Each Friday in October, Washington Trust staff highlighted their pick for fantastic, local Third Places!

Third Place: Colville Street Patisserie, Walla Walla 

Website: www.colvillestreetpatisserie.com

Staff: Jonelle McCoy, Main Street Specialist

Patisserie owners David & Tiffany

What makes your Third Place special to you?

I moved to Walla Walla last year and in the first few months I discovered the Colville Street Patisserie. Whether it was the delicious desserts, local art hung on the walls, or cheerful pre-COVID hum of conversation that drew me in it’s hard to say but it quickly became one of my favorite places to be downtown. At this point, it’s where I take my out-of-town friends before exploring the rest of downtown, has provided cakes for two of my birthdays, and even now (with appropriate COVID-19 restrictions) is the place I go for working coffee-dates and end up running into folks I haven’t seen since March. The Colville Street Patisserie made me feel at home in a new town and continues to be the place where I connect to my community! Thank you Tiffany, David, and crew!

How is this Third Place an anchor in your community?

Owners Tiffany Cain and David Christensen have created a downtown hub welcoming to everyone: children excitedly pointing out every pastry and gelato flavor to their parents, college students discussing assignments or quietly reading alone, retirees planning their work-free adventures or second act careers, old friends reminiscing, and working professionals in espresso-fueled brainstorms. Beyond being a place where a cross-section of Walla Walla’s community gathers, the Colville Street Patisserie always has flyers and posters of community events you can peruse while putting honey in your tea, the owners intentionally buy from and promote local growers and roasters, showcase local artists on their walls, and continue the lively use of a historic building in Walla Walla’s downtown district.

Third Place: Bluebeard Coffee, Tacoma

Website: www.bluebeardcoffee.com

Staff: Jennifer (Jay) Mortensen, Outreach Director

What makes your Third Place special to you?

Bluebeard is my go-to place. It’s the place we go when we want to go for a walk or get out of the house. Whether it’s meeting up with a friend or doing a little work on my laptop, I know I can get a great cup of coffee, be comfortable, and feel welcome. When I go there, I feel like part of the community.

How is this Third Place an anchor in your community?

Bluebeard is an anchor of the 6th Avenue business district, and really is the heart of the district. It is the spot where everyone meets up and you can often run into someone you know. Additionally, Bluebeard is a staple across the whole city. Their coffee is served in many restaurants and other businesses across Tacoma—they are a household name.

Third Place: Cone & Steiner General, Capitol Hill Seattle

Website: www.coneandsteiner.com

Staff: Alexandra Gradwohl, Project Manager

What makes your Third Place special to you?

Cone & Steiner is a small, eclectic neighborhood market that I visit nearly every day. From fresh coffee and sandwiches to locally-made candles and gifts to unique snacks and great beer, Cone & Steiner has everything I need to get me through the week. I love stopping by for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up during the workweek or a breakfast sandwich to bring on weekend adventures. I really appreciate seeing the same friendly faces behind the counter day in and day out and chatting about neighborhood goings on. Especially since I started working from home, Cone & Steiner has become a great place to connect with my local community.

How is this Third Place an anchor in your community?

Cone & Steiner provides our pocket of Capitol Hill with a friendly place to shop local and connect with their neighbors. Folks from the surrounding blocks will stop by throughout the day (often accompanied by furry friends!) to pick up this or that, and usually stay for a chat. Their outdoor seating provides a great space to enjoy your lunch or drink coffee and people watch. They also serve as a pick-up spot for CSAs and sometimes hand out free treats provided by other local businesses! In a neighborhood that often feels a bit overwhelming, Cone & Steiner helps make this sleepy corner of Capitol Hill more friendly and approachable.

Third Place: Tractor Tavern, Ballard Seattle

Website: www.tractortavern.com

Staff: Cathy Wickwire, Operations Manager

What makes your Third Place special to you?

I love listening to live music but haven’t always made it a priority to attend concerts. A few years back, a friend and I made a pact to go to more shows. While it’s a thrill to see a marquee band like Dave Matthews at the Gorge Amphitheatre or U2 at CenturyLink Field, there’s nothing like the intimacy of seeing what may be the next big thing at a small, local music venue. You show up, get your hand stamped, and wait for the performance to begin. The Tractor Tavern hosts an eclectic array of music that runs the gamut from Grateful Dead tribute bands to rockabilly to socially-conscious singer-songwriters. It welcomes fans of all ages to its two connected storefront spaces lined with exposed brick walls. It’s one of those places you feel instantly at home with strangers who you enjoy spending the night with swaying, dancing, and singing along.

How is this Third Place an anchor in your community?

The Tractor Tavern has thrived in the heart of historic Ballard Avenue for over 25 years. It has served as a popular venue for local acts and hosted touring artists from around the country and around the world. Sadly, the last show I attended was in January before the pandemic closed the space in March 2020. The Tractor has since been involved in the national effort to Save our Stages (#saveourstages) and the recently launched campaign to Keep Music Live in Washington (#keepmusiclivewa). These efforts recognize that independent venues are the hub of our music ecosystem and serve as vital cultural and economic drivers for local communities.

Third Place: Roanoke Inn, Mercer Island

Website: www.theroanokeinn.com

Staff: Chris Moore, Executive Director

What makes your Third Place special to you?

The owner, Dorothy Reeck, has kept everyone happy by retaining the original character of the Roanoke. Very little has changed from its early days and the whole vibe remains as a wayside roadhouse. Because of her efforts, King County recognized the Roanoke as a Legacy Business – an honor well-deserved given the Roanoke’s role as a vital Third Place for locals and visitors alike.

How is this Third Place an anchor in your community?

We all know that longstanding businesses serve as heritage markers in much the same way as historic architecture. The Roanoke Inn on Mercer Island distinguishes itself as a Third Place for both these attributes: built in 1914 the Craftsman structure is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and it has been a go-to gathering place for Islanders for over 100 years. George McGuire envisioned a place for wayward visitors arriving at the Roanoke Dock at the north end of the island: he established a chicken-dinner inn and called it The Roanoke. During prohibition, the bar managed to flout the authorities by serving alcohol in coffee mugs and when prohibition ended, the Roanoke became a classic tavern, and sold groceries, ice cream, and soda. In 1943, Edwin and Laura Reeck purchased the inn, adding a full menu along with beer and wine. Dorothy Reeck, Edwin and Laura’s daughter-in-law, has been running the Roanoke for nearly 30 years, carrying on the tradition of her in-laws.

Third Place: Beachview Park, Clarkston

Website: clarkston-wa.com/departments/public-works/parks

Staff: Breanne Durham, Main Street Director

What makes your Third Place special to you?

Parks, like smooth sidewalks and noise-friendly coffee shops, were not really on my radar until I had a kid. We take our toddler to Beachview Park twice a day; it’s a routine we all enjoy. We bring snacks, collect chestnuts, and play until it’s someone’s nap time. It’s special to me because my mom played at this park as a kid, I played at this park as a kid, and now my own kid plays at this park. We often run into people we know, and it’s been an opportunity to introduce our son to people who have been part of our lives for a long time. In the midst of a pandemic, it’s quite literally been a lifesaver of a place for us – we are able to stay connected to people we care about and get much-needed outdoor time to keep us sane and healthy.

How is this Third Place an anchor in your community?

As a new parent (aka park connoisseur), I will tell you that Beachview is a top-notch public space. It’s a large park that includes two separate play areas, a lovely grove of trees, picnic areas, a basketball court, and more. There is also a permanent monument to Chief Tamootsin (Timothy), a Nez Perce Chief whose remains were moved here after his original resting place was in danger of flooding. This monument connects current residents to this land’s history.

Beachview Park is in downtown Clarkston, right across from the high school, a few blocks from the historic commercial district, and just up the hill from the river. In the summer months, the Clarkston Farmers Market takes places at the park, and you see the space at it’s best – people interacting with vendors, kids swinging, families sprawled out on the grass. It really meets Project for Public Spaces’ Power of 10+ idea – there are lots of different activities, for lots of different people.

Third Place: SIFF Cinema Egyptian, Seattle

Website: siff.net/festival/festival-venues/siff-cinema-egyptian

Staff: Kristy Conrad, Development Director

What makes your Third Place special to you?

I love historic theaters. I think they’re the perfect symbiosis of history (the building and its many layers and audiences through time) and art (the film medium and shared filmgoing experience). I don’t think it gets any better than seeing a really amazing film in a historic theater–laughing or crying in a crowd of people reeling from the same emotion as you are, in a setting that brings its own character, history, and grit to the experience. The SIFF Cinema Egyptian has been that perfect community place for me since I moved to the Seattle area a few years ago.

How is this Third Place an anchor in your community?

It’s not just a movie theater. It’s a place to have an experience. The SIFF staff does a great job of programming festivals, events, panel discussions, etc., which all prompt deeper engagement with the film itself and with other audience members. And then afterwards, you linger in the lobby to debrief with your friends about what you just saw, trying to distill and understand the experience. I think it’s incredibly sad that because of the pandemic, historic theaters like the SIFF Cinema Egyptian have closed–not just temporarily but for the foreseeable future. We can’t lose these incredible places! Support SIFF and other stewards of historic theaters and help see them through these difficult times.