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Rosebud restaurateur remembered for work with Gay City, shaping of Cal Anderson Park

Robert Sondheim helped shape some of the best parts of the Capitol Hill you know and mostly love today. The restaurateur and businessman died earlier this month. Sondheim was 67 years old.

“He served on the board for Gay City, was part of the redevelopment of Cal Anderson Park, and was a longtime volunteer at MOHAI, among many other things,” the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce said about his passing. “Much love to his family, including his life partner Herman, and to his many friends and associates.”

CHS met Sondheim in the end years as a restaurant owner on Capitol Hill as his popular Rosebud transitioned into the new era of Pike/Pine entertainment and nightlife we know today. After a shuttering in its 17th year, the venture temporarily was revived before the Rosebud finally gave way. Today, Saint John’s Bar and Eatery — and its “queer dinosaurs” — calls the space home.

Sondheim’s obituary highlights the Rosebud years:

Mayors, city and county officials, and local Capitol Hill residents liked to dine at Rosebud. There were many autographed photos of movie stars from Robert’s family connections in Hollywood along with the famous Rosebud snow sleds that peppered the walls of the restaurant. During the International Film Festivals, movie and entertainment stars liked to go to Rosebud where they could have a great dining experience and not be bothered by the press or the public after performances.

The chamber has posted information about a gathering of friends and associates planned for May.

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Uncle Vinny
1 year ago

Ahhh the Rosebud. That place was a constant for me for many weekend brunches. They had a cheesy pasta (with gouda, maybe?) that was incredible. Good coffee, good cocktails, and a cozy atmosphere. RIP, sir.

1 year ago

I loved going to the Rosebud in the early/mid 00s when I just moved here. It had such a charm. And the stiffest drinks, as everyone knows. Thank you Robert.