My email and Facebook messages started lighting up two weeks ago about the closures of two small, but popular, restaurants.
As I do with most restaurant closures, I left messages and perused public records. I don’t always get answers.
This is one of those times.
Nevertheless, here’s what I know about the closures of the two restaurants.
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So sorry to longtime fans of the original Mikie burger, this is not a story I want to tell. There’s a long tale involved with this burger restaurant that opened around 1965, although it’s gone through two owners since 2009 and the menu changed considerably since then.
The original name of the burger joint was The Little Holland Drive-In — old timers will remember the windmill attached to the building. Its original location was across the street in a neat little stand that’s now a parking lot of a shopping center. In 2009, Dave and Dorothy Viskup sold the recipes and business name to Chi Baek and her husband, Soungwon “Tony” Hong who relocated Little Holland to 4915 Center St.
In 2014, they sold the restaurant, which was renamed Mikie Burger after the restaurant’s signature menu item, to Michael Chang, a culinary school graduate who changed the bun and improved the fries. He also dropped the restaurant’s legendary custard from the menu. I emailed him and asked why he closed the restaurant last month and he responded that the reasons were financial and he has no plans to reopen or relocate Mikie Burger.
A sign has gone up on the shopping center’s signboard for another business with a different name, Prime 80/20, advertising burgers, fries and shakes. I’ll keep you posted.
A TNT Diner reader wrote on Facebook that her heart sank when she saw Tea Leaf in Parkland had closed. “We loved the special chicken and Mongolian beef there. Does anyone know if it is same owners or will have some of the same food?”
I’ve got few details on the closure of the longtime Chinese restaurant at 528 Garfield St. S. near Pacific Lutheran University, but what I know is that Tea Leaf is gone, the phone is disconnected and a new sign has gone up on the building. The new sign advertises a Japanese restaurant, Oishii Bento, with a menu of sushi, teriyaki, noodles and bento boxes.