Iris Grill restaurant will close Tuesday
June 27, 2009
By Chantelle Lusebrink
NEW — 6 p.m. June 27, 2009
After seven years of operation, the Iris Grill in Gilman Village is closing its doors Tuesday.
“Hopefully many people, if they have been here and like it, will come here to experience it one more time and give us the opportunity to say thank you,” owner Bill McIntyre said. “For those that perhaps have heard of us, but haven’t come in, here is the window of opportunity.”
The closure has been a few years coming, he said.
The restaurant opened in 2002 under different ownership. McIntyre said he began looking into purchasing it in 2003 and made the sale final in 2004. But a fire in April that year became an ongoing problem, he said.
“Quite frankly, that is what ultimately put us where we are today,” he said. “Insurance built the restaurant and did it so beautifully, as far as the facility, but we were left with no money. Essentially, we opened with no operating capital at all and began borrowing.
“We had to borrow to get open and stay open for the first couple of years, and because of the amount we borrowed and how leveraged we were, once the recession kicked in this summer, you know, that was it.”
When the recession began, McIntyre said he began looking for an investor and even buyers to help see the restaurant through, but to no avail.
However, he’s not quite ready to give up.
“I just want to say how much of a pleasure it has been to serve this community for the amount of time we’ve been here,” he said. “Despite what is happening now, this has been the best experience of my life — the fulfillment of a lifelong dream of mine to own and operate a restaurant.”
He said he is still looking for investors and his goal is to reopen the Iris Grill in a new Issaquah location within the year, as he is not selling his naming rights. The restaurant’s Web site will remain online so anyone interested can contact him, he said.