Update 4:23PM: We received a note from Groupon telling us that they have, in fact, confirmed with Chabela’s that they are closed. Nick from Groupon writes:
We confirmed that the merchant has in fact closed. Anyone who has an outstanding Groupon voucher can contact us at www.groupon.com/support for a return.
Also, I would take issue with the first commenter. More than 500,000 merchants have featured deals on Groupon, including Seattle-based Starbucks. Plus, our re-feature rate with merchants is more than 50 percent.
We saw this question in the Forums the other day, from “Schellsburg”:
So, is Chabela’s closed? Their door has been locked for at least a week, and their phone number goes ring…ring…ring. The menus are still taped to their windows, and there’s no visible indication on the storefront what might be going on. Would be a pity, as we enjoyed the food the few times we’d been there…
And Frankie’s response:
Kind of looks like it. Right after I got a Groupon. So I’m out ten bucks. Discovered this on Thursday last week.
I’ve been phoning the restaurant every day for the past few days and haven’t been able to reach anyone. Plus, it’s been dark inside for over a week now.
Personally, my family and I ate there in early May and were pretty underwhelmed with the food and the service, though I know there were several readers (including Schellsburg above) who posted far better experiences there. Either way, I hate to see another business in the neighborhood that’s gone dark.
The Groupon was your tipoff. Groupon = going out of business soon.
Still going four years later!
It is in fact out of business, at least for now. groupon sent me a refund offer and another Wallyhood reader said they were clearing out the fridge and freezer. Here’s what was wrong with Chabela’s IMO, and kind of how to “fix” it.
1. LOCATION – that block has less foot traffic than the other side of the street, and less parking. Sounds trivial but if it were on the (literally) sunny side of the street, it would benefit – and the traffic/light situation there is convoluted thanks to QFC and the odd offset junction.
2. STYLE – I think Wallingford could use a great Mexican place, but the local vibe has gotten fancier and Chabela’s rehash of the old Guadalajara concept was never going to fly. I hate to say it but a more “organic” and natural/authentic and bluntly, posher approach, would work – and they’d have to balance that with Family Friendly. Sticking the bar in the front was counterproductive, IMO. A cross between Carta De La Oaxaca and Tutta Bella in terms of ambience.
3. FOOD – I had an excellent Tortilla soup there, with mole overtones – it was delicious and original – but everything else tasted like Chevys.
If we’re talking about what we would wish for, how about a kid-friendly brew pub like Tangletown or the Madrona Ale House.
I’d be down with that Jen. Some kind of high-sided but safe ball creche they can’t escape from (like a child-friendly Sarlaac pit) while we pound brews and eat gastropub food.
What made me sad was the failure of La Casa Azul to understand their market. They have terrific food, with relatively unknown Oaxacan specialties like tlayudas and an outstanding mole — but they only served them at night. In particular, their handmade tortillas were excellent. But during the lunch service they served a handful of boring old taco platters with store-bought tortillas. If you’re going to compete in the Mexican-food market you can’t serve sub-taco-truck stuff at fancy sit-down prices. It was frustrating, because they KNEW HOW, they just chose not to, because they didn’t understand how important the lunch market can be in this neighborhood.
There were issues in the evening, too.
I don’t know. Saturday we tried out a Oaxacan restaurant in Burien that gets raves for authenticity, and we’d take Chabela’s over that place without question, warts and all. We’d even cross the street. I think they had a pretty good shot, but evidently didn’t have the right people to make it shine.
And it seems to be hard times for places like that. Golden Olive is gone, too, I see, and they were reliably good, and on the sunny side of the street. It wasn’t cheap eats, though, and it wasn’t trendy.
Chabela’s was pretty bad imho. The menu was extremely limited and overpriced for what it was. They even managed to mess up my son’s been and shoulda-had-cheese burrito. Rather than fix it, the waitress recounted how she told the kitchen to put cheese in there in no less than three renditions. Then she asked my son again if he was sure there wasn’t cheese in there.
Because you know, it’s hard to tell if you have melted cheese in your black beans…
We went to Chabela’s 3 times. I thought the service was fine, the room was ok (hated the bar/TV’s up front), but it was the food that made us stop coming. I love having a Mexican restaurant in Wallingford, but I would really like one with better food. Though it makes me crazy, I’d rather drive out to Luisa’s on Holman than eat something second rate that I can walk to.
I agree – a brew pub would be nice. Maybe 74th Stree Ale House would be interested in a move?
I wonder if the rent works against success here? Thinking of, say, Pecado Bueno, which seems to be doing quite well; Gordito’s is a similar concept that also seems very successful … but I can imagine a restauranteur doing the math at this location and deciding that to make it work he’ll have to “aim higher”. Fancy remodel, fancy sit down menu, full bar, etc. – whether the neighborhood residents are into a Mexican restaurant of that nature or not. Location, location, location … better steer clear of this one, and not because it’s on the south side of the street.
There is the Chili Pepper and TNT. I haven’t had the need to go to Luisa’s.
A brew pub that is child friendly would be to die for.
Anyone know why Golden Olive closed? That place was so good!
why can’t we get a Matador, Rosita’s, Cactus or Pesos!!!! They could take over this location and the place next door. Matador would KILL it, as would Rosita’s, Cactus, Pesos, or any other established Mexican joint.
I am sorry to hear that Chabella’s is closing, we went once… and LOVE Mexican food, and didn’t go back. Instead we would drive to Pecado Beuno (OHHHH….. bring one here!!!!!), Matador and this new place in Georgetown, but when good mex food is 6 blocks from my house, we would def go often.
– La Casa Azul and Chabella’s just didn’t cut it (sadly)
– TNT is good for fast grub
– Rancho Bravo…. we won’t go back till they clean up that eyesore at the old Winchells building (what a disgrace to our fair town)
– Chili Pepper…. haven’t been in many years
let’s hope someone fills in the Tully’s, Babaloo (sp?) or Chabella’s with something awesome that will last.
Best of luck!
In a totally different direction, it looks like the Wallingford Bakery in Julia’s is closing (again). And a “Seattle Espresso” will be opening there?
Oh! I am sad to hear about Golden Olive. A great place and the lady who ran the place was so nice. 🙁
I went twice to Chabela’s and thought it was just as good as the previous two Mexican restaurant renditions in that location. Hate to say it, but that corner is begging for a developer to swoop in and build some high end condos. Not a whole lot of businesses have had success there. I’m surprised the Hawaiian place stays open, I never see people in there.
Sad to hear about Golden Olive too. However, I lived 3 minutes walk from there for 5 years, I LOVE greek food, and I only went twice. I’m not that picky of a customer but they had very dirty walls next to the dining tables in that place. Dirty, grime, stains at eye level when sitting is not appetizing. If they can’t keep that clean then I wonder what the standard is for the kitchen? Also I didn’t like the lady asking me to pay with cash instead of card. Kind of snobby of me I guess, but hey I’m not in a taxi cab.
“Evy” at Golden Olive was like family. Many years of great food and friendly greetings every time. When we went in without the kids, there was always an inquiry about how they were. So very sorry to see them close. Nothing wrong with a restaurant asking for a little relief from oppressive credit card charges. Loved to help them succeed. Great family run restaurant. Good health and good luck! Geia mas!
It clearly failed due to wallyhoodians (idk) thinking it was an off shoot of Cabelas and not wanting to be akin to such corporatism or redneck shopping.
Really though, the wife and I walked up to it, looked at the menu and it looked grossly over priced. So on that alone, we walked.
I miss Beso Del Sol. A non pretentious brew pub would be nice.
Chabela’s staff could project attitude. And the food was overpriced and not spectacular. Parking is an issue in the area, too. With so many large venues available, it will be interesting to see who will take the plunge into them. Someone who can read the flow of business, make the place a destination, and broaden appeal, not be just a college crowd (Kate’s), or sports crowd (Goldie’s), or adult drinking crowd (Murphy’s or Grizzled Wizard), or club crowd (x-Babalu’s). An Elyisian/Tangletown place might do well.
And Neighbor, love your pretentious elitist snark.
Yes neighbor, you beat me to it!
How about a swimming pool in one of the empyt spots?
Another Chaco Canyon?
I loved the Golden Olive and I’m really sorry it’s gone. As for the cash issue, they offered a 10% discount for paying with cash. The “oppressive credit card charges” don’t add up to that at all so they must have been deriving some other benefit from getting cash.
I didn’t get a chance to try Chabela’s, but did think the menu seemed tame and pricy. However, I want to add my 2-cents for a pub! We’ve been walking up to the Burgundian (which is awesome) but would love a place we could bring our nephews to. Someone, please–I just want a great burger and a drink without frat boys or loud sports!
So sorry to see golden olive go. When a family business goes dark everyone is out of work all at once. The kids were so sweet. Hopefully they have good options. Anybody know their plans?
Without parking I don’t see the cabelas space ever working as a restaurant. I think a small mexican restaurant could work in wallingford, just not something in a cavernous space like cabelas / azul / selana’s / guadelahara, not even a brew pub. The block seems ripe for condos. Gotta put the amazon worker bees somewhere…
Over 20,000 people live within a mile of the Cabelas location. Parking is not necessary for a restaurant or pub to work there. Build something good and people will show up.
Another line of thought.. the Seattle Public Library.. the Wallingford site is very small. How about a move into a larger space so they could have more books/
I’m still missing Dad Watson’s. That would be a great place for a McMenamins.
> the Seattle Public Library.. the Wallingford site is very small. How about a move into a larger space so they could have more books/
I would rather the SPL spend more money on the books themselves (which are easily requested and delivered via the hold system) or on opening hours than on rent for a larger location. The Wallingford location is fine.
I can have my opinion. It is not fine to me. The Wallingford location is too small. It does nto have space for book browzing. thereis a huge difference between preconcieved ‘holds’ and enjoying the many options by physically looking at and in books.
I will, and do, walk uphill 10 blocks (in the snow..) just to eat at many of the fine restaurants on 45th. Cabela’s menu just never appealed to me, but I’m always sorry to see a small business fail!
I second the idea for a larger SPL branch! The current location has such limited space for library programming and community gathering. I greatly appreciate the hold system, but libraries can and (I think) should be more than just a place to pick up and drop off books.
We’re sad about both Chabela’s and Golden Olive. Both had gluten-free dishes for our kids. We had good culinary experiences every time at Chabela’s including a cheap and delicious fresh salmon dish. I didn’t like the décor, but with its demise and the demise of Golden Olive (dependable friendly Greek sit-down place) there are fewer and fewer family options within walking distance of us, aside from the ubiquitous sushi places and Molly Moon. 45th Street between Stone Way and Wallingford is seeming sad these days…
Remember that great Greek/Italian place that used to be across from Chase?
I walked by yesterday and talked to some of the workers, and apparently a Patty’s Eggnest is going in to the old Chabella’s space. Yay! It will be fun to have a good breakfast spot in the neighborhood.
I guess… But we have soo many breakfast places. Would have been nice to get a good burger joint or a brewery.
I saw some folks looking at the old Chabela space a few days ago and had wondered if something would go in soon. Hooray for Patty’s Eggnest.
Seriously… what will it take to get a kid-friendly gastropub to Wallingford? It would make a killing.
Isn’t the Blue Star kid-friendly? I know the Elysian Tangletown is.
Is Chabela’s Closed?