Sunday, October 18, 2009

Take This Tune, Top Of The Ocean, Tacoma Washington 1946 -1977

The "Top of the Ocean" was a restaurant and dance hall shaped like an ocean liner and built on piers on Tacoma's waterfront. It was opened in 1946 and was considered Tacoma's top night spot for years. In 1977 it was burnt to the ground - water? (Down in the Depths) in a string of arson considered to be connected to organized crime.

The Louis Grenier Orchestra provided live dance music for dancing and underwater floodlights lit the surrounding water, producing an eerie green. Diners could either arrive by car, or by water.

This replica was sculpted and placed at the site of the restaurant, now a public dock on Tacoma's waterfront, in October 2007.

I remember it was a personal treat to go to the "Top Of The Ocean"

Trying to trigger my eldest sister's memory: You were babysitting, and you saved up your babysitting money, and you bought at least Yenny, and I new clothes. Including white Go Go boots, Amee went too. I have the memory of staying the night at the house of the people you were babysitting for, and you even gave me a manicure the night before - for the big night out. I remember we went to a restaurant first. I thought was Italian, Yenny says she remembers she ate baked chicken. I remember having a Shirley Temple, that would have been a big deal to me when I was little. Then we went to a movie. I thought it was a Rock Hudson or an Elvis movie but that might have been a different time. Am I confusing two movie going times together? Yenny said, we went to see Dr Zhivago, and I fell asleep before the intermission. Then you took us all to the Top Of The Ocean. I was hoping you remembered because I would love to blog about it. Yenny told me the restaurant burned down, 1977, and they never rebuilt it. That was a very well known landmark in Tacoma. We went there in the 60s if you remembered the year you were babysitting for that couple, it would narrow down when we went.


My Sister- The first restaurant we went to in downtown Tacoma was Italian indeed, even if Yenny, may have ordered chicken. It had a very Italian name, too, like Vinces or Manitellis or something. I am not sure where I was staying, I believe we all must have stayed at Aunt Marge's and Uncle Mike's and that I was visiting them. I remember walking downtown to the Italian restaurant and the sort of slightly hilly sidewalks. You did have a Shirley Temple, and as you remember these things I remember them, too. I know we went to a movie, also, but don't remember which one--and I am not sure a movie was included in this same outing that included Top of the Ocean. I was in high school, my senior year, so I was 18 or 19 years old..... ummm, sounds like 67 or so. And I went some years later to the Top of the Ocean, too, on a double date of sorts. I think we went there again, anyway, because I remember going down to the docks in Tacoma and eating at a restaurant, and I would have wanted to go back there again.

Nice to remember some of these things I hadn't thought of for years.

Want To Play "Take This Tune"


BIG BAND ERA, IN THE MOOD 1940s
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