Keeping Spirit of Historic Neighborhood: Row House Café

Counter and cashier area - Row House Cafe
Front counter at the Row House Cafe

Located in South Lake Union’s Cascade neighborhood in Seattle, the Row House Café offers a comforting sense of nostalgia in appearance and atmosphere and is known among its customers as the “neighborhood living room.” Originally built in 1904 as three row houses that offered work force housing, the structure has since been redeveloped into the current digs where the café operates now.

Row House Cafe Interior with salvaged doors windows lighting
Interior with salvaged doors, windows and lighting from The RE Store

We recently spoke with Row House Café partner, Erin Maher, who told us the story of their recent remodeling project and explained how she “shopped at The RE Store to find furniture, fixtures, and building materials that helped us stay true to the integrity of the original buildings.” Some of the products that Erin found to match her tastes were architectural windows pulled from a historic home on Capital Hill, a pastry case made from an antique jewelry box, vintage medallions above the windows, and doors trimmed with old ceiling moldings.

Row House Cafe seating and decor
Row House Cafe seating and salvaged decor

Since the non-profit salvage store in Ballard can overwhelm the senses with its large selection of just about everything, Erin would visit the store “with an open mind.” Maher said, “I was able to see new and different uses for the items in the store.”  Erin knew that fresh items arrive daily to The RE Store, so she made return trips to get new ideas from the eclectic inventory of items with unique stories and characteristics to them.

A big project she accomplished with the help of The RE Store was building a patio fence from exterior shutters and columns. Erin told me how they created “the entire storefront using old windows and a French door and sidelights, all from different periods to create a one-of-a-kind entrance to our private party space converted from a cinderblock garage.”

Erin remarked on the special synergy that The RE Store and Row House Café have. “They both bring out the unique characteristics of a living, breathing space in order to make it beautiful for our guests.”