Beth’s owner is selling, but hopes to keep beloved Seattle cafe intact

Oct 4, 2019, 12:02 PM

Beth’s Cafe has been a Seattle institution since 1954, having changed hands at least four times since it first opened. Now, it looks like it’ll go to a new owner at least one more time.

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The popular 24-hour breakfast spot was recently put on the market by its owner, Chris Dalton. Dalton bought the cafe in 2002, having previously worked in the tech industry. After getting diagnosed with an aggressive form of stage-4 pancreatic cancer, though, he felt it was time to take a step away from the business to focus on his recovery.

“It is difficult to take a step back — I love the cafe,” Dalton told KIRO Radio. “It’s a great place, and of course I’ll miss running it. But other things take priority right now.”

Back in February, the 15,280-square-foot parcel of land that houses Beth was put up for sale by its owner, with an asking price of $6 million. The property was subsequently taken off the market in the ensuing months.

At the time, Dalton planned to continue the cafe in some capacity if the property was sold, either moving it to a different location, or rebuilding it in a newer structure. Now, he’ll get to keep Beth’s in its current location, with the hope of passing it on to an owner who understands what it means to the neighborhood.

“My hope would be that a new owner would respect the history of Beth’s,” he noted. “I’m going to do the best job I can to make sure it ends up in a good situation.”

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As for any customers who might be concerned about the beloved cafe changing hands, Dalton has some word of comfort.

“My message for patrons is not to worry. We’re going to keep Beth’s going; we’re not going to change it up much,” he said.

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Beth’s owner is selling, but hopes to keep beloved Seattle cafe intact