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Monday, January 21, 2008

Andy’s Diner 1947-2008

posted by on January 21 at 10:36 AM


Sad news about Andy’s Diner, Sodo’s beloved coalition of retired train cars, has apparently abruptly closed its doors. From suddenly former Andy’s bartender Mel C.:

After being open since 1947, Andy’s Diner has closed it doors. Employees like myself were not given any notice of its closure. Andy’s diner which boasts the “presidential” car which FDR toured in during his campaign and his famous pictures were taken had to close, apparently due to finances.

The employees included “Millie” an Andy’s veteran who had worked there for 43 years, “Tom” who had been a busboy and dishwasher for 18 years “Sandra” who once graced the pages of Brazil Playboy and a list of other colorful characters that no matter how gloomy times may have seemed still came to work and did their jobs with style and grace. It’s sad to see this Seattle landmark go. Of course I’m not sure if that will happen, but with the property it sits on who knows what will become of Andy’s Diner. This was a place where martini lunches were a norm and many a business deal was struck that changed the look and feel of the Seattle we know today.

Phone calls to Andy’s Diner have gone unanswered. (And is for sale.)

(Photo from the lovely neon sign collection at

(UPDATE: Originally and accidentally posted late last night, with locale erroneously specified as “Georgetown.”)

RSS icon Comments


Is Georgetown expanding or something? I always thought Andy's was pretty solidly SoDo.

Posted by Mac | January 20, 2008 10:26 PM

If I'd known one of The Spice Girls was a bartender there, I would have gone more often.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | January 20, 2008 10:50 PM

Used to go there a lot. You could hear a pin drop most days. Nice club sandwich, though.

Posted by Big Sven | January 20, 2008 11:20 PM

It is so not Georgetown there. Nowhere near Georgetown.

And, dammit, I wish we'd had some advance notice to go there one more time.

Posted by litlnemo | January 20, 2008 11:31 PM

God this city is losing its flavor. Come on down Bellevue! The Cold storage in Georgetown, Andys, the Jade, The Sunset...fuck! fuck! fuck! Ive been wasted many a times in Andys playing pull tabs wandering around the presidential car...Im gonna miss that place.

Posted by Pinky | January 21, 2008 12:08 AM

Photo credit, anyone? Anyone?

Posted by brappy | January 21, 2008 12:35 AM

This is truly a damn, damn shame. I was in there on Friday night, and had no idea.

I did hear someone talking about how "the restaurant's rent has gone up to 15k a month" but I didn't think they were talking about Andy's. Since it's been there so long, I assumed they owned the land. And they could have been talking about some other restaurant.

It would be great is someone could step in and save it, but that's probably a pipe dream. It was one of the last fun little hidden places, like Vito's used to be, or that bar in the Moore Hotel.

How will they ever move those train cars?

Posted by catalina vel-duray | January 21, 2008 7:31 AM

Bummer. I had a birthday party there a couple years ago. Good memories there.

Posted by Clint | January 21, 2008 8:37 AM

@ 7: you'd be surprised what you can do with cranes.

put this same grouping of train cars on roosevelt, say on the rental car lot by der bier stube, and its a yuppie's dream diner.

location location location.

Posted by max solomon | January 21, 2008 9:21 AM

Greg Nickels' DPD marketing sloagan: "We Love Wrecking Your Town!".

I'll pretend to act shocked, and you pretend to believe me.

Posted by tpn | January 21, 2008 9:50 AM

Oh shit. They had the best monte cristo in the city. And train cars! I am inconsolable.

Posted by it's ME | January 21, 2008 10:44 AM

I really wish I'd known about this place before this. I had no clue.

Posted by Ryan | January 21, 2008 10:59 AM

@7 i was there on friday, too. crazy.

Posted by infrequent | January 21, 2008 11:13 AM

Sorry to see the buildings go, and loved the vibe there, but easily the shittiest meal I've ever had here in Seattle. Worse than excreable.

Posted by Fay Jai | January 21, 2008 11:15 AM

Frankly, I ate there too and it sucked. Really bad omelet, swimming in grease, stringy, greasy French fries.
A charm that is entirely faded. The Seven Gables is similar: moldy faded carpet with rats running in front of the chairs, before the screen.

Posted by vesuvius | January 21, 2008 11:25 AM

The only real attraction to the place was the opportunity to eat in a railcar.

Which still can be done on the way to Mt. Rainier.

The food was never all that good (in either place...)

Posted by NapoleonXIV | January 21, 2008 11:29 AM

Gotta agree- if their food was even 1% as cool as the vibe - the place would have been great.

Their food was really terrible!!! I remember ordering a "turkey dinner" there and wondering if it had been scooped out of a TV dinner.

Posted by aaa | January 21, 2008 11:32 AM

The food sucked, and the ambience was ruined by suspicious waitstaff. It felt like eating in a diner in Colfax or something, which is not to say that is without its charms. I wonder if the ghosts will go when they move the cars?

Posted by bronkitis | January 21, 2008 11:56 AM

fucking condos.

Posted by cochise | January 21, 2008 12:15 PM

Funny, I thought it closed years ago. Seriously- I remember going there way back in the 70's (yes, The Dr. is older than dirt), and I was sorta surprised to read that it *just* closed. It looked sorta grimy and abandoned every time I've been down in that area.

Like the Doghouse in its last few years, Seattle's notable icons seem to lose their luster years before their final exit.

As long as Pecos Pit is still servin' up spiked BBQ sandwiches, Seattle will still have a soul.

Posted by Dr_Awesome | January 21, 2008 12:28 PM

@7: I drove by Andy's on Friday night, on my way home to West Seattle, and was thisclose to stopping in.

Lamenting the loss of old school Seattle is far too commonplace these days. We have lost too many culturally significant places in a very short period of time.

Dive bars, old-timey diners, 24-hour spots...they all serve a purpose.

I will never forget sitting at the bar in the Gay '90's, next to an old man that lived in the low income apartments upstairs. My eyes were saucers when I saw what he was drinking: bourbon and milk. In the same glass.

Every city needs places like the '90's, the aforementioned old Vito's, the Dome Tavern, Sorry Charlie's, the Mirror, and countless other joints that are now shuttered.

The Cheesecake factory stands where the Gay '90's once was. Down the street, Nike Town anchors a block that was once home to Abruzzi's, the finest pizzeria I've ever known in the 206.

I know this old people talk, and I've said it before, but I seriously miss something new almost every day. There are time that I barely recognize the city in which I was born.

Posted by kerri harrop | January 21, 2008 12:30 PM

Ahhhhh....Bourbon and Milk heard about it and not soon after ordered it in the only place worthy of the drink left in this city....The Turf downtown. Not as bad as you would think, I'd order it again. (And, ya gotta admit, better then Joe Don Baker's drink of choice in the craptacular "Heaven's Prisoners"...Bourbon and Peptol Bismol. THAT is disgusting...

Posted by Fay Jai | January 21, 2008 12:40 PM

I blame all you cool hipsters for not going regularly and finally starting live music nights as the reason Andy's is closed (A La Jules Maes one-time fate).

Posted by diana | January 21, 2008 12:44 PM

Alas. Just about everything I loved about this town is being torn down or yuppied up. I wish I'd known Andy's was closing so soon. And I wish I'd known they were tearing down the neon Fuzzy Wuzzy Rug sign on Fourth Avenue South, too (would have looked great in my backyard). R.I.P.

Posted by Verna Beaver's Hair Salon | January 21, 2008 3:21 PM

"The only real attraction to the place was the opportunity to eat in a railcar.

Which still can be done on the way to Mt. Rainier. "

It can? By whom? on what? The Spirit of Washington is dead, you know.

Speaking of bad food - at least Andy's was cheap. SOW was both ridiculously expensive AND ridiculously awful.

And the food wasn't all that bad at Andy's. The last few months it had actually gotten better. I'd heard they were under new management. I guess I heard wrong.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | January 21, 2008 3:44 PM

Peco's Pit gave me DIARRHEA! Fuck that place in the mouth, forever!

Posted by RunnyBunny | January 21, 2008 4:31 PM

Not a moving railcar, CV-D, but a stationary rail-car based restaurant just outside of Elbe, on the way to Paradise.

At least it was there last time I went through, a couple years ago.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | January 21, 2008 4:33 PM

It's too bad. I cooked there in 2000, and really liked the place. Millie and Tom were great. They had a kick-ass lunch business, but nighttime was pretty slow.

Posted by playswithknives | January 21, 2008 5:59 PM

[i]Peco's Pit gave me DIARRHEA! Fuck that place in the mouth, forever![/i]

Well, fine. I'll never ever venture farther away from home than Redmond ever, ever again. The model Space Needle at Gold Creek on Highway 203 will be as close as I get to the real thing for ever more.

Posted by Dr_Awesome | January 21, 2008 6:13 PM

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