Maxwell’s Speakeasy + Restaurant is closed and its future remains unclear.
It appears the previous owners will be taking over the restaurant, but it won’t reopen immediately. The current owner says she is still the owner for now.
Beti Tarantino, who previously owned the casual restaurant Comfort Food Cafe in downtown Puyallup, purchased Maxwell’s in April 2015 from Steve Anderson, a chef and restaurant professional with a long career in military fine dining.
Anderson bought the restaurant in 2011. Maxwell’s originally opened in 2008 as a higher-end dining destination inside the historic Walker building at 454 St. Helens Ave.
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Since Tarantino’s 2015 takeover, the restaurant has experienced changes and setbacks.
Executive chef Hudson Slater, who cooked at the restaurant for most of its tenure, left to work at Marrow in July.
In August, a plumbing malfunction flooded the dining room, resulting in closure until October. Another plumbing issue led to closure of the restaurant for an additional week in October.
Water damage and closures resulted in a lawsuit filed Friday by Tarantino against the building’s owners. The lawsuit seeks reimbursement for the closures.
The restaurant closed again last week.
On Saturday, Tarantino posted a message on the company’s Facebook page stating, “It is with great sadness that Maxwell’s will be closed effective immediately. ...
“We would like to thank all of our guests that have been so faithful, you have meant the world to us.”
Tarantino declined further comment, citing legal concerns.
On Monday, previous owner Steve Anderson issued a statement through a public relations firm.
“It looks like we are getting our restaurant back,” stated Anderson, via the release. “For now, the restaurant will remain closed, while we consider the options; one being a new concept that would reopen in spring.”
Anderson held the note on the restaurant, according to his public relations representative, which is why ownership would revert to Anderson and his business partners.
In response to Anderson’s statement, Tarantino said via message, “And right now the restaurant is still mine, again (that’s) all I can say.”