Back when I was a young underage thing, my super hip uncle, who happened to live on Capital Hill at the time, would sometimes meet up with my mom & I at The Hurricane, the first 24 hour cafe that I had ever been in. The Hurricane was kinda grubby and full of wannabe grunge guitar players but to my 15 year old self, it was heaven. I was out past the hour I probably should have been in bed, surrounded by drinking adults who were ignoring me just enough to let their censored kid-guard down. I sat there & enjoyed my watered down Dr. Pepper reveling in the anomaly of the moment & feeling like I had Arrived. To this day I have rarely felt that cool again.
13 Coins is the grown up version of those late nights; instead of sticky tabletops & questionable clientele, it has high-backed booths & swiveling captain’s chairs with a Frank Sinatra vibe. Walking in its’ doors feels like a step back through time, when the Martini’s flowed and men wore sharp suits. It’s the kinda place where Don Draper would have fit right in had 13 Coins been in downtown Manhattan and he had actually existed.
The name 13 Coins stems from an old Peruvian folk story that tells of a poor young man in love with a girl from a wealthy family. Begging her father for his permission to marry the girl, the father asks what he could possibly offer her in life? The young man reached into his pocket and pulled out all his worldly monetary worth, 13 little coins, but pledged his undying love, care and concern for the girl as well. Apparently his declaration of devotion was enough to move the father into agreeing to the marriage and 13 coins became a symbol of love & devotion.
So what better place to celebrate my husband and I’s rare night out than at a restaurant named after a folklore romance? Pasta was the theme of our night, from creamy hazelnut cappelletti to a pancetta infused spaghetti carbonara. Not your typical 24 diner fare, right? That’s because 13 coins is a great restaurant, that just happens to operate round the clock. So the next time you find yourself in the city & your mom is watching the kids, and you are miraculously still awake past 10pm, head over to 13 Coins to revive some of that old school magic. Sipping on chilled Prosecco while retreating into the privacy of those infamous leather booths, I felt vaguely nostalgic for my 15 year old self and her flat, tasteless soda. Had I known those moments of cool were to be few and far between, I would have relished it more. Sitting there, at 13 Coins though, with my handsome date and a glass of bubbliy magic in my hands, I was as cool as ever, at least I liked to think so.
13 Coins Restaurant
*255 South King Street
Seattle, WA 98104
*New location opens Feb. 2018*