more than six decades.

Photo by SEAtoday staff

Valentine’s Day may be over — but we can’t forget about Seattle’s beloved mainstays that have come + gone. Like any lost love, there are days where we find ourselves pining for their return.

This month, two Capitol Hill restaurants that have been around for more than 30 years are saying farewell: Coastal Kitchen and Ristorante Machiavelli.

On the brighter side, we’ll see a couple of triumphant comebacks soon as legendary karaoke venue Bush Garden plans to open in a new location this spring and downtown’s Lusty Lady building continues development as a new arts venue.

During a wave of nostalgia for iconic local venues, we got to thinking: What shuttered businesses would we like to see return to glory?

To get the conversation started, here are a few personal picks:

  • Dahlia Lounge | Many longtime residents likely remember Tom Douglas’s award-winning Belltown restaurant as one of the first places you went for a fancy night out. Dahlia Bakery is thankfully still around, though.
  • Mutual Fish Co. | The fishmonger on Rainier Avenue closed last fall after 76 years of supplying home cooks and restaurateurs alike with some of the best seafood you could buy in town.
  • Guild 45th Theater | Sure, it might have been a bit musty in the later years, but any time an indie movie house closes, it feels like a blow to the city as a whole.

For a more in-depth trip down memory lane, check out Vanishing Seattle, which regularly tracks significant closings around town.
Now we’d like to hear from you. Tell us which places you miss the most and would like to see open again.

This picture shows the outside of Capitol Hill's Vitos, marked by its classic red-lettered sign.

Vitos may not have looked like much from the outside, but this classic was a major Seattle late night hot spot.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons


To quote from the famous “Winnie the Pooh” — how lucky we are to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.

Last week, we asked you all what closed Seattle businesses you missed the most and got tons of responses. Let’s take a teary-eyed stroll through the past.

Vito’s, missed by @briannacyr | Recently lost to a fire, this jazzy hole-in-the-wall was loved for its 1940s noir vibes and a stuffed cougar in one of the back rooms that was also recently stolen — shame on you.

Slow Boat Tavern, missed by an unnamed reader | Ugh, too soon — this Beacon Hill bar was a popular hangout for beer lovers. But, it seems to be in good hands. Owner Ken Provost sold it to good friends and regulars of the bar, who opened a new place called Mimi.

B & O Espresso, missed by @miss_gere | A local favorite for its coffee drinks and unforgettable cake slices, this shop closed down in 2011 to make room for the development that now houses the Capitol Hill Hot Cakes location.

The Harvard Exit Theatre, missed by Michael T-J and @sabinebinebine | An old building with lots of history, it first opened in 1925 as the Women’s Century Club, before being converted to a two-screen cinema in 1968. It’s said that Seattle’s first female mayor also haunts its halls.

A black and white image shows one of the rollercoasters from the perspective of someone of ride. You can see the wooden board walk, another small rollercoaster, and concessions stands in the background.

Weeeeeeee — this photographer was in for a good ride.

Photo of Luna Park circa 1910 via MOHAI

Luna Park, missed by @rob.malibucoconuts | Dubbed the “Coney Island of the West,” Luna was in West Seattle at Alki Point from 1907-1913 and featured rides like a merry-go-round and a “Cave of Mystery.” Of course, you’d have to be well over 100 years old to remember this park, but we appreciate the sentimentality.

Cafe Minnie, missed by @amyglenn | This 24-hour diner once overlooked the corner of Denny + First. It later became Whym’s Diner and is now occupied by the “Minnie Flats.”

Il Corvo, missed by @ludster3 and @shansmith_55 | Widely hailed as “one of Seattle’s best pasta restaurants,” this Pioneer Square restaurant was one of the pandemic’s early closings.

Sunset Bowl, missed by Jeannie M. | This one feels a little bit like a gutter ball. This Ballard bowling alley was built in 1956, back when coffee could still be sold for five cents.

Neon Boots, missed by @josie_holding_drinks | A classic for local cocktail lovers, this Belltown bar was known for its vibrant interior and sweet bathroom.

Wallingford Pizza House, missed by Katie C. | This adorable pizzeria was snuggled right into a cozy purple home on N. 45th Street. One of its notable menu items included a “dome pizza,” which worked kind of like a pineapple upside down cake.

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