The Pink Door

1919 Post Alley

There are stairs between Emmett Watson’s Oyster Bar (stop 8) and The Pink Door (stop 9).

The Pink Door entrance, Pike Place Market, August 21, 2019, HistoryLink photo by David Koch
The Pink Door interior, Pike Place Market, August 21, 2019, HistoryLink photo by David Koch
Performance stage, The Pink Door, Pike Place Market, August 21, 2019, HistoryLink photo by David Koch
The Pink Door displays, Pike Place Market, August 21, 2019, HistoryLink photo by David Koch
Patio, Pink Door, Seattle, July 26, 2011, Photo by Andy Piper (CC BY 2.0)
Pink Door bar, Seattle, October 16, 2008, Photo by Joe Mabel (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Pink Door interior, Seattle, October 2, 2008, Photo by Joe Mabel

It wasn’t intentional that this restaurant present itself as an almost-secret, offering no signage to indicate you’re at the right place — just a pink door. When owner Jackie Roberts’ intended sign, a striking neon piece, was declined to avoid potential disturbance of residents on the alley, she chose to skip the sign altogether.

The Fiddler’s Roundhouse music shop occupied part of this space in the 1970s, which was followed briefly by a woodworking shop; a bingo hall had been among other tenants in the building. Roberts was prepping a catering event in the then-vacant bingo space when she spied a pocket door, opened it and immediately envisioned this being home for the restaurant she’d been planning. At the time, this block of Post Alley was a working alley by day as trucks parked here to service businesses at the Pike Place level below. By night, it was dark, quiet, rather grim. The opening of The Pink Door in 1981 added life to the block, not the least by petitioning the city for street lights to help guests find the door.

Evolution of the space has included, one year after opening, transforming part of the adjacent empty rooftop into a dining patio — a favorite al fresco option in town. More recently came a move westward into the former Lisa Harris Gallery, complete with spectacular views. An iconic Market venue serving Italian cuisine with finesse, there’s entertainment as well, from aerialists to jazz, cabaret to tarot readings.

Just across Post Alley is your next stop.

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