Pike/Pine’s Rhino Room planning second-level expansion

Capitol Hill’s dance club scene looks to be strong enough to warrant a doubling-down at the Rhino Room.

The two-year-old club’s ownership declined to comment about a possible expansion but plans on file with the city indicate Rhino Room is sizing up another level for dancing in the night spot’s 3,000 square-foot basement.

The new plans went into motion after the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board voted to extend protections to the auto row-era building the club and Capitol Hill media group The Stranger call home. CHS reported on the decision from the building’s longtime owner to drop plans for a redevelopment of the property in the wake of the decision. Meanwhile, 11th Ave’s Value Village building that was slated to be part of the development remains shuttered after the thrift store’s late 2015 closure. So far, there has been no sign of a new retail tenant moving into the space.

The Rhino Room opened in the former bike store space at 11th and Pine in spring 2014 and has since grown into a popular Pike/Pine venue on the weekends, joining the scene’s longtime gay clubs like Neighbours and R Place and big-time newcomer Q in maintaining Capitol Hill’s dance scene. 11th Ave’s spot in the scene also includes the action above Grim’s where The Woods also lines up clubbers looking to get down and get funky after paying a nominal $10 to $25 cover for the privilege. Grim’s was acquired in 2014 by an ownership group behind the Comet Tavern and Lost Lake.

While the Rhino ownership is remaining quiet on the possible downward expansion, it wouldn’t be the first time the group kept its cards close to its chest. As word first spread about the 11th and Pine project in 2013, they described the coming club in the most modest of terms:

So the idea was simply to open a bar. Everything has gotten overconceptualized these days… The only thing that we want to do is have fun at what we do.

“We will, from time to time, have a DJ or do something wacky, or throw a fun party, but the foundation of the concept is to host a good time for all every day—which isn’t a concept at all,” the message about the new venture read.

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19 thoughts on “Pike/Pine’s Rhino Room planning second-level expansion

      • I’m sure the bros and the woo girls will still be smoking outside all night, until 2am when they’re out there starting fights and pushing and shoving waiting for their Ubers back to Tukwila and Kirkland.

  1. 100% agree with the above. This club draws a terrible crowd. I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve seen gay people harassed and fights outside this club. Terrible news.

  2. This place is awful. During the week there will be one or two people in there….the weekend hits and there’s a line out the door.

  3. This is truly bad. Everyone in the neighborhood was hoping the scourge that is the Rhino Room would be closing soon, not expanding. When people talk about the changes to Pike Pine, nothing more demonstrates those than this club. Not only do they help bring the people to the neighborhood that ruin weekend nights, they aren’t open the other days of the week, leaving a major corner dark.

  4. Why even connect gay clubs with the likes of Q, Grims or Rhino Room? These clubs bring the worst clientele to Capitol Hill on weekend nights. Expanding them just add more capacity for trouble for the gay community. Right now, we walk around the pike/pine corridor between Broadway and 12th on weekend nights to avoid these places.

  5. You’re right! Their website says “Open Thursday thru Saturday 4pm-2am”. That’s why it seems so empty all the time. Wow, they must make a lot of $ in 30 hours of business a week to afford that prime real estate.

    • It magically springs to life weekly to serve the goons who plague the neighborhood Friday & Saturday nights, but offers nothing to people who actually live here. Walk by it on a weekday night and it’s big empty space, adding nothing to the quality of life here–a really terrible neighbor.

  6. Maybe with all the $ they’ll make from their new floor they can pay someone to clean up the garbage and puke I have to walk around on Sat and Sun mornings when I go for coffee.

  7. Agree with all of the above. I have walked by around last call and saw multiple fights and several women being physically harassed in just a short distance. What is it that brings people to places like this? Even the shitty clubs in Pioneer Square and Belltown don’t seem as awful.

    • national media attention is what brings people to these places. pioneer square and belltown aren’t the darlings of seattle anymore. whenever i see some online publication (GQ, NYT, random lifestyle blogs, etc) talking about “where to go in seattle” it is invariably capitol hill. sure, ballard gets its fair share of coverage but i see way too often our neighborhood getting covered as the “it’ place to go in seattle.

      from dining on the western edge of pike/pine the masses are encouraged to drink their way east through this “entertainment, destination district.” while i’m glad to see that we have national coverage-worthy bars and restaurants it’s this kind of coverage that has everyone and their bros (and woo girls) wanting to come here.

      give it time though. south lake union is gearing up to be the next destination neighborhood and, hopefully, in five years or so, we’ll be done with the d-bag “bridge and tunnel” crowd. they’ll be off to hang out in the next trendy neighborhood.