A restaurant group led by chef Ethan Stowell has purchased the historic watering hole The Attic Alehouse in Madison Park and has plans to reopen the dive bar as early as April.
Stowell and Howard Wright, the President and CEO of Seattle Hospitality Group, this week closed the deal to buy the bar for undisclosed sum, with the goal of “preserving this Seattle history,” Stowell said.
This marks the second iconic bar that Stowell and Wright have purchased in the past two years. In 2021, the two dealmakers bought The Pike Brewing Company, and Stowell hinted this week that they’re open to buying other historic spots and reclamation projects in the future.
“It is a preservation thing,” Stowell said. “We would like to see other neighborhood institutions continue on. If we can help with that, we would be happy to take that on.”
Wright did not respond to an email seeking comment.
Stowell, who owns 14 restaurants in the Seattle area, said the 56-year old Attic bar will get new hardwood floors and other minor face-lift touches in the coming weeks; he vows that he has no intention of turning this haunt into anything fancy like his Goldfinch Tavern in the Four Seasons downtown.
Stowell, who also owns the restaurant How to Cook a Wolf a few doors from The Attic, wants to adorn the walls of the historic bar with sports memorabilia to hearken back to decades ago when the dive had a “cozy, ski lodge-like feel.” The menu will focus on classic pub grub from nachos to burgers, along with fried chicken sandwiches and French dip, he said.
By purchasing The Attic, Stowell and Wright take over a brand with ties to the community since 1907. The space went through several iterations, from bowling alley to shooting range before becoming a bar in 1937, and was later renamed The Attic in 1967, the late owner Mark Long told The Seattle Times in 2016. Under Long’s stewardship, the pub turned into that proverbial third place, where softball teams hung out after league games. Many locals had their first dates there, and families hosted celebration of life events.
“In the last 50 years, tons of parents have taken their kids here for their first beer. Watch Cougar and Husky games. This is like the neighborhood ‘Cheers,’” Stowell said.
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