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The construction parties get started for new Capitol Hill nightclubs The Social and Q

A look at the future Q (Image: Q Capitol Hill)

Men at Work, remixed. Hammer Time? Uh, that song by the Village People construction guy. We’re sure the soundtrack is amazing as work gets underway to build out two new nightclubs set to expand Capitol Hill’s dance and drink scene. The paperwork is finally complete and hammers are ready to fly at the Social’s future home on E Olive Way and Q Capitol Hill on Broadway at Pike.

Work has been underway at the Social for about a week now after DPD finalized the construction permits for the three-level, 12,000 square-foot “ultra lounge” set to overhaul a cloister of retail spaces at 1715 E Olive Way. Social partner Chris Pardo tells CHS the construction schedule for the club should take about two months. In August, CHS reported on some delays in the project as the Social worked to handle stricter requirements for noise improvements at the future club space.

Pardo also shared a big announcement for the venture’s 3,000 square-foot restaurant:

We also have reached an agreement with Todd Nordahl, he will be opening the restaurant portion of the Social. We are excited about working together and feel like our concepts are a great match.

The Social is coming soon (Image: The Social)

Nordahl, you might recall, took over the helm of the Rosebud and ran into problems with the landlord that led to the restaurant’s sudden closure. With plans to re-open the Rosebud space being made it looks like Nordahl’s pledge to re-open a restaurant nearby will play out hand in hand with the Social.

Here’s the Social’s pitch:

We are excited to announce our latest venture: The Social – a three level 12,000 sqft ultra lounge/ restaurant and nightclub. The Social is located on East Olive and will feature three distinct rooms, including four bars and a 3000 sqft restaurant. The entertainment venue is being designed by award winning Capitol Hill firm Pb Elemental (recently named one of the Decades Best by Seattle Magazine). Our focus is to provide a well designed, fun, and high quality venue for the LGBTQ community. The Social is a joint venture of three Capitol Hill small business owners Alex Garcia (Emerson Salon, Banyan Branch), Shanon Thorson and Laura Olson (Po Dog, Auto Battery, Grim’s) . Drawing on their specific talents we will be featuring a gourmet food menu, holding daily events and drawing from national and international DJ talent. The Social is scheduled to open this summer, watch for updates on We are excited to join the expanding scene on East Olive with Tommy Guns, CC Attles and Fred Wildlife Refuge.

On Broadway, Q Capitol Hill received its permits to begin construction this week but the buildout of the 17,000 square-foot former auto garage space being overhauled at 1426 Broadway will take some time.  This week, the demolition portion of the project should get underway. The target for opening at this point is “early 2012,” partner Scott Smith tells CHS.

To hit that target, Q is bringing in construction firm Skanska. Smith says the concept for Q remains basically the same as what CHS spoke with him about this summer even as architects Bohlin Cywinski and Jackson firm up the building plans for the dance and lounge space.

Business cards make it official (Image: Q Capitol Hill)

Here’s the latest description of the project from Q:

Q is a state-of-the-art, 12,500 sq. ft. multilevel lounge and nightclub located in Seattle’s vibrant Capitol Hill neighborhood that will set a new standard for excellence by returning to the fundamentals of what makes a nightclub experience great: innovative interior design, groundbreaking sound and lighting, exceptional service, and our twist on specialty drinks and cocktails, including the club’s own signature line of infused and flavored vodkas.

Q will be open seven days a week, serving both as a lounge on weekdays and as a nightclub on weekends. No matter whether you are seeking a relaxed atmosphere after work or a fun night of dancing, you will be able find it at Q. Leave behind the hassles of the clubs in Belltown and Pioneer Square, and don’t worry about the elitism and attitude found in so many upscale lounges – because at Q, everyone is welcome.

The space is designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, the AIA award-winning architects behind such projects as the iconic Apple Cube on New York’s Fifth Avenue, Pixar Studios Headquarters, and Seattle City Hall, to name a few. We have also chosen to work with Skanska, the world famous Swedish construction company, to oversee construction.

In addition, Q will incorporate world-class audio-visual components as part of its overall design, providing the most memorable experience for our patrons possible. These include a sound system by Funktion One from England that’s been designed by Sound Investment AV, and state of the art lighting design by Steve Lieberman of the award-winning SJ Lighting in Los Angeles.

Opening in early 2012, Q will instantly change Seattle’s nightlife for the better and will become an integral part of the people and businesses that make up the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Smith, too, said there is also progress being made on the personnel front:

We’ve hired a general manager — Ryan Schmitt — who brings a wealth of experience from his previous positions at Palomino and The Daily Grill.  Ryan is working closely with Ken Batali, our incredible bar consultant, in pulling the club’s three bars together and developing our drinks menu for us.

You can follow the progress of both projects via Facebook — Q Capitol Hill and the Social

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14 thoughts on “The construction parties get started for new Capitol Hill nightclubs The Social and Q

  1. ok,i must say that i’m curious as to how the folks at the social plan on taking what you describe as a “cloister of retails space” and turning it into a three level 12,000 sqft ultra lounge/ restaurant and nightclub in just two months.

    either that can’t be right and they’ve seriously misjudged what it will take to convert that space or they’ve seriously misjudged what it’ll take to convert that space.

    given the fact that they originally were saying they’d be open for busiess this past summer i’d say its definitely the former. and the latter.

  2. Wasn’t the social supposed to be open, oh I don’t know, four months ago? I’m with Richie that the investors have seriously misjudged the space and what they doing.

  3. “Opening in early 2012, Q will instantly change Seattle’s nightlife for the better..”

    Who writes this drivel?

    For chrissakes, don’t make us loathe you folks before you even break ground.

  4. Spoken like a true Capitol Hiller TacMan. Like so many of my fellow Hill citizens you apparently like to sit back and take potshots at everything new around you without giving the folks who are actually trying to accomplish something in our neighborhood a chance (an attitude embarrassingly adopted by so many of my fellow Hillers, and which is on display in all its sad glory in the comment section right here not long ago concerning the new car service starting up here on the hill).

    That “too cool for school” attitude you and so many Hillers are notorious for around the rest of Seattle is why a lot of Seattle business owners shun our neighborhood when they want to open a new business or expand an existing one and is one of the things that helped to make a large part of Cap Hill the uninhabited shithole it was for so many years.

    It wasn’t that long ago that three quarters of Pike/Pine were shuttered stores and empty buildings. Largely because the kewl kidz like you who lived on the hill wouldn’t (or more likely couldn’t) patronize the businesses in them. I’m guessing you’d like us to go back to that, huh?

    Frankly I could care less about their prose style. What I care about is that both The Social and Q are clearly investing big money in our neighborhood to build their businesses and in the process will be employing a lot of Seattleites during the worst recession in 80 years.

    Here’s an idea TacMan; if their ad copy offends you then you should probably do them a favor and just stay home. Because if something that inconsequential bothers you then its probably gonna be impossible for them to do anything that’ll ever make a person like you happy.

    But then, let’s be honest here; you weren’t ever gonna go out and actually patronize either one of these neighborhood businesses, where you TacMan?

  5. I’ve lived here since 2000…don’t recall a time in that period when ” three quarters of Pike/Pine were shuttered stores and empty buildings”. Was that before 2000?

    Growth is good, but it’s also good to question the speed of it, and whether it fits the neighborhood and how it can be managed to become a good fit and thus a good neighbor. Building a 30 story office building or a manufacturing plant might bring tons of jobs to Capitol Hill, but that doesn’t mean it’s “good” for the neighborhood.

    It’s lovely that Pike/Pine, East Olive and to a smaller degree, Broadway are bustling, but that does come at a cost. Due to the high rents in newer development and the large size of the commercial space for rent, (and many other factors) retail is largely vanishing from Capitol Hill replaced by food/drink/nightlife. (Which is a big concern of many Capitol Hill leaders). The residents of Capitol Hill are now forced to leave the Hill to buy anything other than food or disco fetish clothes. The increase in food/ drink/ nightlife means more visitors which is great, but that also means more traffic/parking problems because mass transit hasn’t kept up with demand. (Also, many of the people who visit the Hill aren’t that likely to use mass transit anyway…) In the past, many local businesses were owned by people who LIVED on the Hill and understood how to operate a neighborhood business; increasingly, it is outside business interests building out who have little regard for the ‘hood. Or, they don’t know how to market to the people who live here and end up alienating the locals.

    More residential is being added to the Hill, which is good, but many new residents don’t understand or appreciate life in a dense, urban environment and quickly become the bad neighbors who call the cops because the bar down the street is too loud. And, the rising cost of rents mean that the arts are being forced off the Hill; hundreds if not thousands of artists live on the Hill and moved here in the first place to make art. Art has been replaced by the newest high end bistro. High end bistros are lovely, (well, maybe) but the neighborhood loses when artists and places to display and perform their art are lost.

    It’s nice to be pro-growth, but it’s nicer to be pro-smart growth. And, pointing out potential problems to rampant growth is not negative; it’s being a good neighbor. Many people on the Hill don’t want our home to turn into a bland replica of an upscale, suburban mall. And, with smart leadership from the city, it could be possible…intelligent city planning has done wonders for Portland and Vancouver BC. But, it doesn’t seem to be something our city is inclined to do primarily because it might upset the very rich and very powerful property developers and landlords (many of whom live on the Eastside) who could give a rat’s ass about the viability of existing urban neighborhoods and their individual identities.

  6. I agree with TacMan; Q’s project description is ridiculously cheesy and positively funky with redundant superlatives…..”world famous”, “world-class”, “state of the art”, “award winning”, “incredible”.

    Message received Q Capitol Hill, you’re EXTREMELY fond of yourself.

    It might be best to leave the adjectives to others once you’ve actually gotten this bun out of the oven.

  7. What do you expect? The Social was apparently advertising on facebook before they had even secured a lease. Also, they’ll soon learn why CC’s has been having issues lately. Those folks in the condo next door do not take to noise well. Even if you have great soundproofing, there’s nothing to keep the folks coming/going from making a racket.

    And Q Lounge? The language in their press release is a bit… full of itself. It reads as though it’s promoting one of those “ultrapremium” vodkas that nobody will remember in a few months. That being said, their architects/construction crew make it sound a bit overambitious. Shades of Varro?

  8. IMO, Scott Smith of Q Capitol Hill is a douchebag of epic proportions so it’s no surprise that their latest project description would be a smarmy, hubristic mess. Expect lots more of the same cuz you know that the shameless shill-a-thon is just beginning.