Despite promises from mayor, downtown Seattle restaurant owner says area is still unsafe

Oct 7, 2021, 5:04 AM
Seattle shootings, downtown...
Police at the scene of a shooting in downtown Seattle. (SPD Blotter)
(SPD Blotter)

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there had been a mass shooting in downtown Seattle. Mauro Golmarvi, who owns Assaggio, an Italian restaurant, was practically begging city leaders for some help after that and spoke with KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show.

Despite promises from Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, Golmarvi is still dealing with a dangerous area and has now had to cut his hours back to five days a week, four hours a day. This past weekend, there was another shooting near his restaurant.

Dealing with COVID-19 would be one thing, Golmarvi noted, but he says downtown is unsafe. This is the time of year when people would be coming down for the holidays, but there’s nothing.

“I’m hearing all these other restaurants going, ‘yeah, Bellevue is so great, and Kirkland’s so busy, Redmond is busy, West Seattle is busy,'” Golmarvi said. “Downtown? … I mean, 11 shifts I used to have. There was five lunch and six dinner, I only was closed Sunday. I’m only open right now five days — it’s Tuesday through Saturday, 5 to 9.”

After 8 p.m., he says it’s too dangerous for most people to even walk downtown.

Following his conversation with the mayor in January 2020, he says he never heard back. He was asked if he would like to be on a task force and he said yes, but he’s never received a reply to any of his attempts to reach out since then.

Assaggio’s will have been in business for 30 years next year, but Golmarvi isn’t ready to retire or to move.

“We love what we do, I love taking care of the people,” he said. “I don’t want to be retired. I want to work. But my hand is tied.”

Seattle restaurant owner says shutdown is ‘a very, very scary moment’

He wishes he was somewhere else where they respect their business owners, but he says there’s too many memories and too much history in downtown Seattle for him and his business that he doesn’t want to just pick up and move out to the suburbs.

“[When] I reopened my restaurant after COVID and I said it’s not about the money. I want to be a light in downtown Seattle, 4th Avenue, because everything is dead,” he said.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Despite promises from mayor, downtown Seattle restaurant owner says area is still unsafe