Another Piece of History Fading

20171229_131701Over the years many of my favorite businesses have come and gone, but The Two Bells was special. It was ‘my place’ to stop by and have a cheap but very tasty appie and brew while cycling by on my way home from work – bike clothes just fine. Back in the day I owned a frame shop and gallery in downtown Seattle (also forced to close due to big developers’ changes) and lived on the hill in Queen Anne neighborhood — the good old days in memory. This was also the mecca for we artists from the co-op gallery nearby, local writers, and the place I met up with friends from all over the city.

20171229_130433In recent years, The Two Bells had become  just an annual pilgrimage during the holidays when my husband and I would go back ‘for old time’s sake.’ We went for our last time on December 29, 2017 since I had learned it was closing forever on the 31st.

I never found an artichoke dip I liked better or a more easy and less pretentious eatery in the city. The staff came as they were and hobnobbed with clientele without the strictures of corporate bar owners or trendy restauranteurs. The menu and the place were nearly the same from all the way back in the 40’s– with a slight décor lift in the ’90s. One of my oldest friends introduced me to the place. I took another old friend there on the day she and I met. The staff I remember are some of those in this early ’80’s photo on their History page. Now the whole establishment is a thing of the past. Multi-use high-rise on the way. One more bit of unique culture and community expression bites the dust.

Two Bells SignFarewell, Two Bells! I wish all of those whose jobs and small business joys and trials were wiped away, a fabulous journey forward. May you ever find a comfy place where people are people and expressive art and witty words are treasured.

14 Comments Add yours

  1. so hard when the landscape of your life slowly disappears.
    I recently drove by a horse farm I used to spend summers working. Strip mall.
    Strip mall. Seriously. I mucked stables in your store. blech.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I find it particularly sad when long term places close. Though I suppose it could also be appreciated that they had such a long run. In some ways I found it funny that the article I linked to said so much that was the same – about losing the local flavor in the city to development, etc – as the article in the Seattle newspaper where they featured a photo of me and my store back in the mid-90’s when my store was pushed out along with many others due to big box stores coming in to Seattle in the re-opening of Pine Street. As much as things always change, they are also so much the same.

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  3. winneyb says:

    I believe you and I went here together once? Sigh. I remember when this place closed. https://www.seattletimes.com/pacific-nw-magazine/the-dog-house-restaurant-served-comfort-on-the-edge-of-seattles-aurora-avenue/ The Dog House, it used to serve spagetti noodles with chilli on top as one of it’s choices.

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  4. I remember The Dog House too. Didn’t go there much myself, but it was an institution and I always thought it was fun to drive by. Lots of character. We may have gone to Two Bells. It was always by go-to place when in Seattle. I don’t remember the specific occasion though. Maybe after sketchbooks the first time? That show was nearby here.

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  5. LittleFears says:

    I wish I’d had more photos of my corner of London from the 80s and 90s. My old stomping ground was pretty modern at the time. It was going to stay the same forever, right?

    Have to accept, London is an ever-changing landscape, I shall be saying goodbye too. If I return in a few years time, it won’t be a city I recognize.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All cities change constantly, but some little corners, like this one seem to stem the tide longer. I was glad to receive notice before it closed from the friend I took their on the day we met so many years ago. It took a bit of the sting out of it to have a chance to go one last time and give it a farewell.
      Seattle has changed dramatically since I’ve moved to North Bend. It’s about 30 minutes by car, but it seems much farther away through time and changes over the years. I have no desire to move back and I’m glad we headed for the hills when we did. But it’s fun to visit.

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  6. Oh, too bad. I love places like that. They become part of our lives and it’s sad when they close their doors. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess I have my new places in my two little towns in Snoqualmie Valley now. Even they have come and gone in the last 10 years, however. Life is change, but it doesn’t mean we always like it. 🙂

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  7. I think with age and experience these places become more precious to us for the shared sense of community they offered.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so true. The most major change in me as I mature is a deep appreciation of community. The fact I went there when I was young showed I needed it then too, I just didn’t understand what it meant to me.

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  8. it is so sad when the small places, the good places, have to vanish. In my experience whats come in its place is seldom better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, this is one of those cases where the replacement will be expensive and generic instead of reasonable and full of character. I’m glad I’ve moved to a smaller community where there is still room for businesses with personal marks of the owners who run them. Especially Black Dog Arts Cafe’ in my area is great. So there are some good cafe’s filled with good people.

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  9. roos says:

    so many small business have a hard time, so sad to see the loose of so many characters, it starts to feel like monoculture

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I guess we all need to make sure to support the small businesses we like and give them the ability to survive and thrive. Thanks for your comment roos! 🙂

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