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Rebranded Smith Tower, Complete With 'Speakeasy,' Opens Tomorrow

Now the view comes with cocktails

Courtesy of Green Rubino

It hasn't all been smooth sailing for the historic Smith Tower, which struggled with high vacancy rates after the burst of the dot-com bubble in the early aughts and went up for sale in a foreclosure auction in 2012.

But Seattle's first skyscraper, once the tallest building west of the Mississippi, seems to be on the rebound. It was recently purchased by Unico Properties, a Seattle-based real estate investment and operating company, and has undergone a bit of a refresh and rebranding. Starting tomorrow, visitors can partake in an interactive, self-guided tour called "The Legends of Smith Tower," drink at a new, Depression-era-styled "speakeasy" in the observation deck, and shop at a ground floor mercantile.

Formerly known as the Chinese Room, the 35th floor observation deck has been renamed "the Smith Tower Observatory," and within it is the Smith Tower Temperance cafe and bar. The rebranding has retained the fetching details of the room, including its ornate ceiling tiles, carved wood Wishing Chair, and that stunning wrap-around, open-air viewing platform.

The biggest difference on the 35th floor is that you can now drink and eat while you admire a 360-degree view of the city. Light bites inspired by the Roaring Twenties, Prohibition, and the tower's Asian influence include banh mi sandwiches, Chinese dumplings, a raw oyster bar, and craft cocktails.

smith tower shop adam h. callaghan

Smith Tower Provisions on the ground floor.

To get to the observation deck and bar, you have two options: Pay for 40-minute, self-guided Legends of Smith Tower tour, which takes you through several interactive exhibits, or simply pay for a "Straight Up" ticket for an elevator ride to the 35th floor. The tour runs $19.14 for adults (a nod to the year the tower was completed), $14 for children ages 5 to 12, and $17 for seniors over 65 and military with ID. A Straight Up ticket is $10. No snacks or drinks are included in either ticket price. Another tour option, called "The Bootleg King," will launch this winter.

Finally, there's also a new general store, Smith Tower Provisions, located on the ground floor of the tower. Open to the public with no entry fee, it's stocked with gifts from local artisans, grocery staples like milk and eggs, a grab-and-go deli, and a soda fountain with floats and Full Tilt ice cream.

Here's a look at Temperance's menu: