190 Sunset announces it won’t reopen; Epulo Bistro moving into Salish Crossing space

Photo by Larry Vogel

Salish Crossing restaurant 190 Sunset — closed since Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home orders in March — has announced that it will not reopen. Epulo Bistro said it will be moving from its Main Street location into the former 190 Sunset space in August 2020.

Both announcements were made on Instagram Saturday. Tom Budinick, 190 Sunset owner, said the decision not to reopen was made “with heavy hearts.”

Budinick thanked the “talented staff for their hard work and dedication in making 190 Sunset a truly special place for our guests to enjoy over the last several years. We also wish to thank our loyal guests for making 190 one of the most popular places in Edmonds. From holiday meals, to special events, to happy hours and live music — we appreciate each and every one of you who came through our doors and let us treat you like family.”

In its Instagram announcement, Epulo said: “We are excited to announce our new location at 190 Sunset in Edmonds. We will open at our new address in August 2020 with new hours.” The restaurant will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the new location.



  1. First trip to the Saturday Farmers Market felt like our town was on its way to recovery. Venders with their booths full of their products were thrilled to see so many folks & families. Lines to enter went quickly with social distances observed and most wore masks. Unfortunately who ever decided that the RESTROOMS should be closed must have a screw loose! I witnessed elderly, handicapped, pregnant ladies, families and a little child crying because they couldn’t use a toilet. REALLY!!! SOMEONE needs to think this over! People need public restrooms open! What are you saying about our town?

    1. I agree! It’s been very difficult to go downtown Edmonds for months without having the public restrooms open.

  2. Yet another small business dead from the decisions of this governor. More blood on his hands, and more to come.

    1. You’re missing everything in regard to COVID-19 and the state’s response. On March 15 our state was one of the worst hit areas with the second most cases and deaths in the US. Since then Washington has fallen to about 20th in cases and deaths. The reason our state has improved so much is because we have a real leader as governor and you should grateful that we do. You saying Jay Inslee has “blood” on his hands is grossly ignorant and exceptionally foolish, because it is the exact opposite and numbers don’t lie, but you have. You should be ashamed of yourself!

  3. I will miss the Brussel Sprouts at 190 Sunset! Ymmmmm. But it’s good someone is filling the space.

    1. Oh not to worry! Epulo makes the best roasted cauliflower and brussell sprouts. Maybe they can continue 190’s Ahi Nachos…Hawaiian Nachos or Tuna NachosWould like to see more Mussels, Salmon, Seafood type Soups and Halibut. Cheers!

  4. I am so sad to hear 190 Sunset won’t be reopening. I loved the food, the atmosphere, especially when the courtyard was open, the cocktails, friendly staff and their Ahi Nachos were by far the best in town! Best of luck to Tom Budinick and his staff.

  5. The timing of Budnick’s announcement is not lost on me: just after Phase 2 begins.

    While the closure is unfortunate and regrettable, it is understandable given the oppression Governor Inslee and Mayor Nelson have imposed.

    It is incumbent upon each of us to think critically and dig deeper into news stories rather simply accept what we read, hear or see. This story should compel each of us to question: What is Phase 2 accomplishing?

    1. I don’t understand why these Edmonites are so mad at Jay and Mike? Could someone tell me, please?

      1. I’ve just been reading Stephen Johnson’s little book “How Shostakovich Changed My Mind,” and found this:

        “Blame is one way of giving meaning to life, but it keeps us prisoner, attached (as the Budha would say) to the suffering associated with that blame.”

        It’s like hate – holding on to it hands victory to the thing we hate, and puts a stop to positive action.

        1. Whether me saying they are responsible means that I “blame” them seems irrelevant. They are the ones with their knee on the necks of our local businesses. Shouldn’t those in authority be accountable and responsible for their actions regardless of the color of the victim’s skin?

          And it has not stopped positive action, but spurred it on. I am seeking to sponsor legislation that would prevent our Governor from declaring an indefinite or extended state of emergency without consent of the legislature. Other states currently have such legislation in place; Washington does not.

      2. Thank you Deborah for inviting clarification. Recall Mayor Mike Nelson instituted a lockdown even prior to Governor Jay Inslee. The rules imposed by the Mayor and Governor oppressed our free market and continue to do so while offering justification that is insufficient and inconsistent.

        Their oppression continues despite lack of science to substantiate the 6-foot separation or arbitrary limit on occupancy, and despite a study reported in Forbes that COVID-19 was not released into the air from infected individuals without a cough, and that was for individuals not wearing a mask!

        1. Oppressed our free market? We have heard throughout the pandemic that “we are all in this together.” Apparently not. Shutting down businesses is not what anyone wants but I believe necessary and it was/is about the welfare of the ENTIRE population. Do you actually own a shuttered business in Edmonds?
          I don’t know where you get your information but the whole world has subscribed to the science based distancing, which logic dictates occupancy limits, and wearing masks. Spread of the virus is also not limited to coughing. Forbes is not a source for medical/health information.

        2. Right, Susan, we are all in this together. And to that end, I would submit that the welfare of the entire population depends upon the vast majority being able to earn a living in order to pay taxes which are returned as subsidies, and earn a surplus from which to make donations, benefiting those in need.

          As illustrated with this story involving 190 Sunset, the Governor’s Phase 2 is mere window dressing. If a restaurant is allowed to open, why would they close? Consider the cost per plate that would need to be charged to break-even with the cost of rent, utilities, buying, preparing, serving, cleaning, etc. when only permitted to operate at half-capacity. Unreasonable!

          It would have been great if Governor Inslee changed his tune and ditched his Phase 2 “dial” and simply allowed the lights to be switched on, but he did not. For me personally, I live in Edmonds and own and operate a professional service business in Mukilteo. Some of our clients were shuttered, others were deemed essential. Technically we could re-open in Phase 2, but I have decided to not return to the office at this time (I left as ordered by the Governor in March); working remotely and directing my staff similarly. The rules stipulated to avoid sanctions are so narrowly written that risking the interpretation of a health inspector or contact tracer makes opening our office not worth it.

          As for your assertion that occupancy limits are logical, I disagree. There is no distinction between interior or exterior seating. No distinction between whether the space serves 4, 40, or 400 persons. No distinction between the air filtration media/sterilization technology, and presence or absence of recirculated air within the interior space. No distinction made between interior and exterior spaces.

          Accordingly, the restrictions to businesses, retail stores and restaurants with Phase 2 are illogical; particularly given a pre-print study released last month from Tulane University School of Medicine which reported that the aerosolized virus is viable for 16 hours. If the goal is to protect everyone, then we should still be shut down (and perhaps more so than we ever were) if it is such a threat. But if things have subsided to where we can open up, then we should party like it’s 2019.

          As for your claim to worldwide acceptance of “science based distancing,” I’m unaware of the science you are referencing. An study I saw in The Lancet, which was just published June 1, found 6′ separation distance in the presence of a “high baseline risk of infection” would result in near the same level of risk as zero feet for someone with an “intermediate baseline risk of infection.”

          When driving, I wear my seat belt to take care of me in case someone crashes into me. With those findings from Tulane, if individuals with a “high baseline risk of infection” were appropriately protected, perhaps the vast majority could stop living in fear.

          All that said, yes, I conclude what we are all enduring together in the midst of Phase 2 is oppression: “an arbitrary and cruel exercise of power” or “malicious or unjust treatment or exercise of power, often under the guise of governmental authority or cultural opprobrium.”

  6. I think it is absurd to blame the governor and mayor for making decisions regarding shut down based in science and for the preservation of lives. The majority of countries in the world affected by the virus have done the same. It is sad to see businesses go but it happens in good times and bad and restaurants are often susceptible. 190 Sunset does not disclose their reasons in this announcement for choosing not to reopen, so judging is even less appropriate.

    1. “I think it is absurd to blame the governor and mayor for making decisions regarding shut down based in science and for the preservation of lives.”

      Which decisions were based on science and which were not? The decision on construction was not based on science, it is no more Covid healthy working on government construction sites which stayed open than commercial which were closed. The decision on parks was not based on science, state parks commissioner admitted as much. The decision to close schools was based on (wrong) science, to keep schools closed was not based on science, in fact it goes against the data. The decision on when to go to Phase 2 was not based on science, they changed the numbers to allow us to be in compliance. Counting gunshot victims as Covid deaths is not based on science, there are 5 confirmed cases in our state. The state failed to purchase equipment at the numbers suggested in the 2015 pandemic report. Pushing back at only certain protests is not based on science. The time frame of reopening elective surgeries was not decided by science. What happened in our long term health facilities went against the science, there were state reports in 2018 that 82% of facilities failed on transmission prevention, then we were slow to react even after the first hotspot, that is why our numbers look worse than a much larger state with a larger group of elderly like Florida. The decision on contact tracing at restaurants was changed because of politics, its now against the science. Etc, etc, etc.

  7. Really sorry to see this place close. Tom and his crew have done a lot over the years to support community events, and they certainly moved the “center of gravity” some on what it is to have a fun evening in Edmonds. Thank you for the many great evenings, and all the best to all of you going forward.

    Here’s also sending the folks behind Epulo Bistro all the very best thoughts in keeping that space a fun, vibrant and eclectic place to enjoy an evening.

  8. I hope Epulo can maintain its present atmosphere here. It’s the best get-dressed-up, go-out-for-that really special occasion restaurant we have in Edmonds. Maintaining the intimate feel of their current location will be a challenge in the new, bigger space. A big part of that feel is the low background noise level, something many other restaurants lack with the exact high ceilings and wide open dining area 190’s space has. The noise was the reason my wife and I rarely went to 190, unfortunately.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. Epulo has always been our choice for the go-to restaurant of Edmonds. Over the years, we found 190 Sunset to be spotty at best in food and service, the layout of the dining area(s) strange, and typically impossible to carry on a conversation at normal levels. We found the happy hour menu solid, the bar more comfortable and somewhat less noisy so we frequented happy hour often. We are sorry to see them go. I applaud Epulo for the courage to move into this space during these very challenging times for restaurants. Hopefully they will do some remodeling to recreate the intimacy of the old Epulo and work on the acoustics. It will be great to see them back up and operating.

  9. “Shutdowns prevented 60 million coronavirus infections in the U.S., study finds

    “A separate study from epidemiologists at Imperial College London estimated the shutdowns saved about 3.1 million lives in 11 European countries, including 500,000 in the United Kingdom, and dropped infection rates by an average of 82 percent, sufficient to drive the contagion well below epidemic levels.”


  10. Today the new word from the experts at WHO is that asymptomatics don’t spread Covid all that much. Case tracking shows that asymptomatic transfer accounts for just 6% of spread. If true that means requiring masks is now not crucial unless you have obvious symptoms, and then you shouldn’t be out even with a mask. Would be nice if they could make up their minds, this is what the 6th time the experts have changed course on masks.


    1. I recall something about the US not very happy with a number of issues that are tied by to WHO. If our government is concerned about issues relating to WHO should we also be concerned?

      The data relating to CV19 is often misleading and “cherry picked” to make a point. A local survey done right here in Edmonds show our citizens feel far more comfortable with the concept of masks. Sometimes it may be useful to look at other “science” to craft solutions and directions that are supported by the majority of our own citizens.

      1. Who is “far more comfortable with the concept of masks”? I go for walks frequently and I am dismayed at the large majority of people I encounter who DON’T wear a mask.

        It’s one thing to go on a more-or-less solitary walk and pull your mask on when someone approaches – but so discouragingly many I meet make no effort at all, and don’t seem even to have a mask.

        If we are a community who care for each other, this is not good enough.

        1. Nathaniel, The city recently did a survey asking our citizens about their support of ideas associated with reopening. Over 1600 people responded to the survey. The results are broken down by age and gender and support for masks on employees and customers ranged from 50% to as high as 70%. Older folks and women supported masks at higher levels than other groups. There is much more information about citizens thoughts on reopening issues. The link below has a summary of the results. The data can be found in the middle of the page about half way down. Hope that adds information on what our citizens are thinking.


    2. That misleading statement was made by epidemiologist Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove yesterday (June 08, 2020), and she walked it back today.

      Kerkhove went on to explain (today – June 09, 2020) that nobody actually knows the extent to which the virus is transmitted by asymptomatic people (due to the fact that there is just not that much fully understood about the virus, and that better contact tracing is necessary in order to make conclusive findings), and that such transmission could be as high as 40% based upon available information. She closed today’s “clarification” by reiterating that contact tracing/testing and social distancing remained part of the recommended “comprehensive strategy” in combating the epidemic.

      These scientists are doing their very best to synthesize responses and solutions to a novel virus that only first showed up around 6 months ago. The fact that they have not yet achieved the perfection that some seem to expect from them is a cross that those persons will have to bear. In the meantime, the overwhelming number of people in our community continue to wear masks – including every single health care professional and first responder – and they do so out of caution and concern for spreading the virus to others. Good for them.

  11. A splendid and informative post, but I have to say again that I do not see “the overwhelming number of people in our community continue to wear masks.” Healthcare workers, fol;ks in shop[s – yes. But go for a walk and you will encounter a preponderance who do NOT wear masks.

    1. Nathaniel:

      I did pause when I wrote that, and I did read your post about it, but my own impression (and it is just my own impression, based on wholly unsound, ad hoc, and non-scientific methodology …) is that the majority of people are still wearing masks in public.

      I walked down Main Street on Saturday evening with my dog, and most people walking the street, or waiting for restaurant pickup were wearing masks, whereas those actually sitting at various restaurant tables did not have them on (I suppose for obvious reasons). I walked Sunset on Sunday evening, and about 3/4 of the people had them on (it does seem to be the case that people outside just don’t wear them as much, I suppose based upon available information that aided by social distancing, transmission of the virus just isn’t nearly as great outdoors. Last evening I walked into QFC, and every single person in there had a mask on – I even looked for a sign requiring them, but that wasn’t the case. My totally unscientific – and amended – view is that when outdoors, people just aren’t wearing them quite as much, but indoors there seems to be much more emphasis on wearing them – and in some places you just aren’t getting in without one.

      Bottom line? Based on what we know, everybody should wear one out of precaution, they aren’t expensive or hard to find at this point, and they really are a minor inconvenience relative to the benefit that they may be providing (except when I have to wear one when jogging, because my cigarette keeps burning the inside of the mask).

  12. Great post! Sorry about the cigarette – I’m having a flap put on my mask for restaurants and dental work. 🙂 Maybe you could add a chimney with one of those scrubbers that factories use?

  13. So much of this commentary has nothing to do with the 190 Sunset closing. I wish there was a political forum for people who want to talk about their ideas on how the virus protections have been enacted – so they could have it out there. “Blood on the governors hands” ?, just isn’t appropriate here.

    I will really miss Sunset 190. It was a unique place, with their deck, great food, wonderful cocktails and friendly atmosphere. I really liked to go there. Breakfast was very delicious too.
    Also, I volunteer at Cascadia Art Museum next door, and enjoyed their involvement having their events at the museum, and catering for some of the museums own events. It was a wonderful relationship. I am sure that Epulo Bistro will be great in that spot, they are another fine Edmonds restaurant. But I will still miss 190 Sunset and I am sorry they had to close. I wish the owners, baristas, servers all the very best as they move on. They did a wonderful job.

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