For crying out loud, Spazzo is gone

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2005/07/17 15:01 -04:00, original URI:

Last night was a night for dancing (well, that pseudo-dancing I do with the scooter) at Misty's in Bellevue, and since things do not get rolling there until after 9pm, dinner seemed like a good idea.

Of course, trying to get dinner reservations at 7:30pm on Saturday night is pretty difficult. But optimist that I am, I called the usual haunts right around there -- Seastar, Daniel's, Spazzo. The first was booked until 9:00 but they did offer a full menu in the bar and there were seats, so I put it down for a maybe. Daniel's was pretty much full for the evening.

And Spazzo? I honestly I had been less happy with them since they first changed their format from a Mediterranean Grill to an Italian restaurant. For years I had been going there with people, and I don't ever remember ordering off the regular menu -- we would just order different tapas for the meal. Since with the big change all of the cool tapas (including 'Electric Goat Cheese') were removed from the menu, and since there were already plenty of Italian restaurants out there, it just did not hold that much appeal....

But in a pinch I figured it was worth a try.

Unfortunately, as the Spazzo link above indicates, they shut down on May 27th. They lost their lease, it seems. The new owners of the Key Bank Building wanted the space for offices, according to Bill Schwartz. I guess I would have noticed sooner if I were not waiting to get over my bitterness thing about the format change.

Now that is the end of an era for me.

Spazzo was the first real restaurant in the area I went to in the period around the time I moved to Seattle -- the details are kind of fuzzy now but if memory serves, Lynn Caldwell (then Shanklin) had taken Dan Haught and I there when were in town for something or other like an MVP Summit or an Insiders meeting. That was way back in 1996 (just four years after their doors had opened), and the food was awesome. It was one of the only "view" restaurants in Bellevue. After I moved to the Seattle area I had been there many times, always ordering off the tapas menu. I had easily introduced a few dozen people to Spazzo over the years....

That is kind of sad. Almost as sad as the fact it does not look like the Schwatrz Brothers have active plans to open up a Mediterranean Grill named Spazzo in a new location. :-(

On a more positive note, we ended up going to Seastar for dinner, which was excellent. And the dancing was cool and we probably stayed until after midnight (eventually the floor was too full and it seemed like it would be best to head out while we could). It looks like people are okay with the scooter thing and they even like it (we got several comments from people). I might have to rethink that whole thing about the scooters ("boy who scoots gets no beauts"). :-)

Of course I did not test out trying to ask other people to dance. There are definitely limits to what people might want to handle on a Saturday night!

# richy_roo on 18 Jul 2005 7:33 AM:

Spazzos gone !

thats sad to hear

A colleague and myself were over from the UK for a compatibility devlab in March/April and Jay Roxe took us there. We had an excellent time and the view is awesome.

sad to know its now gone...

Great blog, keep it up...


# Mike on 18 Jul 2005 2:28 PM:

My wife and I hit Spazzo a few days before they closed and talked to the server some. He said that there were rumors of opening a new Italian place somewhere but it probably wouldn't be named Spazzo and it almost definitely wouldn't be the tapas format. Apparently even though the tapas were really popular it was to hard to keep the necessary inventory and quality control for 3 dozen or so different ones as well as the traditional menu.

We used to do the same thing - get a good crowd of people and everybody order 2-4 tapas for the table. We were really disappointed when they changed format.

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