Queen City Grill - 1911 (or earlier, depending your criteria)

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Dating the Queen City Grill is somewhat problematic. There were bars at this address since at least since 1890, and they were called the "Queen City" (Saloon/Tavern/Grill) since at least 1901. But the current building was not completed until 1911. (I have seen at least five different dates given for the building from various government and historical sources but I am content to rely upon the date provided by the City of Seattle Historical Site page.)

For me it does not make sense to date an existing bar to a date proceeding the construction of the current building, so I date the bar to 1911. However, Polk guides list a saloon owned by Alexander Meister at this location in 1890, and one owned by Martin Paup beginning in the 1891 directory and continuing the next several years. Historian Pat Dorpat has stated that Paup purchased the site in the 1880s, and built the previous wooden structure "around 1895." But again, whether or not that is the case, Polk Directories list a saloon at this address from 1890 onward. And while I do not know the name of the saloon for the earlier years, as directories of this era typically list only an owner's name, not the name of the business, "Queen City Saloon" does start appearing in 1901.

So while I date the bar to 1911, it would certainly not be unreasonable to date a bar based on the continuity of the name, or perhaps even how long there has been a bar of ANY name in this location, even if the previous building has been entirely replaced. By these criteria the "Queen City" would be at least one of the two oldest bars in the city, and quite possibly the oldest.

And finally, some, including the current business when it has celebrated its anniversary, will date the bar back only to 1987. This is also reasonable, given the vast difference between the upscale "Queen City Grill" created by Peter Lamb, and the divey "Queen City Tavern" which closed in 1984.

Some sources: seattledining.com - King County parcel info -
Pat Dorpat (Seattle Public Libarary card may beneeded)

Additional Photos: (Under construction)

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