SEATTLE — For more than two decades, music and movement were the heart of Century Ballroom in Capitol Hill.
"I think the last big event we did was probably our 23rd anniversary party, and it was huge,” said owner Hallie Kuperman. “That's what a lot of us remember. Wow, we went out with a bang."
Shortly thereafter, the pandemic halted dancing.
But at the adjoining Tin Table restaurant, bar and food service are back – and the dance floor is now a dining room.
The space is large enough for 16 physically-distanced tables with fresh air circulating from two stories of open windows. The restaurant is also doing contact-less ordering and payments, so masked servers only interact with customers when they deliver the food.
Popular menu items include mouth-watering burgers, steak frites and pastas.
“You get a lot of people who have danced here, who just want to walk in the space, cry, and then go sit down and eat.” Kuperman said. "It's very emotional - including myself, I haven't danced since March."
The full bar offers dine-in and carry-out cocktails, and those who prefer home mixology can buy a cocktail kit – complete with ingredients, instructions, and a complimentary dad joke.
Customers are also big fans of the unique takeout service: orders are lowered out a window in a basket.
"Someone online jokingly said, 'You should have a pulley system and send your food down from the second floor,’ and I was like, 'I could be a pulley!’” Kuperman said. “I got a basket and some rope and I go out on the fire escape and I put your stuff in and I lower it down to you and say ‘hi’ and bring it on back up. It's a very good photo opportunity."
With no timeline for dance classes to resume, the ballroom will continue as a dining room for the forseeable future. Plans are also in the works for movie nights, and the restaurant just started serving weekend brunch with a DJ on stage each Sunday.
Kuperman said she hopes customers understand The Tin Table and Century Ballroom are taking every precaution to stay safe, and make guests feel welcome.
“I am 100% behind people choosing to stay home. I sheltered in place for a long time,” she said. "For those who feel like they are comfortable, then it feels great to have somebody say, 'I miss this place so much, you created an environment that feels okay to be in."
Tin Table is also going to start selling takeout picnic baskets, filled with food, sparkling wine and vintage glassware.
Century Ballroom and The Tin Table are located in the historic Oddfellows Hall. Dinner service is available Wednesday – Saturday, and brunch is every Saturday – Sunday. Reservations are recommended.
Contact-less ordering for takeout is also available online.