Guy Devillier / David Hoefer
The story of amore
That’s Amore Italian Cafe is a 50-seat eatery perched on the ridge of the Mt. Baker neighborhood in Seattle, WA. That’s Amore (you know, like the song) has been serving dinner every night for more than 20 years. Our menu offers traditional Italian fare enhanced with daily featured items that often have a Pacific Northwest flare. While you’re enjoying our delicious food crafted with only fresh pastas, house-made cheeses, and home-grown vegetables, you’re treated to unexpected, spectacular west-facing views of downtown Seattle, Puget Sound, and Beacon Hill. Our service foregoes pretension and instead celebrates the Italian food experience: eating should be an event rather than simply a meal.
The previous owner spent almost 20 years creating this neighborhood go-to dining hub and social gathering space. We know the role this cafe plays in this neighborhood because we’ve lived just seven blocks away for 17 years. Guy joined the team five years ago as a server and the owner’s right hand man. Soon after Guy started serving at Amore, David–a landscaper by trade–turned his skills toward the cafe dining room improvements and outdoor space enhancements. So the two of us already had a significant footprint in the life of That’s Amore when the owner sat us down in the spring of 2018 with big news: He would be selling the cafe to pursue a dream opportunity across the country.”
It truly hurt our hearts to know that our beloved cafe would most likely operate under a new concept and menu, and Guy’s passion as an employee was tightly coupled with the owner’s. Then he pitched his offer: He would delay placing the cafe on the market for nine months if we wanted to purchase That’s Amore. We jumped at the offer, but traditional financing options alluded us for the first three months.
We hosted a private event on July 24 at the cafe where we asked about 70 guests and members of the Amore family to purchase gift certificates to fund our down payment. By the end of the evening, not only had we met our goal of the down payment…the guests had raised the entire purchase price. We had felt so honored by the trust the previous owner showed in our ability to maintain and grow this institution. We were even more honored by the show of trust from our guests not only with their money but with the well-being of this amazing cafe. Two months later, we took the reins and became the owner of That’s Amore Italian Cafe October 1, 2018.
The impact this cafe has in our community and how we purchased That’s Amore is so special and intriguing that Gimlet Media chose this story from a pool of more than a thousand submissions to be the subject of their podcast series, “Pick Me Up.” Just look for episode three, “I’m gonna own a restaurant,” wherever you listen to podcasts or at lyft.com/pickmeup.
Now get over here for some great food and experience what we and our guests proved out in 2018. There’s nothing typical about That’s Amore Italian Cafe.
- Guy and David