The next ‘Good Bootlegger’ presentation on historic, 1920s Seattle-area bootlegger Roy Olmstead will be held at the Smith Tower on Monday, April 1.
This will be the second of a three-part series – although each works as a standalone event – presented by local filmmakers Steve Edmiston and Scott Schaefer at the iconic, historic, prohibition-era Observatory Bar on the Smith Tower’s 35th floor.
The first presentation, held on Mar. 4, sold out, so get your tickets soon!

Seattle has its fair share of stories to add to Prohibition lore, having given rise to one of the most successful bootleggers in Pacific Northwest history, Roy Olmstead.
Smith Tower and The Good Bootlegger’s Guild present an educational and engaging speaker series in three parts, combining history, mythology, rum, and good old-fashioned storytelling.
Fired from the Seattle Police Department, Olmstead makes a historic decision that will change the business and political landscape in the Northwest throughout the 1920s: with his “free time,” he will go into bootlegging booze full time.
What makes Olmstead different from every other bootlegger in Seattle, the Northwest, and the entire nation is a surprisingly classic tale of Northwest entrepreneurship, innovation, and spirit.

Exclusive Specialty Cocktail
In honor of our rumrunning roots, the Smith Tower will be featuring an exclusive specialty cocktail only available during Smells Like Seattle Spirits events. Make sure to ask for Runnin’ with the Devil, a delicious cocktail that includes Appleton Estate Signature Blend Rum, FORO Amaro, lemon sherbet, lime, and absinthe rinse.
Tickets are just $20
Doors open at 7 p.m., and tickets are $20 per person. Seating is limited and standing room will apply if the event is sold out. A full bar and menu are available for purchase throughout the evening for your enjoyment. While we encourage you to attend all sessions, it’s not required to follow along with the storyline.


The third and final presentation will be:

  • Monday, May 6: The Hard Fall: The Feds Fight Back
    Olmstead’s good guy anti-hero popularity peaks, with his remarkable popularity driven by better whiskey, lower prices, and an ethical commitment to non-violence. Olmstead is labeled in the media as “The Good Bootlegger,” but it’s too good to last. While Olmstead is beloved by many as the opposite of a Capone-style, violence-driven whiskey operation, his success attracts the country’s most innovative federal prohibition agents to Seattle who determines – using new technology – to bring the Olmstead empire crashing down.


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