Critic's Notebook

Wow, That’s a Huge…!

Seattle restaurants with enormous decor.

By Kathryn Robinson September 22, 2016

Walruscarpenter 0 ytahya

Just look at the size of that chandelier. 

“Longest Bar in Seattle,” brags the sign on the window at Dino’s Tomato Pie. (Okay...not really the longest. Hyperbole is Dino's calling card.) The irony is that Dino’s might very well have been able to actually claim the biggest chandelier-over-a-corner-booth, which—in authentic homage to the tomato pie dives of Jersey—they have, right over there, back in the corner.

It got me thinking about other restaurants with super-sized decorative elements. The tandem bike suspended from the ceiling at Bizzarro, or the big-ass angel gazing down from the loft at Altura. The gilt mirror on the west wall of Loulay or the clacking wine board at RN74—neither of which I want to be anywhere near during the Big One.

And: Will one find the bigger clock within the Bavarian acreage of Rhein Haus, or behind the bar at Tallulah’s?

Some of these grandiosities have intriguing origin stories, like the freakishly large chandelier in the basement Back Bar at Bastille, which owners Deming Maclise and James Weimann discovered once hung at a long-gone private club down the street called the Shilshole Ballroom. Or the inimitable Medusalike chandelier of Walrus and the Carpenter, which owner Renee Erickson and a friend rescued from the dirt of an antique yard in Los Angeles, weeds growing through its coral-like appendages.   

New places seem particularly fond of size, judging from the jumbo ceiling fan spinning in the rafters above the glorious Upper Bar Ferdinand, or the 4-foot-wide disco ball hanging over the corner booth at Stateside’s new bar, Foreign National.

Apparently size matters.

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