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Seattle Lost Some Big Names in Food and Drink This Year

Seattle is a better place for having known Murray Stenson, Thierry Rautureau, Gary Snyder, Rachel Marshall, and Xinh Dwelley.

AS WE SLIDE into that last part of the year where the calendar slows down and we have some time to reflect, I keep thinking about the goodbyes. 

Every year brings loss, but in 2023, Seattle said farewell to some truly titanic forces in our bar and restaurant landscape. These are people whose work we loved, but also people who each altered, in some way, how we engage with our city. 

Gary Snyder and business partner Stacey Hettinger at Geraldine’s Counter.
Gary Snyder

The “mayor of Columbia City” had a long history in Seattle restaurants, but we owe him a particular debt of gratitude for opening Geraldine’s Counter (with a business partner) in 2005. Since 2015, Snyder also co-owned Heyday Bar and Restaurant in Mount Baker. Both spots reminded us of restaurants’ power to build community and give heart to a neighborhood. Places like this don’t happen by accident. They happen because of guys like Snyder, someone who knew how to make anyone feel welcome. He passed away in May at 57 after battling lymphoma, but his persona still permeates both his restaurants.


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