Patrick Robinson
Kyle Duce, one of the owners and founders of Locöl Barley and Vine, is leaving Seattle to move his family back to his birthplace in Colorado. He'll retain ownership and provide advice and management oversight as necessary and eventually hopes to take what he's learned in West Seattle and build something similar in the Denver area.

Kyle Duce is leaving Locöl; Moving back to Colorado

The faces of Kyle Duce and his wife Kristi will soon be missing from one of West Seattle's new favorite restaurant/bars Locöl Barley and Vine at 7902 35th s.w.

Duce, who with partner Shane Whitall and a group of investors launched the beer and wine bar just over a year ago is moving back to Colorado to provide more support for his family. It's where his extended family still lives and where he hopes to launch another business.

He and Whitall will retain ownership of Locöl and he will still come back to visit on occasion but this Friday is his last day behind the bar. A private party is planned for his send off.

Duce and his wife and daughter have lived in West Seattle for five years, but it grew increasingly apparent that for his family he needed to be close to them in Colorado where he was born. He traveled there for Christmas and he chose this time to make the move.

Duce said, "With a kid it changes the game, and we want to have another kid in the next year and a half so they are close in age. We've had good support in West Seattle from friends and baby sitters but we were fortunate to be raised around family and I wouldn't take that back for anything. It's great. The biggest thing is we put a lot of time into this place before it opened, since it's been open and I couldn't be happier with the support we've had here from everyone. I've always prided myself on hiring professionals so I feel confident that I'm leaving something we've worked so hard for, in good hands."

Taking over for Duce as the wine and beverage manager is Marcus Allenbach, who has worked at Wild Ginger as a wine sommelier. "He lives very close by too, " said Duce. The head chef Charlie Worden will also be the General Manager and Whitall will bar tend two to three days a week.

Duce said he's learned a lot in the process of opening Locöl, and from his career in the restaurant industry including what not to do. He said he and Whitall chose quite intentionally to build a business based on personal integrity. "We wanted to create a place where you would be proud to work, and be people you'd be proud to work for."

To that end they've become involved in the community, and for example they are donating $400, (matched by an anonymous customer for $800 total) to Roxhill Elementary at the end of the month. They source as much as possible from local vendors and support local brewers and vintners. They've refined their menu by listening to their neighbors, who comprise the bulk of their customers.

Whitall said he was sorry to see him go but confided that it was always part of the plan to build a successful business and then move on to the next phase. He too might leave at some point but for now he's staying put.

Duce, who will seek employment in the Denver area, hopes to carry his West Seattle experience forward and potentially launch another business imbued with the same values in that city.

He admits it's going to be hard to say goodbye to West Seattle. He's built many friendships and relationships with other businesses here. "It's going to be tough," he said, "It already is."

Still he will keep his hand in at Locöl, looking over the books and putting in 15 to 20 hours weekly, keeping things on an even keel, if necessary.

The biggest lesson he's learned from building the business is, "Never underestimate the power of the community."

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