Members of the Pine Cone Cafe staff proudly wear their Seahawks colors on a recent game day.
The Pine Cone Café has been an institution in the University Place neighborhood off 27th Street West for over 60 years. "University Place's Oldest Restaurant", says current owner Steve Warp, who has owned the Pine Cone since 1986, keeping the strong tradition of serving affordable, quality food in a warm, home style diner that is just like mom used to make.
In the early days of the Pine Cone's history, it was a low key, neighborhood cafe. During the 1950's the cafe was outfitted with individual juke boxes at each of the tables, there were hot rod cars out front, milkshakes, burgers and everything.
In 1958, when long time owners Art & Nita Fowler took over, it became a popular University Place destination.
Art cooked in the kitchen, and Nita worked the counter. After owning the Pine Cone Cafe for for nearly 15 years, the Fowlers sold the cafe to new owners. In the mid 1970's, the Cafe was expanded, taking over the dry cleaners in the corner space, and expanding the dining room to its present configuration. Eventually, they sold the restaurant in 1972, and several years and a couple of owners later, local boy Steve Warp stepped in, and bought the restaurant, with the intention of saving a local landmark.
A local boy who grew up in University Place, Warp graduated from Curtis High School and Washington State University. As a youth, Warp frequented the Pine Cone for a quick meal now and then, not realizing that one day he would own the establishment.
Today, the Cafe serves a loyal crowd of regular patrons, families, seniors and local business clubs such as Kiwanis. Many long-time customers say: 'I've been coming here since the '60's". They come for breakfast, lunch and dinner, some waiting a few extra minutes for their favorite booth or table to open up; savoring the home style cooking and home made soups, salad dressings and classic menu items such as open-faced Turkey sandwiches and pies that were a staple of the diners of the 1950's.
Many 90th birthday parties have been held at the Pine Cone, even one patron who celebrated his 100th birthday at the Pine Cone Cafe!
"We were the official eatery of the 2015 US Open golf tournament" says Warp, in anticipation of throngs of golf fans swarming the area in 2015. The Pine Cone Cafe's close proximity to Chambers Bay Golf Course is a convenient meal stop for golf fans on their way to and from the tournament. Over 50,000 people per day are expected to visit the tournament.
Sundays are the busiest for the Cafe, when breakfast is served all day. Families like to come on weekends, bringing the kids for some good, kid-friendly food. Favorite menu items include the Senior Breakfast, burgers, fish & chips, flame broiled burgers and "The best spaghetti in town".
Come on down to "The Oldest Restaurant In Town", and find out why people keep coming back year after year...