Place Pigalle

81 Pike Street

Place Pigalle, Seattle, Courtesy Cynthia Nims
Place Pigalle exterior stairway, Pike Place Market, August 21, 2019, HistoryLink photo by David Koch
Place Pigalle Tavern, Pike Place Market, June 1972, Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives (36198)
Place Pigalle Tavern bar, Pike Place Market, 1975, Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives (34868)
Dan's Meats (foreground) and Place Pigalle Tavern (background) signs, Pike Place Market, Seattle, March 1967, Courtesy Seattle Public Library (spl_jl_cd_127_03)
La Salle Hotel and Place Pigalle Tavern, Pike Place Market, Photo by Mary Randlett

This stop offers the tour’s first prime evidence of the perch Pike Place Market has above Seattle’s bustling waterfront below, a view not obvious when walking through the main core along Pike Place. Place Pigalle is one jewel-box of a dining room. Its casual elegance today belies a past that has included some colorful chapters, a hint given by its name’s nod to the red-light district in Paris. Among its nefarious chapters are as the Lotus Inn (said to have been a popular speakeasy during Prohibition) and being conveniently adjacent to the LaSalle Hotel which, for a time, was a brothel established by the enterprising Nellie Curtis.

Before Place Pigalle was a restaurant, it was a tavern of the same name in the 1960s and 1970s, offering drinks, music and something of a gritty edge. The tavern was obligated to close in the late 1970s, allowing for Market building renovations. This provided an opportunity for its own renovation, reopening in 1981 as the restaurant it is today. French classics meet the Northwest on this menu, their bacon-spiked steamed mussels and calamari Dijonnaise among selections from the beginning.

Walk back out and turn left at Pike Place Fish Market (famous for their fish-tossing), nodding to the life-size bronze Rachel the piggybank on your right (and drop something in, if so inclined, to support the Market’s social service programs), then head north through the Main Arcade.

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