An article suggesting the $15-an-hour minimum wage was a factor in some recent Seattle restaurant closures caught fire with national and conservative media this week. The only problem: When we asked the restaurateurs in question, they said it’s flat wrong.
“We were never interviewed for these articles and we did not close our … location due to the new minimum wage,” Kounpungchart and Frank said in an email. “We do not know what our colleagues are doing to prepare themselves for the onset of the new law**, but pre-emptively closing a restaurant seven years before the full effect of the law takes place seems preposterous to us.**”
** Frank went so far as to send a note to the author of the Washington Policy Center post saying: “Our business model is conducive to the changing times and we would appreciate it if you did not make assumptions about our business to promote your political values.”**
Shanik proprietor Meeru Dhalwala, who is also mentioned by Seattle Magazine, said in a Facebook message, “My closure is strictly due to location — nothing to do with wages.**”
“There’s going to be restaurants in Seattle,” Anton added. “It’s just going to be different, and that’s OK.”
As it stands now, the claim that these restaurants closed over the minimum-wage issue is false.