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Maxwell’s Speakeasy Closes

Here's a sad bit of news: Maxwell's Speakeasy and Restaurant is closing, effective immediately. Posted on the Maxwell's Facebook page this morning:

Maxwell’s Closure Notice

It is with great sadness that Maxwell’s will be closed effective immediately!

Due to many external factors beyond our control, has led to this unfortunate decision.

We would like to thank all of our guests that have been so faithful, you have meant the world to us.

With abundant gratitude from

The Tarantino Family

Maxwell's, located in the first floor of the Walker building at the corner of 6th and St Helens was an excellent place for a late night bite, or a pre-movie-at-the-Grand drink. We're sad to see them go.


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Comments

joe-nate

New restaurants and new apartments are wonderful.  Museum expansions and historic preservation projects are tremendous.  Yet better-quality joints like Maxwell’s, for all of their style and elan, will likely continue muddling along or failing until city government effectively addresses what developer Grace Pleasants terms a “nose-up/thumbs down” attitude toward investments by outsiders in commercial offices in Tacoma that create long-term higher-paying jobs and spending money to support businesses like Maxwell’s.  Pleasants submitted a bid to renovate Old City Hall, as she once proposed an apartment block next to the old Elks Temple.  It is too bad her Aloft Hotel proposal for Old City Hall’s shell apparently cannot stand alone as new construction for empty lots near that building.  Until there is in-fill on those empty downtown surface parking lots, places like Maxwell’s will struggle.  Tacoma still has a self-esteem issue:  that successful local businesses like Weyerhaeuser Company, Russell Investments and Key Bank (the old Puget Sound Bancorp) ultimately move their major local central business district offices to King County.  It just seems now that with the UW-Tacoma and better-quality museum that Tacoma can rightly claim it has the mantle of civic pride to host such firms and keep them, as it did decades ago when business leaders built Wells Fargo Plaza and True Blue’s Tacoma Building before high-culture enhanced downtown.  Seattle is booming with new downtown office construction while downtown Tacoma remains in a private-sector malaise, with the city is doing all that is possible to save deteriorating Old City Hall as a relic from a glorious past while similar new construction of such worthy buildings eludes the community.  It is so strange that a city with civic/economic leadership that could muster the construction of Union Station a century ago that is arguably more magnificent in design than Seattle’s grand King Street Station cannot today get its private-sector act together for the central business district.  A common Seattle attitude toward the LeMay auto museum is to wonder why it had not been built there—perhaps shocked Tacoma could host such a fine facility.  Tacoma-loving businessman/philianthropist Erivan Haub would love to develop that empty square block at S. 13th and Pacific-but find him a qualified tenant to sign a lease.  Maxwell’s closure is a symptom of that problem:  the need for more good private-sector headquarter-type jobs in the city.  What holds Tacoma back from Seattle-type success?  Maxwell’s will be missed.  It is a special place.

January 17, 2016 at 6:22 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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ApitbullnamedPlugRegistered

Do you have any special insight as to why Maxwells failed or are you just using this as an opportunity to rant about Tacoma not being Seattle?
I never went to Maxwells, but I heard from friends who had that the food was terrible and grossly overpriced.  Maybe that had more to do with their failure than private-sector malaise.

January 18, 2016 at 7:06 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Jon Fayth

I’ve been a resident and downtown business owner for 41 years, and have seen so much come and go in Tacoma. Our city is in a long, and unfortunately slow renaissance, but I do think prospects are good, it’s just that so much was lost years ago, and it takes time, money, vision, and patience to bring it back ( and it doesn’t help that Seattle is so close by ). It’s a bit of the case of build it ( all ) and they will come. Which isn’t easy, of course, but I’ve seen many good civic decisions made in the last 4 decades that are building a foundation under the essentially great city that Tacoma can ( and will ) be. We have many innate strengths and valuable assets, ( location, location, location ) that underlie whatever we do, that will ultimately make Tacoma successful. Look at our waterfront and how well it’s been brought back from the neglect of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, as well as it’s incipient connection to Pt D., the Park itself, Foss Waterway, the UW@T, 5 good museums, LINK, the Dome, McMenamin’s, and a great many smaller successes, too. It’s just a long drawn out and expensive process, but great progress has been made, and will continue to be made. We’re in it for the long haul, so we must temper our zeal with patience

January 17, 2016 at 5:18 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Devan W

I’ve been a resident and downtown business owner for 41 years, and have seen so much come and go in Tacoma. Our city is in a long, and unfortunately slow renaissance, but I do think prospects are good, it’s just that so much was lost years ago, and it takes time, money, vision, and patience to bring it back ( and it doesn’t help that Seattle is so close by ). It’s a bit of the case of build it ( all ) and they will come. Which isn’t easy, of course, but I’ve seen many good civic decisions made in the last 4 decades that are building a foundation under the essentially great city that Tacoma can ( and will ) be. We have many innate strengths and valuable assets, ( location, location, location ) that underlie whatever we do, that will ultimately make Tacoma successful. Look at our waterfront and how well it’s been brought back from the neglect of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, as well as it’s incipient connection to Pt D., the Park itself, Foss Waterway, the UW@T, 5 good museums, LINK, the Dome, McMenamin’s, and a great many smaller successes, too. It’s just a long drawn out and expensive process, but great progress has been made, and will continue to be made. We’re in it for the long haul, so we must temper our zeal with patience

I agree with everything except the Tacoma Dome. Tacoma is a great location and good size city for events and concerts but the Tacoma has terrible acoustics. I honestly believe a new multi-purpose arena in the city, built 12-14,000 in capacity with potential to expand for large concerts and events would serve the city better then an expensive un-maintained eye sore.

January 26, 2016 at 12:29 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Jamie

Tacoma shot itself in the foot when it didn’t cater to WINTERGRASS!  Now Bellevue is rockin’ it… They built new venues just for the purpose, encouraged and marketed it with zeal. WE lost WINTERGRASS and we lost a LOT of revenue! The city could have marketed it with much more flair, as they do with “First night” and “Ethnicfest”... but they didn’t… and we lost. Just saying…Building another arena would not be the answer. Tacoma has the venues to handle larger crowds- Tacoma Dome, Stadium High (outdoor concerts with a sunset ie: James Taylor, etc…) and Point Defiance park. Also the Emerald Queen Casino. I agree re: acoustics- However, wouldn’t it be better and cheaper to upgrade the acoustics in the existing building for $ rather than spending $$$ for a new building AND parking garage?

February 3, 2016 at 11:14 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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CM

Newsflash all…Maxwell’s closed due to NEW OWNERSHIP. If you have been there in the past three months it was awful. This has nothing to city government and a “Self-esteem” issues ( which I actually do believe). We had our credit card information stolen there in December…Glad they are gone…If I had the capital I would bring it back to the original glory

January 21, 2016 at 8:25 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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altered chords

The folks that are renovating/resurrecting The Goldfish Tavern are ready to re-open it as “The Defiant Goldfish”.  Maybe when they open it, they can step in and re-open Maxwell’s.  They were able to raise $$ via a kickstarter.

January 22, 2016 at 2:38 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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