Community Post

Sad News: Mezzaluna Closing This Weekend

After getting several tips from sad customers, we just got confirmation from laurenjack, co-owner of Mezzaluna: Sunday is their last day in business.

It’s a loss for the south end of the neighborhood which was already lacking in food options. And I think it’s also a lesson for the neighborhood: support your local businesses and go there often, or else you’ll likely lose them.

Lauren says that it came down to finances and exhaustion. She and co-owner Kim have worked in the store almost every day since it opened last fall, and the revenue never reached a point to where they could bring someone else on to help out. “Financially, we were almost there. I’d say we needed to make about $100 more each day. At $5 roughly being the average ticket, we needed about 20 more people to come in per day. Some days it worked, others it didn’t.” 

Neighbors have four more days to stop by, have a bite, and say goodbye. There’s some deals to be had too: Lauren says that they need to clear out their stock of wine and beer, offering each for only $2 per glass.

0 thoughts on “Sad News: Mezzaluna Closing This Weekend

  1. Come join us for the last brunch weekend and get your fill of the Big ole breakfast burrito and those great fiesta hangovers! Hope to see you here.
    Kim co-owner Mezzaluna

  2. not to speak ill of the almost-dead restaurant, but…
    the food was GREAT (pastries were SO yummy, too!), the service not so much. i and several other people i know had a hard time getting any sort of service from the waitress and frequently had to enlist the help of the barista – even when it was slow.

    when you’re an independent restaurant in an out-of-the-way location, bad service will help kill you, no matter how good the food is. people talk.

    hopefully the chef will move on to bigger and better things!

  3. We are so sad to say goodbye to Mezzaluna. The food was soooooo good and the cookies and nutella croissants were to die for!

    good luck!
    ps. i always had great service and they were nice to the little ones too.

  4. I went in once early in their business cycle to give them a chance. I ordered coffee and a pastry and the total (without tip) came to just under $7. This seemed so off the charts I never went back. The service was about as poor as noted above. Baristas don’t have to be rocket scientists, just polite and helpful. Sorry it didn’t work out.

  5. We were so excited you guys were within walking distance when we moved here in May. Loved your brunch! Our daughter loved your toys! Thanks and best of luck!

  6. …”And I think it’s also a lesson for the neighborhood: support your local businesses and go there often, or else you’ll likely lose them.”

    Not sure what lesson is to be learned here by the neighborhood. Would you really support a sub-par establishment just so it will stay in business. There is no reason this place couldn’t succeed. One need to look no further than Volunteer Park Cafe and Vios Cafe.

  7. “support your local businesses and go there often, or else you’ll likely lose them.”

    how about:

    “support [the] local businesses [that are good and that have decent service] and go there often, or else you’ll likely lose them.”

    much better.

  8. This was my experience also. I went once – never went back.

    I’m willing to give places a second chance, but there are so many places that do give excellent service that I just let that one go.

  9. So sad to see it go…Mezzaluna was a major perk to the neighborhood. I will miss the jumbo breakfast burrito and being able to walk to breakfast:(

  10. In a down economy it is hard enough to get people to come into a new eatery but no matter how good the food is service will destroy even places that are established.

    Service needs to be not just good but outstanding in a recession or you won’t make it.

  11. I only had a chance to patronize a few times. Everyone was nice enough and the coffee was good. However, the hours made it completely unavailable for me as a 9-5 worker with a fair commute.

  12. my two cents – as a small business owner, I IMPLORE people/customers to tell owners/managers about their experience(s) – good and bad. If you have bad experience, tell someone in charge of the business first (and immediately), before telling everyone else you know (everyone but the manager/owner) how horrible you felt your experience was – please give the business a chance to correct things or at least let them hear about it. It is very easy to do anonymously with a letter/email/phone call.

    Service is important and feedback from customers is the only way to stay atop that, especially when you are relying on other people to represent you (aka employees).


  13. I completely concur!

    However, in this case, the waitress IS/WAS an owner, so….y’know…

  14. that it closed, something else will arrive within 6 months I am sure, its such a turnkey place ready to go. Get a coffee/Americano and a snack with a small tip should be totally under $5. If you are going to apply price and service like you can get in a hipper, more C Hill atmostphere then so be it. You need something special and super reasonable to get people to come there. Good luck ladies, may you fare better in a different space–may I suggest the formerly spendy houseplant store Envy’s location?

  15. As someone who lives within easy walking distance of Mezzaluna, I can say I was very excited for it to open, but like many of my neighbors here in Judkins Park completely underwhelmed. The sad fact is that down here in the south end of the CD, we’re pretty used to hopping in our cars for a fix so it’s not like “There’s nothing here, we’re sure to succeed!”…it’s more like: can our business compete with the ones that folks around here are already driving to.

    Despite my repeated visits (it was close and I liked the walk), the answer was no. I could never get excited about this place. If I was in my car going or returning from errands, I’d much rather just drive that little extra to go to Columbia City Bakery, or Caffe Presse or Sweet and Savory (despite the prices). The food at all those places, just much, much better. The atmosphere much nicer.

    I hate to say it but the new Gyro place on Jackson is headed the same direction. The owner is well-intentioned and very nice, but the food is just alright, the atmosphere terrible and when it comes down to it, just not that compelling to go there. Like Mezzaluna, probably underfunded/under-planned to compete with all the really good places that are super close (if you are in a car).

    It’s a shame. Best of luck to Lauren and Kim in their new endeavors and I hope that space does not sit empty too long.

    Finally this: if any of you do try the gyro place, tell that guy he needs to get the bars out of the window, paint the space bright and cheery to get rid of the Dallas BBQ mojo, and have people eating food right in the windows where others can see it: otherwise, he’s doomed. I told him it looks like a place to launder money, not eat. You can’t even tell there is a HUGE restaurant there because it’s impossible to see in unless you are right in front of it.

  16. I’m a little stunned by the whiny tone of the comments. I always liked MezzaLuna just fine. Lauren and Kim worked hard. Could certain Seattle cafe-goers be a little spoiled?

  17. I’m also surprised by the comments. I’ve never been disappointed with the service. I’d even say it’s friendlier than most places, albeit I just found it a couple of months ago. Good luck with everything! I’m sad to see you go.

  18. Is it just a dead zone? I don’t get it, honestly. So many people live in the CD. The houses, while cheaper than the top o’ Queen Anne, aren’t bottom dollar so people in the area are not destitute. There is a ton of history here. A lot of really nice buildings to house nice establishments.

    But wow. Where do you go to find a nice place to grab coffee or a meal or a gift? SOHO is dirty with dust on every surface above eye level (and some below). The Red Apple is a joke – look at the meat and produce. Ezell’s and Catfish Corner, while sometimes a tasty guilty pleasure, aren’t exactly fine eating establishments. King Creole doesn’t have an inviting place to sit down and enjoy a meal. Seattle Central Grind (or whatever it is called) has nothing special to offer anyone. On. And on. And on. And on. Is there ANY neighborhood in Seattle that has this many people in single family homes with so little to offer? I drive, like other commenters here on the CDN, to Madison Park for Cactus or Scoop du Jour. I drive to Columbia City to Tutta Bella or Geraldine’s. I drive to Capitol Hill for the Madison Market or Barrio or Stumptown (or 40 other nice places in all price ranges to eat/drink). I drive to Madrona for High Spot and Cupcake Royale and now Naan. What does the CD area really have? We have Quick Pack and a dozen other shady, unappealing stores. We have quiznos and subway. Yeah, we have nada. Diletante? Closed. Mezzaluna? Closed. Envy? Moved (good for them!). The only bright spots I see around the area are Twilight and All Purpose Pizza and Twilight had to get a fucking act of congress to even open because Garfield administrators thought it was a bad influence on the neighborhood. How many 911 calls have been attributed to the Twilight? None. But how many 911 calls were directing police to Garfield HS and the adjacent community center and the AM/PM across the street and the 10+ shitty stores on Jackson? You get my point.

    Yeah, mostly a rant but yet a wake up call in progress. Stay tuned.

  19. The tastiest neighbor, the International District :)

    Sorry to hear Mezzaluna is closing. Kim (and/or Lauren?) were really cool whenever they worked at Vega. Just my $0.02, but the only decent americano in the area is Stumptown or Cafe Presse. Everywhere else, its like a $2 cup of hot water…

  20. The Breakfast Burritos were the absolute best. I’m going to miss Mezzaluna. Weird though, I thought there were three owners

  21. anyone know how to contact the bldg. owners about the space? And, wasn’t Andre an owner???

  22. I think the corollary is that business owners need to be constantly asking their customers how things are going and making it easy to comment. At some of the best places in Seattle the managers and owners are often found walking around the place, chatting up customers, and immediately handling any complaints.

    I remember having dinner at one of Seattle’s steak places and we got a bottle of wine that was just sub par. I am not generally one to complain, but the manager came by and asked us how thing were going. I mentioned the wine and within 5 minutes the head wine steward was at out table with a much better bottle and some genuine questions about why we did not like it. Now that is a place I will go back to.

    Businesses need to be proactive and constantly looking to improve.

  23. Of course we are spoiled, we have a lot of amazing places in this city. Why should we not go to the ones we like the best?

    No one is owed a business, it has to be earned. I am sure they worked hard and the couple times I was in there they seemed nice, but that is not enough to sustain a business. You need to do things right.

    I am sorry to see them close, but blaming the customers is never correct. Its the job of the business to serve them not the other way around.

  24. To Double Wow – just curious – “friendlier than most places”…what other places have you been to lately?

  25. Part of the trouble with getting soemthing started is that the CD is so fragmented with no center or focus. This is the reason malls have an anchor store. Columbia City, Madrona, Madison Park and QA all have a central business district. Foot traffic drives a business area. In the CD the things that we have are little outposts scattered around. It is hard to get any momentum going on your own. The neighborhood is also a pretty spread out Single Family house area that makes it hard to get enough people to draw from. People who own houses also tend to be homebodies (me too). People who live in apartments go out more and drive less. Things are changing along the periphery such as Jackson, 12th Ave and Madison where the density of apartments is going up. these streets are getting busier commercially too. Union and Cherry could both be thriving centers but there isn’t enough foot traffic to draw the businesses. It is heartbreaking to me the perpetual hole in the ground at 23rd and Union. People who open businesses are betting on an area to want and need what they are offering. So far people are betting fast food and convenience stores because that is what the area seems to support. It’s a little bit of the chicken and egg question about how to kick-start something. Businesses rely on their regular customers that come back to stay in business. New people help grow a business but returning customers are what makes something stable. Most people that run places like to hear from people about what they like and don’t like because it helps them give people what they want and have them come back. So get out of the house and help make the neighborhood that you want by participating in making it happen. Maybe I’ll go to Tougo right now… see you there.

  26. I agree completely with CentralCinema. It’s really sad that 23rd and Union is so unpleasant – I think that area would be a good bet for starting the kind of business district we’d need to hold on to quality businesses and function as an “anchor.” But right now, if I were looking to start a business, I’d be afraid to do it there.

    It seems like 3-4 businesses would all have to get together and open there at once, while coordinating with each other and with police to clean the area up. And even with that, it would take a while for the area’s reputation as drug-ridden to die down enough that people from Mad Valley or Cap Hill would be willing to drive there.

  27. Watertown Coffee. I know its on the edge of CH, but it really is a gem. And inexpensive for you people in the comments there. they now have a liquor license too…

  28. I loved having a cafe in the neighborhood and will really miss them. I don’t think the service or the prices were the problem. It’s just a tough location that doesn’t see a lot of foot traffic so word of mouth and neighborhood support were key. Kim’s pastries were fantastic and I thought the service was always friendly. I wish them all the best.

    Elese Leb – The building is owned by the the people who run Island Soul restaurant in Columbia City.