The Five Point Cafe was voted Best 24-Hour Eats in the 2015 Best of Seattle Reader Poll. To view the other winners, go here.
The green neon sign facing Cedar Street at the northern reaches of Belltown sets the scene. “WE CHEAT TOURISTS-N-DRUNKS SINCE 1929,” it reads, and on this night—or early morning, rather—in late July, tourists and drunks are out in force, along with a healthy allotment of regulars. But the cheating, if there really is any, is out of sight at the Five Point Cafe, voted Best 24-Hour Eats by Seattle Weekly readers. While the vestige of Old Seattle serves drinks and grub any time of day, it is in the witching hour that the true beneficiaries of its 24-hour status fill its booths. So that is when I arrive.
I’m almost immediately caught in a whirlwind of conversation with Pamela Kirschle, whose pleasant introduction is cut off mid-sentence by her three daughters, who identify themselves as Big Booty Judy, Big Booty Trudy, and Big Booty Rudy. Nearby, a battalion of Blue Jays fans are all smiles in a booze-fueled post-victory celebration. They’re asking me to wingman and subtly acquaint them with the Big Booty Brigade.
Sioux City Pete, the leader of the band Sioux City Pete and the Beggars, sits at the bar, reading a biography of “overrated” band Led Zeppelin. We step outside to talk. He says he isn’t interested in fame or money, and plays for the love of music. He has a distaste for modern DJs and what he views as their lack of musicianship. He points his derision at Capitol Hill, saying “What you end up with is Block Party—three days of non-music.” He extends an invitation to his next show, but warns to bring earplugs. “It’s just feral music,” he says. “It’s not loud just to be loud. It’s loud because it’s what I understand.”
Inside, another group of Blue Jays fans sucks me into their booth. They insist that I refer to them as “The Wolfpack,” a homage to the aggressive/blackout style of partying found in The Hangover. They recount for me an earlier encounter with an angry “granola hipster” that resolved with them blockaded on a dead-end street.
While The Wolfpack is celebrating, Connor Kowalewski is busy sprinting around the room, the only waiter on staff at the moment. Between pounding Red Bulls and running to-go orders out the door, he takes a break to talk.
“What do you like about working here?” I ask him.
“I like how fast-paced it is,” he says. “The clientele is edgy, and there’s an unspoken code of conduct that we don’t tolerate bullshit.”
“What’s with the bras on the moosehead, then?”
“The people who come to The Five Point are willing to make risky decisions.”