BIZNOTE: Vidiot suddenly shuttered

Almost six years after it opened as an arcade/bar in The Admiral District, Vidiot has suddenly shut down. Thanks to everybody who’ve messaged us since Vidiot’s short announcement on social media, saying simply, “Vidiot has been shut down. Thanks for all your love and business.” That had been preceded by a Saturday post saying it was “temporarily closed” and advising to “check back Tuesday.” We went over tonight to see if anyone was around to ask; dark, closed, no sign. We’ve sent messages through multiple channels; no reply so far. Searching public records, wondering if “has been shut down” meant another entity was involved, all we’ve found is three state back-taxes filings from earlier this year; records show two of them have been paid. Vidiot’s space at 4210 SW Admiral Way had past lives as the Admiral Benbow and Heartland Café. We’ll update if we find out anything more.

35 Replies to "BIZNOTE: Vidiot suddenly shuttered"

  • Meyer December 18, 2019 (8:40 am)

    Nooo! Loved this place, which I would have gone more. I hope they can re-open somewhere else

  • Kristen Franklin December 18, 2019 (9:23 am)

    Major bummer! Loved that place and their staff.. really hope this isn’t permanent :(

  • seavieu December 18, 2019 (9:37 am)

    I’m sad to hear this.  We had fun there on several occasions.  I wish them well!

  • Matt P December 18, 2019 (9:57 am)

    This place was great but maintenance was not being done on the machines lately.  I went a couple months ago and every single arcade box we played on (we tried almost every one) was broken in some way – buttons not working, joystick only moved one way, etc.  

  • Mj December 18, 2019 (11:03 am)

    This is sad, operating a small business is tough.  You have rent, TAXES, maintenance payroll at al.  Most small businesses do not make it, and frankly the City of Seattle policies do not help.

    • Steve December 18, 2019 (12:57 pm)

      Which city policies aren’t helping small businesses?  

    • Gene December 18, 2019 (3:03 pm)

      Which I’m guessing one takes into account when starting a business. Always sad to see a local business close -but maybe they just didn’t have enough patrons on a regular basis to meet all the financial demands. Or maybe -like others -life is taking them in a different direction. Best of luck going forward. 

    • SUDS December 18, 2019 (3:23 pm)

       Hey, it only took 1,2,3,4..FIVE posts before this obligatory No Small Business Can Do Business In Seattle post to make it on the comment section.  You guys are getting lightning fast!  Strangely, I don’t see a plethora of empty storefronts in the Seattle area…weird.  

    • Mr J December 18, 2019 (4:24 pm)

      MJ you often comment here with a dig at the City regarding taxes. I own a small business and I honestly don’t know what you’re talking about. Most taxes are State and Federal (payroll etc) with the City of Seattle it’s a business license(s), B&O tax if you’re in a business improvement area (4x year) and that’s essentially it for the City. I’m unsure of what business you run, maybe there’s another tax for you but for  retail/restaurant your discontent can be directed at the State and Feds. 

  • Jen December 18, 2019 (11:11 am)

    I am so bummed about this. If it’s money related, I know the community is willing to help. I wish they’d give us some information

  • BJ December 18, 2019 (1:04 pm)


  • zark00 December 18, 2019 (3:36 pm)

    Bummer. The staff at Vidiot was really quite awesome.

  • Mj December 18, 2019 (5:28 pm)

    Steve secure scheduling what does an employer do if another employee calls in sick?  The high minimum wage hurts small restaurants, these employees earn tips!  And as a side issue the City’s failure to address shoplifting/repeat offenders has resulted in Bartell Drug and Grocery Outlet closing in Sodo

    • Seriously? December 19, 2019 (9:33 am)

      Right . . .paying an employee a living wage and giving a schedule well in advance so people can make plans beyond work are “bad” for business. You. Are. Delusional. There are parameters in place for call-outs, and if your priority is profit over people, you have serious issues. Guess what “bosses,” employees expect to be treated like human beings! If employees are an”issue” for you – do all the work for your business yourself and good luck with that. When employees of food stores and restaurants are on food stamps and have to go to the food bank, despite working full-time, THAT’S a problem – especially when THEY are the ones doing the daily “shrink count” ( counting the food that was over produced and will now be tossed out) and WILL get fired for taking any of this food (even though it will now be thrown out). Sorry. Rant over. 

    • hj December 19, 2019 (9:35 am)

      Secure scheduling only applies to businesses with more than 500 employees. 

      • Seriously? December 19, 2019 (10:20 am)

        And please explain to me why it’s so hard to make a schedule in advance? Why is it so hard to give people a set schedule? If a business has the same hours of operation every day, week, month, year, there shouldn’t be any guess work over what shifts need to be covered. Having this knowledge, as the owner of a business, why is secure scheduling even a talking point? Unless the hours of your business changes randomly, there is no excuse to not have the employee schedules worked out way in advance. And there is no logical reason to have someone open for 3 days, then close for one and work swing another day in the same week, only to have a completely different schedule next week. 

    • KM December 19, 2019 (10:35 am)

      What does an employer do if an employee calls is sick? Same thing they always do, call around and see if anyone is available to come in? Employees aren’t banned from working if there is a shift available and they want it, it’s written in the ordinance. They can’t be forced to come in on their scheduled time off (and couldn’t before the ordinance either), but they are welcome to.

    • Drako Swiftclaw December 25, 2019 (8:11 pm)

      You sir are mistaken.  Grocery outlet is still open.  As for these laws you mention, $3 an hour more than the state level and something employers should do already with scheduling, they have already been proven in not only Seattle, but other states, to have a minimal affect.  When it’s now to the point where some employers have decided to do $15 per hour Nationwide.

  • Mj December 18, 2019 (5:32 pm)

    Mr J yes State and Federal taxes are the main culprit.  The State just raised the B & O by 20%, a huge increase.  The City also raised the B & O.  The cumulative effect of taxes is the issue.

    • AMD December 18, 2019 (6:09 pm)

      I mean, maybe that’s what caused your business to go under, but I can’t think of a single business I know of going out because of taxes.  Rent hikes took out most of the ones that wanted to stay in business but couldn’t because of finances.  Other random events (personal crises, landlord disputes, etc.) seemed to take out the others.  I mean, even the business owners that pop in here to say good-bye to customers have never said “well, the city’s new B&O did us in.”  That’s just not reality, my friend.

      • Seriously? December 19, 2019 (10:33 am)

        @AMD, trying to speak logically to people like MJ is an exercise in futility. MJ seems to believe that businesses go under because of the employees, city and state, not poor business decisions on their own part. And evidently other factors don’t apply either. You know, those employees are complete a-holes expecting living wages and predictable work schedules and all! And the city collecting taxes – no, surly not! Who saw THAT coming? As to the increases in rent – well – that’s why we might want to at least explore the option of rent control – note that I said EXPLORE THE OPTION and not simply implement it without proper due diligence. 

  • Saddened December 18, 2019 (6:04 pm)

    We loved Viodot and have been going there for the last 5+ years… it’s a West Seattle treasure! Hope they reopen 🙏

  • PJ December 18, 2019 (7:37 pm)

    It is very sad that Vidiot had to close.    The  owners and staff worked many hours to make this a place for friends to meet up for a fun time.  As an older adult it was fun to pop in and watch people from all ages and walks of life enjoy each other’s company.    I know firsthand that the owners are devastated and no matter what the reason for closing we should wish them all well in their next chapters.  

  • Mj December 18, 2019 (8:03 pm)

    AMD taxes are my biggest business expense, been at it for over 16 years and every time I turn around taxes go up, the recent State B& O tax hike is 20% that is outrageous

  • Drew December 19, 2019 (12:16 am)

    Crap…I love dives like this.  Hard to survive these days

  • Steve December 19, 2019 (8:50 am)

    The Benbow is gone? :(

  • Mj December 19, 2019 (9:51 am)

    Seriously?  I do not disagree with you, what I disagree with is government interference in a private adult agreement.  I have had employees in the past that I paid well over the minimum wage to keep them happy, turnover is costly.  If someone does not like their situation they can simply get another job or if they think it’s so great they can try start their own business.

    • Seriously? December 19, 2019 (10:39 am)

      If your employees are “happy,” turnover should not be an issue. It’s been my experience that the majority of truly “happy” employees don’t suddenly quit. 

  • Mj December 19, 2019 (11:12 am)

    Seriously?  I agree, the issue is government meddling in a private affair between consenting adults.

    • CAM December 19, 2019 (1:08 pm)

      I’m not sure you understand the meaning of consent. It implies an underlying equity and level footing from which to negotiate. That is not true in a relationship between employer and employee and history would teach you that if the government does not set basic standards for decency, employers will abuse their power and harm those who can least afford to negotiate on their own behalf. That’s just a fact and no matter what you say it will still be true. 

  • Mj December 19, 2019 (5:32 pm)

    CAMConsent is defined as Noun:  permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.  Verb:  give permission for something to happen

  • Dzer December 20, 2019 (8:39 am)

    This was posted on the door of Vidiots the day they closed (sorry orientation is wrong, not sure how to fix that)

    • WSB December 20, 2019 (9:14 am)

      Wasn’t there when we went by that night – but that’s the same thing I mentioned in the story, on file with King County Superior Court and found by a search of the business/LLC name.

  • AN December 20, 2019 (8:25 pm)

    Thanks for everything, Vidiot! I am extremely sorry to see you go. 💔
    As far as any of the business discussions above, don’t forget your Sherlock Holmes: It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.

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