Bottomfeeder: Demi Moore, Tommy Chong, & the Streamliner

A Bainbridge diner thwarts yuppification.

Bainbridge Island was once a rustic hippie retreat. There was no running water or electricity, water from Puget Sound was boiled to drink, and woodstoves served to heat many a humble A-frame. The men all wore beards and Pendleton coats, and the women churned butter between bong rips and switching out Joni Mitchell bootlegs on the tape deck. Children were either home-schooled or no-schooled, and the javelin toss was the only sport allowed on the island, as it was thought to honor the region's Native roots in ways that basketball and football never could. Cops turned a blind eye to the consumption of opium, provided it wasn't cut with anything, and the annual island salmon bake regularly turned into a bacchanal on a par with Woodstock. The year Tommy Chong attended, he was deeded a complimentary home to stay in whenever he wanted, provided he wasn't imprisoned.

That all changed with the 1994 release of Disclosure.

In the film, Michael Douglas plays a big-shot downtown Seattle businessman who commutes daily from Bainbridge Island by ferry. At the time, that was like saying aliens commuted daily from space to consult on the set of Mars Attacks!, but we'll be damned if life didn't soon begin to imitate art (if you can consider Disclosure art). Soon, hordes of affluent men in tailored suits bribed the island's earth-fathers into handing over their forts, crossing their fingers each day that, once they reached the business end of their commute, they'd have a female boss as hot as Demi Moore trying to bulldoze their crotches with the force of Brian Urlacher. Most of these fantasies went unrealized, but Bainbridge came away forever changed.

But amid every facelift, a sexy mole stubbornly holds its ground. And on Bainbridge, that birthmark is the Streamliner Diner, which serves coffee strong enough to cure Charlie Sheen of his coke (meth?) habit and an avocado, bacon, jack cheese, and tomato omelet good enough to make an omelet-hater bury himself in stuffed eggs.

mseely@seattleweekly.com

 
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