Beth’s Cafe in Seattle says farewell, closes citing pandemic shutdown
Seattle’s Beth’s Cafe will shut its doors, likely for the last time, Sept. 6.
The famous diner reopened in July after closing over seating restrictions on indoor dining due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Monday is our last day,” General Manager Janelle Norviel told MyNorthwest. “We found out last night.”
The diner is owned by Hazel Dalton. She took over Beth’s Cafe after her husband, Chris Dalton, passed away in April 2020 after a battle with cancer.
“[Chris’] wife runs the place, and the simple fact is that she told the staff yesterday that the cafe has run out of money,” Norviel said. “Between food costs, labor costs, we weren’t getting the same business that we thought we would get. We just ran out of money.”
“The shutdown sapped most of our bank account,” Norviel added. “We still had to pay utilities, taxes, and everything else. We tried the last two months, and there really isn’t anything else. We just don’t have the funds for it at this point.”
Beth’s Cafe opened in 1954. Located on Aurora Avenue North near Green Lake, the cafe is known for its 12-egg omelettes after a 2009 feature episode in Travel Channel’s Man v. Food.
Beth’s will remain open over the weekend, keeping its hours of 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. On its last day, Sept. 6, it will remain open between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Beth’s Cafe announced in a social media post that they have a planned reopening in three to six months. Norviel confirmed that its current property is being sold, and that the reopening would take place at a different location.
A representative speaking on behalf of Beth’s owner confirmed that the diner is closing, but that Dalton is interested in preserving its legacy in a to be announced reopening.
“Beth’s Cafe will be closing temporarily due to Covid & the rise in cases due to the Delta variant along with the resulting complications with food supply, increased food costs, modified hours and staff shortages,” reads the statement.
“Hazel is doing her best to honor the legacy of both her late husband Chris – who passed away suddenly of pancreatic cancer last year – and who she has owned Beth’s with for 20 years – but also, and more importantly, she’s trying to honor the legacy of Beth’s Cafe and what it means to the City of Seattle and the thousands of families and individuals who have long standing memories of Beth’s dating back to the 50’s. This legacy is something she’s doing her best to secure & maintain for years to come. A temporary pause in business operations is being made in an effort to ensure Beth’s long term viability. This is a good sign – not a bad one.”