David Rosen
Cathy and Gill McLynne owners of the Alki Tavern closed the bar after 38 years on Harbor Ave. with a final corned beef and cabbage feed and plenty of beer. Hundreds came to visit in the last days sharing hugs, memories and love. CLICK THE PHOTO ABOVE TO SEE MORE OR SEE THE GALLERY BELOW THE STORY.

SLIDESHOW: The last days of the Alki Tavern were full of good beer, good food and goodbyes

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By Patrick Robinson and David Rosen

Gill McLynne and his family knew the end was coming for the Alki Tavern and planned a party over the St. Patrick's Day weekend. They wanted it to be just like the tavern itself. Unpretentious, friendly and a gathering of bikers, rockers, drinkers and people they cherished.

It began with an auction on the Wednesday before the weekend. Beer signs, mirrors, and other fixtures were bid on by people who had coveted them like rarities from a museum. Then the final Taco Thursday. A time honored tradition of one dollar tacos attended for many years by an army of Harley riders. McLynne posted the notice on the Downtown Harley website and the faithful responded in dozens with more than thirty motorcycles in a row out front.

As Sunday drew closer people began to write their farewells on the wall outside. "Thanks for the memories, Love, The Whittakers," and "Tom Kintner + Carolyn McCainloridge met here 1981, still together," and , "Thank u Alki Tav, Tacos & Harleys. Love you, Len."

The beer flowed freely and the McLynne's had laid in extra knowing it would be a tidal wave of love.

Then Friday came and it was time for the Last Call Ball. The famous Seattle band CHILD reunited for the gig and one member who seemingly never left West Seattle Tim Turner played with his own band too. The Alki All Stars, a collection of favorite local musicians played their hearts out for the capacity crowd well into the night. The Seattle Fire Department showed up, to check the capacity of the place but admitted they were they as much for the souvenir t-shirts as safety.

Saturday saw the Seafair Pirates cruise up on the Moby Duck and share some tall tales, drag a saber on the sidewalk and down some brews.

Then on Sunday the love bomb went off as all manner of people came to have one last beer, eat the final corned beef and cabbage meal the tavern would serve and swap memories of celebrations and sorrow that a Seattle landmark would soon be gone.

The building and land at 2721 Harbor Ave. SW are in the process of being sold and it's expected that it will be developed and likely become condominiums. The multimillion dollar view has been a treasure the family protected for nearly four decades.

McLynne summed it up. "It's been 38 years. it's been a good ride and I appreciate everybody letting me drive the bus. Things come to an end but it's been great and it means a lot to a lot of people. The love down here has been pouring out down here the last week. People going out of their way. I've had a good time down here but after 38 years, I'm going fishing."

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