Constructed in 1925, this building’s first tenants included the Minni Belle Fountain Lunch restaurant at 418 NW 65th Street and West Woodland Hardware at 416 NW 65th Street. Just east of the building, at 412 NW 65th Street, White Rock Service Station was providing automobile services for vehicles in the neighborhood.
Business was booming on NW 65th Street in the 1920s as the West Woodland District continued to grow. Minni Belle’s closed about 1936, and West Woodland Hardware took over the coveted corner retail space where they would operate until moving to 501 NW 65th Street in 1944.
The New Woodland District Hall:
In 1937, the West Woodland District moved it’s district hall into the space previously occupied by West Woodland Hardware at 416 NW 65th Street. The original Woodland Hall, which is still standing at 419 NW 60th Street, became a grocery store for the growing neighborhood.
At the new location, several community groups were able to conduct business on behalf of the West Woodland Neighborhood. One of these groups was the West Woodland Commercial Club (WWCC), a grassroots organization that had previously been meeting in homes and public spaces. The WWCC organized Klondike Days, a two-day neighborhood celebration that included a parade, games of chance, music and dancing. The club also acted on behalf of the business district and neighborhood petitioning the City of Seattle for funds to improve roadways and other public services.
Another group that moved into the new West Woodland Hall was a social movement called Technocracy. The “technocrats” proposed replacing politicians and business people with scientist and engineers who had the technical expertise to manage the economy. This group grew in popularity during the 1930s, and all but disappeared after the start of WWII.
In 1944, the building was again full of food and laughter when Marcella’s Tavern Café opened its doors. For the next 60+ years the location changed names many times; Ben’s Tavern opened in the late 1940s, Dan’s Tavern in the 1950s, and Hagar’s Tavern in the 1980s. Most neighbors remember Hagar’s because of the risque mural that once covered the west facing exterior wall of the building. More recently, this building has been home to the Reading Gaol and 418 Public House.
The White Rock Service Station has been closed for many years, but you can still see the cement footprint of the station building in the NE corner of the lot.
There have been few changes made to the exterior facade of this building. The southeast corner has been modified so there is no longer an entrance and retail windows at that address. Several doors and windows have been modified on the north side of the building as well. Still present, the diamond roof-line embellishments and exaggerated external columns.
The property was put on the market Summer 2014 and sold Spring 2016. For additional sales information click HERE.
The black & white photos, courtesy the Puget Sound Archives, show the NE corner of 5th Ave NW and NW 65th in 1937 and 1944.