Leena's Cafe closes - building to be demolished this month

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Leena's has closed
Photo by Mike Remarcke
By Diane Hettrick

The popular Leena's Cafe in the North City Business District closed its doors the last weekend in May. 

The developer who bought the property plans to raze the building this month to begin construction of an apartment building.

Nick Athan, owner of the family-owned cafe since 1993, was not available for comment. However, he has told us in the past that he plans to rebuild Leena's in the new building.

Construction at the site, 17732 15th Ave NE, Shoreline, WA 98155 will take approximately two years.

Athan purchased the property when it came up for sale several years ago.

Leena's then suffered through the pandemic problems that every restaurant faced, with fluctuating regulations, limits on how many people could be in the space, and customers fearful of Covid. 

His many loyal customers are expressing their concerns about the loss of their favorite restaurant and hoping that Leena's will indeed be back.


Anonymous,  June 3, 2023 at 7:58 AM  

So sad
Just what we need. More apartments in north city.

Anonymous,  June 3, 2023 at 12:21 PM  

My group of 4 friends (golf and ski) for many years have met at Lenas on Saturday mornings. We do all of our planning there. We especially want to thank Lilly who always greeted us like old friends. Which we are.

Lynda-Lifes Memories,  June 4, 2023 at 2:05 AM  

what a terrible thing to tear down and put huge Highrise apartments up. Ruining the area. Shame, shame. I grew up in the neighborhood and North City was filled with new immigrants, Butcher shops, cafe's, the Tavern, laundrymats, dance halls, small family owned shops, a Deli and yes Frank the-Door-Store.

Anonymous,  June 4, 2023 at 10:05 PM  

A true icon. lets hope the future has a rebirth in store.

Anonymous,  June 5, 2023 at 3:00 PM  

Everyone is dealing with longtime businesses closing and multi family structures going up in their place. Not just North City. We have to have affordable housing. Does it suck that businesses we grew up are closing? Definitely.

Anonymous,  June 6, 2023 at 12:32 AM  

Bummer but honestly their food was not consistent like it was 10 years ago. Sad to hear it's gone but hasn't been at the top of it games for many years now

Anonymous,  June 6, 2023 at 8:35 AM  

FYI, there are apartments that went up in North City that are $2800+ in rent. I'm not sure that's affordable housing. The counter has already been torn out from the restaurant. On the Saturday before closing we went for a late breakfast without knowing the last day would be Sunday. Our server told us that Nick, the owner is, will be selling furnishings and kitchen equipment. That doesn't sound like someone who's going to rebuild Leena's.

Anonymous,  June 6, 2023 at 2:53 PM  

If any of the housing was truly affordable that would be one thing. But nothing is affordable

Anonymous,  June 14, 2023 at 1:51 PM  

I drove out there today and discovered the closing. I was so very sad, as this has been a favorite Cafe when I was in the area. Rare was it to find a place with liver and onions on the menu. Hope it can resurrect somewhere.

Anonymous,  June 14, 2023 at 5:54 PM  

maybe he didn't have room to store it all, storage is expensive

Anonymous,  June 20, 2023 at 8:06 AM  

Lol, $2800/mo is higher than my mortgage on 2800ft/²

Anonymous,  July 6, 2023 at 10:30 AM  

Just learned of this today
and I find myself feeling rather sad because I always enjoyed going to this Cafe, but what are we going to do when you live in a sanctuary State and you have to make room for everyone else coming in...

Anonymous,  July 9, 2023 at 9:50 AM  

Shame on you. They had best Reubens in town, pork chops, huge salads, and if you knew how incredibly SPOTLESS CLEAN this place was in the ENTIRE restaurant, you'd be amazed. Soups from scratch/ pies too. This family fed mine since the fifties. Generations. You're entitled to your opinion, but I respectfully say you are WRONG. Nick! Come back!? ❤️

Anonymous,  July 9, 2023 at 9:57 AM  

Our family has been fed by Leena’s for 4 generations of our family, THANK YOU LEENAS!!!! Such sweet memories, my mom even worked here for a bit. I’ll cherish every memory- best wishes Nick & family. I hope you do re-open, if so we will be there!!

Anonymous,  July 16, 2023 at 8:54 AM  

Noooooo! My favorite breakfast spot! For a dumb apartment :(

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