Alki Tavern closure countdown: Scenes from the auction

(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
Most business-fixture auctions are anti-climactic … days or weeks after the shutdown, with the business space a near-empty echo of its past. But Alki Tavern, ending its 38-year run this Sunday, decided not to do it that way. Tavern owner Gill McLynne (above) decided to auction off the memorabilia last night – in a raucous atmosphere among friends, with the tavern still open and rocking. WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams was there. No surprise, it drew a crowd:

Adam Price served as auctioneer:

Any winning bid was cause for celebration – here’s Marshall Thomas to celebrate:

Ahead, some of what was bid on – no, not all beer signs!

Patrons were raising numbers as well as glasses:

Steven Bartel removed his Marilyn Monroe tin sign from the wall after winning it:

The Tavern has long held a Janis Joplin image too:

It drew Sandy Murray‘s attention:

Some of the memorabilia was personal – Tom Herron, below left, and Jack Van Campen read a note on the wall of Alki Tavern saying that she met her husband in the bar. (Herron also met his spouse at Alki Tavern.)

Here’s that note:

But the notes of the night on Wednesday were the handwritten bidding cards:

Many beer signs, of course. Some with brands you’d recognize anywhere – Meagan Smith held up a sign with the Clydesdales:

Then, there was Alki Ale, brewed just for Alki Tavern:

Moose Drool Brown Ale, touted by the sign that Rick Whittier took down:

Fat Tire:

The neon signs were tested as the auction proceeded:

They lent a glow to the memory-filled room.

One by one, the items went, mirrors included:

Here’s Meagan again, this time with Coors Light memorabilia:

And the call for bids continued:

In the end, it’s only rock ‘n’ roll:

So, a toast from the auctioneer:

And now it’s on to the final four nights. Tonight, one last Taco Thursday – tomorrow, the Last Call Ball, with Tim Turner Band, Randy Hansen, Child, “and other special guests” – as promised by the tavern’s poster – starting at 8 pm. Right now, no live music’s planned during the weekend, as the Alki Tavern’s time at 1321 Harbor Avenue comes semi-quietly to a close.

P.S. No specific development proposal on the books for the site yet – we’ve checked the city files again.

15 Replies to "Alki Tavern closure countdown: Scenes from the auction"

  • Lizard March 14, 2013 (2:21 pm)

    Love the photos!

  • Buckhorn Ice Not on Tap March 14, 2013 (7:43 pm)

    I was always afraid to go in that tavern. Looked too rough for my taste. Plus, I heard they didn’t serve Buckhorn Ice.

  • fred b. March 14, 2013 (8:37 pm)

    I’m wounded, do you hear. Wounded! When living on Alki, I took all my straight-laced Midwest visitors there to put a little twist in their linen. This is tearing my heart out. (whimper)

  • WTF March 14, 2013 (9:10 pm)


    It’s just sad that we’ve risen to our own level of deterioration….sad that “progress” has taken a front seat to local, home town tradition. Miss you guys already. But, see you Saturday night…tears are a comin’.

  • DM March 14, 2013 (9:22 pm)

    Thanks for all the photos!!!! Fred B, I agree: is tearing my heart out. Am also whimpering.

  • P.S. March 14, 2013 (11:45 pm)

    Breaks my heart. First Shipwreck, now Alki? What’s the next Tavern on the chopping block? The West is changing. For the worse.

  • Alkidoc March 15, 2013 (12:04 am)

    last call for tacos! …..
    Gonna miss you guys – Gil Megan Andy Adam and the whole crowd. This is the first bar I ever went to in WS seven years back – will always remember it (ESP taco thurs) you guys totally rock.

  • abuseintake March 15, 2013 (5:56 am)

    …just a dive-bar folks. Hopefully the boomers will move the Harleys to Lynwood or Fife…

  • Gunnar March 15, 2013 (9:38 am)

    The folks that built the nearby condominiums were the ones responsible for the demise of the Alki Tavern. When they built them and the new tenants moved in, the purr & roar of American steel were too much for them on Taco Thursdays.
    I do sincerely miss the rumble of the bikes up & down the Fairmont gully road.

  • Roy March 15, 2013 (12:27 pm)

    The great burgers, the leaky roof and my ex dancing on the table. This town is dying.

  • Xtina March 15, 2013 (2:31 pm)

    That Meagan Smith is one foxy chic! Good times at the Alki Tavern with Megan and Mew Mix!

  • scammy206 March 16, 2013 (5:30 pm)

    This is terrible i say lets riot i met my wife here and went to high school with little gill this is the best bar in seattle hands down its sad whats happening here guess at least seattle is still cool with smoking pot this place always was thanks to years of the best memories i love you guys and tears will come sunday

  • Keith March 16, 2013 (8:08 pm)

    Great photos! Thanks for the memories.

  • Timera Coates Worthen March 17, 2013 (8:57 am)

    So, so many memories of this place….Played Woman’s softball for them for years. We went in after the games, drank beer, flirted with the boys that came to support us, shot pool and threw darts! Thank goodnes we all lived close!!
    Thanks for ALL the good times and your support!!
    I will miss the only great Tavern on Alki!!!!

  • Mary Guiberson (mom of Kyle Mclynne-Guibetson) March 17, 2013 (1:34 pm)

    Sorry to see history fade….Excited to see what the future holds! Best of luck to; Gill Sr,, Cathy, Gilly & Fletcher….Luv to All B-)

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