2408 First Avenue
Seattle, WA 98121
- Monday - Sunday: 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.
- Brunch served weekends: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Seating Capacity: 36
A Little History
The Belltown Café is the original Macrina Bakery and Café. We opened with six employees, a French Bongard oven as our centerpiece, a stack of convection ovens, one mixer and an espresso machine, an antique display case and a lot of ambition. Right off the bat we offered a full line of artisan breads, ranging from full-flavored, naturally leavened sourdoughs to American favorites like our Rustic Potato loaf. The pastry section was limited to a few muffins, coffee cakes and tarts. Our cozy bakery was soon bursting at the seams, and we took over an adjoining retail space in 1994, which became our café. Today, our line of breads, pastries, cakes and savory selections is extensive.
Meet and Greet
General Manager Belltown CafÉ: Tom Lowell
About MeHometown: New Boston, NH
First Job: General Store Clerk and Camp Counselor
Alternate Universe Job: Cartoonist
Pastry You Couldn’t Live Without: Morning Glory Muffin
Dessert Specialty: Ice cream sundaes!
Weekend Getaway: A cabin on a lake
Binge Food: Pizza
Dream Vacation: Visiting the Louvre in France
Favorite Seattle Restaurant: Sisters and Brothers in Georgetown
Seattle’s Best Kept Secret: Vidiot in West Seattle (FREE BARCADE!)
Food You Despise: Grapefruit
Guilty Pleasure: Listening to radio pop and bad ’90s alt rock
Last Book You Enjoyed: Based on a True Story: A Memoir by Norm Macdonald
Music You Loved In High School: Dead Kennedys, Bad Brains, really bad metal bands, Green Day
What You Listen to Now: Green Day, Devo, 1 million punk and hardcore bands
Top Three Movies: Weird Al’s UHF, Big Trouble in Little China by John Carpenter, and both Bill and Ted movies (they count as one).
Philosophy for Living: "He who is tired of Weird Al is tired of life" – Homer Simpson
"So many regulars come in every day," Tom says. "I know most of them on a first name basis. It’s a really great community, crew and customers alike."
Growing up in a small town in New Hampshire, Tom learned first hand how much of a social life takes place in its central gathering places. He spent six years working in the general store.
"My mom worked there, too. When he was a kid, my dad also worked there. You kind of know everyone when you work there. It’s nice to feel part of something."
He also lives in Belltown and walks to work, sort of like living the small town life in the midst of the big city.
Six years ago he left New Hampshire with his partner in a car loaded with their possessions and headed west, destination unknown. They zigzagged across the country, trying different cities on for size, finally landing in Seattle out of cash.
"We needed to get jobs. I had experience working in a bakery back home and Macrina took a chance on me. I’ve been consistently impressed with Macrina. The artisanal breads and pastries are excellent and the bakers, upper management, and the café crew work well together."
Six years later, he’s earned the title of General Manager.
For the month of January, Belltown’s walls will be adorned with artwork created by Austin Chernich.