Subscribe to ThaWilsonBlock Magazine $2.99/mo

WilsonBlock1000 Radio

Sip Through Time: Seattle's Oldest Pubs and Bars

Seattle's vibrant history is not just confined to its architectural landmarks and cultural institutions; it can also be found in the city's oldest pubs and bars. These establishments have stood the test of time, bearing witness to the changing landscape of the Emerald City while offering patrons a glimpse into its storied past. Join us on a journey through some of Seattle's historic watering holes.

J&M Café and Cardroom (1889)
Located in Pioneer Square, the J&M Café and Cardroom is one of Seattle's oldest bars, dating back to 1889. Its storied past includes hosting performances by legendary musician Louis Armstrong and serving as a favorite haunt for gold rush prospectors. Today, it continues to welcome guests with a classic pub atmosphere, live music, and a rich sense of history.

The Central Saloon (1892)
Also situated in the heart of Pioneer Square, The Central Saloon is another enduring establishment with roots dating back to 1892. Known as the city's oldest bar under its original name, this historic watering hole has been a cherished venue for live music and a gathering place for locals and visitors alike.

The 5 Point Café (1929)
The 5 Point Café, located in the Belltown neighborhood, has been serving up comfort food and libations since 1929. This iconic Seattle diner and bar has a reputation for its 24/7 service, late-night breakfasts, and unapologetically quirky atmosphere. It's a place where artists, night owls, and early risers all come together.

The Virginia Inn (1903)
Nestled in Pike Place Market, The Virginia Inn has been a fixture since 1903. This historic pub offers a cozy, old-world ambiance that beckons visitors to relax and savor a drink. The establishment's rich history and proximity to the bustling market make it a popular stop for both locals and tourists.

Kells Irish Restaurant and Pub (1983 in Seattle)
Though not as old as some of the other entries on this list, Kells Irish Restaurant and Pub, established in Seattle in 1983, still boasts a rich history. Housed in a historic Butterworth Building, Kells has been a beloved spot for Irish hospitality, live music, and a cozy atmosphere reminiscent of traditional Irish pubs.

The Owl N' Thistle (1930s)
Tucked away in the heart of Pioneer Square, The Owl N' Thistle has been a local favorite since the 1930s. This Irish pub exudes charm and character, offering a warm and welcoming environment for patrons seeking good food, drinks, and live music.

The Mecca Café (1930s)
The Mecca Café, established in the 1930s, is a beloved fixture in Seattle's Lower Queen Anne neighborhood. Known for its vintage décor, hearty breakfasts, and classic cocktails, this neighborhood gem provides a nostalgic trip back in time.

Seattle's oldest pubs and bars offer more than just libations; they provide a portal to the city's past. These historic establishments have seen Seattle evolve from a fledgling city to a bustling metropolis. As you explore these time-honored watering holes, you're not just enjoying a drink; you're stepping into the pages of Seattle's storied history. Each of these establishments has its unique charm and character, making them must-visit destinations for anyone curious about the city's heritage.



Show more