A Farewell to the Original Red Robin

It’s been so long since I’ve posted on the blog that I’ve been harboring all of these topics to write about.  I want to write about Red Robin, riding the Metro in Seattle, house shopping, and our most recent weekend at the cabin.  I think I need to pick just one of them for tonight, but I promise to get to the others weekly, and if I don’t hold myself to that charge, feel free to help hold me accountable.

So – let’s see.

Topic #1: A Farewell to the Original Red Robin.

I’ll bet that most of our readers know of Red Robin.  In fact, I’d wager to say that a good percentage of you have eaten at Red Robin.  In case you haven’t, you can picture it as a family friendly burger chain that started in Seattle.  It wasn’t always a burger joint, though.  Kyle’s parents remember eating there in college when it was basically a bar, but they’d have deals like “All You Can Eat Spaghetti.”  Over the years, I think they honed in on the family friendly atmosphere, perfected their burgers and all you can eat steak fries, and then started expanding.  I think now there’s somewhere around 250 Red Robin restaurants around the nation.

So, it’s pretty fun knowing that Kyle and I have had the ability to eat at the original Red Robin anytime we chose.  I have to admit, a bit ashamedly, that there were several weeks in a row about a month ago that we chose Red Robin.  We weren’t at the original, but still…we were eating Red Robin pretty often.  Part of the reason is that we had a bunch of coupons to use there because I signed up for their birthday club deal.  But, all excuses aside, we’d been visiting quite often.

And then…

the news came out: the original Red Robin would be closing on March 21.  So – we had to go once again.

The original restaurant is charming and quirky.  It’s on a corner of the street right where it drops down to water level, so if you’re dining in their solarium (which is at street level), it feels as though you are perched precariously on the edge of the street.  There’s a fantastic view of Seattle’s University Bridge from this spot and you also get to look down at all the neighborhood houseboats.  It’s very cool.

The night we went to eat there – it’s last week in operation – the wait was ridiculously long.  Keep in mind it’s a “charming and quirky” building, which to be more direct, there’s not really room to wait inside for your table.  That is unless you don’t mind small spaces and crowds.  The sidewalk outside wasn’t much better.  It felt equally crowded with people.  Most were sort of hovering as close to their dining parties as they could because the weather was breezy, a little drizzly, and definitely overcast with some interesting clouds in the sky.

Somehow Kyle and I got in faster than we were expecting, and we were seated in the solarium.  (Yay!)  It was such a satisfyingly fun experience to be there.  We went on one of their last nights, had a really enjoyable dinner, and got great service from a fantastic server.  It was an evening of good conversation, fun people watching, and taking part in something that felt like local history in the making.

But – the very best part?  When our server came over to take our drink order at the beginning, she looked out the window and said, “Whoa – look at the rainbow!”  Kyle and I had pretty literally been staring out the window up to the time the server came over, and in the instant that we looked away to engage with her, a rainbow appeared.  And it wasn’t just any rainbow – it was a full rainbow.

It was such a cool experience.  It was one of those times I sort of wished I had a camera with me, but there’s no way we  could have captured the full extent of the beauty and pleasure of that night.  We think our memories of it will have to suffice.

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One thought on “A Farewell to the Original Red Robin

  1. Wow- I had no idea that the original was closing!! We have Red Robin in Holland, but barely ever go there… I do have lots of very fond memories of that exact restaurant in Seattle, however. I’m glad you had such a nice time there before it closed!!

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