Northlake Tavern & Pizza House set to close this week after nearly 70 years in business

SEATTLE — A popular pizza spot with a long history in Seattle’s University District has announced it will be shutting its doors after nearly 70 years.

Northlake Tavern & Pizza House will serve its last pizza on Tuesday after a 65-year run.

The announcement was made on the restaurant’s Facebook page on Jan. 7.

Chef and owner Abdoullah, who was trained by the business’s original owner Herb Friedman, says they are having health issues and plan to retire after working at the restaurant for 42 years.

Big Mario’s Pizza will take over the space, replacing Northlake’s massive pies with New York-style pizza.

“I am happy that the Big Mario’s family will continue in the Northlake tradition bringing quality pizza and hospitality to our community on Northlake,” said Abdoullah. “I want to say thank you so much for all your help throughout the years. My heart and soul will always be the Northlake Tavern.”

Big Mario’s plans to reopen the location in March after a slight refresh and hope to retain the eight employees who currently work at Northlake.

When that happens, the business will shift from a 21-and-up tavern to an all-ages venue.

“We feel lucky to have had the opportunity to get to know Abdoullah and his brother during this exchange and are actively working side-by-side at the Northlake,” said Jason Lajeunesse of Big Mario’s Pizza. “We plan to keep the core tenants of the Northlake intact, including its amazing decor, but will be adding Big Mario’s hospitality staples such as pull tabs, games, liquor, indoor and outdoor all-ages dining options, classic VHS movies, and finally, Big Mario’s pizza.”

A farewell closing party will be held at Northlake Tavern on Tuesday at 5 p.m.