Bothell business scene: AleHouse to move, Alexa's serving beer and wine

Alexa's Cafe sits on Main Street, with the AleHouse & Eatery in the background.
— image credit: Andy Nystrom / Reporter

After 16 years in business, the Main Street AleHouse & Eatery in downtown Bothell is closing its doors tonight.

However, according to a sign the owners have hung on the establishment's front window and a notice placed on their Facebook page, Susan and Gary Southwick will incorporate the restaurant/bar into their other business, Preservation Kitchen, which is located on Bothell Way Northeast.

"One section will continue to operate as fine dining while another will be a casual setting for The AleHouse & Eatery. One building with a variety of choices," reads the Facebook notice.

The change will take place on Sept. 1.

"We couldn't negotiate a new lease," said Susan, adding that she and Gary heard this from their landlord 20 days ago. "It's hard. We were really sad. All new adventures are scary — and exciting and invigorating, too."

Over the last few weeks, Susan said both restaurants' staffs have "blessed" the Southwicks with their support and help through the transition. AleHouse customers have said they'll follow the road up Bothell Way Northeast to the newly named Main Street AleHouse and Preservation Kitchen, Susan said.

Preservation Kitchen's back bar and dining room is a little bigger than the AleHouse's space and they're ready to move everything into the new spot.

"It's got that old ale-house feel to the building. It looks great," Susan said. "I think change is good. It's my belief that it can solidify our presence in Bothell at this location."

• Leigh Henderson is switching things up with her business, as well. She's now serving beer and wine at her Alexa's Cafe, which is located next door to the AleHouse & Eatery. The business is now open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, with a 3-6 p.m. happy hour and an addition of appetizers to the menu.

Henderson, who used the AleHouse & Eatery's closure as a springboard to make changes, wants to draw people downtown during the evenings.

"Everybody loves the feel of downtown Main Street," she said. "I want people to know (Alexa's) as a destination place. We're going to compete."

Alexa's Cafe's new hours went into effect on Aug. 27. Henderson said the first night was a success and she "loves sharing that space with our community."

Along with the AleHouse & Eatery, Three Cups of Tea on 102nd Avenue Northeast, off Main, also recently closed up shop.

"It makes me sad, all the changes," said Henderson, noting that she hopes that existing Main Street businesses can weather the tight economy and changes on the horizon with the city's revitalization projects.

Three Cups of Tea owner Lea Miller couldn't be reached at post time.

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