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.