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Renee Erickson Raises Wages to $15/Hour; Wild Roots Chef Heads to Camano Island

Welcome to CascadiaWire, a weekly collection of restaurant news from up-and-down the Pacific Northwest corridor.

Jason Aldous
Jason Aldous
Jason Aldous

TIPPING Last week, Renee Erickson announced that starting next Monday, The Walrus and the Carpenter, The Whale Wins, and Barnacle will no longer accept tips. In their stead, she said the restaurants will add an 18.5 percent service fee to checks that will be shared between front- and back-of-the-house employees. What Erickson did not announce in her original press release, however, was that also beginning May 4, all front-and back-of-house workers—including servers, cooks, and dishwashers—in these three restaurants will make a base pay of at least $15 per hour, and will also receive a bonus based on daily sales and hours worked.

CAPITOL HILL In other minimum wage law news, Broadway zPizza will close in August after five years because business has become too expensive with the new labor costs. This will mark the first restaurant to cite the new minimum wage law as reason for closure.

CAMANO ISLAND If you had the good fortune to snag a seat at Jason Aldous's incredibly popular (and short-lived) pop-up Wild Roots, consider yourself even luckier. Aldous told Eater he's accepted a job as Executive Chef at the Camano Island Inn and is moving away from his idea of opening a Seattle restaurant.