Photography by Tiffany Bri
If you know Seattle nightlife, then you know of Linda Derschang. From her Capitol Hill institution, Linda’s Tavern, to intimate watering holes like Smith and Bait Shop, to spacious restaurants like Oddfellows and Tallulah’s—the themes and overall vibe may change from space to space, but there is always a warmth and inclusivity, as well as a desire to preserve some of the history of the space where it exists. This is especially true of the Oddfellows Bar+Cafe, whose renovation took about half a year to complete and included salvaged elements from around the country to produce a natural, comfortable space that extends from the patio, to the bench seating beside the large front windows, all the way to the intimate back patio beneath a masonic mural. The open kitchen turns out delicious salads, soups and sandwiches day and night for a crowd of locals and tourists. This summer, the cafe space in the Elliott Bay Book Company a few doors down became Little Oddfellows. Given that one of Derschang’s outside projects is the promotion of global literacy, her partnership with one of Seattle’s great literary institutions is quite natural.
It also just so happens that her favorite boutique, Totokaelo, is also on the same block. Derschang’s first foray as an independent business owner was not in hospitality, but as a boutique owner, when she opened Basic in 1987. Her personal style remains a sophisticated expression of one who balances business and pleasure, careful planning with spontaneous creativity. It’s no surprise she is also an avid art collector and an advocate for women’s rights. Seattle—and especially Capitol Hill—would be a very different place without Linda Derschang. If you love the nightlife, you have to love Linda.