In a recent 10-best list of new restaurants, the GQ critic said:
"Anchovies & Olives stays open until midnight in a city where everybody is in bed by 10 p.m. I arrived an hour before closing time. I not only ate alone, I also drank alone—even the bar was vacant. The place, as you might expect, was dark, quiet, and still."
I heartily agreed with this observation about Seattle's late-night dining nightlife being limited, but I further thought: I'd be downright elated to see some of my favorites extend their hours until 10 PM!
I have harangued the owner of El Quetzal over the phone when he told me that he was about to close at 7:30 PM (while posting 8PM); had to cajole the reluctant counterman at DaPino into serving me at 6:50-something; frowned in dismay over driving down Rainier at quarter 'til ten to find taco vehicles Asadero and El Portillo both closed; and simply shook my head in disgust at the advertised cut-off hours at the popular Hey Paison in Burien: 7:00, 6:00, 4:30!!??
I understand that business may get prohibitively slow after 9-ish on a weeknight, but IMO one can't really make a go at serving dinner when closing at 8:00 or earlier. There are means and methods for pairing down staff and starting closing duties without turning out the lights and turning paying customers away.
To me this practice seems to be derivative of the overall lifestyle-driven business philosophy in Seattle that puts other priorities over making money each day, which is a both a commendable blessing and an inconvenient curse. But I digress.