• Louie's Chinese restaurant in Ballard to close

    By: Casey McNerthney , KIRO 7 STAFF


    Quick Facts: 

    • Louie's Cuisine of China closing Sunday, June 29.
    • Restaurant has been in Ballard for 37 years.
    • Property sold for $2.49 million.
    • A letter to customers said another restaurant may open.

    Louie's Cuisine of China, a Ballard staple for nearly four decades, will close at the end of the month.

    The last day in business will be Sunday, June 29.

    “For three generations, Louie’s restaurants have served Seattle with distinction, working tirelessly to bring you the very best in Chinese cuisine and to make your dining experience something to fondly remember,” a letter to customers read. “But the property has been sold, and now we must say goodbye.”

    The property was sold last month for $2.49 million, property records show.

    The limited liability corporation that bought it is 5100 15th Ave. N.W. LLC, which has West Coast Apartment Advisors LLC as a registered agent.

    The brown and white building, just north of the Ballard Bridge, was built in 1976.

    The Louie family has had a succession of well-known Northwest restaurants, including the Chinese Garden in the 1930s. Charlie Louie was the family’s patriarch restaurateur and his sons, Art and George, were responsible for other landmark Seattle restaurants, including Art Louie's Chinatown, Art Louie's Uptown and George Louie's on N.W. 85th.

    Louie’s expected closure comes three months after the landmark Frontier Room, around since 1954, closed in Belltown. Last year the legendary Alki Tavern closed, and Funhouse music club was closed in 2012 to make way for a seven-story building near Seattle Center. Claire’s Pantry, a Lake City staple since 1974, closed in February 2013, and Piecora’s Pizza on Capitol Hill closed in April after 33 years.

    In March 2010, the first restaurant in the Red Robin chain closed in Seattle's Eastlake neighborhood. The chain started in Seattle as Sam’s Tavern, then became Sam’s Red Robin and transformed from a tavern to a restaurant in 1969 at 3272 Fuhrman Ave. E.

    Louie’s letter to customers this month said there’s hope to open another restaurant.

    “We were like family,” the letter read, “and you, dear customers, were part of that Louie’s family. We’ve laughed together, cried together. We’ve shared your most treasured moments: birthdays, anniversaries and wedding celebrations.

    “So we may part for now, but understand that goodbyes are not forever.”

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