I noticed this sign for the first time fairly recently, tucked up above the Ballard Smoke Shop. Back in the day, the Princess Hotel provided rooms for fishermen and mill workers, the ground floor was occupied by Peterson and Jenson’s “The People’s Store.” Today, the upstairs is the Princess Apartments and part of the ground floor is available for rent. The “People’s Pub” is located a few doors down.
The Ballard Historical Society Walking Tour (pdf) describes the building, which dates back to 1904, as follows:
The building features stone window lintels and sills, as well as a decorative brick cornice with metal cap piece, and was carefully restored in 1980.
And the Historical Society’s 1988 Passport to Ballard (p. 217) provides the following description of the building next door, which currently houses the Ballard Smoke Shop (see above).
One of the original wood-framed commercial buildings on Ballard Avenue, built in 1903. Remodeled with Mission Style front in 1926 … occupied by the Smoke Shop Restaurant in 1988.
The accompanying photo in Passport certainly supports that claim, but the below photo, which judging by the cars looks to be from the 1960s or 70s, clearly shows the same building sans Mission. It also shows part of the Ballard Smoke Shop located in the Princess Hotel building. And parallel street parking. Those were the days.
Liquor laws allowed only restaurants to pour the hard stuff. So Malmen’s Fine Food (now Hattie’s Hat) served dinner in the back and cocktails in the front, while the Smoke Shop had its “Ember Room” and Vasa Sea Grill had its “Patio Room.” … The Patio Room was smoky and raucous, crowded with old sailors and fishermen, most of them Scandinavian. Many of them rented rooms in the run-down boarding houses above the storefronts – the Princess Hotel, the Sunset, and the Starlight. Back then halibut season lasted for six months, and so for the other six months these fishermen would just hole up in their hotels and spend their money at the bars.