Another hit for the Comet — E Pike venue emptied

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

It’s looking more and more like the closure of the Comet Tavern will be more than indefinite. The bar and music venue’s Facebook page displayed a sad update over the weekend — most of the Comet’s music gear is gone:

The Comet owner secretly removed the sound system and other items of value from the venue. So it looks like we are kaput unless another owner decides to lease the place from the building owner and maintain it as The Comet Tavern. In the meantime if you have a show that was booked at the Comet we are working on moving shows to other venues such as Waids on 12th and Jefferson (Mon-Fri shows), Lofi Highline and the Rendezvous (various holes) so please make sure you e-mail me (also if you are interested in creating future bills) Thanks Mamma (until further notice)

CHS reported last week on the financial difficulties for Brian Balodis who acquired the Comet in 2007. Our attempts to contact Balodis have thus far been unsuccessful.

We have been in contact, however, with local musician — and prospective Pike/Pine tavern owner — Ian Hill who talked to the Stranger about taking over the Comet and told CHS this weekend he is still interested in saving the punk-est of Capitol Hill’s major live music venues.

Meanwhile, later this week, the Highline has stepped in to host some of the displaced Comet shows and will host a benefit for Comet employees scrambling to find work after the tavern was suddenly shuttered. Wednesday’s show features three bands with proceeds going to the Comet staff.

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21 thoughts on “Another hit for the Comet — E Pike venue emptied

  1. Well, I guess with the closure of The Comet, we can officially give Pike/Pine over to the dude bros. I’ll miss it (a lot, having played many shows there), but honestly, I dreaded having to even walk on either street on a Friday or Saturday night, anyway. The frat atmosphere is just so repulsive (as seen in the above Real World episode-style fight video) and the complete opposite of what made this neighborhood great. Neumos is overrun with these douchebags now, too. Half the time you go to shows there and the audience doesn’t seem to know who the bands even are.

    • What happened? How disheartening it is to see a community and neighborhood once so vibrant with real culture and people, devolve into Bellevue/Kirkland West. Puke. I wish someone like Duff McKagan would take the Comet over and keep it real. :)

  2. Wow.. Capitol Hill is dying faster than ever this year. After all the iconic businesses closing in rapid succession, neighborhood violence hitting an all time high and rent prices climbing exponentially, I’m really starting to wonder if anything can be done to preserve any good parts of the neighborhood that may be left over. So sad! Capitol Hill used to be such a great place to live. Looking to the future, I wonder if the neighborhood will ever be able to re-establish itself. I think people could use some positive news more than ever right now.

  3. This talk about “Capitol Hill is dying” irks me. It’s not dying, it is changing. That cluster of bars has always been a shit show on Fridays and Saturdays. There are great spots opening in other sections of the neighborhood, as well as other establishments that are still remaining strong. Bummer that the Comet is coming down, hope it will revive, but at least we have the Highline serving similar needs. Certain sections come and go in popularity with the rowdy crowds. Ballard a few years back was being slaughtered by the frat crowd. In contrast, Belltown has a few chunks that are really worth spending time in during the weekend.

    The advantage of living in Capitol Hill and enjoying the nightlife is not getting smashed on the weekend. It’s being able to get drinks through the week, going to a show on a Tuesday, and other activities that will not require further planning or will not ruin your routine.

    Also, while on the Captiolypse subject, am I the only one who is truly excited about Bauhaus moving to the Capitol Club building? I think they will really thrive in that space.

  4. re: give it to the dude bros…

    or you could just dig in and stick it out with the rest of us?

    yeah, we’re experiencing a lot of change on the hill right now. but so what? is it so bad that we all need to move out and spend the next 20 years crying about how good it used to be?

    doubtless, the college kids and BARKER’s (bellevue, auburn, renton, kent, everett, redmond) are unbearable. but, so what. go out anyway. stake your claim. grab a bar stool and mean-mug ’em.

    you think the hill has always been the artist enclave and cultural safe haven we know and love it as?

    not even.

    it sounds like you’ve been here awhile, so i’m sure you know what i mean…

    this community was built. it was forged. with resolve and grit – of which we only need a tiny amount of to stick it out here. …enjoying our neopolitan pizzas. …enjoying our haute craft cocktails. …enjoying our LEED platinum cubicles. …enjoying every up-and-coming indy band in america…

    yeah, i’m worried too. and i hope to god the comet and electric tea garden remain. but either way, cap hill can remain a kickass neighborhood.

    going forward, as always, this community will be exactly what we make it.

    don’t give it up to the dude bros. they’ll be back in pioneer square in a couple years, anyway…

  5. This is actually great news that this pile of shit is closing. I find it hilarious that alot of you are being intimidated by “Bro’s”. The “Bro’s” don’t even think about or care about what you are doing but you all act like it’s the end of the world. Do you actually think the “bro’s” walk by the Comet and say “damn, i wish these eclectic people would leave so we can turn this corner into a sports bar”? No! This is all a money situation and it’s simply a shift in real estate in the area. There will be a new area of the city that will start up and take off and if you want to be a part of it then hang out there when it arrives. Not everyone who you consider a “bro” is a piece of shit. You seem to stereotype a helluva lot more then any of them would you. They don’t even pay attention to you, maybe that’s your real issue? Regardless, I will still hang on the hill and still go to Nuemos, Chop Suey, Mario’s, Cha Cha, an Havana. I will still have a good time and not let a pack of shiny shirt fratboy’s ruin my night because they are singing and dancing shirtless to Macklemore, at least they are having fun.

  6. Whenever Capitol Hill closes something, it’s always amazing to listen to the “angry entitlement” statements.

    “This is MY HILL!” – says, the homo-queer-hipster-nerd-dyke-transient-immigrant-fratbro-bacheloretteparty-paperbookreader-programmer-richhomeonfederalave-hospicecaregiver-communitycollegegoer-dragqueen.

  7. Bro this hipster that. Shut the fuck up. The comet is rad and its sad that its closing. The hill belongs to everybody. Entitled or not. So stop hating on the bros and stop hating on the hillrats. If people actually gave a shit instead of saying “oh there goes our history” or “fucking nostalgic entitled hipsters” maybe we would get shit done. Fuck.

  8. Actual musician here. If you are not a musician trying to make it in this city, I don’t think you can really know how important the Comet was to the community. My band doesn’t yet have the fan base to fill Neumos (working on it). Smaller venues like the Comet are where many bands get their start, and Mamma (who booked the shows) did an amazing job at stewarding local talent. Seattle, especially Cap Hill, is a hotbed of music, but the number of places for new artists to perform is dwindling. The Comet is the fourth (that I know of) of such venues in the city to close in the past year. It’s not about real estate or money or hipsters vs bros. It’s about creating and preserving spaces that support our amazing arts community.

  9. Admittedly that place had gone down hill FAST in the last few years. The addition of booze may have signaled the beginning, the addition of Balodis was the death of that place. The guy was a degenerate drunk who in turn trusted the place to other degenerate drunks. I went in once over the summer and the place was literally a shell being held together with duct tape.

    I feel bad for the employees, Michelle, the bands, and the community over all but this has been on the cards for a long, long time.

  10. Too sad.

    My wife & I met each other there the Spring of 1991. I was a regular in those days, and I still made it back there once every couple of months or so even now.

    I am really hoping that a white knight steps up and keeps this landmark open as The Comet.

  11. I just looked in there yesterday through the curtains. Not everything of value was taken – the dollars are still on the ceiling. Maybe that could be used to pay off the debt?

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