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Monday, December 31, 2012

#1876 #S1051 - Borsalino's, Seattle - 8/29/2011

Update: Borsalino's closed in Feb 2013.


For the past decade or so (2001-2011), this was Romio's Pizza, in the odd castle-like building just south of the University Bridge and across the street from the original Red Robin Tavern/Restaurant. In October of 2011, it was modernized into Borsalino's, which included upgrades to more high quality food stressing organic ingredients. The remodeling did not go so far as to replace the signage outside, but instead drapes some quickie banners over the railing. The bar and the food both seemed fairly pedestrian -- a decent alternative if you happen to be nearby, but nothing notable enough to draw from a wider area.

Historical (and personal) notes: In addition to serving as a furniture store and art gallery, this castle-like building has hosted the Town House Restaurant in the 30s, the Llahngaelhyn jazz and coffee house from 1965 to 1968,  Rapunzel's Tavern from 1975 to 1985, and the Scoundrel's Lair (and "Club Fiasco") briefly in the mid 80s. Scoundrel's Lair was booked by Jon Poneman of SubPop, and was one of the few pre-Nevermind clubs that booked alternative bands, including small touring national acts like the Cowboy Junkies and Dead Milkmen, as well as local bands like Green River, Soundgarden, The Melvins, Pure Joy, Room 9, Cat Butt and Girl Trouble. In addition to seeing several of those bands there, I remember a particularly rocking night with the Royal Crescent Mob, and also one night there when I first really talked to the woman who would become my wife (after meeting at the Central Tavern before a Sonic Youth show).

3242 Eastlake Avenue East Seattle, WA 98102 - (206) 323-4444
Est. Oct 2011 - Closed Feb 2013 - Building constructed: 1916
Previous bars in this location: The Town House, Rapunzel's Tavern, Scoundrel's Lair
Web site: borsalinospizzapasta.com  
Reviews: thestranger - eastlakeseattle.org (building history) - yelp - urbanspoon

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