After 25 years in business, Ponti Seafood Grill is closing on Saturday, July 2nd. Owner Richard Malia is closing the business now to retire, and after a 5-year search for a buyer to take on the restaurant, with no takers, the building has been purchased by a local Elks Lodge.
“The past few years have been our most successful of the 25 years we’ve been in business,” Malia told the Puget Sound Business Journal. “I’ve tried to find a way to pass it on and keep the restaurant going… But I had nobody who wanted to take over.”
Richard and his wife, Sharon, started their career in food service with The Snug in the 1970s. They opened Ponti in 1990, serving wild-caught seafood in North Queen Anne along the Ship Canal. Now, it’s time to retire. “I’m 69 and ready to pursue other business interests and spend time in service to the community. I didn’t do this on my own, and I owe both the community a lot for the support we’ve received, as well as my loyal employees,” he told Seattle Eater.
Although Ponti Seafood Grill has been successful, averaging about $2.6 million each year in revenue, it wasn’t enough to tempt a buyer — even from a chain of restaurants. He learned from a realtor that the Seattle Elks Lodge #92 was looking for a new building after selling their old building in November 2015. The deal spent 6 months, but Malia and the lodge came to a purchase agreement that is set to close on July 15th.
“I feel good about it,” Malia said. “I would like it to continue as Ponti, but it will continue to be a place of goodwill.”
Ponti’s inventory of wines is currently on sale at (or below) wholesale prices until July 2nd.
Featured photo source: PontiSeafoodGrill.com