Vestal closes temporarily in South Lake Union

Suzi Pratt for Eater

Josh Henderson and Huxley Wallace Collective seem to have hit a rough patch in South Lake Union. The restaurant group opened a slew of new eateries throughout Seattle in 2016 and already replaced one of them — boundary-pushing Pacific Northwest-inspired taco spot Bar Noroeste — with Kiki Ramen, dialing back the creativity and catering more directly to the Amazonia lunch and happy-hour crowds.

Now, Henderson has also closed high-end, highly-regarded, wood-fired Vestal and plans to reopen it in late April or early May with the same name but a pared-down concept: counter service, lower-priced comfort food in the $10 to $20 range, quicker turnaround, and — you guessed it — a renewed focus on lunch and happy hour, plus brunch this summer. “I think we were doing good stuff but I honestly think people want a little bit easier, they want casual,” Henderson told Eater, echoing a comment he made about opening Kiki Ramen “to do what the neighborhood wants.”

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