The other shoe in the Swedish American Hall space on Market Street is about ready to drop. In past weeks, we learned that Cafe du Nord's run as a swanky cocktail lounge was over, and that the space would return to its former life as a music venue. That left the Ne Timeas Restaurant Group, which also runs Flour + Water and Central Kitchen on 20th Street, with one restaurant in the historic space: Aatxe, the much acclaimed Basque tapas restaurant with an impressive gin and tonic selection. Now, Eater has learned that Aatxe will also close at the end of May, but seeks to relocate soon.
Aatxe opened in April 2015 at 2174 Market Street in what was formerly a coffeeshop space. Like Cafe du Nord the floor below it and the Swedish American venue the floor above, Aatxe's bar program was run by the Bon Vivants of Trick Dog fame. In March, Eater had word that Aate's executive chef Ryan Pollnow was getting a promotion to become executive chef of the entire Ne Timeas Restaurant Group family, with the group's founder, Thomas McNaughton, to become its CEO and Culinary Director.
McNaughton praised Pollnow's work at Aatxe “He’s ten times better at cooking than I am,” he told Eater, blaming the closure on a lack of customers. “The space was just not as busy as we’d hoped," he said, explaining the impetus to reopen Aatxe in a new location.
Specifically, Ne Timeas handed the Cafe du Nord space back over to Dylan MacNiven, the Swedish American Hall building owner, and is now doing the same with Aatxe. The restaurant announced on Instagram that it would be closed on Mondays through the end of the month, but the team there plans to finish strong with a blowout party, date TBD, and a final service on the 28th. MacNiven, Eater points out, is behind Woodhouse Fish Co., but what he plans to do with the space hasn't yet been announced. Limited food service is expected to continue, at least on weeknights, in Cafe du Nord as it transitions back to being a full-time music venue.
Previously: Cafe Du Nord Is Becoming A Music Venue Again