Bars where Pete has had a Drink (5,829 bars; 1,754 bars in Seattle) - Click titles below for Lists:

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Sunday, March 01, 2009

#774 - The Triangle Pub, Seattle (Pioneer Square) - 2008 (OOO)

Update: The owners of the Triangle Pub Brian Honda and Martha Steward Honda announced its permanent closure on June 2, 2020, citing challenges due to construction, coronavirus, electrical and plumbing issues, and other issues.

This is a tiny, triangular pub that is a vestige of the historic Triangle Hotel and Tavern.  It is one of a handful of Seattle bars that pre-date Prohibition, if you allow it various name changes in between the end of prohibition and the mid 1970s.

It is casual and neighborly except before and after ballgames at the nearby stadiums when it is overflowing.  For football games they will open the downstairs portion.

The "Flatiron" building was completed in 1910 at the corner of Railroad Way and 1st Avenue S. (formerly "Commercial St.") and housed the Triangle Hotel and Bar until statewide prohibition took effect in 1916. It was built for Seattle realtor and financier Victor Hugo Smith, who played an important role in the city's real estate boom in the years following the Great Seattle Fire in 1889. "... the building stands out because of its shape and eclectic detailing, which includes
rusticated brickwork with a Flemish bond pattern and pointed arches, inspired perhaps by late Medieval architecture
(or possibly by Venetian or Moorish architecture)." (National Register Nomination)

At least the basement space became a Western Union branch office, sending its messages to the Cherry Street headquarters via brass pneumatic tubes, which can still be seen today. The hotel above, which was a brothel from the 20s until the end of WWII, originally had 8 small rooms, but now holds 2 apartments. It is said to have once been featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not as the smallest hotel west of the Rockies.

After prohibition, the main floor resumed as a bar under various names. It was Jack's Bar by 1934, run by John Baldacci and Santo Santini.Santini shortened his name to Santi, and Jack's remained in the Santi family,for over two decades, later run by Ernest and later Louis Santi through 1954.

Seattle's Triangle Bar when it was known as
Lou's Tavern, c. 1956
It was probably Louis Santi who renamed it the Louis Tavern and then Lou's Tavern in the mid-50s, which it remained, through changing owners, until at least 1975. Then at some point in 1975 to 1977, it re-emerges as the Triangle Hotel and Bar, owned by Les Tonkin and Walter Greissinger. It would later by owned by John Justice, and then Brian Honda and Martha Stewart Honday purhased it in 1999. On June 2, 2020, the Stewarts announced its permanent closure, citing challenges due to construction, the coronavirus pandemic, electrical and plumbing issues, and other issues.

For additional historical/dating notes, see Seattle's Oldest Bars.

Est. 1910 - Building Constructed 1910 - Closed June 2, 2020
553 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104 - (206) 628-0474
( - map - flickr - yelp)

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