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A Brief History of Mercer Island’s Roanoke Inn

So much history in one, little building.

Located on the northern tip of Mercer Island rests a piece of history. In 1914, when the first settlers were boating their way over, there was little to do and little to go. Once roads improved, and more tourists made their way over, George McGuire built the Roanoke Inn. Though he only had it for a short while, and it was sold several times in those early years, it still stands today as a flourishing beacon of Mercer Island.

Over the years it was an inn, tavern, grocery store, ice cream parlor, and “coffee hotspot” during prohibition. Since it was 21+, they sold ice cream out of a window.

The modern-day Roanoke Inn (Tavern)

With a consistent 4+ star rating across Yelp!, Zomato, Trip Advisor, Facebook, and Door Dash, they’ve made a quite the name for themselves. Top rated for their service, food, and ambiance, this place is the epitome of a local staple, and a must-visit whether you grew up on the island or are visiting from out of town.

Known for their “American” cuisine, their menu features chicken strips, sliders, sandwiches, salads, and many other options. They even have homemade desserts, such as the apple crumb and bread pudding. Their theme nights are also a big hit among their patrons.

Antiques and original Mercer Island memorabilia line the walls of the tavern, showing its roots. A jukebox, booth seating, and darts completes that classic pub vibe.

A step back in time.

Open from 11am to midnight Monday through Friday, and 8am to midnight on weekends. Reviews note their “beautiful landscaping,” “great pub grub,” and that classic Seattle divvy-ness. For over 100 years, this hidden gem has operated and served the residents (and visitors) of Mercer Island. Welcome to another historic, Pacific Northwest jewel.

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