Some Oliver's history via the Seattle Times:
'When Oliver's opened on June 26, 1976, it was one of the most
controversial bar debuts in Seattle. The state had just lifted an
esoteric law that banned cocktail lounges from having windows (to
prevent the public from seeing folks imbibing). Oliver's put in floor-to-ceiling pane windows to showcase its bar in
all its glory. "There were some ticked-off women," said Steve Johansson,
the beverage director for the bar and hotel. "Women would walk by and
say, 'Oh my God! Look at that. They're drinking and smoking at the bar.'
" Those scandalous windows now serve as one of the city's great
people-watching spots downtown, especially during Christmas, when you
can see the 12-story-high Christmas tree across the street.
The view is majestic when there are snowflakes floating and Christmas carols in the air. In 1977, Oliver's hired a lad named Murray Stenson, who went on to become one of America's most respected bartenders. Stenson will serve as guest bartender at Oliver's on Thursday. Oliver's, said Stenson, "may have been the first bar in the city to have an espresso machine at the bar. It was a spectacular, 4-foot-tall, copper and brass Italian espresso maker."'
The previous bar, the Carousel Room (compete with merry-go-round horses hanging from the ceiling) was the first to take advantage of 1948's Initiative 171 allowing hotels, restaurants, trains, boats and clubs (but not taverns) to sell liquor by the glass (Class H licenses), and thereby became Seattle's first licensed cocktail bar since prohibition. (See historylink.org)
405 Olive Way, Seattle, WA 98101 - (206) 623-8700
Est. June 26, 1976 - Building constructed: 1927
Previous bars in this location: None (Bartell Drugs 1929-1946, The Carousel Room 1949-1974)