Special thanks to "Sandy" Murray '55 for the time and effort researching
information for this page.
The story of the Grizzly Inn and George Lamereux
Here's the Grizzly Inn ad seen in many Grizzly yearbooks and Kuay newspapers
Hal Will, '44, published this article in the February, 1999, issue of The KUAY
The Inn was our fast food restaurant, meeting place and social hub, in general. It appeared to be a converted one-story house directly across Gaer Street from the Northwest corner of Queen Anne High School. The proprietor was George Lamoreux. I liked and respected him and I believe those sentiments were shared by all of the students that regularly patronized his establishment. He maintained a reasonable level or order while allowing enough teenage exuberance, noise, and hijinx to make the Inn a popular center of social activity at lunch time and after school.
RIGHT: Owner George Lamereux sits in front of the Grizzly Inn with his Grizzly sculpture in 1944.
The room inside the front door of the Inn had some booths each side of the entrance, the juke box was on the east wall to the right, and a red brick fireplace was on the opposite (west) wall. A soda counter was on the wall straight ahead from the entrance. The hamburger grills and serving area were behind that wall forming a serving island.
There was a larger seating area behind the island which could also serve as a dancing area.
I don't recall any names or faces of full-time employees at the Inn but I know that most of the hamburger and other food serving activities were performed by students during the lunch periods. I know that my buddy, Clyde, cooked hamburgers when he attended Queen Anne. For most students who ate at the Inn, ordering was simple. Just get in the hamburger line and be ready to call out your preference of embellishments, then state your choice of drink at the next
counter. My choice then was, "Relish, mustard and mayonnaise," then, "Coke."
The Wurlitzer juke box took a nickel to play one tune on a 78 rpm record. It seems there were enough nickels flowing from the students to keep the Wurlitzer playing most of the time. Most of the tunes of the time were big band music, all very good dance music. The movie "Jolson Story" had revived some Al Jolson songs to Hit Parade status also. Of course, Glen Miller music was an all-time favorite. Most of the fireplace bricks from about three feet above the floor to the ceiling had students' names painted on them. George would charge a nominal fee to have your name on a brick for a year. Somehow I got the job of painting names on bricks for George when someone "rented" one, often for a girlfriend. George would tell me which ones were old enough to be painted over and he cautioned me to not paint over special ones. I recall two of those names were Edo Vanni, a local professional baseball hero, and Cowboy Johnny Cherberg, still teaching and coaching at Queen Anne at the time.
LEFT: In 1937 two students pass a tall car on leaving the Inn.
Most of my high school years were during World War II, when photography near the waterfront, airport, or any military installation was taboo. That might explain why we didn't have cameras with us except on special occasions. I did get some pictures in front of the Grizzly Inn. It was near graduation time for there were caps and gowns in some of the pictures.
George Lamereux was a Seattle native, graduating from Queen Anne in 1924. His wife, Charlotte, also was a Queen Anne graduate. He took over the Grizzly Inn just two years after graduation, in 1926, and was instrumental in establishing "Grizzlies" as the school's mascot and nickname in 1930. The Grizzly Inn's phone listing in the Seattle directory disappeared after 1954, so I presume it was torn down to make way for the Otto L. Luther
The cast of the 1940 production of "You Can't Take It with You," still in costume, caps a performance with Grizzly fare.
Memorial Playfield across Galer Street to the north of the school. It was dedicated May 5, 1958.
George E. Llamoreux died in June of 1970. He was 67 years old. The obituary stated that he retired in 1948. His wife died five years earlier than he.
Link to Grizzly Inn Photo Page