Central District nightclub faces deadline in liquor license fight

Sainvil listens to supporters of Waid's speak at a March community meeting about the club (Image: CHS)

Sainvil listens to supporters of Waid’s speak at a March community meeting about the club (Image: CHS)

Friday is the deadline for Waid Sainvil to act to keep his Central District nightclub open as the state liquor board moves forward on its decision not to renew the bar’s liquor license.

In February, CHS spoke with Sainvil who said racism and the push of gentrification was driving authorities to target his Waid’s Restaurant & Lounge after a series of liquor and drug violations at the 12th and Jefferson bar. “It’s a black thing,” Sainvil said. “This is the only place in Seattle where black people from all over hang out.” The issues around Waid’s were discussed at an East Precinct community meeting in March attended by Sainvil and new East Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis.

According to a Washington State Liquor Control Board representative, there were five enforcement and one licensing issue against Waid’s that were to be examined in court over six hearings after the board decided not to renew the club’s license.

Sainvil failed to appear at a hearing earlier this month and the rest of the month’s hearings have been canceled after a judge granted the state’s motion, the spokesperson tells CHS. Sainvil has not yet responded to our request for an update on his plans. Friday is the deadline for Sainvil to file a motion against the board’s decision and try to win back his liquor license against the state’s contentions that his bar has racked up too many violations to continue serving alcohol.

The Waid’s neighborhood continues to change with new development and more business investment. Across the street, Capitol Hill Housing’s The Jefferson apartment building opened in 2013Seattle University, in the meantime, continues to invest in the area and plans a major campus expansion in the neighborhood. Waid’s landlord is Abdulkarim Nagi who also owns the neighboring gas station. Nagi himself is busy in court with a $200,000+ breach of contract suit against  ARCO filed earlier this year over unmet fuel sales quotas.

According to letters from the City Attorney’s office provided to CHS, concerns about incidents at Waid’s date back for years and include a 2013 sting in which minors were able to purchase alcohol at the nightclub.

UPDATE 4/22/2014: A motion has been filed on behalf of Waid’s that will restart hearings on the non-renewal of the liquor license to late May.

29 thoughts on “Central District nightclub faces deadline in liquor license fight

  1. It is not a Black thing as Mr. Sainvil purports. It’s a gun thing and a shooting thing. And it’s unfortunate that he makes this about race. If this were a quieter bar nobody would be complaining. But the patrons spill into the streets far too often and violence erupts. It is too bad that this is one of the few places that Black people from all over hang out and that it is at risk of closing. But if Mr. Sainvil had demonstrated more control over the actions of his patrons then we wouldn’t be where we are today.

    • That’s not true… violence is not the problem… i am there all the time.. everyone who frequents waids knows there is barely ever scuffles inside or out

      • I go to this club a lot and have never seen a fight! I think Waid is being targeted in some way…maybe because the powers that be cant stand that he is successful!!!!!

        • PJ and Natalie, your ignorance is a little astounding. I cannot count on two hands how many fights have woken me up in the middle of the night in the year and a half I have lived next door. Keep in mind- one of the reasons he is so ‘successful’ is due to the illegal activity that is taking place. There’s the target for you.

    • There has not been one true incident of gun violence in Waids establishment! There have been a number of unfounded accusations however, & there have been incidents in businesses that are close to Waids that have been conveniently suggested that Waids is in some way involved! Waid has been disproportionately targeted (it reeks of the fact that he is a business man of color) since he brought this establishment to life! He has done nothing but try to bring love to the community as well as entertainment & any who wish to see him fail should “Look In The Mirror” & honestly answer the question Why? He caters to all, leaving none excluded, trying to present an example sorely needed in this & “All” of UNITY!!! Oh, guess what? Maybe that is the problem huh? He represents what might be if Prejudices where eradicated!!!! Support Waid!!!

  2. I live in the Jefferson apartments, which is next door. Last July, I was woken by a fight in front of Waid’s at 3:00AM. I looked outside just in time to see a man pull out a pistol, shooting 6-8 rounds in the air. I’ve never felt so strongly about Waid’s being gone after that incident.

  3. I lived on 12th and Barclay with my back porch facing Waids. I no longer live there solely because of Waids. The music, fights, cars driving like maniacs. That was 7 years ago…I cannot believe this place is still even open. Ridiculous

  4. Can you really be that ignorant? Of course it is about race and gentrification! It’s happening everywhere, Capital Hill, CD… Everybody is either being priced out if the neighbourhood, or if that doesn’t work, forced out on trumped up charges!
    Wake up people! So sick of this ‘not in my backyard’ attitude. Move if you don’t like it…or pay a visit to Belltown. Maybe it will give you some perspective on the supposed ‘violence’ level…

      • You mean this article that had nothing to do with Waids? Read the last sentence! “Arrests in 12th/Jeff gun incident: Police made two arrests after reports of gunfire in the area of 12th and Jefferson early Monday morning. Around 1:15 AM, SPD received multiple reports of gunshots and rushed to the area to investigate reports of a shooting. No victim was found but responding officers found “a pile” of shell casings near an alley in the 400 block of 13th Ave. One male suspect was arrested as he fled the area on foot. It’s not clear if the other arrest involved a black Lincoln Town Car found nearby that witnesses said was involved in the shooting. In addition to the bullet casings found by police, officers also found a shot out window in the nearby Capitol Hill Housing apartment building The Jefferson”.

        • You do realize that this incident happened 75 feet away from Waids, right? I walked past the bullet hole in the storefront 15 minutes ago- don’t try to play that off. Especially due to the fact that a good chunk of your customers spend quite a bit of time congregating on that corner of 13th and Jefferson- exactly where that bullet hole is. The fact that you’re claiming violence doesn’t seem to occur in your establishment is a bit naive; or, you’re simply falsely denying it. I’ve experienced it time and time again- as soon as people start leaving your club, it goes down. Sure, it’s not every time, but it sure as hell isn’t as infrequent as you’re claiming it is.

  5. I haven’t had much exposure to the supposed violence and crime that occurs around Waid’s, but the noise level coming from the establishment has been absolutely ridiculous. I’m not talking about the people either, the noise is the bass that just radiates from the place. For months my family would lie awake at night with no way to mitigate the noise (white noise and earplugs don’t work on bass). Since January though, the noise level has been relatively low, with the bass only being bad on the occasional Sunday. I wish it could always be like that.

    Is it about race and gentrification? I have no idea. Even if my own personal objection to Waid’s isn’t based on race, that doesn’t mean SPD and the Liquor Control Board haven’t acted in a biased manner. I’m glad to see that I probably won’t have to worry about the bass anymore, but I really do wonder if our government officials were acting appropriately during this process.

  6. Why did Waid not appear at the hearing? The specific hearing he blew off was to address: 1.) Security staff selling narcotics to undercover SPD. 2.) Staff selling narcotics to an undercover SPD while standing next to and in plain sight of Mr. Sainvil. 3.) Event Promoter advising undercover SPD who he can buy drugs from inside the club.
    The hearing Mr. Sainvil blew off was to deal with these issues, nothing else. Not fights, gunfire, noise etc…one can only speculate regarding his actions.
    The charismatic man who loves his community by day is profiting greatly off of our young people by night.
    These are the facts. It is public record. I do not feel sorry for this man, but for our community that he has fooled all these years.

    Gentrification – I do fear this as well. But, the structure itself is in decay. There are trees growing out of the back wall of the building – big enough to dislodge the gutter. If we could find someone who could operate a reggae lounge within the confines of the law, and perhaps close at 2am instead of 4am I’d totally support that.

    • Show me a club where there are no drugs being sold and I show you the pastures where unicorn graze!
      The ‘narcotics’ you are talking about, also better known as weed, was freely available everywhere in Seattle, even before it was de-criminalised. In fact coming to Seattle from the UK it was quite shocking to me just how many people smoked it. So, what better to use for the SPD, than something like this? No brainier, really!
      I’ve been to Waids many times, I have always enjoyed myself and have never once run into any aggravation!

      The noise? Now that I understand. However, all the money that is pumped into shutting down the place could be invested in taking care of this problem. One could also argue, though, the club is not a secret, why move there if noise bothers you.

      The picture that is painted of Waid could not be more wrong. He is a genuine person and greets everybody with the same enthusiasm and kindness. Take 5
      Minutes and go there, meet him yourself and then have an opinion about his character.

      I hope Waids stays. I have fond memories of people enjoying themselves and getting along. I hope a mutually beneficial solution can be found.

  7. There was gunfire outside Waid’s last night that shot out a window in the Jefferson building (link below, right on this website). This is what we’re talking about. Shootings are happening all the time. Most patrons won’t know because they’re not going to Waid’s every single night. Well, we residents ARE there every night, we can tell you that shootings are a common occurrence over there, and they only happen on nights that Waid’s is open. It’s not a coincidence, people.

    http://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2014/04/blotter-driver-takes-dangerous-spin-on-broadway-sidewalk-spd-busts-two-after-12thjeff-gunfire/

  8. First of all, I did not miss a hearing date. There was a miscommunication between the office of hearings and myself. I was told that someone was going to call me at 11 am on Wednesday the 9th for a conference phone call between the Attorney general, the law judge and myself. By 11:15, when such call did not occur, I called the WSLCB to inquire. This is when I was informed that I was the one who was supposed to call. But, that’s not what I was told a week prior. The incidence that happened last night has nothing to do with Waid’s just like any other incidence that happens on that block. The people involved we not at Waids. The only thing they have in common with Waid’s is that they were black. Thank you to those who keep supporting me and thank you to those who keep trying to shut me down. You’re both making me stronger.

    • How do you know they weren’t at your club? Everyone’s going to assume that they were, and this goes for other incidents on the block around you– that’s just the way it is. You are responsible for what happens between 1 and 4 AM outside your club on club nights whether you like it or not. This is something that few club owners understand– you need personnel outside trying to mitigate crime that could be linked to you, or else you end up in court, and trying to defend yourself on the internet. Good luck with all of that, Waid– I like you and I think you’re a very sweet guy, but you’ve got a serious problem here and blaming racism won’t get you out of it. Might be true, doesn’t make it useful in any way to a businessman. Get the PR machine dusted off and stand up for yourself in court, not in comment threads.

  9. You do realize that this incident happened a block away from Waid’s right? And yes, this is a fact: The people involved were not at my establishment.

    • You do realize that this incident happened 75 feet away from Waids, right? I walked past the bullet hole in the storefront 15 minutes ago- don’t try to play that off. Especially due to the fact that a good chunk of your customers spend quite a bit of time congregating on that corner of 13th and Jefferson- exactly where that bullet hole is. The fact that you’re claiming violence doesn’t seem to occur in your establishment is a bit naive; or, you’re simply falsely denying it. I’ve experienced it time and time again- as soon as people start leaving your club, it goes down. Sure, it’s not every time, but it sure as hell isn’t as infrequent as you’re claiming it is.

  10. Pingback: Capitol Hill food+drink | Corretto mixes the craft of coffee and cocktails for night — and day — on Broadway | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

  11. waids problem is totally about race i cant believe they mentioned on the blog waids property owner happen to be black when capitol housing tenant have a problem they mention the white non prophet owner it shows they are trying to destroy every black who own a buseness by lying telling stories that are true we live in a recist area but they will fail.

    • If you want to be taken seriously, please try to use proper grammar/spelling in your posts. Your validity is discredited when you do not do so. “Recist” is actually known nowadays as “racist”.

  12. Pingback: Waid’s owner vows to stay open but says he’s done fighting over liquor license | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

  13. Pingback: Embattled Waid’s closes doors but 12th and Jefferson nightclub’s days may not be over | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

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