In November, we told you about the new ownership set to take over and refurbish the legendary Comet Tavern as E Pike power brokers Dave Meinert and Jason Lajeunesse confirmed they had won the bidding war for the popular dive after the bar fell on hard times under the previous owner.
“We plan to continue to have some live music, but not every night of the week. We will revive much of the Comet’s lost charms, from pool tables, to pinball games, to a karaoke night, while introducing a small food menu for the first time in the Comet’s history,” Lajeunesse said at the time.
Now, with rotten wood stripped away and the dive-friendly facelift nearly complete, the 10th and E Pike tavern neighboring Meinert and Lajeunesse’s Lost Lake diner has a tentative March 31st re-opening date.
In addition to Lost Lake, a CHS advertiser, Meinert and Lajeunesse also co-own Big Mario’s Pizza. Lajeunesse also owns Neumos and is part owner of the Capitol Hill Block Party, according to the press information for the Comet’s re-opening plans. In addition to his entrepreneurial activities — or, perhaps more accurately, as part of them — Meinert is also known as an outspoken advocate of small business mitigations in the push for a $15 minimum wage in Seattle. Meanwhile, Lajeunesse’s Neumos family celebrated a set of major Pike/Pine nightlife milestones earlier this year.
Mark your calendars and expect a party.
UPDATE 3/26/2014 9:35 AM: The Comet folks have confirmed the 3/31 opening date and, despite warnings about a shift away from live performances at the venue, a 4/1 show featuring Country Lips. “After the Comet Tavern closed last October, we wanted to ensure it didn’t disappear into Seattle’s black hole of gentrification, so we took it over and made the much needed renovations to keep it in business,” Meinert said in the statement. Here’s the press release.
Local Music Veterans Reopen Legendary Comet Tavern
(Seattle, Wash. – March 26, 2014) The Comet Tavern will officially reopen its doors on Monday, March 31 with its first live show scheduled for Tuesday, April 1. New owners David Meinert and Jason Lajeunesse made necessary repairs to the historic bar, but have left the majority of the Comet Tavern intact to preserve its legendary personality. Guests can once again play pinball and pool and enjoy the largest collection of cheap beer in Seattle. The new owners plan on hosting live shows several nights per month and will offer a small food menu for the first time since the 1970s.
“After the Comet Tavern closed last October, we wanted to ensure it didn’t disappear into Seattle’s black hole of gentrification, so we took it over and made the much needed renovations to keep it in business,” said Meinert. “We want the Comet to return to a neighborhood cultural clubhouse that provides a unique place for friends to hang out together and make absurd and crazy memories—a third place for the ‘freaks and hairies / dykes and fairies’ of Pike/Pine. Of course, we’ll also be serving cheap beer and strong drinks.”
Meinert and Lajeunesse are veterans of the Seattle music scene who individually and collectively own a number of local restaurants and venues, including Lost Lake Café and Lounge and Big Mario’s New York Style Pizza. Meinert owns the 5 Point Café and Onto Entertainment and Lajeunesse owns Barboza, Neumos, Moe Bar and the Capitol Hill Block Party.
“We’re invested in these places because we’re invested in Seattle,” said Lajeunesse. “Above all, our commitment is to preserve and create small, independent businesses because they benefit the city culturally and financially. If neighborhood legends like the Comet Tavern turn into chain restaurants, the soul of the city is gone. Seattle doesn’t need another Panera Bread, they need more places like the Comet.”
The Comet Tavern is located in the Pike/Pine corridor at 922 E Pike Street and opens to the public on Monday, March 31. Hours of operation will be Monday through Sunday from 12 p.m. until 2 a.m. with the longest happy hour in Capitol Hill every day from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. During happy hour, pitchers of cheap beer will start at four dollars at 4 p.m., rising one dollar each hour until 9 p.m. Alternative country band Country Lips will play a free show at the Comet Tavern on Tuesday, April 1 at 10:30 p.m.
Starting Sunday, April 6, the Comet Tavern will host a Country Lunch every Sunday from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m., which will include $22 Mimosa pitchers, $10 Brass Monkey pitchers, and a lunch special of chili and cornbread for only $4. On Sunday, April 13, the Hangover Flea Market will kick-off with DJ Mamma Casserole from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. The event will occur one Sunday per month and feature local craft vendors and vintage wares.