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September 2, 2016

Pioneer Square basement is renovated for Flatstick Pub, and mini-golf course

Journal Staff Reporter

Photos by Brie Braun [enlarge]
The pub is at 240 Second Ave. S. in the Pacific Commercial Building.

The 9-hole miniature golf course is on the pub’s lower level, which has a 14-foot ceiling.

Flatstick Pub has opened in the quirky basement of a historic building in Pioneer Square.

The pub is at 240 Second Ave. S. in the Pacific Commercial Building, which was created a few years ago when the adjacent Furuya and Corgiat buildings were renovated.

Half of the pub is four feet lower than the other half, and the party rooms are under the sidewalk.

“The history is totally what shaped this thing,” said Shane Staley of Atelier Drome Architecture, which designed the renovation of the pub's 9,500-square-foot brick and timber space.

The Seattle firm collaborated with brothers Sam and Andy Largent, who own this pub and one with the same name in Kirkland.

The Seattle pub's two levels are connected with stairs on either side of a central bar, where over 30 local beers and ciders are on tap. An elevator stops at both levels.

When the project began, the basement was truly a blank slate, said Staley, the project architect. “If you want to think about it that way there was nothing there. It was dirt on one side and gravel on the other side.” So crews poured a concrete floor.

A 9-hole miniature golf course is on the lower level, which has a 14-foot ceiling. The holes spell out “Seattle” and the ninth hole is a 12-foot-tall replica of the Space Needle built by Amigo Arts.

Around the course, semi-private party rooms sit beneath the sidewalk, a remnant of Seattle's Great Fire in 1889 when many streets were raised 10 or 15 feet, leaving sidewalks below the street. Sidewalks were eventually rebuilt at street level, but that left “these weird underground pockets around the buildings,” Staley said.

The party rooms have game-based themes and TV screens, board games and pinball. There's large scale Connect Four game, a giant Jenga! and a game by “Robodub,” where players drive RC cars and shoot at targets.

Contractor Adatto Construction led the effort to find, patch, paint and caulk the gaps under the original sidewalk to make it watertight. If that hadn't worked, the team had a backup: “We were talking about literally putting in gutters,” said Staley.

Some of the small square skylights that are part of the sidewalk were missing, so “you could see daylight though the ceiling,” he said. They have been sealed and replacements are on the way.

Cascade Crest Consulting Engineers was the structural engineer for the pub.

Staley said the basement has some good bones.

The floor structure of the coffee shop above the bar on the upper level is heavy wood members, so “there was no way we were going to cover that up. That's beautiful,” he said. And the ceiling over the mini golf course is a concrete and steel structure infilled with clay tiles.

The upper level has a lower ceiling, making it more intimate, Staley said. Besides the bar and tables, the upper level has a game called duffleboard, which is unique to Flatstick Pub. The 9-hole course mixes miniature golf with shuffleboard.

The bar top is half-inch steel plate. That and the wood plank wall coverings, plumbing pipe foot rails and a blackened steel back bar pair with the industrial-rustic character of the basement, Atelier Drome said.

The team left the exposed structure and existing piping and conduit, and added new exposed mechanical, electrical and plumbing elements overhead. A hanging golf club mobile, designed and constructed by Staley, reflects the chaos overhead.

He also designed a golf-club sculpture over the main entry stair that is shaped like a spiral. The concrete walls have murals with brightly colored and playful characters painted by Ryan Ward, who is known in artistic circles as “Henry.”


Lynn Porter can be reached by email or by phone at (206) 622-8272.

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