Cafe Metropolitain to make way for CC Attle’s move

The drama and speculation around CC Attle’s announced move from Madison to an undisclosed Capitol Hill location has some very human implications. Taking over a space where another bar already operates mean one owner must step aside and the crew of workers must find new jobs. Sadly for the owner and crew of the Cafe Metropolitain, CC’s happiness of finding a new home means they will soon be stepping aside. CHS has heard from several people close to the situation that CC’s is planning to move into the Cafe Met space on East Olive Way. Now we have heard from Cafe Met’s owner Quyen Luu:



Fountian-Exit-BeerGarden Pic

Originally uploaded by cafemet

At this time all I can say is this situation is devastating not only to me but to my wonderful employees who will no longer have jobs. Cafe Metropolitain has been a pillar in the community for several years now as the go-to venue for many fundraisers that have helped many organizations and people in general. I have only been aware of this situation for less then a week and will continue to make the appropriate actions for my business and staff in every way possible. Thanks to the many who have supported us in the past. Please continue to support us for what ever days we have left at the current location.

Cafe Metropolitain’s space will represent quite a change from CC’s former home on Madison that they are vacating to make way for a major redevelopment. For one, it will place the new CC’s in a much more central part of the Hill, not far from a stretch of Broadway that hasn’t exactly been thriving and will be even more challenged during remaining six years of light rail construction. For another, it will now be located directly below dozens of condo units in the Plaza del Sol building it is part of. Luu has operated the bar at that location since January 2006.

We haven’t confirmed all the details of the various property dealings but it appears that a corporation called Four Gringos, LLC owns the retail units in the building. CC’s manager Chris Daw said earlier they would make their official announcement about their new home this Friday.

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57 thoughts on “Cafe Metropolitain to make way for CC Attle’s move

  1. Can’t say this was expected at all. Not that I ever really went to Cafe Met, even though i live 3 blocks away. Can’t wait to see what CC’s does with the space.

  2. I’m exciting about this news. I live about 3 blocks away and happy there will be another gay bar up the street, and not far from The Elite. The Pike/Pine area bars have become mostly straight over the past couple of years. Which is okay, but do like gay bars close to one another too. :)

  3. I think they should change the signage on that new crosswalk and pedestrian “Island” on Olive, in front of Cafe Met/CC’s, from PED X-ing to BEAR X-ing!

    And maybe start a pool to guess the date of the first tipsy Bear v. car accident in that crossing.

    Looking forward to seeing how CC’s makes creative use of the space and makes it more inviting than it has been in its current state. (No offense to the Cafe Met crew, but it just wasn’t ever a place that felt comfortable to hang out in.)

  4. No parking. Big space can be reworked completely.

    Cafe Met. will under any agreement have some time to move/vacate.

    Whole new direction for CC’s.

    Soundproofing problems??, with people above…

    Not going to be cheap for CC’s.

    Best to all.

  5. I’m really curious about how this will affect noise for those of us living in the building. I don’t usually hear noise coming directly from Cafe Metro, but the people who hang out outside can get incredibly loud.

    My knowledge of the demographic that CC’s will attract is honestly pretty limited, but I’m hoping they’re more courteous to their surroundings. If so, I welcome the change.

  6. The people who complain about the noise are abnoxious. Did you not see the bar when you moved in? Hello, you live in the city.

  7. that there truly IS a new home. Having lived through the supposed relocation of Guppy’s in West Seattle, I’m happy to know this one is for real. I’m also happy it’s not the Irish pub location that was also a matter of speculation. While more convenient to the Elite, the street parking around those bars is slightly less desirable.

    I’m a bit concerned about the noise too. Many years ago when CC’s added the Promenade to the south end of the building, it wasnt’ long before they had to start closing it down early and later just enclosed it because the noise disturbed the apartment building kitty corner across the street. They definitely had a good thing there. Madison on one side, a park in front and a synagogue on the south.

    I hope this works. If Cafe Met couldn’t make the space work, I hope CC’s can. I also hope they don’t ruin the space.

  8. Does anyone remember what was there before cafe Met? I don’t remember it being a bar.

    I am glad I don’t live in those apts above. I have a friend that lives across the street from the current CC’s and even with the street noise of Madison you can hear them grunt and growl.

    Large, drunken bears are louder than skinny hipsters.

  9. I am devistated that the Met is leaving. I live in the condos above this bar and the Met has become not only my watering hole but where I spend my birthdays and celebrations with both my friends and family. I am sad for Quyen and his crew…my neighborhood family.

  10. Number of times I’ve seen a police cruiser in front of CCs? Zero.

    Number of times I’ve seen a police cruiser in front of Cafe Met? Lost count.

    Seriously – nobody’s gonna miss the met. People are already missing CC’s. This is a good thing.

  11. I think people universally don’t appreciate loud obnoxiousness at 3-4am or vomit on the street outside your door :) i see your point but i also don’t think “living in the city” automatically means you have to put up with people being inconsiderate of their neighbors.

  12. How is it possible that Quyen Luu owns the bar but only found out a week ago that they were going out of business? Are they being evicted? Are the building’s owners not renewing their lease?

  13. I was probably too brief on this part of the situation. Luu has been leasing the space. We don’t know when his lease was up or what the nature of the lease was but the retail portion of the building is owned by Four Gringos, LLC.

    When contacted last week by CHS, Luu said he had not been told this was coming.

  14. They surely knew, and if they didnt then shame on them for not being closer to the landlord and his intentions. I smell a rat when a business owner weeps about being wronged – see Grey Gallery. Usually an attempt to garner public support. It all comes down to money – and the Met always seemed pretty empty. Also, it was probably the least “Parisian” place on the planet. Sad, but if you’re not making money, you’re times up.

  15. “Large, drunken bears are louder than skinny hipsters.”

    Most of the noise I hear isn’t being made by “hipsters” but by screeching females trying to impress their d-bag friends who reciprocate in a similar manner.

    I could be wrong, but I’m hoping the “large, drunken bear” noise won’t carry quite as much as the screaming I’m talking about. If the photos on CC’s facebook page are a good indication of the age of the guys that frequent, then I’m also hoping that maturity will make a difference as well.

  16. I’m sorry the Cafe Met’s employees are loosing their jobs but this place SUCKED! You couldn’t get a drink, there was only 1 bartender in there at any time I’ve been in or walked by and they had no patrons, except for some weekends. It was a mostly younger crowd that made a bunch of noise, was somewhat destructive to teh building and landscaping and could care less that people, my friends and BF were trying to sleep or enjoy their HOME up above!

    I’m just as concerned about this move as a CC’s loyalist and as a friend to several condo owners in Plaza Del Sol. I would love to see CC’s make it cause I really don’t like the Cuff and how they charge a cover every weekend or for special events, The Eagle is a match box just waiting for a spark, and Madison Pub has a mostly younger mixed crowd and can smell like a cosmetic/perfume counter at times.

    @ Noise.. the people that we’re interested in and or buying condos in Plaza Del Sol were told or sold a story by the sales staff that a “cafe” was going to be moving in to that commercial space not a bar which it is. The majority of units were sold before Cafe Met moved in.

    @ That Sucks… Cafe Met has been having problems making it for some time and the property owners saw the writing on the wall and decided not to renew their lease but to sign a new one with another tenant.

  17. HUH – you think building owners become wide open bout all the details of their business?

    Where do you live?

    Truth – the owner is getting more money on a new lease … Cafe Met will leave because they can’t renew at the new rate. CC’s has a big renovation to make to move in in a month or so. Changes have to address the inside space, noise and lack of parking, and lack of the 4 bar check it out route, which was a bonus before.

    Will it work? Good question, time will tell.

    Best of luck to all parties.

  18. That’s what their statement wants you to think.

    Cafe Met has been struggling for months, if not longer.

    They are hardly the ‘pillar in the community’ that they state.

    I find it very hard to believe that the owner of Cafe Met has only known for less than a week. It is very hard to kick anyone out without just cause…

    Time will reveal more details…

  19. I used to live in that building. When I lived there that space was a Coldwell Banker office. I’m sure there are people there who still live there- so the argument that “you live in the city” gets tiring. Loud drunks out on the street still sucks. I’m sure the bar itself will be fine as far as soundproofing goes.

  20. The space used to be operated by Coldwell BankerBain. Not sure if anything else was there after CBB and before Cafe Metropolitain.

  21. I wasn’t thinking about safety in numbers, but now that you bring it up, yes that is nice. Although I’ve never felt unsafe on Capitol Hill, after living up here for about 10 years. Sure there are douchebags, and a lot of bullshit but I can kick some ass too, so I say bring it. :) But I mostly like that the hill will still have gay bars in the neighborhood.

  22. casual observer, it’s obvious you don’t know what you’re talking about on one point. The most straight folks I’ve seen in Mad Pub at one time is two.

    I have to also disagree with the folks who say the “bear” community is noisier than twinks. Um, NO.. the twinks bring in their fag hags and it becomes a screeching contessssssstht to see who can drown out the other. I don’t see that happening here. What they DO need to address is where to funnel the people who go outdoors to smoke so their noise doesn’t blast the condos upstairs. It’s not a problem with the other bars because the neighbor across the street tends to be commercial in most of those cases.

    and anybody who thinks Cafe Met had no clue this was coming is pretty naive. I can’t wait to visit the “new” CC’s

  23. I am so glad that CC is coming into the location, and I can’t say I’ll miss Cafe Met. I live across Olive Way, and still the noise from the cafe or their guests outside wakes me up in the middle of night.

    I love Elite, and would love to have another gay bar in the neighborhood. People at Elite seem always content and reasonably cheerful (never too noisy) and so did those at CC.

    Bye, bye Cafe Met, Hello, CC!

  24. yep.

    I’ll be first to say it:

    If you’re sensitive to noise, don’t live in apts/condos on commercially zoned streets, esp ones with nightlife.

    It’s not like there is a housing shortage…plenty of rental units to choose from. No one is FORCED to live somewhere they aren’t comfortable.

  25. Love CC’s! Hate that they play porn. Maybe now they can become a big-boy bar and dispense with the awful penis shows! Certainly, the new location should warrant a change in that area!

  26. Perhaps the Plaza Del Sol building should be rechristened Plaza Del Osos?

    Happy to hear CC’s has a new home and only a little jealous of the residents above. Any bar can get a little rowdy at times, but if you had to pick one to live above, a place that draws a slightly older gay crowd would be my choice for “least disruptive”…

  27. I live above Cafe Met in Plaza Del Sol and it is quite noisy most nights during closing time. This doesn’t bother me all that much as this is what I expect living in the area. The weekly puke puddles in our doorway do bother me though. Hopefully with the burly bears taking over it will be more contained. I would have much rather seen a nice resturant take over the space but what can you do, it’s cap hill.

  28. I’ve been a regular at The Met for a few years, and I am sad to see it go. I’ve had bday parties there, fundraisers, and general meet ups. The bar staff is friendly, and the food is good. Yeah, sometimes things get loud, but it’s a bar. I think CC’s will be even louder, unless they get the sound proofing that The Met was trying to hard to raise funds for.

    They better have a farewell party. :(

  29. “Large, drunken bears are louder than skinny hipsters.”

    What kind of silly culture war is this? I like bears and I like skinny hipsters, and they are probably equally as likely to have obnoxious loudmouths in each crowd.

  30. “casual observer, it’s obvious you don’t know what you’re talking about on one point. The most straight folks I’ve seen in Mad Pub at one time is two.”

    It’s true, I’ve been other half of the two, I guess. I’ve never really seen much of a mixed crowd there, it seems pretty well self-selected.

  31. Rumor in commercial RE circles is Cafe Met is being evicted due to substantial rent defaults >50k. Pillar of the community or pillar of debt?

  32. I’m not sure they could’ve found a worse place for parking, unless they tried to put it next to Neighbours or Neumos. I would not be surprised to see a lot of the present crowd stop going. Also, since a lot of people go to CC’s first before walking to other places, that pretty well removes that possibility.

  33. Neither does wasting half your entertainment budget on taxis. It’s all well and good if you live close enough to the bar to walk. But other than confirmed non-car-owning Hill people, most people don’t live that close. Otherwise it means a minimum of $20 more for most people to get to/from the bar via cab if they’re not driving. Which means a lot of people will either go elsewhere, or not go out as much.

  34. People keep complaining about the expense of cabs, then getting their cars ticketed and towed because they got too wasted to drive home and slept elsewhere. Or worse, DUIs.

    I can think of an example from each group in just the people I know and in just the last month.

  35. I can’t say that I’m sad to see the metropolitan go. It always felt like I was drinking in the adult section of Disneyland, if that makes any sense. Having CC’s move into the place just seems like a really bizarre move.

  36. Well, that speaks very highly of your friends. But some of us are quite capable of going out for a drink or two and NOT getting so toasted we can’t remember where we left our car, or getting a DUI. Sure, if you regularly get that blotto, the cost of cabs is nothing compared to a DUI. But not everybody drinks that much, or spends that much on booze. If you’re too far to walk, another $20-30 on cabs is enough to make a lot of people just stay home.

  37. Trust me, cc’s is very very noise. At least it was in its former location. I’m so grateful to get an interrupted night’s sleep.

  38. Big space.

    Drunk/stoned decorators.

    Indeed, disjointed.

    And, always short of adequate help at the bar.

    Goodbye, best of luck.

  39. The “adult section of Disneyland” is a perfect analogy; I felt the same way. It always seemed like a lackluster operation for such a large and expensive space, and I’m not at all surprised to hear they were way behind on rent.

    I don’t go to gay bars but I live next to the Elite and since they moved in it has been a HUGE boost to the immediate area. It’s cleaner, quieter, friendlier and safer. Let’s hope this move has a similar impact.

  40. The Stumbling Monk, the B&O, and the Olive way bar scene have been there for many, many years. Drunks have been stumbling up & down Olive/Belmont for decades. The “I didn’t think there’d ever be a bar anywhere near here” complaint is BS.

  41. First of all, congrats CC’s! Glad you found a new location THAT IS SO EASY TO GET TO!

    comments on comments:

    There are 2 “real bars” across the street from the condo building, always have been. There are a dozen or more within a one block radius. If you don’t like noise, I don’t care WHEN you bought, you bought in the wrong place. I’m pretty sure the cars chugging up Olive make more noise than the people do anyway. If you own, your condo association will make more money on a business that makes money than one that loses it.

    Cafe Met is in debt, employee checks have been known to bounce, and they never finished paying for the remodel work when they moved in. Good riddance. – i’m just sayin’

    There is a parking garage 3 blocks away. If you MUST drive, park there. If you can’t walk 3 blocks, stay home.

    This new location is EVEN BETTER for bar hopping – for ANY crowd. There are at least a dozen bars in 2-3 blocks, several of which are gay (YAY ELITE… i guess crescent counts), most that have great mixed crowds. Food in the area is great too. Busses are great too. Light Rail & Street Car will be close soon too.

    Dan’s comment about the police is RIGHT ON. CC’s is laid back. Cafe Met had ‘tude. and not in a cute way.

    We’ll all miss the porch, but most places don’t have an opportunity for this, and it wasn’t legal to smoke there either.

    And, I’m pretty sure CC’s would be glad to host your fundraiser. Just ask!

  42. Paying partial rent and being behind for six months rent does not constitute a successful business. They’re lucky they had a landlord who let them go as long as they did.