Thaiku and Fu Kun Wu to close on December 23 due to property dispute
Ballard Avenue's beloved Thaiku and its bar Fu Kun Wu will be closing after ten years due to ongoing dispute with the property owner causing the establishment to be displaced. Thaiku and Fu Kun Wu’s last full day of operation is Friday, December 23, 2011.
A small business venture owned by Jazz musician Jon Alberts, Thaiku offers regional, home-style Thai cuisine while the Fu Kun Wu bar is a jazz haven.
"I don't think you'll find a better pad Thai anywhere in Seattle," read the Zagat 2011 Review.
Thaiku's bar Fu Kun Wu— famed for its herb-infused cocktails and jazz music was voted one of the "Best Bars in America" by Esquire Magazine and billed as "one of the best kept secrets of the Seattle jazz scene".
Thaiku celebrated its 10th year anniversary on September 13, riding out ten years of the economy's highs and lows.
Thaiku opened its doors when Ballard Avenue was still a quiet street, and it thrived as the area flourished. Families have gathered there to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions. Thaiku has loyal patrons who dine there daily. The weekly jazz nights at Fu Kun Wu have brought the jazz community together.
Closing Thaiku will idle about 25 employees— cooks, wait staff, bartenders and dishwashers— some of whom have been with the restaurant since it opened.
"We are extremely grateful to our employees and customers for their loyalty the last ten years," said the management in a statement. "We encourage everyone to stop by and join us until we close our doors."
Property owner Robert Vinnedge meanwhile declined to comment for the time being.
"We don't discuss our business with the public," he said.
Thaiku will serve lunch and dinner until Friday, December 23. Its bar Fu Kun Wu will be open from 5pm-midnight until its final night and will offer happy hour daily from 5-7pm, with an all-night happy hour party on December 23 from 5pm-close. The live jazz on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8:30-11pm will also take place as scheduled.
Know that this is not the end for Thaiku. In 2001, proprietor and jazz musician Jon Alberts was forced to move the popular Fremont Noodle House, which was reincarnated shortly after as Thaiku with Fu Kun Wu in Ballard. The owners are confident that Thaiku and Fu Kun Wu will once again reincarnate in another form. In the meantime, the weekly jazz nights will relocate to its sister venue, Copper Gate (6301 24th Avenue NW in Ballard), beginning Thursday, January 5, 2012 with the Fu Kun Wu Trio (Jon Alberts, Jeff Johnson and Tad Britton) headlining the evening. "We urge everyone to support Fu Kun Wu's jazz musicians and join them at Copper Gate," the management says.
"We are actively looking for a new space and we are hopeful to reopen within a year," the management adds. "For now, we will pack our elixirs and go. The Oolong-tinis will live elsewhere."