Hoping for a return to Seattle’s 24-hour restaurant culture


Which helps explain why the (hopefully) temporary closure of Beth’s Café, located near the edge of Green Lake, has such a poignant impact. The longtime greasy spoon had already cut its hours during the pandemic, no longer serving its famous 12-egg omelets at midnight. And now one of Seattle’s most renowned 24/7 restaurants will have an even longer return to 24/7 service, although God willing, it will come back in one form or another.

Beth’s Café isn’t the only 24/7 restaurant suffering from the double challenge of staying on staff and overcoming a pandemic. Before the North Star Diner in Greenwood reduced its hours of operation, you would often find my wife and I there sharing French toast sticks after everyone in town had gone to bed. Lost Lake, which now has the “24” in its expertly upholstered “Open 24 Hours” sign, kept me and countless other people on Capitol Hill from coming home to loot the refrigerator. And the long-standing 24-hour, 13-piece staple now closes before 1 a.m. on weekends.

As of this writing, I think the only 24/7 restaurant within Seattle city limits is IHOP, not counting fast food. And while pancakes from a national chain will do, many of us would prefer late-night spots with a more local flavor.

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