Old Timers Cafe

620 1st Avenue

Old Timers Cafe sidewalk seating, October 1976
The Old Timers Cafe entrance, January 1976
Contemporary photo of Doc Maynard's location

This eastern side of Front Street (today’s 1st Avenue) was originally anchored by Henry Yesler’s home, and then his Pavilion. After the Great Fire of 1889, Yesler’s massive seven-story Pioneer Building was built on the home’s former site, and his nephew J. D. Lowman (and business partner Clarence Hanford) built the Lowman & Hanford Building (616 Front Street) in the adjacent lot just north of the Howard Building. By 1939 the Old Timers Tavern was serving suds at 620 First Street. In February 1980 the cafĂ© began booking local rock and blues bands, but one particular night — October 23, 1980 — Bruce Springsteen stopped in unannounced and ending up sitting in with the otherwise obscure Lost Highway Band to jam on some classics including Them’s 1966 garage-rock gem “Gloria,” and Wilson Pickett’s immortal 1965 soul hit “In the Midnight Hour.”

Our next stop is around the corner on Cherry Street.

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