The Central Saloon - 1933/1898

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Dating the Central Saloon is problematic, as it is not clear when there was first a bar in this location, and in any case the bar was not called "The Central" until prohibition. It was originally Watson Bros. Famous Restaurant, appearing in both Polk and Corbett directories in the restaurant section under T.P. Watson at least as early as the 1890 editions. However there are no listings for the location under Saloons. The Central's web site said that it changed to the "Seattle Bar" in 1901, but it is already listed as the "Seattle Saloon" in the 1898-1899 Bard's Business Directory Shortly after that it became Jamieson and McFarland's bar, which eventually moved north a couple spots where the J&M has remained ever since. It appears to become the "Central" Cafe/Saloon/Tavern during prohibition, probably in 1919.

I cannot bestow a bar date based on a restaurant that does not seem to have been listed under saloons or have any clear evidence that it contained a bar at all. And while it might be reasonable to assign a date as early as 1898, when the "Seattle Bar" and later the J&M were here, as I continue to collect bar history data, it has made less and less sense to date a single bar back to dates including bars of entirely different names. E.g. it seems absurd to to ascribe a great age to "Stage," a techno, hip-hop dance bar, despite a long history of bars in this location dating back to the People's Theater in 1890. Thus while I am leaving it on this list due to the space hosting pre-prohibition bars, I now date the "Central Saloon" back to the end of prohibition, when it first began as a bar under the "Central" name.

See also: Peter Blechs's Central Tavern and Saloon history at

Some sources: the central myspace

Additional Photos: (Under construction)

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