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Sawyer, a Ballard bistro when nominated for Ideal New Cafe, closes

A mere a few yrs just after it was nominated for a James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant in the U.S., Sawyer, the well-known bistro in Ballard, will close in Oct.

Chef and operator Mitch Mayers explained on Monday that following years of functioning 15-hour times, he wants to phase away from the kitchen area to invest far more time with his spouse and two small children.

“I skipped a ton of their childhood. I knew opening a cafe would be tricky and involves a ton of my focus, and items bought harder in excess of the earlier few of many years for the reason that of the pandemic,” mentioned Mayers, 35. “My oldest son starts off kindergarten next year these moments are precious. I want to devote additional time with my family.”

Mayers, who was also nominated by the James Beard basis for Most effective Chef in the Northwest in 2020, moved his family to Woodinville previous thirty day period and options to acquire the relaxation of the calendar year off before choosing on his following career go.

The cafe field is notorious for its long hrs and busy speed, and Mayers joins a record of well known, very acclaimed Seattle-location restaurateurs who, in the previous couple many years, have made a decision to step back again from the enterprise of running places to eat and shift on with their lives.

In 2021, Maria Hines shut Tilth, her James Beard Award-winning cafe, to move to Mazama with her spouse. Citing a drive to invest a lot more time at his farm on Vashon Island, Matt Dillon, who won a Beard Award for “Best Chef: Northwest” in 2012, closed Sitka & Spruce and Bar Ferdinand in early 2020 correct ahead of the pandemic pressured restaurant shutdowns almost everywhere. A different Beard Award winner, Jerry Traunfeld, also shut his cafe Poppy on Capitol Hill in 2019 to transfer to Palm Springs.

At Sawyer — specially soon after all the cafe awards — Mayers was “constantly on the clock.”

“You continually have men and women contacting about matters going on in the constructing,” he claimed. “I was there 7 days a week. … I will need to prioritize my relatives a bit.”

In August 2018, Sawyer debuted to significantly excitement, with prolonged lines of customers who required to check out out the chef’s playful spins on fuel station noshes and lowbrow food stuff these as jojo potatoes, choco tacos and oxtail nachos — or as Mayers calls his menu, “fun and approachable.”

Now, he’s just looking ahead to taking a crack.

Mayers stated he does not approach to open a cafe in Woodinville but will possible do the job in the kitchen area yet again. Performing nearer to 40 hours a week, and “working for anyone else seems rather good,” Mayers said.

The last working day of services at Sawyer will be Oct. 2.