With Seattle’s Pride weekend approaching and the days when the celebration started and ended only on Capitol Hill not that distant in the past, CHS can report that at least one aspect of gay culture is apparently alive and well in the Neighbours-hood. There is a big, flashy gay nightclub being planned for the intersection of Broadway and Pike/Pine. Here is a first look inside Q.
Andy Rampl and Scott Smith, the men behind Q, unveiled these renderings and shared details of the overhaul of the 17,000 square-foot former auto garage space being overhauled at 1426 Broadway, smack in the middle of Pine and Pike at a vodka tasting event held in downtown Seattle Friday night. CHS passed on the tasting but gobbled up the pictures. At the top of the post, is a shot of how the space looks before the work begins.
And the section to the north…
The north’s dance floor… (Yes, that is Kanye West. Who knew?)
And, below, the main floor and mezzanine. Somebody buy that lonely looking guy in the tuxedo a drink.
And the mezzanine bar, below, that people like me and you need desperately before proceeding down stairs like these…
We originally told you about the plans for Q on 12th Ave back in summer 2010 and posted the update on the Broadway re-target here. With these renderings and a chance to chat with Smith and Rampl, Q is now starting to flesh out. “It’s going to be big,” Smith tells us. “We have a lot of space. But I’ve done this before in New York. It’s not going to be for everybody but it’s going to be done right.”
Back in Chelsea, Smith says he was a part of the creation of XL, a gay club that came and went and came again. Here’s how New York Magazine described the now-shuttered (again?) club:
Open the door to XL, the most recent nightlife offering from John Blair—the man behind gay-clubdom’s big night at the Roxy—and you expect to find hordes of shirtless men dancing to thumping music. Instead, it’s hordes of tight-shirted men sipping Melontinis, served by bartenders who follow a strict dress code of black pants and large pecs. All the drama (and lack thereof) takes place beneath a mood-lighting system that changes constantly over the course of the evening—”I feel like I’m having Lasik eye surgery,” joked one patron. Don’t miss the fish-tank-enhanced urinal.
Scott didn’t say he will be re-creating XL here. But he did tell us he’ll put his experience gained building the club from “scratch” (somewhat NSFW) to work in his new home city of Seattle. “We want this to be for the neighborhood,” Scott said. “We’re willing to turn away five of the wrong people so one person from Capitol Hill wants to be here.”
Regarding that semi-NSFW link above, don’t think only the young upstarts at the Social are the only ones putting the Internet to good use. Scott has been blogging for years at http://www.billinexile.com/. Read it to follow along on the Q dramas and triumphs — and speculation on how Jake “The Snake” Locker came by his python-sized nickname.
Rampl tells CHS there’s no timetable yet for opening. Permits from the city are backlogged so construction is nowhere close to beginning. The 17,000 square foot garage and old auto row building waits. Scott said they’re looking for a partner to utilize some of the space for offices. Work by day, party by night.
Q, a creative neighborhood news reporter might be able to convince you, is part a chapter of LGBT history on Capitol Hill when the culture and the business of it all have mixed. Whether that is new or not can be a subject of debate. But the new venues are coming along fast-ly and furious-ly to join fixtures like Neighbours, R Place, Purr and the Wildrose and next-generation pioneers like the Lobby Bar. Capitol Hill’s other new dance club project we told you about, the Social is moving forward on E Olive Way. They’ve hired a bar manager and are looking for resumes from other prospective employees. E Olive Way’s gay-owned bars are numerous enough to be a “community” and band together for no-cover Pride promotions. And a new bear bar is about to open on 14th Ave.
UPDATE: A few more images provided by BCJ: