Suits, Skaters, Rendezvous

Like an aged lady of the night who has collected more stories than she's got time left to tell, if Belltown's Rendezvous' walls could talk, they would likely have just as much to say. Since its inception in 1924, the place has seen old Hollywood studio execs hold court with local theater owners, aiming to sell them their films. Jimmy Stewart screened movies in its cozy Jewel Box Theater. During Prohibition, the cavelike basement lounge—now dubbed the Grotto—was home to a free-flowing speakeasy, while burlesque stars graced the small stage upstairs. Today, thanks to the caring touch of current owner, lawyer-cum-club-mogul Jerry Everard (Crocodile Cafe, Moe's, Neumo's), the place has been restored to near-original condition. A red-velvet-accented dining room turns out hearty hot plates like mac 'n' cheese ($8.50), the bar is comfortable, the pours are generous, and the tiny Jewel Box bustles weekly with entertainment from movies to live rock shows, cabaret, and performance art. Its allure draws all kinds—on any given night, crusty punks post up next to suits, and skaters smoke outside next to sorority girls. With all the pleasures it still provides, this historical spot should be long from retirement. 2322 Second Ave., 441-5823,www.jewelboxtheater.com.

 
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