KIRO NEWSRADIO OPINION

Seattle restaurant owner: ‘A significant difference’ in safety downtown

Dec 29, 2022, 3:09 PM | Updated: 3:26 pm

piroshky Seattle City Council...

Olga Sagan, the owner of Russian bakery Piroshky Piroshky. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Piroshsky, Piroshsky, an iconic Seattle restaurant, has re-opened on Third and Pike.

Owner Olga Sagan closed the bakery 10 months ago because of crime in the neighborhood. She re-opened this week after saying she saw good improvement in the area.

“We have to deliver a good walkable downtown for our people,” Sagan told fill-in host Brandi Kruse on The Dori Monson Show.

“Now the biggest neighborhood in Seattle is downtown. For people who live there, people who work there, and tourists that visit us, we need to stop embarrassing ourselves with downtown,” she continued.

Construction of pedestrian bridge from Seattle waterfront to Pike Place Market begins

Brandi asked Sagan to describe the differences between when she closed the bakery last February and her re-opening this week.

“I think, right in front of our windows, there is a significant difference,” Sagan said. “I wouldn’t say it’s consistent, 24/7, always clean and safe 100% of the time. But I would say more often clean, and as safe as it has ever been in the last two or three years.”

Sagan said on KIRO Newsradio that the crime problem hasn’t been solved in the downtown corridor. It has just been moved around.

Brandi asked, “Even though it’s a little bit better, right now, how hesitant are you to believe, it’s really going to stay that way?”

Sagan said that she has no expectations, and she hopes “for the best but [has] hoped before.”

“I think I was very, very vocal and very frustrated and very fed up when it closed,” she said.

A Starbucks cafe and an Amazon To Go store closed in the area at about the same time.

“I was part of the fabric of closing it down. I’m hoping to be a fabric of reopening it up as well,” Sagan said.

Sagan told Brandi that if she has to close the bakery again, it will be for the last time.

Brandi asked Sagan if she had seen a shift in the willingness of business owners to speak up and say something about the conditions there.

“I got a lot of negative feedback and was subject to a lot of name-callings when I first said things. But, I was telling my truth and how it affected me. We did open a little bit of a floodgate of, it’s okay for us to speak our truth. We’re going to keep pushing towards a better future for Third and Pike,” Sagan concluded.

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

Dori Monson Show

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