Seattle Times staffers share their 13 Coins memories

In honor of the closure of South Lake Union’s 13 Coins on New Year’s Day (after 50 years!) some Seattle Times staffers shared their favorite memories there — the high-backed captain’s chairs, the white Russians, the interviews and more. Share your own with us here.

 

Those chairs. Those glorious brown Naugahyde counter chairs are what I loved most about 13 Coins. Turn one to the right, climb on in, spin back toward the counter and watch the show at the grill like Captain Kirk commanding warp speed. Men in white shirts with sweaty brows chucking flaming frying pans of eggs or meat or pasta. Didn’t matter, it was all bathed in butter or oil, slid onto the plate and served oh-so-hot, while you sat tucked into your own little brown vinyl booth-for-one, picking over a battered silver boat of salami, pepperoncinis, olives and pickled veggies, occasionally catching the eye of another counter diner, like you were each having a secret lunch with yourself.”

— Nicole Brodeur, columnist

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“A few of us took Jerry Brewer there for his going-away. He fell asleep over his plate of spaghetti.”

— Rich Boudet, Sunday sports editor

 

“Nothing about 13 Coins made sense. You could order a $30 double-bucket of clams at 3 a.m. Tourists in white T-shirts sat at those pleather booths next to Amazon executives in another. And while millennials glued to their phones swarmed the neighborhood around the restaurant, most of the 13 Coins clientele seemed to be enjoying retirement. Indeed, I once saw two vans from an assisted-living facility parked outside. A driver told me the residents wanted to do happy hour. It was 3:30 p.m.”

— Paige Cornwell, staff reporter

 

“Dad was a traveling salesman after leaving the music business. When I was a teen, he’d sometimes take me on his trips — nice to get out of Vancouver, Washington. On visits to Seattle, he once took me to the 13 Coins near Sea-Tac airport and ordered sautéed cow balls for me or something, I don’t remember. When I came to The Seattle Times the first time I worked here in the early 2000s and saw the 13 Coins next door, it was like I was home. Dad died a few years ago. When 13 Coins leaves SLU, I’m pretty sure I’ll be thinking about him.”

— Doreen Marchionni, deputy metro editor

 

“Japanese ballplayers and exotic dancers hang out at 13 Coins for…

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