“Sandwich, soup, pie. Do you want anything else?” he asked briskly.
“I’m paying for his too,” I said, gesturing to my husband behind me.
“That’s not what I asked you,” he said, annoyed. “Anything else?”
“No, Jason. Nothing else.”
True to form, Bakeman’s Restaurant owner Jason Wang served me a side of sass during my final visit to the Seattle institution. After 47 years in business, Jason is retiring and closing Bakeman’s.
Although I wasn’t surprised and haven’t eaten at Bakeman’s in awhile, I was crestfallen when I heard the news. For 10 years, I worked across the street from Bakeman’s and enjoyed hundreds of meals there. I loved Bakeman’s for its straightforward food, reasonable prices, and brisk service.
Bakeman’s was unapologetic about what it was and quietly excellent. It represented a Seattle that I knew in my youth and that is slowly disappearing.
This week I had my last meal at Bakeman’s. It took 45 minutes to get through the massive line that snaked around the block. It felt like a wake—everyone was waiting to say goodbye, pay their respects.
After Jason scolded me and I paid for my lunch, I said, “I’m going to miss you, Jason.”
And the man that many called, “The Sandwich Nazi” looked a little teary.
Congratulations to Jason and the Bakeman’s crew, and thanks for everything. You were one of a kind.