Oldest Restaurant in Seattle - Merchants Cafe - Seattle, WA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NorStar
N 47° 36.091 W 122° 20.014
10T E 550094 N 5272227
Quick Description: This restaurant in historic Pioneer Square was established soon after the great fire of 1889.
Location: Washington, United States
Date Posted: 9/28/2010 7:30:43 AM
Waymark Code: WM9TCT
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 8

Long Description:
In the Pioneer Square portion of Seattle, there is a restaurant, the Merchant's Cafe, that claims to be the "OLDEST RESTAURANT IN SEATTLE," as prominently displayed on its awning.

The restaurant is in a three story brick building. The restaurant front, above the first floor, bears the name "Merchants Cafe" with colored bulbs in each letter. Below that is a glass with the words, "Havana Cigars, Lovera, Five Cents." Below that the awning bears the words mentioned above and, "Established 1890" in two places. There is a door in the center for the restaurant and a door to the left (109 1/2) for the rest of the building.

I did not look at the interior of the restaurant, nor stayed to sample the food. The plaque to the left states that much of the interior is still intact, and the newspaper article elaborates that the interior included a picture of a woman who operated a brothel upstairs of the restaurant. The restaurant has gone through changes of ownership. It once could claim that it was the oldest continuously operated restaurant in Seattle, as the plaque claims, but the article reports that the restaurant was closed in 2006 for being behind in the rents and the mounting bills to fix the building after an earthquake hit the area.

The restaurant was the first restaurant to open after the great fire of 1889, which wiped out the entire downtown Seattle area. Brick buildings went up. The current story of the building is actually the second. The first story is down below the current street level. The article states that miners would come to the restaurant on Sunday and deposit their gold with the restaurant in their vault. The restaurant would then deposit the money in the bank on Monday. It was then known as the Sunday bank.
Type of documentation of superlative status: Plaque and awning on front of restaurant.

Location of coordinates: Front of Restaurant

Web Site: [Web Link]

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quigquay visited Oldest Restaurant in Seattle - Merchants Cafe - Seattle, WA 10/10/2014 quigquay visited it