Derschang inside her recently opened Little Oddfellows (Image: CHS)
Daydreaming about your glamorous life in Linda Derschang’s $1.7 million Interlaken home is one thing. Dealing with the realities of maintaining the 90-year-old house is another. After calling Capitol Hill home for the better part of 30 years, Derschang tells CHS she is leaving for the simpler life across I-5. This week, she starts her move to a condo in the Denny Triangle.
“My friends say ‘you’re not really moving into a neighborhood,’ but I don’t really need to move into a neighborhood,” she said. “I still spend so much time on Capitol Hill.”
Derschang and Capitol Hill have been inextricably linked since the late 1980s, when she moved to the neighborhood and opened her first Seattle business, a punk clothing store called Basic. Even so, Derschang is downplaying the significance of her neighborhood departure .
Derschang will actually be closer to Linda’s Tavern, Oddfellows Cafe + Bar, and her office above the 10th Ave restaurant in her new home at the base of Capitol Hill. She insists she hasn’t grown tired of us, either: Had there been more new condo options on Capitol Hill, Derschang said she would’ve stayed in the neighborhood.
“Let’s try to keep everything the same for a little while.”
The lifestyle change isn’t something Derschang says she sees as part of a trend among the old guard of Capitol Hill business owners, who have either already moved on or never called the neighborhood home in the first place. The move, she said, is rooted in much more universal impulse: “As we get older, we want to downsize.”
As far as the Derschang Group’s food and drink empire is concerned, Derschang says she has no plans to either shrink or expand following this month’s opening of Little Oddfellows inside the Elliot Bay Book Company.
“Let’s try to keep everything the same for a little while,” she said after laughing off the suggestion that the Denny Triangle could be home to her next venture.
Derschang has been a nonstop nightlife force in Seattle for two decades. She opened the Baltic Room in 1997 and Chop Suey in 2003. In 2006 she opened King’s Hardware in Ballard, and then returned to Capitol Hill to open Smith in 2007 and Oddfellows Cafe in 2008. Bait Shop came in 2012 and Tallulah’s opening closed out 2013.
Last year CHS looked back at the history of Linda’s Tavern as the beloved watering hole turned 20 and glanced ahead at what the future might hold amid so much neighborhood upheaval. At the time, Derschang said she was unsure if the “nice place for nice people” would be able to roll with Capitol Hill culture changes for another 20 years. The future hasn’t necessarily become any clearer for Derschang, but she will have a good vantage point from which to survey it all.