The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

January 26, 2009

Pizza Hut Ordered To Go

Filed under: History, Redmond — Tags: , — Brian Lutz @ 1:14 pm

Update 04/23/09:  The Redmond Pizza Hut has now reopened in a new location at Cleveland Street Square (I don’t have the exact address since I just saw it while passing by earlier today, but I will add the info once i get it.)  Also, for a more in-depth look at what will be coming to the new Redmond Center, be sure to check out this post:


If you’ve driven through Downtown Redmond at any time within the last few days, you might have noticed something missing at Redmond Center.  It seems that the Pizza Hut located at the entrance to one of Redmond’s older strip malls has vanished, and as of Saturday about half of the building next door (which was most recently used as a physical therapist’s office, and previously as a Payless Shoe Source) had disappeared as well.  These two buildings are being demolished to make way for part of a new expansion and overhaul of the east side of Redmond Center, one of Redmond’s oldest major shopping centers.  More details on this demolition and the future construction that will be coming to the center, and a bit of the history of this site, can be found after the jump.

As you can see, the wreckers seem to have wasted little time in bringing down the Pizza Hut, which was still standing as recently as last Wednesday.  Over the weekend the back wall of the other building was left in place, but presumably it will be gone by the time you read this.   The  back wall of the building did stand long enough to reveal one interesting sign of this building’s past though:

I cannot be entirely certain of the origin of that particular bit of art, but it looks like something straight out of the mid Seventies.  Unfortunately, since I know basically nothing of the history of this center prior to 1994 when I moved here, I have no idea what could have been here that would have prompted the painting of something like this on the wall.  Since this was on the back wall of the building, it would have presumably been located in the stockroom of whatever store it was in, hidden from public view up until the bulldozers arrived to bring it down.  Does anyone have any ideas on this?

At some undetermined point in the future, the demolition crews will eventually be turning their attention to the east side of the shopping center as well, and rebuilding a new larger structure in its place, eliminating the breezeway between the buildings in the process.  I have been informed by the owner of Niko Teriyaki (where I have been a regular customer for many years now) that they will be moving to a new location somewhere in the general vicinity soon, but I have not heard anything about any of the other businesses here  (including Hill’s Barber Shop, which has been here since 1965) moving to different locations.

Click image for a link to the site plan on the City of Redmond website (PDF link)

Click image for a link to the site plan on the City of Redmond website (PDF link)

 From the permit filings for this project on the City of Redmond website, we can get a better idea of what the updated Redmond Center will look like.  Aside from the former Lakeside Drug store (which I will discuss in a bit more detail in a further post)  which is currently in the process of receiving a name change to Pharmaca and an extensive remodel, most of the center will remain untouched at this time (although it has already been renovated extensively about five years ago when the Staples store was added.) 

Finally, for a bit of historical context, here is an aerial photo of the center from the Sammamish Valley News as it appeared when it was first opened in 1965, courtesy of the Redmond Historical Society arcvhives.   At this time only half of the center as it exists today had been built, and the QFC store was originally an IGA Foodliner.  I need to go back and make another attempt to fill in some of the blanks on the history of this center, but there seems to be a fair bit of info missing at this point.  Once I get a chance to do some more research, I intend to put together another post on this.

To take a closer look at how this shopping center evolved over the years, you can also see aerial imagery of it from 1968, 1980, 1990, 1998 and 2006 on HistoricAerials.com.  You can also see a 1964 image showing the vacant land where the center would soon be built, and some scattered houses in the area.  Based on these images, it appears that the old Foodliner store (or at least the building it was in) was replaced by the larger QFC store sometime during the Eighties, and that the Pizza Hut was here before 1980 (If I had to guess, I would say it probably arrived sometime between 1978-1980, since the 1977 SVN archives I have gone through don’t make any mention of it in spite of a fast food boom going on in Redmond during this time.)

Again, there are a lot of blanks I need to fill in here, so I will follow up on this when I get a chance.  I also have a long overdue post I need to write about the nearby Redmond Shopping Square, which is even older than this one (dating back to t0 1956) and will be disappearing completely soon.

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11 Comments »

  1. Wow, many changes to the Redmond landscape.

    Comment by Skye — January 26, 2009 @ 11:09 pm

  2. Wow!!! Amazing blog!! I was randomly googling today when I was waiting for my coffee at Starbucks. I was looking at the remains of what used to be Pizza Hut. Who knew I was about to google a walk down memory lane.
    It’s been years since I thought about ‘Turbo Tubes’ in Totem Lake or ‘Place Two’ in Crossroads mall. I still can remember the old barn (is that what it was???) that sat west of what is now the Redmond Saturday Market -the old barn hosted a haunted house at Halloween. There was a restaurant way before Canyons called Lahaina (probably butchered the spelling) Louie’s that actually

    served good Hawaiian’ish type food.
    Did you know there used to an Xrated theater in Redmond where Mills Music is now? I only know this because I have to hear about the time my dad locked his keys in there

    Comment by 98052girl — January 27, 2009 @ 11:50 pm

  3. I heard that Vivian’s Pride is closed also. Can it be true?!

    Comment by Colin — January 30, 2009 @ 7:44 pm

  4. According to their Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Redmond-WA/Thenos-Dairy/48735995202#), Theno’s has been temporarily closed due to a fire, but will reopen when they are able to do so. Presumably you can find further updates on their status over there.

    Comment by Brian Lutz — January 30, 2009 @ 8:25 pm

  5. 98052girl:

    I was aware of there being a theater in that particular location (known as Cine-Mond, there are ads in the papers throughout the late 60s and 70s indicating it was showing regular Hollywood movies at that time,) but I was not aware that it became an X-rated theatre later on.

    Also, I seem to recall that previously there was a place known as Rupert’s in the building where Canyons is now, and before that I have vague memories of there being a place with a name like Bedrock Cafe or something similar (keep in mind, I’ve only lived here since 1995.) Do either of those sound familiar?

    Comment by Brian Lutz — January 30, 2009 @ 8:29 pm

  6. Construction started on Redmond Center

    The remodel of Redmond Center will expand the shopping center and bring an upscale look to the Nelson Legacy Group property. Three buildings on the eastern portion of the site, along 160th Avenue NE and NE Redmond Way, are being demolished. A fourth building is being updated for occupancy to house an integrated pharmacy and another tenant. Nelson Legacy Group has found new spaces for all but one of the existing tenants in either Redmond Center or in other Nelson properties. The Nelsons are working to find a new location for the one remaining tenant

    The design by The Driftmier Architects of Redmond includes two new retail buildings totaling about 30,000 SF of retail restaurant space. The building along Redmond Way will house two new restaurants, a bank and other tenants. The other building on 160th will bring a specialty grocery store to the center and provide for two more tenants. The first building is expected to open in early fall ’09, with the other following a month later.

    The Driftmier Architects has received demolition and construction permits for the projects. Woodman Construction of Bellevue has started work on the expansion to the center.

    To learn more and see views of the new buildings go to: http://www.driftmier.com/retail/redmond-center/

    Comment by Rick Driftmier — February 5, 2009 @ 3:21 pm

  7. […] seems that I’m not the only person who noticed the sudden disappearance of the Pizza Hut that spent thirty years sitting in front of Redmond Center, and the former […]

    Pingback by An Early Look at the New Redmond Center « The Sledgehammer - Version 2.0 — February 5, 2009 @ 7:52 pm

  8. While Nelson Group Properties claim they “found a spot” for existing tenants at Redmond Center, they served Pizza Hut with an eviction notice in July, offered extension until May then Served a two week eviction notice on Christmas Eve this year.

    Comment by michael — February 28, 2009 @ 8:59 pm

  9. The old Movie Theater was torn down. It used to be in a strip mall next to Becks further down. The Bedrock Cafe (ah, memories) was also torn down. The Windemere Real Estate building was put in its place.

    The strip mall coming down had at one time a Radio Shack, Mcdonalds Books store (at its third location now), McDonalds was replaced with Puss N Books, there was a Coast to Coast Hardware (which always had a nice Chirstmass display), a home made Chocolate store (which should be mentioned in the archives as it made the local news and tv shows. Lakeside Drugs (how I miss it!!!) and Hills Babershop have been there as long as I know. The Payless Show Source used to be a Sears Catalog Store. Canyons was built new, but the spot used to have a Hawaiian Themede dance club I spent my nights at during the late 80’s (completing with the Bedrock). I also attented a few Bachelor Parties there as well in the 90’s.

    Vitamin Life used to be a Standard Paint Store. The Hair Salon used to be Geohrings (sp?) Hair Salon. Don’t recall what was there before Niki’s… And as already mentioned, the QFC was an IGA. Pizza Hut and Ben Franklin were already here when I arrived in 1978…

    I have not been in Pharmaca, but it looks much smaller then Lakeside. I doubt it carries on the unusual items too. It was always a good place to find that last minute gift for office holiday parties!

    On a different note, the current Jamba Juice was a Wenchels for Decades… Bring it back!!

    Comment by Scott — April 18, 2009 @ 8:22 am

    • From what I’ve found, McDonald’s Book Exchange existed in a couple of other locations besides the three you list here. An October 1977 Meet Your Merchants section in the Journal-American shows that it was located in the Lake Hills Shopping Center in Bellevue at that time. It also lists a Kirkland location with a phone number, but no address. More on this when I get around to putting together the next Recycled Newspaper post.

      Lakeside Drug also had a previous location before Redmond Center. Originally, it was in the Redmond shopping Square, in the corner where Parker Paint is now. The Eastside Heritage Center’s online photo archive has a picture of this, and it looked quite different than it does now, with a lot more windows.

      I actually saw a 1977 full-page ad for Redmond Center at one point, but I don’t have access to all my files right now, so I’d have to go find it again.

      Comment by Brian Lutz — April 18, 2009 @ 10:05 am

  10. […] than seven months after demolition work began on the site, Niko Teriyaki was able to reopen was able to reopen in their new location at […]

    Pingback by The New Redmond Center Takes Shape (Updated) « The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0 — September 20, 2009 @ 11:47 am


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