Almost six months after closing his doors the first time, Ben Herreid made another difficult choice this week. He closed his downtown Puyallup restaurant, Arista.
This time it’s permanent.
Last year, the closure lasted only a day after several Puyallup restaurant owners rallied to help him keep the door open. Diners rallied, too, showing their support of the handmade pasta restaurant that opened in 2014.
“That was truly awesome, and the patronage and goodwill was so very much appreciated. In the end, however, goodwill doesn’t pay big bills,” explained Herreid.
Faced with high-interest loans he needed to pay back, he began seeking an investor to help. After months of discussions, the investment he needed to pay off the loans and keep the doors open did not materialize. Herreid said he and his wife, co-owner Anne Herreid, had to make a tough choice of closure.
“Anne and I sat down this weekend and gave it another long look and knew we were unable to continue. I feel very badly about this but I’m also relieved and excited about the next chapter.”
That next chapter will likely see Herreid’s return to the role of chef, and most likely it will be at the same location. Two local restaurant owners are looking at opening a restaurant in the space and keeping Herreid on as a chef. Details of that are still being worked out.
Herreid said he was relieved to return to cooking and leave behind the business of running a restaurant. “Stepping away from ownership and back into a chef position feels awesome,” he said. “I think Puyallup it going to love this next iteration. I am very humbled and grateful to stay in this community that has showed me so much grace.”
As for Herreid’s other restaurant, RoastHouse, it remains open under a new partnership agreement with Tim Hall, owner of HG Bistro in downtown Puyallup. That restaurant reopened in March.