Back in 1901 an Englishman, Ben Atkinson, after a successful run in the Alaska Yukon gold fields, came to Renton, Washington and built the Melrose Hotel. It was a three story, sixty room hotel complete with saloon, a billiards room, and a cafe, in old downtown Renton, Washington. The Melrose was a favorite watering hole for locals, mostly coal miners and brick factory workers.
The place caught fire in 1928 and it destroyed the two top floors that were the hotel rooms. The first floor was salvaged and restored, in fact the original bar is still there. According to the registry, it is officially Renton’s oldest historic building still in use.
Many familiar old Renton families have owned this building from one time or another through the years including the Dobson’s, Nattucici’s, Bertozzi’s, and the Barei’s. I remember this place as a kid back in the early 1970's. The tavern was then owned by local heavy weight boxer, Boone Kirkman.
In 1997 Armondo Pavone, Tim and Kimberly Searing, and Charles and Beverly Keeslar purchased the building and created the Melrose Grill in 2002.
This intimate little neighborhood steakhouse is still thriving and a jewel of Renton cuisine. It seats 84 (and 10 at the bar) so you’ll want to make reservations. I’ve eaten here many times at company events and just having a special dinner with a friend or two.
I love walking into this place! It’s like time travel. You’re immediately transported to an era of good old fashioned charm and graciousness. It’s not a chain, it’s a wonderful authentic old place in Renton that serves up the best steak in town.
This is a place I tell my good friends about and anyone who’s visiting the area that asks me, “Where’s a great place to eat around here?”
The Melrose Grill, Renton, Washington.