The Diller Hotel, located in the heart of downtown at the corner of 1st and University, opened to the public in 1890, but struggled financially until 1897 when gold was discovered in Alaska.
Thanks in large part to the Diller’s proximity to the waterfront, the four story working man’s hotel became a second home for Klondike pioneers, prospectors and miners seeking their fortune.
In 1916, four years before the entire country followed suit, Washington adopted a prohibition policy that banned the sale of alcohol statewide. Speakeasies popped up all over town, including at the Diller, where the ground floor Chinese laundry was merely a front for bottles of contraband hooch.
Today, the Diller Room occupies the former lobby of the long-gone hotel, where vestiges of its colorful past remain intact. With exposed brick walls, vintage stained glass windows, and a handcrafted wooden bar, the Diller evokes a feeling of history, yet never gets caught up in manufactured nostalgia.