The building in which the Melrose Grill resides was established in 1901 and has served as a tavern since the days of the horse and buggy. It also operated as a pool hall, soda shop and card room during prohibition. The current owners have honored the building’s historic roots keeping the recently restore, original mirror-backed bar with its rich, dark woods. The walls showcase vintage photos that highlight the transitions this grand building has gone through. With wainscoting on the walls, low-slung lamps and high ceilings the space feels as open as the West was when the Melrose Building was built.
Englishman Ben Atkinson built a three-story hotel, café and saloon with the money he made in the gold fields of the Alaskan Yukon. The 60-room hotel was upstairs with the café and saloon located on the bottom floor. The saloon was the watering hole of many coal miners and brick factory workers.
Prohibition did not diminish the popularity of the Melrose. It flourished as a pool hall, card room and soda parlor.
Fire leveled the top two floors and a portion of the bottom level of the Melrose. Fortunately the saloon remained intact including the mirrored back bar which remains today in the Melrose.
Robert Dobson purchased the bar from Ben’s son, George Atkinson.
Jimy Nattucici and Tim Bertozzi purchased and operated the tavern.
Nattucici sold the Melrose to famed local boxer Boone Kirkman. Boone added a sparring ring as well as his practice bag to the décor of the tavern. The Melrose overflowed when Boone’s fights were televised.
Armondo Pavone, Tim and Kimberly Searing, and Charles and Beverly Keeslar, purchased the building from Louie Barei.
The Melrose Grill opened on January 13, 2002. One of the first Renton Restaurants is reborn!
Armondo and Angela Pavone partner with original Grill Chef Franco Phillips.