A Seattle-based restaurant, Swallows Nest, is the subject of a federal investigation after it closed its Seattle location last week.
The restaurant’s owners, who were unable to pay their rent, are now being investigated by the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.
“In light of the ongoing federal investigation, Swifts Nest is closing our Seattle location, effective today, March 19, 2019,” a statement from the restaurant said.
“We are working with our landlord and our legal counsel to ensure the best possible outcome for all parties involved.”
The statement did not address how the restaurant lost money.
The Washington Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division confirmed the agency’s investigation and said the restaurant’s financial problems were a result of the restaurant shutting down.
The investigation is looking into whether the restaurant illegally used credit cards to pay for meals and other services, as well as whether employees were improperly reimbursed for lost wages, the agency said in a statement.
It said that if the restaurant did not pay its employees, the Wage and Industrial Division would take action.
The owners of Swallows’ Nest in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood are trying to reopen the restaurant with a new name and logo.
They said they have hired a new attorney.
“It’s a big win, because this has been a long road to recovery for the restaurant,” said restaurant owner Andrew Jorgensen.
“I think it’s been a really, really hard time.”
The restaurant was established in 1999 by Jorgenson and his wife, Lila.
They opened the restaurant in a former warehouse and have operated it ever since.