Obit for Dick Smith

Dick Smith, 63, owner of the Mecca Cafe on lower Queen Anne and the 5 Point Cafe at Fifth and Cedar, died of cancer on October 1. He often billed his restaurants as Seattle’s oldest family-owned eateries (he’d taken them over in 1975 from his father, who’d gotten into the restaurant biz in 1929). Both are small spots, divided between food counters serving up hearty, inexpensive, unpretentious eats (the Mecca’s menu bears the slogan “Not fine dining, just a fine diner”) and smoky, crowded cocktail lounges serving up stiff drinks and raucous conversation. (Wall signs proclaim, “Smokers Welcome–Non-Smokers Beware”). Smith was also an outspoken political curmudgeon, keeping his restaurants non-union while resisting gentrification. In fact, the 5 Point’s front window still bears a neon sign denouncing the Seattle Commons development scheme, to which Smith helped lead the political opposition.

From The Stranger Oct 11, 2001
– By Clark Humphry

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