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Nov 27, 2011 09:27 PM

Olympic Club in Centralia?

OK, so I was antique-ing in Centralia yesterday, awkward food timing. Asked for a rec and got this place...

OMG, walking through the doors was like... teleporting into a fine San Francisco club/eatery, circa 1910. G-I-N-O-R-M-O-U-S. A dreamlike, expansive mix of tufted secluded booths, open tables, semi-private paneled booths, lofted areas, pool(actually, snooker)room, frontbar, backbar, theater. cut-glass lobby, hotel rooms above. 30-foot ceilings. Platonically-ideal light fixtures. Central heating in the form of an enormous Round Oak woodburning stove, happily crackling, and warming your face from 40' away. Dingy, exquisite, irreplaceable wallpaper. A men's room with walk-in urinals large enough to... well, large enough to *walk into*.

I know nothing of the history of this place, except that it is the real, historical deal, and that it has been a part of the McMenamin's chain/empire/experiment since 2003. It would cost $10 million to recreate this place--if you could get the permits.

Our food was good, if somewhat inelegant.

This space is SUCH a treasure! If it had had a gymnasium, a library, a wine cellar and learned full-time residents, I probably would have stayed there the rest of my life.



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  1. The Olympic Club is certainly an authentic piece of history. If you look carefully, you will notice that it was originally constructed with two sets of doors/partitions. In the old days, you would step off the sidewalk into an area with a lunch counter, where families could dine. If you stepped through the next set of doors, you would notice that the lunch counter ran right through the thin partition, and it became the bar. This was a very common feature in small towns, where a single all-purpose establishment was the town hotel, family restaurant, and bar. We should all be thankful that McMenamin's has preserved this place.