Dead Diners and Other Lost Locations
This page is dedicated to preserving the memory of places and abodes now gone, but not forgotten (at least here), including diners, taverns, stores, buildings, and more. I've chosen not to list on this page, however, any of the night clubs, music clubs, coffee houses, movie theatres, or amusement parks which composed Seattle's entertainment scene of yore -- you'll find those places listed on the Pop History page.
- The 206: The 206 Tavern (located at 206 Broadway E., thus the name.) A small, cubby-hole, tavern that was located up on Capitol Hill. It was primarily a geezer bar, but younger types used to hang out there on occasion, as well.
- The 211: The 211 Billiard Hall. This was an historic billiard hall that was between Third and Second on Union (211 Union, thus the name) downtown. It was on the second floor, and you took an elevator from the street to get to it. It relocated to the Regrade, to a kind of warehouse space a number of years ago that was above the Speakeasy Cafe. The Speakeasy has since burned down, but the 211 had already closed.
- Andy's: Andy's Cafe. Shares top honors along with the Dog House on the list of Seattle's dead diners. Andy's was for years and years the main gathering place for, and the spiritual center of, Capitol Hill. In the years that I went there, and I started when Hot Turkey Sandwiches were 75 cents, the place never changed. The menu, except for the prices, remained almost exactly the same. Much mourned. Spent many a day there hopping tables, moving from one conversation to another, eating two, sometimes three, meals, without ever leaving the place. Now that it's gone I no longer know where to go when up on Capitol Hill. Just not the same place anymore. Andy's is not to be confused with Andy's Diner, located in a series of railcars down on Fourth Ave. S., although there are undoubtedly some, who did not frequent the Capitol Hill establishment, who refer to the latter as "Andy's."
- The Apple: The Apple Theater, which was a small porno movie theater at the foot Capitol and First Hills.
- The Aqua Barn: The Aqua Barn Ranch, south of Renton off Maple Valley Highway. For years, it had been a place to ride horses, swim, square dance, and more. In its heyday, it had over 260 horses on 100 acres. These days, the horses are gone and only the cafe, RV park, and recreational hall are still open. The name actually comes from the fact that the original Aqua Barn was located on a barge moored on the west side of Lake Union, before the attraction was moved to the Maple Valley in 1951. Recently, the founder and long-time owner of the Aqua Barn, "Happy Jack" Riley, died of a heart attack at age 77. Before passing, he had negotiated the sale of the remainder of the ranch to developers, including the 1888 farm house (built by Arthur Denny). For a story on the Aqua Barn, see the Seattle Times' story, Aqua Barn On The Block.
- The Bagdad: The Bagdad Cafe, which was located many moons ago (it seems now) at Broadway and Pike (I believe) up on Capitol Hill.
- The Belmont: The Belmont Tavern, which was located on Olive and Belmont up on Capitol Hill. During the time that I recall it (back in the late- to mid-70's), it Capitol Hill's main black bar. Other bars, such as the Gaslight and the Elite in particular, were also frequented by many blacks. A sub-sandwich shop and part of the B&O Espresso now occupy the space where the Belmont used to exist.
- The Ben Paris: A combination restaurant, lounge, pool hall, pull-tab parlor, barber shop, and sporting goods establishment. It was located on Fourth, facing the Bon Marche. A kind of "guy mall" kind of place, a bastion for fishermen (and I do mean fishermen) and other local sportsmen. It had a definite "subterranean", almost "speakeasy," feel to it (partly from its being down a flight of stairs, below street level). It had a large glass tank with live bass swimming in it, and it also had a live trout pool (although it may not have always had trout in it. For an account, see America's Oldest Bass Club, an article about the Western Bass Club, which began meeting in the Ben Paris in 1938. The founder, Ben Paris, supposedly started the very first fishing derby here, back in 1931. For many years, the Ben Paris published a comprehensive NW fishing guide.
- The Blob: The Blob is no more--it bit the dust on November 18, 1997. The Blob is dead! Long live the Blob! A restaurant on Lower Queen Anne, it was commonly considered to be the biggest eyesore in town. The original owner went broke building it, a demented brainstorm if there ever was one, and no-one since was able to make a go of the place, which from starting out ugly just got uglier, ending up looking like a bowl of vanilla ice cream after being left out in the sun for ten minutes (a dirty bowl of vanilla ice cream). You can see a picture of the Blob, along with other NW kitsch landmarks, at the Seattle Odyssey site.
- Bloch's: A sandwich place up on 15th on Capitol Hill that became a popular gathering place from the mid-70's through the late 80's. A great hang-out joint, you could spend the whole day, and the evening, there for the price of a cup of coffee. The suspicion is that Barry Bloch closed the place just to get rid of the freeloaders.
- The Bon: The Bon Marche. It's still there, but renamed as Macy's. For awhile, it went by Bon Macy's, but head honchos back east finally decided to drop Bon from the store's moniker. Locals will just continue to call it The Bon, however.
- The Copper Kitchen: A restaurant that was located on the west side of Westlake, located where the Westlake Center is now. This was a comfortable and reasonbly-priced establishment, which catered largely to the local retail workers (being in the retail core) -- my favorite place to go eat when I was downtown, back when. One of those cases where you don't know what you're missing until it's gone.
- Dag's: A local drive-in chain that still had one or two locations until fairly recently. The one that was down on Fourth Ave. S. is no longer there now and the Aurora Aveneu location is now a parking lot. The Renton location may still be operating. Home of the Dagilac burger.
- A Different Drummer: A Different Drummer Bookstore, which was located on Broadway up on Capitol Hill for several years. It sold both new and used books and was a great place to just browse around.
- The Ditto: The Ditto Tavern, a Belltown watering hole that hosted bands such as Soundgarden, Green River, and other proto-Grunge groups before Seattle, and Belltown in particular, was recognized as the center of the music world, albeit only temporarily. The half-block on which it resided fell to the wrecking ball, or whatever they use these days to tear down old digs, sometime around the turn of the millenium, just one more domino to fall to the unrelenting march of progress, with artists and cheap walkups (relatively speaking) are replaced by corporate types living in mid- to high-rise condos (or at least the only type who can afford to pay several thousand in rent).
- The Dog House: Bob Murray's Dog House, a greasy spoon, renowned for its surly waitresses, but regretfully now gone. You went there expecting to get mistreated, and loved it. Its fame is to be traced back to when the P-I building was only a block away and it was a favorite haunt of the P-I's reporters and columnists, who were routinely abused, berated, and mistreated there (as I suppose all newspaper folks should be), wrote about it, and then went back for more, of course. The "abusive waitresses" were to some degree myth made real, so to speak -- the "abuse" was mostly trumped up and exaggerated to fill column inches on slow news days, but once you get a rep, of course, the tendency is to try to live up to it. Heads the list of Seattle's dead diners. It and Andy's Cafe. Note, however, that The Dog House is still there, but under different ownership and a different name: The Hurricane Cafe. I don't know if the abusive waitresses are still there or not, however. For a story and some pics, see Last Call at the Dog House: A Reminiscence by Floyd Waterson, from HistoyLink.org.
- The Dome: The Kingdome, Seattle's unsightly concrete mushroom. Alas, it is no more, having been imploded into a pile of concrete ruins on 8:30 a.m. on March 26th. The main problem with the Dome was simply money -- while highly functional, it just couldn't produce the level of revenues necessary these days to be competitive in big-time sports. Today, you need a designer stadium, with no limit on the luxury boxes and other revenue opportunities.
- The Elite: The Elite Tavern, although still open up on Broadway on Capitol Hill, is now a gay bar, I believe. It was once, however, part of the Capitol Hill circuit of non-geezer bars (if you will) that included the Comet (still open), the Gaslight, the Broadway, the Belmont, Snooky's, and other places of varying repute.
- Ernie Steele's: In its day, the quintessential dark, smoke-filled geezer lounge, up on Broadway. Was originally founded by Ernie Steele, a football star from the old leather helmut era. I thought he must have died, but apparently ol' Ernie is still alive and kicking. Ernie Steele's later became Ilene's (which may be dead now too).
- Farrell's: Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour, a purveyor of gourmet ice cream back before gourmet ice cream became all the rage. One was located at Southcenter back in the early 70s. There is only one Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour in existence now--in San Diego.
- The Food Circus: The original name of The Center House at the Seattle Center going back to the World's Fair (before which it was the National Guard Armory), but still a term often used by long-time Seattle residents. Housed the Bubbleator, which alas is now gone.
- Food Giant: A supermarket on 45th whose huge neon sign ("FOOD GIANT") was for years a quintessential Wallingford landmark (along with the Grandma's Cookies sign, also now gone). QFC bought the place several years ago and replaced the old sign with a new one ("WALLINGFORD") that, although just as large, is nowhere near as delightfully kitchy.
- F&N: Frederick & Nelson. See Frederick's below.
- Frederick's: Frederick & Nelson, downtown's classiest department store, until it closed its doors some years back. I'm now aware of anyone every calling it "Freddy's" (just not that kind of place) -- an appellation that belongs to Fred Meyer's. Also referred to simply as F&N. Nordstrom's has since relocated into the renovated Frederick & Nelson building. To learn more about the history of Frederick & Nelson and see some great historical pics, see Frederick & Nelson from the PdxHistory site.
- The Gaslight: The Gaslight Tavern, a tavern up on 15th up on Capitol Hill back in the 70's that was a great melting-pot and mixing bowl. Bill the Beerman (Bill Scott) tended bar there before becoming Bill the Beerman. Later became the expanded Canterbury.
- G.O. Guy: G.O. Guy Drugs, which was located for years on Third, just kitty-corner from the post office.
- Grandma's Cookies: I spent my junior high and senior high days a half block north of the old Grandma's Cookies bakery, which was most noted for its huge neon sign that could be seen from the Aurora Bridge, the Space Needle, well just about from everywhere. Both the sign and Grandma's Cookies are now long gone. (The building is still there, however.) To this day, quite honestly, I have a very hard time resisting cookies, probably due to having been conditioned as thoroughly as one of Pavlov's dogs by waking up every morning to the thick, cloying smell of baking cookies in the air. For a pic of the Grandma's Cookies sign, see the Seattle Times' article To market, to market.
- The Hasty Tasty: A greasy spoon that was one of the mainstays on the Ave back in the 70's. I once split without getting change for a $20 when I paid my bill, and then got all the way up on Capitol Hill (to the Gaslight Tavern) before I realized I was short some cash. Well, I called up the Hasty Tasty, talked to the cook explaining what had happened, not really expecting it to be much help. Well, he said just come back on over and he'd give me my change! And I did. Mind you, back then, $20 was a bit more money than it is now.
- Herfy's: A chain of burger drive-ins that populated the Puget Sound area from the mid-60's on. They were known for their "Herfy Burger," with secret sauce, of course. There are a number still located in the Seattle area, but the only one that might be said to be in Seattle proper is located in Georgetown (if you want to call Georgetown either Seattle or proper). Others are located in Auburn and Burien. There may be others elsewhere in the state. The one that was in the U-District, at the corner of 50th and the Ave, is long gone, however.
- The Hideout: The Hideout Tavern, which was located in the entrance to Post Alley at the Market. There were actually three places there, the Hideout and the Victrola, with the Rice Bowl Cafe, a Chinese restaurant, in between them. We used to order a bunch of Chinese food and have it delivered to us in the Hideout. A table full of hot steaming Chinese food and a couple pitchers of ice-cold beer, now that was living! And the Rice Bowl served up some of the best (and cheapest) Chinese food I've ever tasted, period.
- The House of Entertainment: A music club downtown back in the 60's that primarily featured black R&B groups. I went there a few times with some black friends of mine -- super cool place.
- The Id: The Id Bookstore, a used bookstore that was located just off the Ave in the early 70s. Later, it became the Magus Bookstore.
- The Igloo: A restaurant at Denny Way just off Aurora Avenue from 1940 to 1954. Shaped in the form of an igloo, it was one of the many kitsch icons, including the Java Jive, the Hat 'N Boots, and the Twin Teepees, that sprouted up along old Highway 99 back when that was the prime north-south route around here. For an article on and pics of the Igloo, see Igloo, The -- Lost Landmark of Seattle's Auto-Tecture from the HistoryLink web site.
- The Jell-O Mold Building: A one-story building down on Western that was covered in varying-shaped Jell-O molds, by an artist, obviously. The Cyclops Cafe was located in the same building. The building was torn down some years back and replaced with a yuppy-condo tower, I believe.
- Joy's 21: Was located on 1st Avenue N., just opposite the Coliseum (now KeyArena). Been told, and seem to remember myself, on the outside wall were large painted caricature faces of old Hollywood stars (Clark Gable, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, and so on). Probably meant to mimic the 21 Club. Was later Chicago's, now is Niko's Place.
- Luna Park: An amusement park that was located on Alki from 1907 to 1913. See Luna Park Seattle to learn more about its history and see some great pics.
- Manning's: A buffet-style restaurant that was located for many year's on the Ave. Later it opened satellite locations downtown and in Ballard, which may have been what ultimately led to its demise. The former Manning's in Ballard is now a Denny's (a sad fate, indeed).
- McDougal's: McDougal and Southwick department store. This was located downtown, but I don't remember where, right off hand. Of all the department stores that once graced downtown Seattle, including the Bon Marche, Frederick and Nelson's, Rhodes, J.C. Penny, and McDougal's, only The Bon survives (although now re-named as Macy's). Nordy's back then was just a shoe store, of course.
- Morningtown: Morningtown Pizza, a counter-culture pizza joint that was located for many years in the U District, between Roosevelt and 12th, just north of the University Bridge.
- Pennyland: Pennyland Arcade, featuring pool tables and penny arcade games, was located at First and Marion. I'm not sure about the dates, except that by the time I got around to exploring 1st Avenue as a teenager in the mid-60's, it was already gone (or at least I don't remember it).
- Pig Alley: The Place Pigalle Tavern, once located in the Market. Another notorious, although now gone, dive. Someone actually wrote a letter to the Seattle Weekly a couple years ago objecting to the use of the term "Pig Alley" for the Place Pigalle Tavern as somehow being an insult. All I can say is that everyone I knew back in the mid-70s or so always called it "Pig Alley," and always meant it as a term of affection. Now a trendy eating spot, it is now the Place Pigalle Restaurant, and is no longer called "Pig Alley," as far as I know. Or is it?
- Pizza & Pipes: The name of number of restaurants, in Seattle, Bellevue, and Tacoma, all with different ownerships, which featured theatre pipe organs providing musical accompaniment to the repast. The one in Seattle was located up on 85th in Greenwood. The Greenwood restaurant closed in the late 1980s and the Bellevue restaurant was closed in 1992. The Tacoma Pizza & Pipes, sadly, burned down in 1999, with the pipe organ going up in smoke, as well. For info on these and other installations of theatre pipe organs in restaurants, clubs, and varied other establishments, see PSTOS's Restaurants, Taverns, and Social Clubs page.
- Pizza Pete's: A chain of pizza joints that used to be located hereabouts. Sponsored a hydroplane, the U-88 Pizza Pete, for the 1972 racing season.
- Rendezvous: A long-time greasy spoon located in Belltown that was a favorite of many merchant seamen. Not sure when it closed, but it did.
- The Rice Bowl: The Rice Bowl Cafe, which many years ago was located in Post Alley, at the Market, between the Hideaway and Victrola taverns.
- Rhodes: Rhodes Department Store, which was located downtown on Second Avenue. Back in the 50's and early 60's, there were three major department stores downtown: The Bon Marche, Frederick & Nelson, and Rhodes.
- Ship's Restaurant: Was located under the Magnolia Bridge. Not sure when it closed, but it was a while back. Supposedly had a pretty good seafood buffet.
- Smokey Joe's: A cafe, lounge, and pool hall that was located on Pike Street, I believe, up on Capitol Hill back in the 60's and 70's. It was primarily frequented by blacks at the time that I recall it. There were always at least a couple high-stakes pool games going on (hundreds of dollars at stake).
- The Speakeasy: The Speakeasy Cafe, one of the original Internet cafes. Located in Belltown on 2nd, it burned down May 18, 2001. For the story, see Neighborhood hub lost in fire: Speakeasy much more than a cafe.
- Toppings Drive-In: Was a local hangout up in Lake City for high school students and the fringe crowd, I've been told.
- The Twin Teepees: Victim of a late-night sneak demolition. May the owner burn in...well, deep-fry grease. For the details, see Teepees' end: sad but legal. A restaurant in the shape of two teepees, the Twin Teepees for years and years was a kitch icon located on Aurora at the north end of Green Lake. One story is that Colonel Sanders once worked at the Twin Teepees as a cook, before hitting it big selling buckets of fried chicken -- see The colonel was cookin' at Teepees. You can see a picture of it at The offbeat (a.k.a. weird) Tour of Seattle (created by Arthur Hu). See Twin T-P's for another pic.
- Warshal's: Warshal's Sporting Goods was located down on First Avenue, but unfortunately is no more. Open since 1922, Warshal's was for years and years the place to get hunting, fishing, camping, and other recreation equipment.
- Woerne's: A European pastry shop and cafe that was located on the Ave. I'm not sure when they closed, but it had to be in the late 80's or early 90's. I used to drop by there to buy Viennese pretzels, which were a delicious treat. Now that Woerne's is long gone, so are Viennese pretzels, it would seem (if anybody knows of any bakery or pastry shop that sells Viennese pretzels, PLEASE let me know).
- The XXX Drive-Ins: Used to be some of these in Greenwood, Lake City, and Renton. There was also one down by Tacoma somewhere, I believe. The only XXX Drive-In still running around here is in Issaquah -- they host an antique car show there a couple times a year. "XXX" was a root beer brand -- the drive-ins were shaped in the form of a large root beer barrel.
For more info on Seattle's neighborhoods, districts, areas, streets, avenues, highways, freeways, transportation, maps, etc., see A Seattle Directory.
The terms listed here range from the frequently to the seldomly used. Non-Nortwesterners should use these terms (in the vain hope of fitting in) only at the risk of being greeted by frequent blank stares. While some terms are known by virtually all Northwesterners, and actually spoken by many, others are known only to some or a few, while spoken by even fewer. However, if you hear one said, armed with this lexicon, you'll know what is meant.
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