Old University Village appreciation post

With the news yesterday of the Miller-Pollard store at University Village closing (and a Microsoft store opening in its place), there’s been a lot of chat on twitter about University Village and the other stores that used to be there.

University Village in 1962 (from the Seattle Municipal Archives; click to view a larger version)

And, as much as I tire of hearing about all the cool things that USED TO BE in this area, I thought I might open up a post so we could remember the good old days of Ernst, Lamonts and the Village Lanes that used to be down the street.

To get things started, here are some of the things that the Ravenna Blog tweeps (“twitter peeps”) have had to say about both the old and the new University Village  (I’m updating it through the day):

  • maggim Miller Pollard was awful enough, now we have to have the blight of a Microsoft store on our precious village? #bahhumbug
  • SarahSchacht Oooh! The drama! Apple & Microsoft Stores to face off, glaring at each other from across the U Village parking lot in Seattle.
  • RavennaBlog I can’t wait for the rumbles in the parking lot a la West Side Story! #MSFTvsAPPL
  • maggim When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way, from your first MacBook Pro to your last iPod day. @sarahschacht
  • NorthESea Yep. I will miss Miller Pollard for sentimental reasons. I remember wandering around that store as a kid.
  • lukobe Oh no! The transformation of University Village is nearly complete…. now all they have to do is get rid of the Ram
  • CamanoCommunity I remember Lamonts. Hell, I remember Rhodes. Geez…
  • SivPrince I still miss Lamonts and Ernest hardware. #olduvillage
  • NorthESea Yes! When I went to Roosevelt HS you used to be able to take bowling, at Village Lanes, as a gym credit. And I’m not that old!
  • arrrmin Yeah, the U-Village bowling alley was where Office Depot is now…and Lamonts department store is where QFC is now!
  • pokano QFC used to be where Restoration Hardware, etc. is. There used to be a wonderful little plant store across from it.
  • pokano @arrrmin No, QFC bought the old Carnation dairy. The old Lamont’s is where Barnes & Noble & Eddie Bauer are now.
Neighborhood: What do you remember about the early days of University Village? Leave your recollections in the comments.

Comments

  1. I should note that I’m not that old (you may care to disagree: I was born in 1975). I still remember fondly:
    * Ernst/Malmo
    * QFC in its old location (now Restoration Hardware)
    * Mom’s (diner)
    * The Sandwich Board (now Delfino’s) (excellent donuts)
    * Lamonts (now B&N)
    * The old dairy (now QFC, Public Storage)
    * Sab-Tec… great stationers (now in the vicinity of the Apple Store/Victoria’s Secret/Mercer)
    * Pay’n’Save (see Sab-Tec)
    * The bowling alley (now Office Depot)
    * Fiorinisports (see Sab-Tec)

    Thank God Lee’s Keys and the Ram are still there, otherwise I don’t know if I’d recognize the place! (Though Lee’s moved. I think the Ram may be one of the only places I remember from the old days that is still in the same location. Pasta & Co., too, maybe. Didn’t A La Francaise close?)

    Oh–and wouldn’t it have been great if the RCA had managed to get U Village to allow a daylighted Ravenna Creek to flow across the property? At least it’s no longer flowing into a sewer…

    • Oh dear. Depending on your birth month and day, I may be the old one between us! 1975 here as well.

      My husband grew up nearby in Laurelhurst and he remembers most of this stuff, too. Even the dairy. During the dating years, he and I would go to the U Village for this or that. I miss that stationery store a lot (Papyrus has the paper, but not the pens et al).

    • I remember when the building the Ram is in now, was an A&P! We’re talking early ’70s now, before A&P closed all their stores in this part of the country.

      There was also a cool hobby store, with lots of model trains and such, right in the center of that inside pedestrian court/walkway/whatever.

      I also got gym credit for bowling at Village Lanes while attending Roosevelt. The bridge over 20th Ave NE just north of Ravenna Blvd was still open to car traffic at that point, as I remember driving that way to get to school after bowling class.

    • I remember the village in the mid 70’s, it was like a little community as I worked at the VIctorian Parlor across the street from the QFC. In later years Dora sold the Parlor and the name changed to Mom’s. The Victorian Parlor was a sandwich shop and ice cream parlor. They had the best hot fudge and Dora and her family were wonderful people to have as a first employer. To this day I remember some of our regulars, Ned and Emil and the security guard for the village too. Fun times!

  2. Bowled there, shopped at Ernst & Pay n’ Save, & still own a pair of shoes I bought at Lamont’s in the ’70’s. Anyone else remember the Turbulent Turtle restaurant? Lots of memories in the more simple & laid back days…

  3. Ordinary Folk says:

    I miss Lamonts and Ernst too–I could afford to shop there. Not at the new U-Vlg, too upscale, too pricey everywhere. We only go for coffee and Bartells, now.

  4. old 34th street kid says:

    The perfect day was to ride your bike to the village, you could go to bowling alley, then hop over to A&P looking for samples, stop by the donut shop and take an elevator ride in Rhodes. After that over to Woolworths to check out the fish and birds then out the back door to the hobby shop. Next stop was G. O. Guys where .25 cents could get you a coke and a plate of fries. You had to pay seperatly to save the penny tax. Then id was off to the frog pond to catch a few tadpols before heading home. Summers were great!

  5. I moved here 22 years ago and I remember U Village as such a sleepy little mall. I did like having Ernest there. I remember wondering how well an outdoor mall could do in this climate.

    I like some things about U Village but sometimes it feels a little snobby over there.

  6. I remember Rhodes (local dept. store) before Lamont’s. And there was even a Woolworth’s (old-time “dime store”) in approximately the location of Papyrus — about 35 years ago.
    Does anyone know how the Village went upscale? New owner a few years ago?

  7. I remember that Roosevelt Hight School offered a first period Bowling Class as a PE class until they tore down the lanes. In addition to the Ernst here used to be a lumber yard where the Silver Cloud Inn is too. Inside the village there was actually parking and stores that I would shop at, these days I’ll hit the Radio Shack, B&N, and Bartells Drugs but don’t have much use for the rest of the shops.

  8. Back in the early 80s I used to go to the Coin-Op Laundry place at U Village. I think Starbucks is there now.

  9. dave in seattle says:

    I remember the soda fountain at woolworths, the out of style clothes at rhodes dept store, one of the first starbucks opening around 1972, across from qfc. the beef and brew restaurant that had one of the first salad bars in seattle. and the bookstore owned by the two ladies prior to barnes and noble.

  10. Belvedere Terrace says:

    What about Flakey Jakes?

  11. Ole' Clem McGee says:

    Listen to you whippersnappers! I used to go down to One-Eyed Smitties tradin’ post down there; 3 beaver pelts and a few coon tails would fix me up with enough hard tack and bear grease to last the winter!

  12. How about the donut shop? The Wedge, Bernie’s Bagels, The Hobby Shop, SportsWest, Pay’N’Save, the lunch counter at Woolworth’s? Ah, good times!

  13. ravennagrad says:

    My dad remembers the gardening that happened there…before the mall was developed. I remember going to Ernest and going to the independent bookstore to get a required book for a philosophy class at Roosevelt in 1972.

    We went to Lamonts–very affordable. we used to travel 25th ave to church on Capital hill every sunday…so we watched the village grow and develop over the years. I still remember when the mcdonalds opened up–and I couldn’t understand how anyone could like their hamburgers—they were small and cheap and wimpy in the late 1960’s.

  14. FormerBallardRes says:

    Mr Peepers, anyone? Near where Papyrus is currently. I recall that it was a toy store, possibly with clothing for kids.

  15. Postguy365 says:

    Used to be a Putt-Putt just east of the Village Lanes, circa late ’50’s-early’60’s. You can see it in the photo, the little square just to the right of Bowl. My buddy and I used to walk down the hill past the cemetery to golf, and if it started to rain we’d go in and bowl. Also, there was Ray’s Thriftway over in the southwest corner. I think QFC was there for a while after Ray’s. I remember I bought my first Bob Dylan record (mono – a buck cheaper than stereo) at Rhodes.

  16. Swanney40 says:

    I used to be able to buy underwear at U Village. Now I could get 500 kinds of candles, but no underwear.

    • I dunno. I see a few kinds of underwear, but one store that sells $40 candles.

      From most of these responses, I feel like there’s a group of people who just don’t feel the need to go down there any more. As for me, I’m in it for the cupcakes.

  17. My husband and I went on our first date at The Village Lanes, when we were in high school. I wish we still had good bowling alleys nearby. :(

  18. I think I grew up at the Village. My friend and I started walking from our houses on 28th on Saturdays and at least once a week in the Summer, 1960, especially. We saw JP Patches at Pay ‘N Save, bought my first Barbie at Woolworths, stood outside of a bakery and watched while they decorated cakes… sometimes they gave out samples, got free wallpaper samples to cut out paper doll clothes, touring the Carnation factory and getting ice cream at the end…

  19. Does anyone remember Pan Asia? How about that little deli in the corner by what now is Barnes and Noble? I think it is an Italian restaurant now. The deli had THE BEST chocolate doughnuts. Every Sat. after swim lessons and View Ridge we would go there for a doughnut. I wish I could have one of those doughnuts right now!

  20. There was a little sandwich shop in the corner by (what now is) Barnes And Noble). I believe there is an Italian restaurant there now. They had THE BEST chocolate doughnuts-would get one every Sat. in the summer after swimming lessons at View Ridge. Oh yes, and Pan Asia!

  21. Lisa - View Ridge says:

    I worked at that Donut Shop for 3 years in high school. If you ever got a free donut it was probably during those years ;-). The Ram wasn’t the original inhabitant of that site… it was MULLIGANS!! I miss Bronka, Diva, Gil Stearn Shoes, Kays bookmark along with all the others already mentioned. I liked Mom’s diner but they always had a lot of fruit flies the last few years. Everyone in NE Seattle bought their undies at Lamonts.

  22. @Lisa — I think before it was Mulligan’s, it was … The Turbulent Turtle :-)

  23. @Lisa — I think before it was Mulligan’s, it was … The Turbulent Turtle :-)

  24. Born in ’63 and remember it all. Loved riding my bike to the village, stopping at Taco Time along the way (it was in the southwest corner of the Safeway parking lot) for mexi fries. Playing pinball at the Lanes, buying Bubs Daddies at Woolworths, and sitting in front of Kays Bookmark painting our fingernails. My first job was at the old QFC as a bag girl, Fiorinis was the best ski store in the city (worked there later, as well as Miller Pollard). Loved shopping with my dad at Ernst and mom at A & P. and does anyone remember when the cows were stolen from the front lawn of Carnation? Or how about Little Luigi’s in Burgermaster?
    They had the best meatballs. I still have a book of matches from Pay N Save…can’t use them, i just like to look at them and remember the good old days of the Village. Miss those mom and pop stores. Now the Shoe Zoo is closing too.

  25. Flipian says:

    Former Don’s Hobbies employee here. I miss the heck out of that store. RIP Don.

  26. I have long and deep memories of the U Village. 1) My dad used to park in the U Village lot and we’d walk to Husky Stadium during those great 1960 – 1961 seasons. 2) Sometimes we’d see Coach Jim Owens and a couple of his players eating at Clarks Restaurant. 3) There was a music store there where my sister would spend her allowance for 45 rpms. That was in the late 50’s because songs were like “Gingerbread” by Frankie Avalon. 4) I loved Kay’s Bookmark (bookstore) 5) I bought my first pair of skis at Buzz Fiorini’s and 6) And I worked at Pay n Save from 1967 until 1973.

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