The 5 Point was originally opened in 1929 by C. Preston Smith and his wife Frances. When Prohibition ended in 1933, and “Franklin Roosevelt said it was ok to drink beer”, business started booming. We’re now the longest run family eatery in Seattle and the oldest bar still in existence in Belltown. We’re known as one of the world’s best dive bars and diners, a dimly-lit working class dive that serves hearty, inexpensive, unpretentious eats with a usually crowded cocktail lounge serving up stiff drinks and raucous conversation.
Preston’s son Dick Smith took over the family business in 1975. Dick kept Preston’s tradition of large portions for good prices going, but also made The 5 Point legendary by pulling off all sorts of stunts.
Dick helped lead the successful political opposition to the Seattle Commons. He famously installed a periscope in the men’s room with a clear view of the Space Needle, which is now in almost every guidebook on Seattle. He rigged up a rooftop faucet to water the sidewalk and discourage the transients who loitered in front of the Five Point
In the late 70’s he argued with the City about the number of children living in the Denny Regrade – Dick knew the real number as he grew up there, the City council underestimated it, ignoring poorer children – so Dick spent $3,000 of his own money to build a somewhat illegal children’s park on a vacant lot at 3rd & Bell. He also caused controversy by hiring hot young waitresses to wear bikinis and roller skates and plug expiring parking meters in the neighborhood, leaving a flyer on the windows letting them know they were saved a parking ticket courtesy of The 5 Point.
Since Dick’s passing, The 5 Point is now owned by David Meinert, with some help from his girlfriend and former employee of Dick Smith, Mandy Park. We’re keeping the tradition of The 5 Point alive with the same long-term employees, great homemade food at good prices served 24 hours a day every day, and Seattle’s best jukebox.
The 5 Point will continue to reflect a vision very similar to Dick Smith’s. The chicken fried steak still weighs in at 11 ounces (“the biggest in Seattle”), and breakfast is always available 24 hours a day (as is the whole menu).
We still cheat tourists and drunks. And don’t be surprised to see bikini clad girls on roller-skates plugging neighborhood parking meters come spring.
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