Via the Seattle Times, we learned this morning that the War Room will close, unless it finds a buyer by 11/30. This could have been the $800k nightclub for sale we noted a couple of months ago. Marcus Lalario, the co-owner’s statement, is puzzling – in light of the fact that a couple of War Room backed politicians (Michael McGinn and Pete Holmes) will soon be in power – and presumably be friendlier to nightlife on the Hill:
The Capitol Hill nightclub The War Room, on the corner of Harvard Avenue and East Pike Street, will close Nov. 30 unless a buyer is found.
In a written statement, co-owner Marcus Lalario said, “With so many issues still facing nightlife, we’re ready to move on. The liquor tax increase, mounting pressures from the City and State helped us make the decision.”
Among the bands to have played The War Room in the five years since it opened are Band of Horses, Cave Singers and Wolf Parade. The War Room is also known for its weekly hip-hop night, Yo, Son!
“We feel like we’ve had a good run of it,” Lalario said.
Line Out has the full text of the press release:
Seattle, WA, November 10, 2009 — After nearly five years of holding down the block at Harvard and Pike, on Capitol Hill, the War Room’s current ownership will close its doors November 30. The future of the popular nightclub remains uncertain.
The club, which opened in March, 2005, is officially for sale. Although there are interested buyers in place, no change of ownership has yet been confirmed.
“We feel like we’ve had a good run of it,” said Marcus Lalario. “It’s time to move on to other projects, while we’re ahead of the game.” Lalario and his business partner, Brian Rauschenbach, will continue to run their other joint venture, bar/eatery Captain Blacks, and both remain invested in a variety of Seattle businesses.
The War Room made an immediate impact on Seattle nightlife, with popular DJ nights and a slew of live entertainment. With its open-air rooftop deck and tasteful modern décor, the venue quickly became a favorite amongst club goers.
Known primarily for hip hop and dance nights such as Yo, Son!, Ring The Alarm, Cherry, Hot Mess, and 2080’s, the mid-size venue also played host to a variety of live shows over the years.
Band of Horses, Cave Singers, Wolf Parade, Chromeo, and Brawley Banks are just a few of the bands to play the War Room. Most recently, the club hosted a pre-Halloween show with Mad Rad and Champagne Champagne, where Mayor-elect Mike McGinn took the stage to introduce the headliners.
“It was one of our favorite shows to date,” said Peter Robinson, aka P SMOOV, of Mad Rad. “And the fact that the Mayor welcomed us back to Party Mountain really made it extra awesome.”
With custom artwork from Shepard Fairey/OBEY gracing its walls, and a host of fundraisers, benefits, and politically minded events under its belt, the War Room has successfully melded nightlife culture with loftier pursuits over the years.
“One of our most memorable nights to date was definitely the Obama Election Party,” Rauschenbach said, recalling the capacity crowd and overwhelming goodwill. “We had everyone from Pearl Jam to almost every local DJ of note in the house, all hugging and celebrating.” The event raised thousands of dollars for local nonprofit, Treehouse For Kids.
The War Room also served as campaign headquarters for Mayor-elect Mike McGinn on Election Night.
“We honestly feel like we made a difference in the city with the War Room,” Lalario said. “But, with so many issues still facing nightlife, we’re ready to move on. The liquor tax increase, mounting pressures from the City and State helped us make the decision,” he added.
Lalario confirmed that War Room staff members, as well as promoters that work with the venue, were notified of the impending closure last week.
“We’ve been blessed with a tremendous staff over the years,” Lalario said. “We’ve been lucky to work with so many great people over the years, and we’ve got nothing but love for our crew.”
Update (11/11) 3 pm: Seattle PostGlobe reports that the estimate cost of installing a state-mandated new sprinkler system (over $60k) was a “huge factor” in the current owners’ efforts to sell the war room