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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Farewell, Sweet Jade

Posted by on August 24 at 13:43 PM

The Jade Pagoda is closing forever on the 31st of August. Truly, nothing gold can stay. I phoned last night to ascertain why (why, oh why?), and while the barkeep was very nice on the phone, he did not call me back as promised. Further heartbreak. Probably it has something to do with the fried-egg sandwich incident. I’m still sorry, sweet Jade, and I will miss you.

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Shame they can't keep the bar open and just shut the restaurant. That is easily the worst restaurant in the history of the universe. It might be the longest-standing business on Broadway, though.

Which Jade Pagoda was that again? Oh, Broadway.

"There can be only one."

Sixty-three years!

Interesting tidbit (although I can't verifty it actually happened, I've heard it around town enough times to believe it) : Jimmy Wu (of "Jimmy Wu's Jade Pagoda" was murdered in the restaurant back in the late '60's or early 70's. Rumor has is it that it happened in the banquet room, which has not been available for banquets for a million years.

Well, fuck.

Another of the few remaining bits of old Seattle disappears. The Jade Pagoda was my Saturday night sanctuary for a few years after retiring from hanging with the club kids (it happens to us all eventually), but even before I got too old, it was still a great little, dark hideaway when you just wanted a strong drink with friends while listening to Dionne Warwick singing the "Theme from Valley of the Dolls."

And what's going to replace it? A Subway? More condos? A Sunglasses Hut?

At the risk of sounding entirely too fatalistic, I'm beginning to understand why older people don't mind departing this earthly plane. If you live long enough, you see your whole frame-of-reference melt away bit by bit.

Truly sad news and sadder still for those of us who like at least some tradition.

jimmy woo died of a heart attack in 1981. it's funny how many people would come in on my shifts when i worked there and insist they knew about things that went on there in the past (underground card rooms, chinese mafia, murder, drug smuggling).

Huh, sounds like they were mistaking the JP for the Wah-Mee.

In any case, sure it's an old-school place, and there's going to be a bit of nostalgic reverence for it just because of its age. But really, the restaurant was an absolute pit, and, unlike say, the venerable Dog House or Ernie Steele's, The Comet (are those rumors about changing the name true?), or even the still-on-its-feet Turf, this is one dive I doubt too many people will be crying over when it finally meets its demise.

However, I do agree replacing it with another bland corporate establishment would be a shame.

Gold?! That restaurant was about as sanitary as a Romanian gutter. It almost requires HAZMAT's permanent presence.

OK. here's a question. How long has the urinal in the men's been busted? It's been broken for as long as I can remember.

Although I don't remember much after I've been to the Jade.

Gee Skye, thanks for being a buzz kill. If you worked there, can you tell me what happened to the denim jacket I left there in 1995? ;-)

Just moved here from Pittsburgh and got a great deal on a new condo. I made the mistake of going into this Chinese restaurant my first week here. What a dump!

If this is "old Seattle" please rip it out and put in some more new high rise condos! Better restaurants will arrive with the new people who move in. This restaurant had crappy food. No real "foodie" would miss it.

For all you young'uns out there, Ernie Steele's was not the original name of the place. It was called Eileen's for about five hundred dog years and it was under that name when it became infamous as a place to hang out. When it changed to Ernie Steele's they chased out all the old alcoholics and actual drinkers replacing them with hipsters and grunge-poseurs. So you can bemoan Ernie Steele's all you want but it'd be like bemoaning a dive-themed casino in Vegas.

The Jade never sold out or compromised, probably because it's location guaranteed most of the clientele would be either heading out someplace or having a few before heading home. It was scummy and smelled of cigarettes, but it was a freaking bar!!! You didn't go there for pilates. Now all we have left are bars that remind me of the Regal Beagel, and not in a good way.


Yes, I stand corrected.

Actually Curtis is wrong here.

It was Ernie Steele's first.

Ernie Steele was a local football celebrity, and his brother owned the bar.

In the 80s and 90s on Broadway, it was one of three places to get breakfast at 6am. The other two were Minnies and.... Andy's Diner.

When they changed Ernie's to Eileens, they renamed the bar the "Ernie Room" as a remembrance.

Andy's, for those of you that do not remember, became the new home of Cafe Septieme once they vacated Belltown. They had an excellent $3 breakfast.

I'm sure everyone remembers waiting for service at Minnies.

matt is correct. ernie steele's was a capitol hill institution.

and andy's diner! god, i haven't heard mention of that place for ages. that $3 breakfast was one of the best deals in town and you would always run into someone there.

i think there were four breakfast spots, though. eggcetera? my memory is hazy but i do recall being knocked on my ass with foodborne illness from that joint.

those of you complaining about the food obviously don't drink enough. everyone knows the main reason to go to the jade was to get really drunk on cheap drinks and get into verbal sparring matches with burt. the patio was the best kept summer secret on broadway, back when it was open consistently til 2. now where is the next closest windowless bar where you can hide from the evil glowing orb in the sky?

ps - also one of the best jukeboxes around

Eggscetera! I had breakfast there the morning after senior prom, carrying my terrible dress in a garment bag, having spent the night at the Camlin with my boyfriend Josh (sorry, Mom). It was where Noah's Bagels currently resides.

Re: Ernie Steele's:

Ah the old Ernie's - way before "Eileen's" - that was a classy dive. Remember when no one could be drinking while standing, and no unaccompanied women could be seated at the bar? Those were ancient WA state liquor laws, but that crewcut bartender wasn't about to relax them. It was campy as hell.....

As far as the Jade and eating went, I'd sooner just swallow the bottle of Visene, thank you. But when was the dining room ever open?

i have never actually witnessed anyone eating in the restaurant. the place was all about the bar, although teh smoking ban ruined the place. i will miss this lovely bar.

Dear Pittsburgh Transplant,

Welcome to my city. I don't expect you to understand.



Heartbreaking indeed! I misspent a great deal of my 20's there and had even rented out the Jade for my 30th birthday party blowout and Pearl (the owner?) had made these delicious wonton smokies (wonton with smokie links in them).

Now I stand corrected. In my upsettedness over the Jade closing I forgot the timeline.

And the dining room was indeed open. A friend of mine from Hong Kong used to swear their fried rice was some of the best in Seattle and would swing through there on his way home some nights.

I also celebrated a couple of birthdays there but didn't so much "rent it out" as "take over the back patio by force of numbers."

Where else is there to drink on Capitol Hill for under $40? Charlie's? Bad Juju? Canterbury? I don't count The Comet unless they went to a full liquor license.

And I withdraw my "stand corrected". I thought I had it right the first time, but since most of the evenings I spent in the old Ernie's were in a state of inebriation so profound I usually thought the place was a magnet for all the city's twins, it's not surprising I might have been a tad confused.

Early 90s gone but not forgotten on Broadway

Rocket Pizza
Taqueria Express
Jimmy Woo's
Ernie Steeles / Eileens
Andy's Diner
Espresso Roma
The Villain
The Cramp

Still here enjoy em while they last

The Comet

<a href=>erosive esophagitis</a> all about

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