Return of the 'R'

The big red Rainier R regains its throne
Brangien Davis  |   November 2013   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION
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Longtime Seattleites remember it as a day of infamy: July 3, 2000, when the iconic neon R atop the Rainier Brewery was wrenched from its nearly-50-year perch and replaced with—egads—a neon green T, marking the building as the new home of Tully’s Coffee. But drivers who’ve spent the past 13 years cursing the glowing green initial hovering over I-5 can finally stop gnashing their teeth: the 12-foot-tall red R returns on October 24. It’s actually a facsimile—the original R remains in the atrium at the Museum of History & Industry—but even a simulacrum is satisfying. “The replacement of the ‘R’ with the ‘T’ some 13 years ago was a mistake,” said Michael Avenatti, the new chair of Tully’s, in a press release. “That part of the Seattle skyline has always truly belonged to the ‘R.’” Right as rain.