Everything is for sale. Just ask Broadway’s Charlie’s. The restaurant’s owner Ken Bauer has listed the Capitol Hill classic for years.
On Thursday, Seattle’s only music writer David Segal posted about the peculiar real estate listings involving 14th and Madison rock club Chop Suey and got some intel from longtime neighborhood booker Jodi Ecklund.
“The most recent development is that the price was significantly dropped from the original asking price. The issue is the rent on the building is 13k; even with a thriving club like Chop Suey, that is not sustainable. I have heard there are some interested parties and I have been contacted by a few folks for more insight. My number one concern is that if Chop Suey is purchased, I hope it is by someone who values the local music scene.
If you’re wondering, Dave Meinert tells us he’s not interested in owning “a live music venue.” We’ll let you parse that statement.
To be clear, Chop Suey is for sale.
Not the 1325 E Madison building across the street from the former Piecora’s where a six-story development is planned.
CHS first noticed the strange listings earlier this month when a condo listing, of all things, popped up for the address via Zillow. That strange, probably automated listing now shows as “off market.”
Here’s the business description:
Chop Suey Business Opportunity for Sale. Very well-known nightclub, bar, lounge and event venue in vibrant Capitol Hill. This stage books tons of national and international talent and music groups. Beautiful, funky build-out. TURN-KEY OPERATION. Class H Liquor License in place. 2ft + 20pt employees. Come check out the scene as a customer! DO NOT DISTURB BUSINESS OR ALERT ANYONE ASSOCIATED OF THE SALE.
And here’s an also-automated sales video that is pretty awesome and will make you want to buy it:
In 2012, CHS wrote about Chop Suey’s 10 year anniversary on Capitol Hill:
In ten years, not much has changed on the inside of Chop Suey. A new sound system was installed in ‘09 after the club was purchased by the same ownership as K’s Dream in Japan and they are in the process of upgrading the green room, but other than that it has been pretty much the same since the days the place first became Chop Suey in 2002 and pushed punk The Breakroom aside. Lots of people have come and gone, but Chop Suey has shown itself over the years to be a destination for touring acts, and a place for local bands and DJs to cut their teeth.
A 2009 murder at the club pushed a shift in programming and the club is now known for hosting a wide diversity of acts, comedy, and performance formats. Earlier this year, management revealed a new Twin Dragon lounge to help drum up business at the venue.
A check of city records shows no planned development or tenant improvements for the building. According to King County Records, the building is owned by developer and real estate investor Scott Shapiro who helped to create Melrose Market and has most recently been working on microhousing-type developments including this project on 12th Ave.
Live music and performance-focused venues on Capitol Hill are on the wane. Most recently, The Comet’s overhaul on E Pike including the scrubbing away of its place as a performance venue. The new Comet continues to host live music but usually as an accompaniment to hanging out at the bar — not as ticketed shows. In the meantime, the Electric Tea Garden also shuttered last fall.
In addition to being across the street from the coming Piecora’s development, the 77-year-old Chop Suey building neighbors the old auto row-era garage purchased by Ferrari and Maserati of Seattle for $2.25 million in 2013. Adjacent on 14th Ave stands the home of bear bar Diesel.
While we don’t have access to the financial records of Chop Suey owner K’s Dream, there are a few signs of financial issues around the club. In 2009 in the wake of the K’s Dream purchase, former Chop Suey owner Chris Dasef successfully sued after middleman John Villesvik, who initially bought the club, flipped it to K’s Dream — apparently before Villesvik had paid for it. The October, 2009 judgement called for nearly $130,000 to be paid to Dasef.
That’s a touch higher than the $100 grand currently being asked for the club business.