Olympia Hardware/Site of Kay’s Chop Suey Restaurant

Location: 109 Capitol Way N
Local register; Olympia Downtown National Historic District; Diversity:Chinese heritage

olympia hardware thenOlympia Hardware Co. 1914, Robert Esterly, courtesy of Washington State Historical Society Olympia Hardware nowOlympia Hardware Company building today (2012) photograph by Matt Kennelly

The Olympia Hardware Building, erected in 1884, is one of the oldest existing commercial buildings in the city. It was built by owner Charles Williams, who went into business soon after with his brother Sam (Charles was later a partner in Mottman Mercantile after George Mottman took over management from Toklas and Kaufman). This masonry building replaced an earlier wood structure, pictured in link below. Over the years the building has housed several businesses, including the Bilger and Going Hardware store. In recent memory it was the home of Kay’s Chop Suey, a popular Chinese restaurant managed by the Kay family. The building features attractive, original cast iron pilasters at the sides of the two openings. It is listed on the local register and is part of the National Downtown Historic District.

For more information follow these links:

Olympia Heritage inventory

Downtown Olympia National Historic District

Washington State Historical Society photograph collection (enter following catalog numbers in Collections Search box): 2010.149.36.1 (above photo); C1964.; C1949.1301.31.10; C2008.5.47 (earlier wooden Williams Hardware store)

Article: Chinese in Olympia: Restaurants (includes a photograph of a corner of Kay’s Chop Suey after the 1949 earthquake)

For more information on the Kay and Williams families, Bilger, and Going, see the Residents section of this website.













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