The Chapel closing a ‘landlord/tenant’ thing

Do you want to hear a scary story? Really, what should you expect but ghosts haunting you out of business when you open a bar inside a former mortuary.

We’re lying. Unfortunately, there was nothing Scooby Doo about the decision we reported last week to close Capitol Hill’s The Chapel Bar at the end of summer.

“It was primarily a landlord/tenant thing,” Chapel manager Chris Fousek tells CHS. “There were discussions between both sides about certain amenities that couldn’t be agreed on.”


Last Friday, the decision to shutter the 8-year-old bar and shut down with one last party during Labor Day weekend was announced via Facebook. For the bar’s fans, it was an abrupt shot out of the dark but Fousek, who joined The Chapel about nine months ago, said it wasn’t a shocking turn of events for him and the staff of eight that works the bar night in and night out.

“I don’t feel it’s a sinking ship situation by any means,” Fousek said. “It’s a constant grind trying to keep place open, trying to keep people coming in the door. That’s the business.”

Fousek says from his perspective, The Chapel was doing fine with that business despite the grind with its continued strong happy hour performance and an increase in events.

“We still had the strong happy hour crowd,” Fousek said. “But the customer base wasn’t quite working.”

CHS attempted to contact Chapel owners Charles and Lauren Knox but so far we have been unsuccessful. We’ll also try to learn more from the partners at construction law firm Groff Murphy who share the building with The Chapel and also own the building.

Fousek said he holds out some hope that he might be part of what comes next in The Chapel’s space. There’s nothing in the works that he’s aware of but he’s holding out hope that somebody might come in.

In the meantime, he and the staff are busy putting their heads together to plan “some major parties and discounts.”

“I believe everybody is staying to the end,” Fousek said. “When you have staff of 7 or 8 people total, it’s much easy to band together.”

“We’ve all got good connections around the Hill,” Fousek said. “I don’t think anybody’s worried about finding something to do.”

13 thoughts on “The Chapel closing a ‘landlord/tenant’ thing

  1. That was the point of this bar. It’s an old mausoleum, it’s not meant to be warm, inviting and cheery. Try game works if you want bright lights, smiles and amusement. The chapel is a dark place to enjoy a martini and just chill with out being bothered or picked up on. I like that about the place.

  2. I have always loved the space that the Chapel occupies. It’s unique, beautiful and “cool” all at the same time. Reminds me of the Limelight in NYC, or even the Sanctuary in Seattle (although I’m too young to have actually been there…!). I used to take visitors to the Chapel all the time because the space is so amazing. I think the drinks are good, too, and my best friend RAVES about the fish tacos.

    But I started avoiding the place when the music got cranked up so high on weekends that you couldn’t even talk to a person across the table from you and then the crowd got, well, funky.

    I hope that someone can reincarnate this space and make full use of this architectual gem. RIP, Chapel.

  3. Well, sure, pleasant, commune with the dead, when drunk.

    How about the light in your eyes wired into the bar? Not charming to me for a quiet drink.

    Guess my side wins, are you planning on a morass party for Thanksgiving? Have to have it else.

    As to pick-up, I still get hit on at QFC and on the bus … I should need a funeral home atmosphere?

  4. If your side is being an ass, then yes you have won. Congratulations! People around you are not being pretentious. They just can’t stand you.

  5. The current owner and staff have done a great job of making the Chapel a GREAT place. Before they took over there were problems, but the current staff is very friendly and the food and drinks are awesome. Some may hold a grudge for the past, but they are clearly not living in the present and missed out on the recent changes. Then again, it is probably good that they didn’t come in… it might have ruined the many fun times I have had there recently. BRAVO to the owner and staff that made this place great again. I know you are all good for being picked up by any one of the fine establishments that we have here on the hill and around Seattle. RIP Chapel, but may you rise again!

  6. Not sad to see this happening. Was there multiple times (out of town customer), was not impressed but gave it multiple tries based on reviews. Businesses like this close for a reason, if all were right, they would still be open.