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Wednesday, August 13, 1997 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Jean Godden

Dog House Sign Finds A New Home

Times Staff Columnist

The neon sign, a slap-happy mutt wagging his tail alongside a clock, is a true Seattle icon, up there with the Space Needle, Pike Place Market clock and Fremont Troll.

In 1994, collectibles dealer Ruby Montana bought the 8-by-6-foot neon "Time to Eat" sign, trademark of the late lamented Dog House restaurant. She wanted to display it at an outlet across from her main store, the Pinto Pony, at 603 Second Ave.

But the building owner there has now decided to remodel. So Montana has to find a place for the Dog House sign.

Who would buy it?

Turns out that, despite footing bills for the stadium ballot issue, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has enough spare change left for the Dog House sign.

The neon pooch will go on display at Allen's Experience Music Museum, due to open at Seattle Center in 1999.

And fittingly so. For years, the Dog House served as a late night hangout for rock musicians, including the late Kurt Cobain.

"I don't want to part with the Dog House sign," laments Montana. "But, since I have to, I'm glad it's going where thousands will see it."

Experience Music spokesman Jason Hunke confirms the purchase. He says "Everyone went to the Dog House."

The Experience Music Project has acquired other Dog House memorabilia, including menus and place settings.

Neither Montana nor Hunke would reveal the price paid for the tail-wagging dog, although one dealer estimated "in the low five figures." Hunke would only say, "We consider it a great bargain."

Hum a few bars: If you want to get stared at, take a test drive in a Hummer like the firehouse red convertible I rode in Monday. (Not that ink-stained columnists can afford the $70,000-$100,000 price tag.)

What's to like about Hummers, sold locally through Doug's Lynnwood Mazda-Hummer? The two-ton vehicles aren't cozy, but they do have air conditioning, CD players, a tire inflating-deflating system and built-in coffee-cup holders.

Also the Semi Rule applies: three clicks of a turn signal and you can change lanes.

Status in Seattle: Mount Baker attorney Jenny Durkan and her partner Dana Garvey recently arrived at a family birthday party with their son, Colman, then 1 week old.

The party, a joint celebration for Jenny's sister and her dad, was held in a private room at Canlis. Colman scored points as Canlis' youngest diner ever.

Jenny's dad, former state Sen. Martin Durkan, quipped, "No one should go a week without eating at Canlis."

Jean Godden's column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the Local News section of The Times. Her phone message number is 206-464-8300. Her e-mail address is: jgod-new@seatimes.com

Copyright (c) 1997 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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