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December 2, 2009 at 9:47 AM

5 Point trip down memory lane: he’s been there, seen that

Today’s gotta-love-it e-mail comes from Steve Bartlett, who took one look at yesterday’s post regarding the 80th anniversary celebration and change-‘o-the-guard at the 5 Point Cafe and — whoa! don’t get him started! — had this to say about that:

You’re looking for 5 Point stories? I don’t even know where to begin. I guess from the beginning:

I first stepped into the 5 Point in the winter between 1983 and 1984. A co-worker and I worked the graveyard shift and decided one morning that we needed to find a place that served drinks at 7 a.m. We stopped in at the 7-11 that is right across from Fisher Plaza and asked the clerk if he knew of any places that served drinks at that time of the morning. He pointed out the window and told us to make our way a block over to the 5 Point.

The 5 Point, now, as then.

We walked in and were greeted by Dick Smith himself. He mixed us up some hot buttered rums while we put on “Mack The Knife” and “New York, New York” on the jukebox.

We knew immediately that we had found our place! I got to know Dick on a personal level over the years. He took me and a co-worker out on his boat one time and we had the time of our life. He told me stories of wrestling octupuses (octupi?) down at the waterfront, for tourists.

I remember the 5 Point meter-feeder, which was a bikini-clad lady on roller skates who would roller skate around the block during the lunch hour, find expired meters and put a couple of quarters in to save them the expense of a ticket. She’d then leave a flier on their windshield that said, “You’ve been saved by the 5 Point meter feeder!”

I have had the good fortune of meeting and talking to countless people at the 5 Point. There was Gordon whom Dick made a deal with to give him a free meal every day for the rest of his life. Gordon was well into his 90’s and he’d drop in most days sometime before noon. There was the guy who glared at me one day over and over and over. He must have been in his 80’s. He looked like he wanted to take me out back and beat the crap out of me! He finally got up and came over to me and said, “You need to shave your beard off! ” He then went on to tell me that he was a WWII vet and that men who wore beards reminded him of the Italians!

I remember playing “Love Shack” on the jukebox one night and people jumped up and started dancing, including climbing up on the bar to dance!

I remember the Mariners run in 1995 and how incredible the crowds at the 5 Point were. I remember an actress who got a part on the television show “Frasier” during a special they filmed in Seattle (she got to play the part of the monorail driver). I remember talking to her and how excited she was. I met Rebecca Stevenson at the 5 Point before she was a meteorologist. She was actually a waitress at Dick’s other restaurant, the Mecca over at the bottom of Queen Anne.

Over the years I spent a lot of time at the 5 Point. I have a million different memories of the times I spent there. I have only been there a couple of times in the past 10 years or so but you can bet that I will be there next Tuesday. I wouldn’t miss it for the world!



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