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Final call for 5 T's Restaurant & Lounge

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Here’s one more “t” for 5 T’s Restaurant & Lounge — a sad toodle-loo.

The food-and-drink fixture in East Wenatchee’s old downtown (859 Valley Mall Parkway) closed its doors Saturday after nearly seven decades in business, a victim of the unstable economy and rising liquor and food prices.

Margie Nash worked there for almost 24 years as bartender, waitress and — for the last 8 years — owner and chief bottle washer. She said the closing night party on Saturday drew loyal customers from around the region, even from the Seattle area. “It was packed,” she said. “It was the biggest night I’ve seen in my 24 years here. A wonderful send-off from a bunch of wonderful folks.”

Details of the restaurant’s origins are sketchy, but Nash said it opened as the Sundown Room sometime in the 1940s. Around 1970 or ’71, the restaurant was bought by John Tontz, who ran it with his wife and three kids — thus the name “5 T’s” was born.

Affectionately called “T’s” by regulars, early-risers loved the place for its 6 a.m. breakfasts. Night owls loved it  for its 2 a.m. weekend closing times and, said one online reviewer, for the “stiffest damn drinks you’ve ever seen.” In recent years, 5 T’s became a karaoke hotspot for amateur crooners.

Nash said she isn’t sure what the future of the place will be. It’s likely that owner of the building will put it up for sale. “As for me?” she said. “I’ll look for a job and see where things go from there.”

Wistful, Nash added, “I’m going to miss our loyal customers, miss them all like family. We had a lot of good times here over the years.”