Ernie Eder, former owner of Olde Burien’s historic Hi-Line Tin Shop – now the Tin Room Bar & Theater – passed away on Saturday, Jan. 5.
Ernie, who retired several years ago, apparently passed peacefully of natural causes in his mid-80s.
The Hi-Line Tin Shop was started by Ernie’s father, John Eder, in 1930. Ernie took the family business over and ran it until retiring around 2004, when it was turned into the Tin Room Bar.
You can see evidence of Ernie and his work throughout the bar – including in the logo – with re-purposed templates inlayed into tables, along with historic signs, tools, and a sheet metal roller above the bar. Even the faces and names of Ernie and his wife Phyllis adorn the restroom doors.
“Ernie’s wife, Phyllis, was by his side throughout the changing times and together they weathered the advent of home improvement chain stores and mass produced products by concentrating on custom work,” reads a note on the Tin Room Bar’s website. “Not only was their work essential, but of great quality and craftsmanship.”
“I had meatloaf with Ernie about two weeks ago, and I told him that the real reason for the success of the Tin Room is because of all he did here,” Dan House, Tin Room Owner, told The B-Town Blog Sunday. “Ernie was a great man and a true local treasure, and he’ll be greatly missed by everyone.”
House adds that a memorial and celebration of Ernie’s life is planned at the Tin Room on Saturday, Jan. 26, starting at 2 p.m.. Ernie’s classic old Tin Shop truck will be on hand, and all are invited to share their thoughts.
There will also be a card at the bar available immediately for anyone to sign to share their thoughts and sympathies with Ernie’s family.
One interesting anecdote from Ernie’s Tin Shop days was when a Disney film called “White Fang” needed custom chimney stacks for shacks that they built for the set – but they needed them to be made and shipped within 24 hours. They called upon Ernie and he quickly rose to the task, fulfilling and shipping their order up to Alaska right on time.
Here’s another photo of Ernie, courtesy Greg Butler, who adds:
“Here’s a photo of him the night he met Ciscoe at the Tin Room. Not sure who was more tickled at meeting who…”
We had a chance to meet Ernie a few times, and we thoroughly enjoyed his company and sense of humor. We’d like to share our deepest sympathies with his family and friends, and add:
“Rest in Peace Ernie, and thanks for all you did for the community!”