DORI MONSON

Piroshky Piroshky, closed in 2022 due to crime, set to reopen after Christmas

Dec 9, 2022, 4:46 PM | Updated: Dec 21, 2022, 2:22 pm
piroshky...
Olga Sagan, the owner of Russian bakery Piroshky Piroshky, poses for a photo in front of her business Wednesday, March 16, 2022, at Pike Place Market in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Piroshky Piroshky, an iconic downtown Seattle business that shuttered one of its locations earlier this year over crime and safety concerns, is giving the troubled neighborhood another chance with a reopening date set for Dec. 26.

The Piroshky Piroshky located on 3rd Avenue near Pike and Pine Streets has been closed since February.

“First of all, we have been paying rent for the last 10 months. And we were lucky enough to get PPP money, but we are running out of PPP money,” said Olga Sagan, owner of Piroshky Piroshky, on The Dori Monson Show. “And we’ve been using them as we’re supposed to use them, pay rent, pay employees, things like that. So before we start losing a huge amount of money on the business, we want to try to reopen or at least see if there is some business that we can recover as we’re running out of government support and into supporting ourselves once again.”

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Seattle police, under Mayor Bruce Harrell and Police Chief Adrian Diaz, have made the downtown area a priority. Six months ago, Seattle police launched an operation targeting drug use in the Chinatown International District while also focusing on seizing drugs and illegal weapons from the Third Avenue and Pine Street area — exactly where Piroshky Piroshky is located.

But Sagan believes there has been some improvement.

“Over the last couple of months. We’ve seen people coming back to downtown,” Sagan said. “I wouldn’t say that crime is a major improvement. But if you compare what’s going on right now to February, there was an improvement. It’s still inconsistent, there are still bad nights.”

Three separate shootings occurred in February along Third Avenue when the business decided to close, including two happening within a week from each other. But since that violent month, a shooting has not occurred in that specific area.

“I believe there is more police presence there. I believe there’s more focus on that area. And I feel that we are a fabric of that community,” Sagan said. “And so many businesses already gave up on that area, but there’s a lot of small businesses that are still there. I feel like we’re lucky enough to be a fabric of that community that has a voice to fight for that area, to fight for those businesses to, fight for that normalcy in a way.”

Piroshky Piroshky first opened its doors in 1992 to establish Eastern European cuisine in the Pacific Northwest.

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During the bakery’s peak, the long lines out the door became part of the experience. Piroshky Piroshky was featured on Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” and was voted one of “The 20 Most Iconic Food Destinations Across America” by the Smithsonian.

Before the announcement to reopen, the bakery hit the road a few months prior, heading to Colorado to be a part of the Grange Food Hall, ensuring Piroshkies are still being treated as a delicacy.

As for the decision to open the day after Christmas, Sagan said that’s partially due to a recently canceled meeting between her and Harrell.

“I have been trying to meet with the mayor since March,” Sagan said. “We had a meeting set up for last Tuesday or two days ago, and that’s what I was hoping. Business owners like myself, who are living in downtown, do not give up on us, we keep fighting for downtown, you just have to keep supporting us. I was really looking forward to connect, maybe get some information about what the plan is, and then, several hours before, the meeting was canceled.”

A future meeting has not been rescheduled between Harrell and Sagan.

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

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Piroshky Piroshky, closed in 2022 due to crime, set to reopen after Christmas