Zoopa Organic restaurant closes suddenly due to dispute with landlord

The owners of Zoopa Organic Soup, Salad & Bakery – located at 393 Strander Blvd. near Westfield Southcenter in Tukwila – announced Monday that the business has closed due to a dispute with its landlord.

The restaurant re-opened in June 2014 as an all-organic eatery, owned by Jerrod Sessler of Burien.

“In the 18 months since we took over Zoopa we have made significant progress and learned more than we knew we needed to,” reads an announcement on the company’s website. “But, the landlord has other plans. Restaurants are a risk for landlords and one they are not willing to shoulder given the looming threat of forced wage increases which render restaurants unprofitable. The new tenants will bring security and long term income to the landlord and the overall productivity that they want to see for the location. The space will be gutted in the coming weeks to allow those new tenants to move in. We have not had enough notice to find a new location and so are unfortunately forced to close.”

On Friday, May 8, this somewhat cryptic notice was posted to Zoopa’s Facebook page:

If you are truly a Zoopa fan than please join us today, tomorrow or Sunday for a meal. Big changes ahead for the location to be announced Monday.

Numerous commenters have expressed dismay over the closing, which was a shock to many. Here’s more from the company website:

Success for us has been the opportunity to meet and serve you. Our hearts desire has been to provide a unique place for people to eat real food at reasonable prices. We hope you enjoyed it and we are honored that we got to carry the Zoopa torch that so many of us who grew up in the South End knew and loved.

Thank you for making it possible and being part of the Zoopa community. We are also enormously grateful to all those who worked tirelessly serving, preparing and behind the scenes at Zoopa Organic. The team has work tirelessly to serve the community and they should be commended for it.

In the future we will be opening another location under a different brand name, but with the same healthy vision that Zoopa had. Please submit your information below to make sure we let you know when we have more firm plans for this exciting project.

Best regards,
Zoopa Owners


10 Responses to “Zoopa Organic restaurant closes suddenly due to dispute with landlord”
  1. Christy says:

    We are so sad! My kids LOVE Zoopa so much!

  2. Shocked citizen says:

    You mean the wage increase isn’t creating a better economy like so many people claimed it would? I’m just shocked! Wait, no I’m not!

    Sad to see another business close because voters didn’t do their economics homework.

    • Lonnie Lopez says:

      Increasing the minimum wage does NOT hurt businesses. Greedy owners always whine about having to pay employees liveable wages. No restaurant owner haggles with the a store over the price of produce. Why should they haggle over the price of labor? I’m rather ashamed that so many of my WHITE neighbors have a problem with working people earning a liveable wage.

      If paying people the value of their work (not what YOU THINK is the value of their work) is too much for you to handle, THEN YOU SHOULDN’T OWN A BUSINESS. PERIOD.

  3. Mark says:

    I’m not aware of any forced wage increase in the city of Tukwila.

    • Greg Wright says:

      My sister works with the City of Renton, and they’re having a hard time finding people willing to work for less than $15/hr… because workers know they can go to SeaTac and get that wage. There’s a ripple effect to surrounding communities.

  4. krm says:

    Sometimes a business owner (the landlord) has to take a proactive approach to their business. This may include seeking out a tenant with better financial resources.

  5. Zoopa Regular says:

    Sorry to find that Zoopa is closed. Looking forward to a grand reopening – somewhere.

    I’d like to think that it’s possible to provide both a service and a living wage rather than making a choice. A paycheck alone isn’t enough. If the laws are so written, employers can pay anything, certainly less than livable.

    “Economics” isn’t the law of the land, just one of many things to take into consideration.

    I wish the Zoopa owners the best of luck.

  6. John Majors says:

    Please let me know when and where you reopen. I thoughly enjoyed eating at your restaurant.

  7. Del says:

    I do not want to sound heartless but the reimagined Zoopa was not the Zoopa we came to love when visiting Southcenter. The choices were slim, the quality was poor and the service was slow. We were very disappointed to say the least. As I mentioned in an email to the owners shortly after they opened the handwriting was on the wall if they did not substantially improve their product in a hurry. Unfortunately they did not so it was not surprising to see the business fail in such short order. I encouraged them to adopt the highly successful Sweet Tomatoes model in Portland to appeal to a broader audience. They said they believed in what they were attempting to create which is admirable. However, in the hyper competitive, low profit margin restaurant industry it is probably safer not to attempt to reinvent the wheel in such an expensive locale such as Southcenter.

  8. Cassidy says:

    Need a new zoopa!

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