South Seattle

From 'Thrift Shop' to 'White Walls': Inside the Macklemore tour

From 'Thrift Shop' to 'White Walls': Inside the Macklemore tour »Play Video

SEATTLE -- Nestled on a quiet corner in Seattle's Pioneer Square, it's not the ground-level coffee shop that will get you closer to the stars, but a rooftop you might just recognize.

"I think once you point it out to people, they kind of put it together, but I haven't had anybody scaling the walls to get up here or trying to bust down the roof," said Ron Bianco, a real estate broker who manages the property at 2nd Avenue South and South Jackson Street.

"That hasn't happened yet," he joked, "although it could potentially happen after this."

"This" is what local blog Curbed has deemed the “Definitive Macklemore Video Location Seattle Walking Tour,” or a list of 11 locations featured in videos by musicians Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

The local indie hip-hop act took home four Grammy Awards on Sunday night; the self-guided walking tour – highlighting locations from the “Thrift Shop,” “Can’t Hold Us,” and “White Walls” videos – was published Monday morning.

“I’d say Broadway has become our celebrity location,” chuckled Saul Spady, who worked with Dick’s Drive-Ins on the Macklemore video shoot for "White Walls" at the restaurant last year.

Spady, the grandson of the restaurant’s founder, had long thought the Capitol Hill burger joint might make a great space for a movie or music video shoot. A few weeks before cameras were scheduled to roll on “White Walls,” the restaurant got an email from a Macklemore representative who wanted to meet.

“I thought, you know what? This is my one shot,” Spady said, “(so I asked): ‘you guys want to do it on the roof?’ And a couple days later we were talking to the city of Seattle trying to get a permit.”

Thousands turned out for the video shoot last summer after news leaked of the plans. Dick’s makes several cameos in the six-minute video, which has nearly 20 million hits on YouTube.

Spady won’t reveal how sales numbers have changed for the Broadway restaurant location since the shoot but says he sees photos and comments on social media of customers visiting the spot after seeing it in the video.

“I see mentions of people coming here because they want to go where Macklemore went,” Spady said. “It’s been wild. It was an experience.”

Other locations on the list include Capitol Hill bar Unicorn / Narwhal, Gas Works Park, and the exterior of the Seattle Brewing and Malting Company in Georgetown, which is featured in the opening moments of “Thrift Shop.”

Representatives for the Goodwill Outlet in SoDo say their 15 minutes of fame have also opened up thrifting to a new generation – who may stop in to see the store in person.

“They can say, ‘Oh, there’s the outlet store.’ And ‘Oh, there’s the couch,’” said Betsy McFeely, communications director for Goodwill. “It’s not often that someone like a Macklemore calls and says ‘Hey, we want to shoot in your store.’”

McFeely declined to reenact Macklemore’s now-famous couch-running sequence but encouraged a KOMO News crew to do it.

"I think it all just goes to show how much he cares about Seattle, and that's why the videos work," added Spady. "Dick's Drive-Ins: we love Seattle. That's our message. We love this city, we want to give back in every way, and I think he's just the exact same person."