After visiting us for breakfast or lunch, head out our doors and turn north (left) and you’ll find the original Starbucks across the street a couple minutes walk. The crowd is always there and you won’t have trouble finding them with all of the colorful busker’s (street musicians) playing and singing out front!
Starbuck’s started as a local coffee bean roaster and retail coffee machine seller back in 1971. Donald Shultz bought Starbuck’s from the original owners in 1985, and with his marketing degree and excellent head for business, expanded Starbucks into the global empire of coffee!
Lowell’s has an interesting tie-in with Starbuck’s, as we were the original restaurant customer to buy & serve Starbuck’s coffee, back when they were a “small guy”; before they became our famous world-traveling neighbor they are today. Go into a Starbucks in Japan and you’ll see bags of “Pike Place Market Blend” coffee blend for sale, as you will in any one of their 23,000+ stores worldwide!
Lowell’s original owner started roasting coffee (and peanuts) back in the early 1900’s to serve to local produce laborers, fish sellers and horse drawn wagon drivers bringing in products from surrounding farms. This then turned us into “Manning’s Coffee” (which also canned coffee in the familiar blue can) to retail (one of these cans sits atop our back-bar on the 2nd floor) before Reid Lowell bought their coffee shop and turned us into Lowell’s (cafeteria) in 1957.
Always using the best small batch local coffee sources, we have switched coffee roasters a couple times, when little guys became huge guy’s, so we can always offer the FRESHEST beans roasted the same day we call in our order, and delivered the following day by these small artesian roasters.
While visiting Lowell’s Restaurant & Bar, take a look at our vintage photographs that we framed for our stairwell heading up to the 3rd floor, and see the first coffee roasting and retailer from 19o6, us! Linda Lowell-Stanton, Reid Lowell’s daughter, gave us these pictures from her family scrapbooks to preserve our legacy in Pike Place Market, and we love her for it!
The Lowell’s family stops in once in a while and we chat about the old times, when they were growing up working in their father’s place. When Bill & Sue Chatalas bought Lowell’s from Reid back in the early eighties, their son’s were raised working the family business also, continuing this tradition.
Lowell’s authentic “old Seattle living room of the market experience” can’t be marketed globally, as we are only one piece of the quilted fabric that makes up the longest operating true public market in the United States, and all the facets contributing to our success cannot be cloned. Being a source of one, with returning guests from decades back, assures that some things can still be depended on when returning to Seattle! A clean and well lit hide-away as natural and warm as a comfy sweater and mug of fresh roasted coffee!
Our tradition is one we happily maintain, a continuing family owned and operated business with a famous neighbor we love directing guest’s towards. As you pass other family vendors, knitted together for decades to form a whole, bask in the history. We have over 200 neighbors with 200 stories, each one unique, local and fresh. Get to know them all, as the stories are as varied as the families making up our neighborhood, and what’s better than a great story?