This is it: your last chance to dine at the original Red Robin on Eastlake Ave. The chain’s first restaurant, located at Eastlake and Fuhrman, is closing on Sunday.
Red Robin is closing their Eastlake outlet because the building is old (it was built in 1916) and would require too much investment to make it meet the company’s needs. The lease on the building is up on April.
General Manager Jessi Klein says it will be business as usual on Sunday, but it hasn’t exactly been business as usual since the closure was announced.
“Sales doubled,” she says. Lots of people have been coming in for their last chance to dine at the original Red Robin. I’ve heard reports of people lining up to get in for one last meal.
“The coolest stuff has been people driving in and flying in from out of state,” she says. “They’re telling cool stories and meeting their friends.”
Red Robin has been asking people to send their memories of the restaurant to email@example.com. Klein says she believes the company will be putting those memories online at some point.
The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.
What’s next for the space? Anne Marie Kriedler, who owns the building (she’s also an investor in Montlake Plaza and Zesto’s in Ballard), says they are currently negotiating with someone to open a sports bar there.
“It will be pretty much the same as it is now,” she says. The furnishings will stay much as they are now, she adds, but there will be additions to the menu, such as salmon salad. “It will have the same atmosphere. The food will be what the community is used to.”
The new operators will be making improvements in the building, she says, including adding bike racks out front. There’s a lot of deferred maintenance that needs to be done, she says, adding that Red Robin didn’t keep up the building the way she thought they would.
“I want to get someone in there with high standards and good food,” Kriedler says. “I want to make sure they’re doing to stay there. Also, it has high rent so they’ll have to be successful to run it.”
She says she hopes the new restaurant will be open in two months.