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Neighbours making upgrades, can continue as nightclub but tax issue lingers

Neighbours nightclub has a plan in place to keep everybody dancing on Capitol Hill. According to filings with the City of Seattle, the club is completing seismic and fire system projects that will allow it to continue operating at full capacity following a drawn out battle with the Depart of Planning and Development over upgrades required at the club’s long-time Broadway location.

We reported in late January on an ultimatum delivered to the club just before New Year’s — upgrade your fire safety systems or downsize. As the deadline for the ultimatum arrived, City Hall reps said the club was making progress on the needed changes. With the permits filed and plan in place, a representative from the City Attorney’s office tells CHS that Neighbours that the club has the permits it needs to finish the projects and that the work is in progress though inspectors are not yet ready for final approval to close the issue.

As we reported previously, the permits do not cover the work necessary for the Neighbours Underground portion of the club to continue operating.

CHS was not able to speak to anybody authorized to the media in a call to Neighbours this morning.

With the safety issues in hand, Neighbours still has some other challenges on the business front. KUOW reported an update on the ongoing “dance tax” dispute faced by Neighbours and other nightclubs on the Hill and across the city:

Tracy: “After 30 years in business, we’re just now being told we’re doing it wrong, and we really do everything we can to make sure we do all of our papers and taxes and whatever filings correctly.”


He says the amount they owe is in the six figures. They were just one venue hit by a recent spate of dance tax audits on Seattle clubs.

HD Lodge [sic], on Capitol Hill, used to be called the War Room. That club had to pay about $30,000. And a recent audit found the Tractor Tavern in Ballard owes about $200,000.

KUOW says Neighbours still isn’t paying the tax and may renew legal efforts to fight the state over the issue.

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