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Downtown’s Decades-Old Filipino Diner Is Losing Its Lease

Eater logo Eater 4/18/2019 Megan Hill
a plate of food on a table: Ludi’s, which serves American breakfast staples alongside Filipino specialties, could end its long run in August. © C S./Yelp Ludi’s, which serves American breakfast staples alongside Filipino specialties, could end its long run in August.

Ludi’s Restaurant and Lounge could close for good unless owner Gregorio Rosas finds a new home

Downtown’s long-running diner, Ludi’s Restaurant and Lounge, will close at its current location in August. The business has operated at various locations downtown since the 1930s, serving all-day breakfast with Filipino specialties like ube pancakes with coconut sauce, lumpia, and longsilog alongside chicken-fried steak and eggs and corned beef hash. Owner Gregorio Rosas will try to relocate the business elsewhere downtown, but he said the city’s rising rents aren’t in his favor.

The 17-year lease for Ludi’s (200 Pike St) will run out at the end of August, reports International Examiner. Rosas, who has owned the business since 2001, said the building’s owner does not want to keep a restaurant in the space. Rosas guessed that his landlord intends to build more parking for the newly opened State Hotel, located across the street from Ludi’s.

Rosas was born in Manila and moved to Seattle in 1978. His first job upon relocating was as a dishwasher at Ludi’s, which was then a diner called The Turf. When the owner died, she passed the restaurant on to Rosas. “In a way I’m sad, because this is my life, but at the same token, I don’t have any bad feeling,” he told IE. “Whether good or bad there’s always an end to everything.”

Ludi’s has attracted regulars for years, thanks to its low prices and friendly service. Rosas even honors longtime customers who have passed away by putting their picture or a notice on a board in the restaurant.

Rosas is working with a broker to relocate, but he has doubts about whether he’ll be successful. “If there’s a chance we can move to another location, I’ll go for it, as long as it’s still affordable,” Rosas said. “There’s a lot of ‘ifs.’”

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