NO! Space Needle Restaurant is Closing!

Anyone who knows Seattle knows that the Space Needle is a crucial part, if not THE identifying part of the Seattle Skyline. The problem? It’s old. 55 years old in fact, and it hasn’t undergone much if any renovation in those 50 plus years. Well, that’s about to change. Parts of the needle and SkyCity, the Space Needle Restaurant, will be closing in a couple of months.

The Space Needle and it’s restaurant will be undergoing a huge renovation starting in September of 2017. The total cost? Over $100 million and a total renovation time of about 9 months. In order to not completely shut off the needle, they will be undergoing renovations 1/6 at a time.  

Space Needle


According to Karen Olsen, the Chief Marketing Officer of the Space Needle:

“The intent was to have a thrilling view over Seattle. It didn’t have pony walls and cages when it was built, so how do we get out of the way to get that thrilling view again?”

Century Project

The entire project is being dubbed the Century Project, and I couldn’t think of a more fitting name. If this renovation goes well, you can imagine that the Needle will be ready to receive visitors for another century at least. Here’s a great video put together by the designers.

Century Project from Space Needle on Vimeo.

Afraid of Heights?

So, what’s changing? Well, the observation deck is ditching the metal cage that’s been surrounding it in favor of 11 foot glass windows. My first thought? My God how are they going to keep that clean?! And the most striking change is coming in the SkyCity restaurant. The entire restaurant will be closed for the entire 9 months while the floor is removed and replaced with a full glass floor, allowing views all the way 600 feet below. They’ll also be replacing the motor which rotates the restaurant at about once every 45 minutes, providing stunning views of the city.


Go eat now!

Don’t worry, you’ve still got until September to grab a table at the restaurant. Ben and I have had the pleasure of eating here twice and it’s stunning, albeit a bit pricey. If you don’t get in before September, you’ll have to wait until late May or early June to get another reservation.

The needle itself, the observation deck, and the elevators will remain in service throughout the winter, but only 5/6 of the deck at a time. I am excited to see how things end up in the end, as the observation deck is pretty awesome now, and I’m expecting it to be a lot better now. One of the worst parts was the wind at the very top, being that it’s wide open. I am hoping that these large glass panes will help to make the viewing experience that much better.

Have you been to the Space Needle? How about SkyCity?

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Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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  1. But is the redtsursnt open now

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    • I was there this past September and it’s nit the restaurant I was in in 1978. It’s more of grab a bite food and drinks. The glass floor is not for the weak with heights. Although my son got me to step out on it then typical, gave me a shove and grabbed me at the same time! Need,was to say the women there told him “THAT WAS NOT FUNNY!” Good laugh anyway. Very touristy, not what it was.

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      • It seems like that was the vibe that I got too. Hey we are here for only tourists now. And you’re right. That is too bad.

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  2. This is my Yelp! review (one star, only because I couldn’t choose zero):

    I’ve had but one experience in Sky City Restaurant, and it wasn’t a good one, so maybe I just happened to order the one single item on the menu they hadn’t figured out how to do right. But who would have thought that any restaurant in Seattle could flub up salmon?

    Here’s the good part: I didn’t have to pay for my meal. If I did, I would have grabbed a burger and met my friend, his new wife and her wealthy family down at the Fish Market (where I have no doubt that everyone knows how to cook salmon without drying it out). Still, as I didn’t know our host–and I wasn’t feeling my characteristic urge to take advantage of a stranger–I couldn’t bring myself to order more than a single drink from the bar, because the first one cost over $20, and this was about 15 years ago. Sure, the guy was loaded, but I quickly took a liking to him, which is lucky for him or I would have taken him to the bank when he said, “Order anything you like.”

    Back to the salmon. Here I am, in one of Washington State’s premier restaurants, slowly spinning atop the Space Needle, taking in the incredible view, surrounded by nice, fun, happy people, with fancy waiters bustling about serving what had to be the best food imaginable to the people at the tables around us… The thought of receiving a sub-par meal didn’t even cross my mind, so when my fish came, I dug in–and nearly choked on a bone. Then I had to gag down the entire filet (which wasn’t much of a challenge, as this was, after all, an expensive restaurant, and therefore the servings were predictably ridiculously small), which was like eating an ersatz fish filet fashioned from sawdust held together with Sahara sand. I actually did a gauche thing and ordered tartar sauce against my own better judgment; otherwise, I never would have managed to scarf that lousy fish down.

    But the view was terrific.

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