On July 27th, Wren & Willow hosted a celebration for the Wren & Willow office building's 100 year birthday. In 1917, "Big Al" Fugina, a Wisconsin-born bar tender, moved into 5104 ½ North Pearl Street to open a confectionary and soda parlor. For being a merchant of sweets, Big Al's reputation was anything but sweet; he showed distaste for children and had a sour disposition.
"Big Al" Fugina
While the candy and soda shop in the front of the building is an important part of the building's story, it's what happened out back that made Big Al's mark in history. Sparked by the recent prohibition in Washington State, Fugina opened a speakeasy behind the candy and soda shop. In honor of this storied past, Wren & Willow hosted a speakeasy-themed birthday celebration for the building.
In the speakeasy tradition, a bar in the Wren & Willow courtyard was tended by Laureen Skrivan's son, Aaron Skrivan. Cocktails from the era were offered, including Bee's Knees, Manhattan, Old Fashioned, and Vodka Martini.
Friend of Wren & Willow, Richard Ranch, very generously offered his Model T Ford to add to the ambiance and authenticity of the event.
The night was filled with wonderful friends, delicious food, and great fun. Future President Ezra Skrivan helped with the evening's raffle.
Before the evening was over, the Wren & Willow family had a photo taken with the Model T in front of the former speakeasy, which 100 years later, is now the home of Wren & Willow.