Wheel House Restaurant_091720

Teatro ZinZanni, the popular circus dinner theater that began in Lower Queen Anne in 1998, has pulled the plug on plans for a permanent facility at the old Red Hook Brewery, and is suspending operations until the coronavirus pandemic is over.

Seattle Times Business Reporter Paul Roberts broke the story on Friday, Sept. 12. 

Co-owners Norm and Jane Langill told Roberts that COVID-19 has killed the cirque dinner theater market and forced them to abandon their plans for a permanent facility on the 20-acre site that was supposed to open in time for the holidays.

Langill also told Roberts the company was struggling financially before the pandemic specifically referencing the Wheel House Restaurant that opened in the old Red Hook Pub in 2019.

The dinner theater routinely performed to a packed house, but the upscale restaurant never took off as expected and when COVID hit, its fate was sealed.

The company laid off 135 employees in March and was reportedly unable to make lease and loan payments after exhausting a federal Paycheck Protection Loan (PPL) of just over $1 million.

According to a post on its Facebook page, Teatro ZinZanni will be moving its office to Seattle with the hopes of reopening in the Emerald City, Chicago and San Francisco.

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