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Downtown’s Historic Fairmont Olympic Hotel Plans to Unveil New Bar April 30

There will be tea service on weekends

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An ornate wood-accented round bar in the middle of Seattle’s historic Fairmont Olympic Hotel
The Fairmont Olympic Hotel will have a new lobby bar this spring, with an ornate throwback design.
Fairmont Olympic [Official Photo]

Some old school swank is getting an upgrade. After undergoing a multi-million dollar restoration, the historic 97-year-old Fairmont Olympic Hotel on University Street aims to unveil its new lobby bar on April 30, the centerpiece of the building’s revival.

When it opens, the Olympic Bar will offer daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner service, and will feature afternoon tea on Saturdays and Sundays beginning May 8. Menu details are still coming into focus, but hotel rep Kristy Mendes promises “approachable American cuisine” with local and seasonal ingredients, as well cocktails, wine, and beer that primarily highlight Pacific Northwest purveyors.

In addition to the main bar, there will eventually be a speakeasy-style library bar reachable through a hidden bookcase entrance behind the lobby. And, after closing in 2015, the iconic Georgian Room is slated to reopen later this year as a maritime-themed establishment. Other dining options that are already open include oyster bar Shuckers and a small espresso bar off 4th Avenue.

The Fairmont Olympic opened in 1924 as a 12-story luxury hotel designed with nods to the Italian Renaissance, envisioned as a nightlife destination for Seattle socialites and an elegant attraction for tourists. In the latter part of the 20th century, it went through a series of management changes, with the likes of Westin and the Four Seasons at various points, before Fairmont Hotels & Resorts took over in 2003.

The big renovation project for the hotel’s public spaces began in January 2020 (a few years after a $25 million restoration of the guest rooms and corridors), and has been the largest overhaul for the building in 40 years. Now, nearly 100 years after its birth, the Olympic hopes to get those roaring 20s vibes going once again.