Ten years to the day after they first unlocked their doors, the Grizzled Wizard (aka “The Most Extreme Dive in the Multiverse™”) will close for good on December 31. In posts to Facebook and Instagram on December 5, Grizzled Wizard GM Ed O’Brien thanked his community of customers and encouraged everyone to stop on by one more time for a drink “whether it’s been five days or five years since you’ve visited the Grizz.”
And no matter when you last visited the Grizz, you can attest to its cozy atmosphere where both regulars and newbies felt welcome. The bar’s closing will be a loss to the neighborhood, but there is good news to be had, for the Russian-themed Korochka Tavern will open in the Grizzled Wizard space, possibly as soon as February.
Two months ago Korochka Tavern suddenly lost the lease on their Lake City location and served their last piroshki, pickles, and cocktails there on October 28. Korochka co-owners (and longtime friends) Kendall Murphy and Lisa Malinovskaya quickly opened a GoFundMe (which is ongoing) and scrambled to find a site to relocate. Fortunately they were already in the process of scouting a location to expand and had been looking in Wallingford, so those plans were expedited and Lake City’s loss will be Wallingford’s gain.
This should be a welcome addition to the food and drink scene on 45th, a street where Asian food (of all stripes, mind you) reigns supreme. Malinovskaya (who was born in Moscow) recently told Seattle Eater that the Wallingford location will “have similar food and drinks” as the Lake City space did. Korochka’s Lake City menu included pelmeni (pork and beef dumplings), vareniki (cheese and potato dumplings), piroshki (fillings rotated daily), carrot salad, baked potatoes, and other Russian-inspired dishes.
Korochka’s liquor license application currently posted on the Grizzled Wizard’s window suggests that they will have a full bar, so in addition to Northwest microbrews and Baltika beer from St. Petersburg, expect the Trans-Siberian and Birch Sapling cocktails to live on in the new location. And there will, of course, be vodka.
So while your stomach anticipates some Russian interference in 2020, drop on by the Grizzled Wizard sometime between now and Tuesday for a cold beer and a shot to say goodbye to the Grizz and good riddance to 2019.