The Union Triangle is the kind of place where things happen that straddle the lines between what is true, what is hoax and what travels back and forth between the two and couldn’t give a shit. Is Pony for real? How about Barista Boyz and their go-go boy baristas? Maybe the Maserati dealership across the street is in on the game, too.
Add to the list this weekend’s Twitter-fueled reports of the Cobra Lounge — a new hookah club that is supposedly springing to life somewhere near 11th Ave and Madison.
Photo: @sokina via Twitpic
We wandered around the area today — if the new club is for real, it’s too well hidden for the likes of CHS or it is disguised as a copy shop or transformed inside of the UndreArms Apartments.
There are no “Cobra Lounge” business licenses listed with the City of Seattle but that’s fairly typical — many clubs have random LLC names that are difficult to connect to the primary business name.
Sokina: At Erin Cobb’s open house for his hookah bar – The Cobra Lounge on Capitol Hill! Party, Free drinks & food! Will be open to the public soon!justinsBBQradio: At the soft opening for the Capitol hill Seattle ‘Cobra Lounge.’ Epic!
It appear that the Capitol Hill lounge — if it exists — is connected to Paul Green and Erin Cobb’s Cobra Lounge in Bellingham, infamously one of the last places in the state where it is legal to smoke inside:
The trick is that Green and Cobb actually opened two places. In one, they sell the tobacco (called shisha) along with private club memberships ($1 for life!). In the other, 10 steps along the alley, is the club. That’s where the smoking happens. There are no workers there — it’s like a co-op — so it’s exempt from the ban.
“We studied this for a year to come up with this model,” Green says. “I’d say it’s got the powers-that-be irritated.”
The Bellingham joint opened more than three years ago. Sounds like you can still puff a hookah there. We’ve sent mail asking the northern Cobra folks what they have in mind for the Capitol Hill venture. Here’s how the Cobra Lounge owners describe their business philosophy:
We are two guys who have always liked to shake things up. In 2007 we had saved up (what we thought) was enough money to open up an awesome place for people that was anything but mainstream, we were 19. We now run this sweet little hookah spot in downtown Bellingham, it is the LAST LEGAL SMOKING ESTABLISHMENT in Washington, which means we have a good lawyer…
We are really quirky guys, (ask anyone) who shudder at the thought of normalcy and a status quo. When we decided to open, our first step was to make a list of all the things we hated about hookah bars. Instead of the usual overpriced pseudo Middle Eastern bullshit we tried to build memorable experiences for the members… from the nationally recognized graffiti art, down to the custom cobra hoses. We put fun little details into everything which is probably just a result of our personalities. Our non traditional way of going about business, has gotten us to over 4000 members. Every type of person feels comfortable kicking it at the lounge, which is exactly the idea. Our regulars understand the awesomeness and originality of the lounge as more and more Starbucks spring up. Fashionable people, college kids, artists, thugs, indie rockers, skaters, young adults, and sneaker heads all come down in droves to support this effort to resist conformity. This all didn’t happen over night, we didn’t get lucky with some random idea, we got off our asses and started something we care about.
Our names are Erin and Paul, at The Cobra Lounge it’s just us and a couple of our friends who like the idea that mainstream is boring.