Spotlight: 5th Avenue Cafe

5th Avenue: our flagship cafe.

Top Pot’s second café is located on 5th Avenue in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood. This densely populated urban area is filled with old-school charm. Brick buildings line the street, while the sleek, silver monorail, built for the 1962 World’s Fair, glides overhead. Just a few blocks from the Space Needle, the 5th Avenue café is a place where famous guests, excited tourists, and neighborhood regulars come to mingle.

Beautiful two-story greenhouse windows allow passersby to observe the old-school interior, complete with Top Pot’s signature bookshelves, a 1960s-style television, and a balcony seating area. It’s a beautiful, large café and it’s a staple of Seattle’s downtown.

The roastery for all 20 Top Pot locations is housed at this location. This is where all of our coffee beans and cold brew coffee is produced. It’s amazing how much hard work and dedication the men and women of the roastery have put into their work. Whether you’re sipping a latte on top of Queen Anne hill in one of our first locations, or grabbing a quick drip coffee at our newest café, Sky House in Dallas, you’re tasting the same great quality coffee.

Tourist Hot Spot

The 5th Avenue location is conveniently close to many of Seattle’s great tourist destinations. After enjoying our doughnuts and coffee, visitors can take the 10-minute walk to the Seattle Center. There they can take a trip to the top of the Space Needle, visit the International Fountain, or spend an afternoon in the EMP/SFM, otherwise known as the “Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum.”

This nonprofit museum features exhibits focused on pop culture and music both nationally and internationally. Their most recent exhibits have included a Star Trek retrospective, an in-depth Hello Kitty display, and, of course, several rooms devoted to our hometown hero, Jimi Hendrix.

If you choose to set your feet walking south, you’ll arrive at Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market. Yup, that’s the place where they throw the fish. There is also fresh food from over 85 local farmers as well as various artistic wares from the 225 local artists that can be found along the market’s 9 acres.

Local Favorite/Famous Hang Out

But it’s not just tourists who love our Belltown store. It’s also a neighborhood place. With its extensive seating and retro vibe, it’s a great place to meet with a friend or five. Knitting clubs, tech workers check-ins, and senior meet-ups all take place on a weekly basis. Not to mention, it’s a great place to take the family on a Sunday morning.

Even the famous crowd gets in on the action. Over the years Top Pot 5th Avenue has been visited by many familiar faces: Conan O’Brien, Joel McHale, Sir Mix-A-Lot, and Philip Seymour Hoffman have all come to visit. But nothing quite beat then time when this guy showed up.

President Obama Top Pot Doughnuts
President Barack Obama at Top Pot 5th Avenue

That’s right, we were lucky enough to be visited by President Barack Obama. It was an incredible experience (yeah, that’s me hiding back there on the left). He greeted everyone, shook our hands and generally made us all smile. And yes, he tried a doughnut (it was the glazed pumpkin old-fashioned) and pronounced it “addictive.”

The Inside Scoop

It’s not only our customers who love the 5th Avenue location. We’re also big fans of it as well. Founder, Mark Klebeck was one of the main forces behind the build and design of the café.

When I asked him what was his favorite part of the creation and build of the 5th Avenue location, he had this to say:

“The downtown 5th avenue café is unique in that it was built slowly and carefully thought out in design. The entire space is covered in birch wood, terrazzo and was designed to match the late 1940’s structure. It is special for me because my wife and I got married inside on the stairs two weeks before it opened to the public.

“My favorite thing about the build out was working side-by-side with my brother Michael from start to finish. We took our time and carefully incorporated design as we went along.”

Our flagship store is a hustling, bustling place filled with excited customers, delicious doughnuts, and robust coffee. The line can get a little crazy from time to time, but there’s no denying it’s a lot of fun. In fact, this quote from Clara, a 5th Avenue staff member, pretty much sums it up:

“It’s a fast-paced environment that can go from zero to jam packed in seconds. Most days there are customers waiting before we even open the door. It can be hard work, but when you get into the rhythm it transforms into a doughnut-slinging dance party.”

Have you visited our flagship location? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments below!

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