Black and Tan aka Alhambra, Porter’s and Waiter’s


404 12th Ave. S., also 1205 S. Jackson St. (corner 12th & Jackson)

The longest-running popular music establishment in Seattle history, the Black and Tan was opened in 1920 as the Alhambra by a grocer named Harry Legg and went through many incarnations and owners over the five decades it was in business, most notably its tenure under Russell “Noodles” Smith, who owned several nightclubs in the district. A basement venue with street access from a door on 12th Avenue South, the club accomdodated about 150 and mostly featured combos, but occasionally big bands such as those led by Lucky Millinder and the International Sweethearts of Rhythm played there. The Black and Tan survived through the eras of early jazz, swing and bebop and became a popular R&B spot in the 1960s. During some years in the ’20s, the upstairs establishment on the same corner was called the Hilltop Tavern, also owned by Smith.