Faire Gallery says goodbye after 6 years on E Olive Way

Only weeks after celebrating its sixth anniversary on E Olive Way, cafe, art space and bar Faire is calling it quits. Here’s the announcement that just landed in the CHS inbox:

We did something special!

Don’t be sad that it is over, be glad we did something amazing for 6 years. Friday we are celebrating from 12noon to way into the night!! Come say goodbye to the arts space were Seattle knew they could experiment with art, music, dance, theater, comedy and spoken word.


We are asking musicians and artists to come through and share this Friday. Please email Fairebooking@gmail.com if you want to perform at Faire’s going away party.

I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. You all have made my dream come true. I will be forever grateful.

Elisheba Johnson

We marked Faire’s six-year birthday here back in March. Turns out, the profile was also an obituary for the quirky venue.

“We consider ourselves an art bar. I think what sets us apart from other coffee shops is that we have a full bar,” Johnson told CHS. “And what sets us apart from other art bars would be that we have a huge music and experimentation component. We have improv, theater, we have poetry readings…I think that we’re not just a visual art space, but really an art community.”

She also talked about why she lasted as long as she did on Capitol Hill.

“I wanted to be on the Hill,” Johnson said in March.  “I felt like that was really important, because I thought there was enough of an arts community- enough people that there would be foot traffic. I live in West Seattle right now, and it just wouldn’t work. There’s not enough foot traffic, and there are more families. I was always hell-bent on this neighborhood.”

Faire’s closure comes as E Olive Way has seen a recent blossoming of its place in Capitol Hill’s food and drink economy. New bars like Tommy Gun and Montana and the new home of CC’s have been joined by The Social, the first new dance club to open on Capitol Hill in years. Stalwarts The Elite, The Saint and the Crescent Tavern continue their boozy ways as smaller players like the Living Room hang in there. Dinette provides the tasty plates and sandwiches while Crumble & Flake probably deserves the hype.

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18 thoughts on “Faire Gallery says goodbye after 6 years on E Olive Way

  1. Faire is such a great little space and I love the upstairs part. I think the for-sale sign has been up for awhile, but with the recent development boom on the Hill I am really hoping a sale does not spell the end for that cute, weird little building!

  2. Aw, I loved having Faire in the neighborhood. The building has been for sale/lease for a very long time, though. Glad that they stuck around for so many years and sorry to hear that they’re going.

  3. Sad to see a popular performance space closing down, but I can’t say I’m totally displeased. I walk up Olive almost every night between 9 and 12 and the cloud of cigarette smoke and loitering folks hanging around this place always bothered me. Hope the new occupant is more respectful of the neighbourhood.

  4. I think that’s just called “having a bar in a city with a smoking ban”. I walk on Pike between Broadway and 12th on my way home most nights and it’s the same thing x 20 because of how many bars and restaurants there are. I don’t think the patrons are disrespectful, that’s just the smoking area now (and I don’t smoke so it’s not like I love the 2nd hand smoke).

  5. This place was always too “hip” for me. I live around the block and tried to get coffee there before work once but they didnt open til 8!? I’m not totally surprised by this.

  6. What a loss. I’m super sad to see such an awesome, dynamic cafe (with so many cool events!) and black-owned and woman-owned business disappear from the hill. The neighborhood desperately needs more businesses like this, not fewer. Mad respect to this woman for hosting such a cool spot and I really do hope she sticks around the neighborhood and can get something else started.

  7. The building is for sale – but there are no offers at the moment. The listing hasn’t affected any of the businesses. I too am sorry to see Faire go. They have been a very good tenant of mine, and turned that space into a vibrant and energetic evening hangout.