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HG Lodge owner shutting down club to make way for sports bar — UPDATE

Having found success in the burger business, Marcus Lalario is getting out of the nightclub game with plans to shutter HG Lodge and re-open the space as Capitol Hill sports bar 95 Slide.

The Stranger’s Grant Brissey, the worst neighborhood blogger in Seattle, has the scoop on the changes at Pike and Harvard:

This weekend the HG Lodge is throwing its final parties before it closes its doors for good. Proprietor Marcus Lalario says he’s tired of the nightclub game, “I’ve been been doing it for 15-20 years now. I tried to get out before the War Room, but didn’t, and now it’s just the right time.”

He says he’s a grown more interested in the restaurant business via his other interests in Li’l Woody’s and Captain Blacks. Lalario intends to remodel the building as 95 Slide (named after Ken Griffey Jr’s slide into home to beat the Yankees in the 1995 AL Division Series), a restaurant/sports bar with “a strong emphasis on quality food.”

Not mentioned in Brissey’s write-up is thousands of dollars of fire code compliance work needed for the club to continue operating and ongoing issues Seattle clubs have been running into with the state’s tax on dancing. CHS reported this fall that HG’s ownership was working on a solution to the fire code and permitting issue. We’ll need to check in with Lalario to learn more about how the issues with DPD and Olympia played into his decision to focus more on food and football.

UPDATE: Lalario tells CHS the sports bar idea is something he’s been kicking around for years either at the HG Lodge location or somewhere else and he was just “ready to pull the trigger” on the idea now. “Sure it’s a drag on a club business,” he said of the recent push around the dance tax. No set date for reopening the space, Lalario said, but he expects the turnaround shouldn’t take more than a couple months.

HG Lodge Facebook updates began promoting the last weekend at the club earlier this month.

On Capitol Hill, the new venture faces competition from CHS advertiser Auto Battery, the only other dedicated sports bar in the neighborhood — though there’s a solid list of watering holes with multiple screens to bring in the sportsball crowds.

Meanwhile, the Capitol Hill club scene will drop down one player in the interim as Neighbours and R Place hold down the fort as newbies Q and The Social gear up for their debuts in coming months.

CHS first reported on the transformation of the old War Room into HG Lodge in February 2010. By April of that year, the new space debuted. Lalario announced his Li’l Woody’s project one year ago this month. It opened for business last August.

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15 thoughts on “HG Lodge owner shutting down club to make way for sports bar — UPDATE

  1. I thought the building looked cool on the outside, but I couldn’t tell it was open or abandonded. Maybe I wasn’t “hip” enough to know about it.

    Anyway +1 for a(nother) sports bar on the hill. It will help fill out the area’s diversity of bars.

  2. Shockingly, some people like watching sports and don’t want to pay for cable just so they can have ESPN. Don’t worry you won’t be forced to go there… until it becomes hip and under ground to like sports and you will wait in line to slack jawedly watch the NBA finals, biotch.

  3. Meh, to each their own. Norm’s and Roxy’s burgers beat any of those places in my opinion, and those are just on one block in Fremont. I truly feel that Norm’s has the best veggie burgers in the city too.

  4. If there is a place that specifically caters to sports fans, they will go to those places to watch their sports, and leave the quieter watering holes to the rest of us. Win-win, people. Don’t knock it!