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Sunday, December 18, 2011

#1597 #S953 - The Terrace Lounge (Fairmont Hotel) , Seattle - 11/2/2011

While the "Terrace Plaza bar" may evoke images of rooftop patios and ornate gardening, the location in the Fairmont is simply a small, elegant bar off the main lobby.  The Fairmont Olympic is Seattle's grandest hotel, hosting celebrities, world leaders, and every U.S. president since Herbert Hoover.  For several years I walked past it on my way from bus stop to office, and it was a fairly common event to see motorcades and security guards swarming the back entrance.

The hotel was specifically designed by the community to be just that sort of grand hotel, with the construction in 1924 funded by public bonds.  It sits on the original location of the University of Washington, in a place known as Denny's Knoll when Arthur Denny donated it 1861 to the Territorial University.  The UW, which moved northward to its current location in 1895, retains a large chunk of ownership of the land and building, although it sold 64% in the mid 90s.  The hotel was built around the Metropolitan Theater, which was demolished in 1956 (and eulogized by Helen Hayes, after a final night performance), providing the current entrance area.


I don't know how long the Terrace Plaza bar has been open in this location, but if you enjoy genteel hotel bars, this is a nice, intimate one, with capable bartenders and a small number of interesting patrons passing through.  The lounge area extends into the lobby, but if you like bars, you'll want to be in the elegant room around the bar itself, with it's welcoming wood and lowered lights.  And from 3:30 to 6:00pm Sundays through Thursdays the bar features all-you-can-eat appetizers or cheeses for $12 each.

411 University St, Seattle, WA 98101 - (206) 621-1700
Building constructed: 1924
fairmont.com - facebook - historylink.org - thestranger - fairmont.com - seattleweekly -

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