Some 25 years after its birth as Moe’s Mo’Roc’N Café in an old Salvation Army at the corner of 10th and Pike, Neumos showed off the results of its 2017 overhaul with a party Wednesday night.
There is an upgraded sound system and new lighting to keep the club rocking. There is a new life for the old Moe Bar next door. And there are smaller changes — yes, the bathrooms have been redone — and new details like a plaque to honor longtime friend of the club, Jon “Gash” Sanders, who died in 2016 and is remembered as the “Pope of Capitol Hill.”
“Our new sound system will blow you away and possibly is the best in the city,” Neumos talent buyer Steven Severin said in a message to friends about the reopening.
Neumos and its underground sibling Barboza now have a new sound and light system and a set of “seven closed circuit TV monitors of the Neumos stage for live performances in the mezzanine and other areas of the venue.”
Art and club history is also featured throughout the venue including a poster archive from the last decade of shows at Neumos. The walls at the transformed Moe Bar are also busy.
Designed in “graphic black and white collaged images and satin black paint offset with rich wood tones, 70’s spaghetti lamps, basil green upholstery and plush tufted chairs and bar stools,” The Runaway features photographs from Coco Foto and an ’80s guitar print from Jennifer Ament wrapping the bar in addition to its craft cocktails and food from the new Capitol Hill Paseo that is also part of the overhauled venue.
“After surpassing our decade-long mark a couple years back and re-evaluating the future of the business,” Jason Lajeunesse said about the projects in an announcement on the grand reopening, “we decided it was imperative to re-invest in the venue for the experience of not only the bands playing, but the audience attending. Our landlord and partner, Jerry Everard, along with his business partner, Eric Shirley, have been incredible stewards and supporters of music in this neighborhood, allowing us to create a legacy venue in Seattle through their continued support and reasonable rent. We are thankful to be a creative constant for up and coming local, regional and national artists.”
This summer, Neumos will again be at the center of its Capitol Hill Block Party music festival. The 2017 lineup was announced Tuesday making for a busy, satisfying week for the club’s ownership.
In 2012, CHS wrote about Neumos owner Lajeunesse and partners Mike Meckling, and Steve Severin inking another 10-year-lease with landlord and fellow club partner Everard. In 2014, the one-time Neumos Crystal Ball Reading Room marked 20 years on Capitol Hill. “Most places were just a hole with a pole,” founder Everard told CHS at the time, referring to the support beams that block stage views in most taverns-turned-venues. “We just wanted to have the best venue in town, with the best sound system.”