Cafe Revo owner Sean Goff dies, but “Cafe Revo will go on”

goffssmall.jpgJust seven months after Sean Goff and wife Sofia Zadra Goff finally brought their dream of an Italian restaurant to fruition with Café Revò in the Luna Park business district, family and friends are in mourning — Sean has died, at the age of 43. (He is shown at left with Sofia in a photo we took in June 2008 while profiling them for a story about their restaurant plans.) The restaurant, a WSB sponsor, opened this past February – at least a 15-year dream for the couple. But a few months ago he became seriously ill, and early today his illness turned fatal. Here is the obituary just sent out on the Cafe Revo mailing list:

West Seattle Restaurateur Sean Goff fell asleep in the Lord September 17 at age 43. His death followed an illness of several months. While initially there was hope for his recovery, in the end, Sean was stricken with a fatal cerebral hemorrhage. Since February, many West Seattle residents had gotten to know Sean as the tall, genial chef of one of the area’s newest restaurants, Café Revò.

Previously, Sean served as a master chef at such area restaurants as Grazie and Anthony’s on the Waterfront. But Sean always hoped to open a restaurant of his own. The idea began to crystallize on one of his several trips to Northern Italy with his wife, Sofia Zadra Goff. Specifically, they both enjoyed the cuisine of the village of Revò in the Italian alps, home of Sofia’s ancestors.

Fascinated by the local cuisine, Sean found himself cooking alongside the locals, learning their centuries-old methods of producing unique flavors. One day, thinking about his dream restaurant, Sean came up with the “perfect” name, Café Revò.

Sofia and Sean were both long-time residents of West Seattle, so what better place to realize their dream? This past year, with the help of a number of friends in the restaurant business, Sean and Sofia were able to open Café Revò, right near Spokane Street, on Avalon Way SW.

Although very active in developing the restaurant site, Sean began experiencing symptoms of fatigue and other complications in April and May. Through the summer, Sean could only be active part-time with the restaurant. Still he was able to hire and train an outstanding staff of servers and chefs, as the restaurant’s many customers can attest.

During Sean’s illness, the actual running of the restaurant has been handled by his wife Sofia and the general manager, Milo Goodrich. Both feel confident that in spite of suffering the loss of Sean, they can continue Café Revò as a West Seattle landmark, maintaining Sean’s legacy of fine dining and customer service.

Sean is survived by Sofia, his two children Forrest and Maya, his father Michael Goff of Idaho and his brother Dan Goff of Colorado, plus a host of loving family and friends.

Sean’s passing is being mourned not only in the Seattle area but also in Revò, Italy, where the entire town has been proud and somewhat amazed that the ambiance and cuisine of their region was now present in a faraway place called West Seattle

Funeral services for Sean are set for September 21 at 1:00 p.m., at Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption, 1804 13th Avenue on Capitol Hill. Viewing will begin at noon. Interment will follow at Evergreen-Washelli.

Since July, Sean’s treatment has involved many days of hospitalization. And even with medical insurance, the family is responsible for covering 20 percent of the costs. Not surprisingly, much of their financial assets are already tied up in opening the restaurant.

In lieu of flowers, contributions are welcome to the Sean Goff Medical Fund at any U.S. Bank branch. Checks should be made out to Sofia Goff and can be mailed to Café Revò, 2940 SW Avalon Way, Seattle, WA 98126 or to U.S. Bank, 4200 SW Edmunds St., Seattle, WA 98116.

And here’s the funeral information we have received from the family.

Funeral Schedule For Sean Chano Goff
Monday, September 21st
Noon – Viewing
1 pm – Funeral Service
Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption – 1804 13th Avenue
Burial at Evergreen Washelli – Procession from church to cemetery
11111 Aurora Ave. North – Seattle, WA 98133

Cafe Revo will be closed that day, for a private party for friends and family, but Sofia stresses that the restaurant will go on. Here are the photos sent out atop the mailing-list obituary tonight:

48 Replies to "Cafe Revo owner Sean Goff dies, but "Cafe Revo will go on" "

  • bertha September 17, 2009 (8:11 pm)

    Sofia, Forrest & Maya – We are so saddened to hear of your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Mary, Ciara & Siobhan

  • Craig H September 17, 2009 (8:19 pm)

    That’s horrible! First Hussein, and now Sean… Our deepest condolences.

  • Bonnie September 17, 2009 (8:19 pm)

    So very sad. I am so sorry for Sofia, Forrest and Maya’s loss.

  • in peace September 17, 2009 (8:22 pm)

    I was just there admiring the painting on the side of Cafe Revo. So sad – sincere condolences to the family. He realized his dream this is a testament to all of us to do the same. Life is too short.

  • christopherboffoli September 17, 2009 (8:23 pm)

    Wow. I’m absolutely gobsmacked. What horrible news.

  • bridge to somewhere September 17, 2009 (8:24 pm)

    I am very sorry for the family’s loss. I can’t imagine their heartbreak.

  • SarahScoot September 17, 2009 (8:37 pm)

    I’m also shocked. I was just feeling guilty yesterday for not stopping in to Revo as often as Josh and I had hoped since moving away from our downstairs neighbors at Revo. I can’t believe we’ll never see Sean again.
    Sofia, I don’t know what to say. I’m so sorry for your loss. We love you. We loved Sean. Our thoughts are fully with you at this time.

  • Petro September 17, 2009 (8:39 pm)

    May god bless his family.

  • Traci September 17, 2009 (8:42 pm)

    This is such sad news. My thoughts and prayers are with your family :(

  • WS resident September 17, 2009 (8:44 pm)

    So sad and my heart goes out to the family. Makes you think even harder about appreciating every day and all your family members always.

  • tammyw September 17, 2009 (9:05 pm)

    Sophia, Maya and Forest,

    Our hearts go out to you all. It is always so sad to see such great people pass on so young. Our support is there for you all.

    Tammy, Kevin, Andrea and Karolyn

  • B September 17, 2009 (9:07 pm)

    God bless you guys. I’m so sorry to hear of the sudden loss.

  • Mark Ahlness September 17, 2009 (9:16 pm)

    Sofia, Forest, and Maya,
    I am so sorry. Know that our community is there for you. Please lean on us.

    Vespas in the skies… hugs… take care…

  • miws September 17, 2009 (9:18 pm)

    How incredibly shocking and sad.


    I haven’t been to Revo yet, but have enjoyed the various stories and reviews on WSB.


    Condolences to Sean’s family and friends.



  • seven September 17, 2009 (9:18 pm)

    this guy used to shop in his chef coat. good dude. sad news.

  • Jeri September 17, 2009 (9:27 pm)

    Death to the saints (believers) is but the freeing of the heaven-born spirit from the clog and load of this body – that it may be fit to partake of eternal life.

    Sean is free now, but those who held him dear will mourn his loss, and so it must be.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Sofia and children.

    Fondly, the Albertini families of Bellevue and Renton

  • Marlow September 17, 2009 (9:31 pm)

    Though it will be sad, we need to continue patronizing Cafe Revo so the family can support themselves and the restaurant stay a tribute to Sean’s dream.

  • Rick C September 17, 2009 (9:44 pm)

    Gosh, this is terrible, but I’m glad Sofia intends to keep the restaurant going. Sounds like something the chef would have wanted. Great food, been a while since I’ve been there, I think that needs to change.

    Condolences to the family and Revo community.

  • Robert & Laurie September 17, 2009 (9:44 pm)

    Our prayers and thoughts are with your family…God is good although we do not always understand.

  • Mike September 17, 2009 (9:52 pm)

    Sad, such a young age to pass away. Hope the family and friends are coping well and Cafe Revo can live on in memory of Sean for years to come.

  • RogerTango September 17, 2009 (10:05 pm)

    The Westenders Scooter Club mourns the passing of one of their own. After his family and his craft, Sean loved scooters and scootering. He is free of his pain and in the finest of places, but our duty is to those who remain. Please patronize Cafe Revo soon and often, and by doing so ensure that Sean’s dream lives on. Memoria in aeterna.

  • ScubaO2 September 17, 2009 (11:00 pm)

    My thoughts and prayers are with Sofia, the family, and friends of Sean. My deepest and most sincere condolences

  • fluorescent carl September 17, 2009 (11:28 pm)

    Go to Cafe Revo and raise a glass to Sean!

    Rest in Peace

  • Shae September 18, 2009 (12:38 am)

    Sorry to hear this. Prayers are with the family.

  • Shannon September 18, 2009 (8:09 am)

    West Seattle has lost a great soul. He was a Father, a Brother, a Son, a Chef and a friend. West Seattle will miss him.

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE try to make some time to go to Café Revo.

  • Shell Marr September 18, 2009 (9:11 am)

    So sad…. my condolences

  • KSJ September 18, 2009 (9:15 am)

    I’m so sorry to hear this, so sorry for the family. I was just at Revo last night for another amazing meal. My thoughts are with his friends and family.

  • dave brown September 18, 2009 (10:02 am)

    This is a great loss in the food community. The thing that made him stand out was his joy for food and the imagination that he brought to the table. He was one of my favorite people to deal with. He will be missed.

    -The Carsos Pasta family

  • Joyce September 18, 2009 (10:05 am)

    Dear friends. I am so saddened to hear the news. We shall do what we can to ensure that his legacy at Revo lives on. Love.

  • Orin September 18, 2009 (11:20 am)

    I’m deeply saddened. He was a fellow scooterist, and an all-around neat guy. My condolences to his family…

  • Donna September 18, 2009 (11:30 am)

    Sofia, I am so saddened to hear the news of Sean’s passing, bless you and the children, we have so enjoyed Sean’s marvelous cooking since you opened and will miss his presence as we have for the last few months. We will see you soon.

  • llama rama September 18, 2009 (11:33 am)

    Fate had it that Sean built this beautiful, warm restaurant to ensure his family had a way to continue on financially without him. He was a good person and cared about his family, friends and community. Please help ensure the continuing success of Revo in honor of Sean and his family.

  • Kingston September 18, 2009 (11:35 am)

    My condolences to his wife and children. What a terrible loss, and way too soon. It will make me hug my husband even more tonight…
    We enjoyed a lovely meal there not long ago, and will be back again. Peace.

  • Leslie September 18, 2009 (11:36 am)

    We are so sorry for your loss. Our sincere condolences to your family. Ironically, we had dinner at Cafe Revo last evening. It was our first time there, and the food (I ordered the Halibut dish on special) was fantastic. Both my husband and myself were extremely pleased with our dinners and the service. I would encourage anyone reading this to go if you have not eaten there… it’s a neighborhood gem.

  • Mark and Kathleen Powell September 18, 2009 (12:01 pm)

    Dear Sofia and the whole family,
    We are shocked and so saddened by this news. Please know we love you and are praying for you. May Sean’s memory be eternal and may God have mercy on us all. much love,
    Mark, Kathleen, Anne Marie and Sarah Powell

  • jamie September 18, 2009 (1:40 pm)

    Dear Sofia,

    I am so sorry to hear the news. You both were always so kind on our visits in. It is a sad day indeed. Sean will be missed.


  • laurie September 18, 2009 (2:33 pm)

    Very sad news. I wish the best for his family during this terrible time.

  • Denette September 18, 2009 (2:38 pm)

    So young, so fast, such a kind man. Take each
    day as if it may be your last. Im happy Sean realized his dream. I only wish he could have experienced more of it.

  • Rahel and Zippy September 18, 2009 (8:06 pm)

    We are in absolute shock.
    Sean – sincere,quiet, and yet very determined. I can’t believe you are not part of our “restaurant community” today. Our hearts break.
    Sofia – You are such a dear. So kind. We know you are surrounded by those who love you.

    We will promote Revo more than ever before, knowing it will mean so much to your family and to Sean’s legacy.

    Please let us know if there is more we can do for you.

    Rahel and Blaine
    Zippy’s Giant Burgers

  • Chef Shady September 19, 2009 (1:08 am)

    I don’t know what to say.
    I am saddened and shocked.
    I just met Chef Chano a couple of weeks ago.
    I was introduced to him through my friend Milo.
    We talked food.
    I liked his style.
    I asked him what he cooked.
    He said Northern Italian/Pacific Northwest. and “Whatever the F*%& I want!”
    I said me too.
    He handed me three business cards.
    He said a friend of Milo’s is a friend of mine.
    Said If i needed work to give him call.
    I told him I will because “Life is too short not to cook Italian!”
    I wished I would of called him sooner.
    Now I can’t cook Italian with him.
    This is sad on so many levels for so many people.
    Chef Chano will be missed.
    Long live his recipes and spirit!

    Raymond Arthur Ricci

  • Maria September 19, 2009 (10:07 am)

    Sean’s Legacy will continue at Cafe Revo – May his memory be eternal!

    Obituary noitce on Seattle Times today:

  • M Slye September 19, 2009 (2:55 pm)

    I am also, in my early forties.
    I am also a parent to young children.
    I am also a small business owner that recently saw her dream come true.
    This is very sad, life is so short and precious.
    My deepest condolences to Sean’s family and friends.
    Manuela Slye

  • dapuffin September 19, 2009 (7:00 pm)

    My deepest condolences to the family. Will continue to patronize Cafe Revo, which is a very special place indeed.

  • Carmen Brock-Richter September 21, 2009 (10:26 am)

    September 21, 2009
    To the Entire Goff Family-
    I am heartbroken for your loss, what a tragedy to hear of Sean’s illness and passing.
    I first met Sean while working with his mother Suzan at Mortgage Brokers in the late 80’s. He then catered my wedding for me. I have followed his success and was so happy when he opened his own place in West Seattle. The first time Mike and I ate there Sean was so gracious and obviously happy to see us. He even walked us to our car while we were so busy chatting. I have frequented Cafe Revo and will continue to do so.
    Sofia, to you and your children, I send you my prayers and also to Sean’s father and brother. Milo, to you, thank you for being such a great friend to Sean, I know you will be there for Sofia. I know he has reunited with his mother in heaven
    ~ Carmen Brock-Richter, Des Moines, Washington

  • Michelle September 21, 2009 (10:53 am)

    I lost touch with Sean after he left Grazie and found a few weeks ago he finally opened his own place. I was thrilled, then I saw today’s Times. I am dumbstruck. He was the most amazing man I ever had the pleasure knowing. I don’t understand God sometimes.

  • Lisa Downey September 21, 2009 (11:30 am)

    Sean was such a big part of my life for many years as I was married to Kevin, owner of Grazie’s. He was family for years and I have fond, loving memories of him and his wit, charm, warmth and sense of morales and integrity. He was truly a gift from God and will be missed in this life. Milo – all the best to you and I wish you strength in continuing his life’s work. Sofia, while I”ve not met you, much love and peace to you and the children – may God give you all serenity and strength in the days ahead. Lisa (and “little Shawn”) Downey

  • the house family September 21, 2009 (11:30 am)

    sophia we love you all so much

  • Melodie A. Barker September 22, 2009 (8:29 pm)

    Sophia (and family)
    . . .I am very sorry to have learned of Sean’s passing. He was a very gentle man from my recollections and was called to soon for his beautiful wife, I am certain. To have you continue to run this restaurant with the upbeat zest you do it with (Savanna keeps me updated) is truly a gift to his memory.
    I wish you continued success with Cafe Revo (I must come visit soon) and “super-human” inner-strength to assist you through the tough times a death most certainly brings.

    Sincerely, MEL

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