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Capitol Hill dance club The Social has liquor license woes, neighbor troubles

The Social was quiet this weekend (Image: Doug McLaughlin for CHS)

Fallout from an October gun incident outside the E Olive Way club and an ongoing barrage of noise complaints appear to have put Capitol Hill nightclub The Social’s business in jeopardy. The club’s owners have sued the Washington State Liquor Control Board in an unusual attempt to keep the venue open.

The social-media themed dance club, owned by Capitol Hill food and drink entrepreneurs Chris Pardo and Laura Olson and investor Alex Garcia, was shuttered over the weekend and this message was posted to its Facebook page:

The temporary liquor license for The Social & Theory Vodka Lounge has expired and we will not know if we are granted our permanent license Tuesday of next week. 

We are very sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you and we look forward to seeing you soon! Kingdom Saturdays / Trashed 3 yr anniversary has been postponed. 

Please stay tuned for more information!

CHS has connected with Olson but not yet had the opportunity to speak with her about the situation.

The legal process to keep The Social in business began playing out in January as the club has been operating from month to month on a series of temporary licenses. In January, the club’s management learned the temporary licenses were coming to an end and a permanent license would not be granted.

According to court documents, The Social’s ownership took the liquor control board to court in an attempt to win an injunction and restore the club’s ability to legally sell booze. Attorneys for The Social also took the unusual steps of attempting to sue the state for damages based on the decisions to suspend the licenses alleging the club will lose $3,000 each weekday and $25,000 each weekend day it is not operating. Additionally, the lawyers contend that The Social cost more than $700,000 to build before its 2012 opening. Lawyers also warned the court that the club’s closure would mean 42 people could lose their jobs.

A response from the State Attorney General denied many of the complaint’s allegations of wrongdoing by the board and countered that the state cannot be subject to civil damages. The AG’s response documents that The Social will need to pursue a “judicial review” and appeal any final decision by the board at a later date.

CHS has learned that the unusual predicament for a nightclub has come about as the Seattle City Attorney and the liquor board are looking into this October gun incident outside the club and a rash of complaints from residents living nearby that the club exceeds legal noise limits.

We can also confirm that there is currently no active on-premise license for the E Olive Way club and any appeal of state liquor license actions can take months.

The Social on opening night in 2012 (Image: Doug McLaughlin for CHS)

A review of SPD dispatch reports for the area shows noise disturbance callouts to the 1700 block of E Olive Way nearly every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the last three months. The club also shares the block with Tommy Gun and CC Attle’s.

Meanwhile, residents in neighboring apartments and the Solara condo building tell CHS that state liquor board representatives have been contacting witnesses to the October shooting incident for interviews. The liquor board spokesperson has not yet answered CHS’s inquiries about the situation. The board’s office is currently closed due to the Presidents’ Day holiday.

The Social debuted in May, 2012, a collaboration between Pardo’s architecture and design, Olson’s food and drink start-up know-how and Garcia’s social media and technology background. The expensive buildout saw its budget increase even more significantly as the club told CHS it was meeting increased noise control requirements from the city. The restaurant component of the club got off to an extremely shaky start and by August, ownership had reconfigured the plan and re-opened the space adjacent the club as a vodka bar. Meanwhile, Broadway dance club Q debuted in September and has drawn steady business and mostly accolades for its big-investment design and state-of-the-art sound system.

Olson and Pardo have found nightclub success elsewhere on the Hill. The Woods venue above their Grim’s restaurant and bar on 11th Ave has drawn long lines and Capitol Hill dance scene credibility that has thus far seemed to elude The Social. Another Olson project, sports bar Auto Battery is a CHS advertiser.

The trouble on E Olive Way comes as some Capitol Hill clubs are reportedly again facing issues around the dance tax and other pressures from the city that have risen in the past around fire codes and permitting.

Property manager Darryl Christiansen at the Harvard Crest apartments just west of the club said he has told the building’s residents to keep calling 911 to report the late-night noise from the club. “I asked tenants to make sure they are calling if there is a problem,” Christiansen said. “That’s what the police told us to do.”

Christiansen said the owners of the building the club calls home, real estate investors Roy Ghazimorad and Bijan Elahi, have been also trying to solve issues around The Social but that problems continue. The building is also home to other businesses including a salon and a tattoo parlor.

Christiansen said that while the building’s owners have been helpful, The Social’s management has not been responsive to meeting with residents concerned about noise and safety issues following the October shooting incident. Meanwhile, he believes that the City Attorney, police and DPD are doing what they can to improve the situation for nearby residents.

“There’s only so much you can do,” Christiansen said. “Between an apartment building and the condos, that’s the worst place to have a nightclub in all of Capitol Hill.”

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54 thoughts on “Capitol Hill dance club The Social has liquor license woes, neighbor troubles

  1. I have a very hard time believing that SPD wants Harvard Crest tenants to call 911 for noise complaints, or that anyone at the department would give that advice to the building manager.

  2. There is nothing redeemable about this club or the people who run it. Unlike all of the other clubs on this block (Tommy Gun and CC’s) the owners of this club don’t care about the neighborhood. The front of their club is basically an ashtray and a garbage dump. The other clubs on this strip are perfect neighbors and are able to control their patrons in a way that the owners of the Social have just refused. If you refuse to play by the rules you should be shut down. And yes, we all know we live in a neighborhood with a vibrant nightlife, but all of us and all of our apartment buildings were there before this atrocity was built. Either keep your patrons and staff in line or get out of our neighborhood. Good riddance.

  3. That is actually the advice you get from SPD. SPD always advises people to call and complain, because if you don’t call it didn’t happen. It’s easier for them to shut places down if there is a record of them being a nuisance, which this club is.

  4. Well, it does help create a paper trail even if no cops show up. I live across from a parking lot that tends to attract a lot of disruptive/intimidating people late at night who get drunk, harass passersby, and leave trash all over my co-op’s front steps. I had filed an online report, and SPD emailed back to say that I should call 911 whenever there are problems there because it creates a better record.

  5. I’ve been given the same advice by the SPD, regarding noise from the hot dog truck which operates below my apartment until 5:00 a.m. every weekend. I’ve only called once, and it does feel strange to call the police over a noise matter, which seems to be incredibly expensive, and a waste of the city’s resources just to create a paper trail.

  6. Seems pretty typical.

    If the cops want the place gone (or insert-generic-problem-here), they’ll tell people to call 911.

    If the cops want you to be ignored, they’ll tell you to call the non-emergency line. I have never met a cop who knows the non-emergency number by heart either. They’ll tell you to look it up.

  7. I hope that place closes permanately. I like the night life on Olive Way, with the sole exception of The Social. Olive Way is a nice area for locals to go on the weekend to avoid the douchebags that invest the Hill on the weekends. But The Social is bringing, bigoted, wannabe gangster, a-holes to Olive Way now. Just close that POS and go back to Bellevue already!

  8. I couldn’t agree more. The Social needs to go. I have no problems with cc’s, tommy gun, or any other bars in the area, but the social is a constant problem.

    A few things about social :
    Hundreds of people blocking e olive way and the sidewalk on weekends
    Regular puke all over the street.
    Traffic backed up down olive way as cabs and people cram into the tiny area.
    Trash all over the street the next day
    The shooting in October.
    Heard from bleu grotto and neighboring businesses that it is a regular occurrence for social patrons to use their facilities while never buying anything, and often leaving puke in their wake.

    Please city of seattle, keep them closed.

  9. Would someone please, pretty please, do an in depth journalistic investigation into PB elemental and now all these businesses Pardo has opened on the hill? PB went down in flames leaving a million half built projects and raw trash strewn land in its wake. He didn’t seem to care then, doesn’t now.

  10. Dear landlords of 1715 East Olive Way:

    Here is a list of suggestions that the neighbors of East Olive Way would love to see open in place of current tenant, The Social:

    1) A silent movie theatre
    2) A library
    3) A mime school
    4) A tropical fish emporium
    5) A silent meditation center
    6) A convent

    Thank you in advance for considering these options.

  11. This place has been a disaster since the very start.

    Although I immediately took offense to the giant wall against Olive, I live a few blocks away decided to check it out opening night, excited about a place to enjoy dance music with more of a lounge/restaurant/bar atmosphere. That thought was quickly extinguished when I discovered that “The Social” and “EVO” were completely separate. Different music, different point of sale systems, different covers, everything. The food at EVO was also _terrible_, so it was no surprise when they went under.

    Unfortunately “Theory”, the place that replaced it, doesn’t do much better. Even though it’s owned by the same group as The Social, it’s still operated independently.

    I stopped in to Theory recently on a weeknight (while The Social) was closed for a drink only to find we were the only people in the place, which is poorly designed and awkward to sit in. Although we initially assumed the empty restaurant was a bad sign, the bartender informed us that they make more than enough money from the weekend club crowd and actually were planning to stay closed during most of the week. We also found out that they get almost no foot traffic: basically everyone filling the place comes in from outside the neighborhood for specific events.

    The huge wall in front of this place facing Olive was a foreshadowing of things to come: a business that wants nothing to do with the surrounding neighborhood and from the very start saw the people who live here as an annoyance rather than potential customers.

  12. Nobody’s sole complaint is the noise. It’s the totality of their incompetence. That said, the noise would be enough as the apartment buildings in that area were there years (some even a century) before this loathsome club.

    CC’s is often crowded and loud too. However they have a very well trained security team that nips anything like that in the bud. The owners of the Social have never made even the slightest effort to be good neighbors. I shouldn’t have to walk through a gaggle of puking sorority and fraternity idiots just to get groceries. Or have to walk through all of the garbage that is strewn in front of their establishment every morning. Every other club has managed to be a good neighbor on that strip and even on Broadway. Sure I can hear Karaoke and bands playing at Highline, but they are a good neighbor. Crescent, CC’s, Tommy Gun, Bus Stop, Hillside Bar, Clever Dunnes, all great neighbors.

    If I owned Social, right after rebranding it, I would start pilfering employees from some of these clubs, since they seem to actually know what they are doing. The current owners appear to be complete amateurs at best or narcissistic jerks at worst.

    Either way, it looks like the State is doing what should have been done right after the shooting. Shut it down.

  13. The Saturday night parties at The Social are the best parties being thrown right now. They consistently bring in the best DJs and have the best music in Seattle. For everyone who is complaining about the Social I suggest you try actually going to the club in question before you plead to have it closed.

  14. who thought putting up a big wall of rusty panels was a good idea? it’s profoundly ugly and cheap looking…and that’s not even getting into all the trash on the ground left by their trashy patrons.

  15. Could you be more oblivious? Who gives a flying fart about what kind of music the club plays? The point is that a pre-existing neighborhood is being unreasonably made to suffer from the Social’s inept management and their immature, irresponsible customers.

  16. “Reading is FUNdamental”.
    Did you read anything in those complaints saying their music sucks? The problem is their customers’ behavior outside, not the music inside. It doesn’t matter how good their music is, if all their patrons are rude assholes as they neighbors are saying.

  17. I currently live in an apartment next door to the Social and last October my boyfriend and I had arrived to our place five minutes before the October shooting (that was directly in front of our place). Due to that, and the Social’s consistent disregard towards the neighborhood’s complaints, we have actively been looking to move from Harvard St. On the other hand, we used to live across from R Place and we have never felt concerned or remotely threatened by the club. Luckily, it seems promising that the Social will not reopen.

  18. OK Millie.

    Problems: ridiculous noise, puke and garbage, un-neighborly management, a shooting, etc.

    Solution: it’s a real fun party!

    I have no words… so I will use yours for effect. For everyone who is supporting the Social, I suggest you try actually living next to this blight on the hill. Weave between hundreds of drunk pukey thugs on your doorstep. Enjoy the piles of garbage strewn about neighborhood. Dodge bullets. Give up all hope of sleeping every single weekend. Use your brain before you plead to keep this place open.

  19. It’s terribly sad that MOViN 92.5 lost a sponsor.

    I hope this is a lesson for other businesses in that the respect your neighbors have for you is just as important, if not more, than your bottom line.

    Once inside, The Social is actually not a bad place to dance with big groups of friends, but it certainly does not belong boxed in between multiple condos/apartments. The Social’s ineptitude at solving very obvious problems (litter, noise, underage drinking, over-serving patrons, security, etc.) has also led to its downfall.

    I hope the place moves to Belltown or SoDo where it can thrive and so people don’t have to lose their jobs. One thing is certain, though, and that is the neighborhood is a lot cleaner without this club’s pollution.

  20. I could not agree more. I think that where this nightclub went wrong is its complete disregard for its neighbors and the community in which it decided to insert itself. While it is true that we live in an urban area that is zoned for mixed commercial and residential use, this nightclub is literally ruining the lives of residents, homeowners and business owners on East Olive Way. Once the club figured out how to be successful, they felt completely fine about socializing the cost of their success onto all of the neighbors on the block. Because of the noise, the violence (not just the shooting but fights on the street), the trashed sidewalks, and the hundreds of very drunk people outside the club (blocking the front gate to buildings, lining up directly in front of people’s bedroom windows) the club’s existence negatively impacted the folks in this neighborhood in the following ways:

    1) Took away residents’ ability to sleep before 2:30am on the weekends
    2) Lowered property value for homeowners
    3) Required local businesses on the street to hire extra security guards to protect their own patrons from the patrons of The Social
    4) Discouraged renters at Harvard Crest and Ramayana apartments from renewing leases. Instead many decided to sign more expensive month-to-month agreements until the situation was sorted out or they could find another place to live.
    5) We have heard that the owner of the corner store sometimes closes his shop early to avoid being harassed by drunken Social patrons at the end of the night.

    Regardless of the outcome of the legal issues that The Social is battling- the owners and management of this club should be ashamed of themselves. Their disregard for community well-being is shocking.

  21. I can’t stand the crowds of people just hanging out outside of the club, I can’t stand that the valet service and the taxis back up traffic on a major Capitol Hill artery and busline.

    Move this club or just get rid of it. The Social is NOT a positive addition to the neighborhood in any way or form.

  22. The sidewalk in front of them often has overflowing garbage cans, trash, much bubble gum, and lots of people hanging out. It is also very loud on Fridays and Saturdays. I live on the opposite side of my condo building, Plaza Del Sol, from The Social, but I’ve had guests complain about how loud it is at my place from the noise.

    It used to be clean and quiet for the first few years after I bought the condo. How can the city allow a nightclub in the middle of apartments and condos? Tommy Gun’s, and CC Seattle’s are much better, but they aren’t dance places.


  23. I’ll have to look up the statute then… I always thought calling 911 for a non emergency could result in a fine, at the very least. Even if the department never prosecuted abusers, it seems like a very mixed message.

  24. I’m kind of surprised that Capitol Hill entrepreneurs would be so oblivious to the neighborhood around them. Personally, I thought the club itself wasn’t so great, and they only seem to be busy one night a week. How hard would it be to control the lines outside the club with a rope or something, and take it easy on the noise? Too bad it didn’t stay a gay club, generally they don’t have as much trouble.

  25. God help you if you’re driving up that stretch of E. Olive on a Friday or Saturday night. Between the taxi queues, the valet parking (I cannot believe the city lets them do that on the ONLY E-W arterial in that part of town, never mind one that is on a curving, steep slope) and the drunken children reeling into traffic, it’s a miracle no one has died from an auto v. pedestrian.

    For the folks unlucky enough to live there, I hope this place stays closed and is replaced by better neighbors. And I hope the owners never get another license in this town again.

  26. I was waiting for at least one troll, someone who didn’t read the other comments but just wants to cause trouble. There are bars that line these street (if you were to read the other comments) here. good effort though on your troll, I give it a D- however, for complete lack of reading comprehension.

  27. How would you feel if a new neighbor moved in,
    (1) left their garbage outside your door,
    (2) smoked in your face
    (3) blasted music till 2 am every night
    (4) discharged firearms outside your house
    (5) and didn’t care about the neighborhood or your house,
    (6) brought gangs to your neighborhood.

    Well, this my friends, is reality for the apartment buildings that surround the social. It is an eyesore for those driving up olive way, a noise, traffic and general nuisance to residents of capitol hill.

    While this some of this is expected with a bar/commercial establishment the social takes this to the limit. Do you put personal profit over the neighborhood? Would you want such a neighbor or patronize a business that you know was inconveniencing its neighbors?

    Other bars (Tommy gun and CC Attle’s) just feet from the Social are model tenants. Why cant the social be like them?

    Simply put, The social has refused to exhibit that it plays well with its neighbors and capitol hill and as such should be denied a liquor license.

  28. I have been trying to keep an open mind and cooperate as much as possible with the owners of the Social as well as in the beginning with EVO.
    The owners of the EVO were responsive to our concerns and even offered gift certificates to some of our tenants. Although the owners of the Social have tried to claim this as an example of their cooperation I can say that I have seen little from them, only being successful in getting issues resolved when I had the upper hand and could make them take the appropriate action.

    On the other hand the owners of the building have been staunch ally’s of ours from day 1 but they to can only do so much.

    The owners of the Social are successful business people and clearly must have some intelligence to accomplish that, unfortunately intelligence does not always mean someone is capable of doing things in a smart way or even capable of doing what’s right, I can only say they have not done right by any of us neighbors and continue to show an arrogance and insensitivity to the neighborhood that is not acceptable.

    I could go on for along time over the actual issues here but suffice it to say “Good Riddance” and if need to we will continue the fight until they are gone for good.
    The tenants and myself are overjoyed they are in the position they are, we are hopeful this is a permanent thing and a business more friendly and responsible will move in.

    Darrell Christensen

  29. Music is certainly a matter of taste, and it would be rude to suggest that you can’t really have any if you like what the Social has been offering. Anyway, as a tenant of the building next door, I’m looking forward to go to sleep on Friday and Saturday nights without pitbulls barking at me and washed-up starlets screaming into my ear to get “On The Floor”.

  30. To no avail.

    I’ll echo what has been said here and add this: simply the position of their garbage, front and center, non-enclosed, unlocked, typifies their approach to neighbor relations. They spent a lot of money on that entrance and had no design solutions for their waste and no way to keep it out of the thoroughfare. Thus, they simply lead with it and made it their street appeal.

    Shameful. I’m glad the liquor control board is doing what dozens, if not hundreds, of we neighbors couldn’t.

  31. I don’t live near The Social, but driving past the establishment on weekend nights has become nearly impossible. A narrow arterial used by anyone coming from I5 to the hill is now congested by taxis, valets, and a seemingly omnipresent horde of drunk suburbanites.

    A fatal accident seems imminent if nothing is changed.

  32. I live in the condo building next door and agree with all the complaints. When I moved into the area this past June it was perfect. Then the Social started to get crazy. Now trash is everywhere from drunk kids throwing cigarette butts and cheese burger wrappers in front of the building. Our condo has had to hire a pest control company to set traps to stop raccoons. We never had to do that before and Im sure most of it is from the garbage the Social has everywhere. I hate walking to my condo on a Saturday night now cause I know I’m going to have to deal with some drunk a-hole on the street who’s looking to mouth off. Our friends from out of town were amazed that the Mardi Gras like scene is even legal. Oh yeah, don’t try to drive on Olive on the weekend nights cause the stupid valet parking they now have block the entire street. This was not what I signed up for when I bought a condo on this street. I hope the owners get whats coming to them. They should open up a puppy ranch in its place. Good riddance.

  33. So I actually work at The Social and I understand all of your complaints, however, you all assume a lot and have no idea what you are talking about when it comes to management and staff. We have been working our asses off to up security and consistently train them properly to deal with the issues. We have spoken with the police and been working very hard to resolve some of the big issues ie people pouring out onto the sidewalk, taxis blocking the street and retards standing in the middle of it. As far as the shooting goes that was not our fault so come off of it! I understand how unhappy you are about that, as would I be, but it was the fault of whoever committed the crime NOT THE CLUB! We have worked consistently to clear the sidewalks of patrons as well as send ALL cab drivers up to broadway. I am there EVERY WEEKEND and I go outside to smoke right when we stop serving and personally watch this happen. Within a half hour or less %90 or more are cleared out. The management and security are working very hard to ensure this. Remember, people, IT IS A CLUB! We consistently ( Fri and Sat ) hit capacity! That’s 600 plus people! They can’t just disappear! They actually have to walk out of the club just like any other human! We have only been doing this amount of business for a few months and are still learning and trying to work out the kinks. Remember our area IS zoned for private and commercial business. We have every right to be there and if you wanted quiet time on Fri and Sat night you should have planned better on where to live! It’s Capitol Hill! I am now in jeapordy of loosing my job as well as 41 other employees not including security and management. We depend on this job to survive. In this economy IT IS NOT EASY TO FIND EMPLOYMENT and we all have families and bills too! So think about that when you want to talk about inconsiderate and rude! I personally am unhappy that our neighbors are pissed off and hope we can resolve the issues and you guys can come in and party with us. I also would not appreciate being added to Seattles already high unemployment rate and struggle to survive AGAIN!

  34. Bull. This isn’t a closing time problem. This is a every minute this club is open problem. It’s not rocket science and plenty of other clubs operate responsibly. This is complete incompetence or just total apathy.

    And when we all chose to move into that part of Capitol Hill that space was a freaking furniture store!!!! Nobody could have anticipated that someone would allow a dance club to be put right smack dab in a residential block. I don’t think any of us are opposed to a dance club per se, as long as it is done responsibly. I’ve been outside of some of Laura’s other clubs and am pretty convinced that she doesn’t care about how her patrons affect the neighbors where she operates. She should seriously get out of this business. Or hire some competent staff.

  35. I live next to The Social – their emergency exit leads onto my patio. I have never had so much trouble and noise. People were exiting the club onto my patio, so Laura said she would put an alarm on the door. Great, now when they come out I get woken up not only by their noise, but the damn alarm. Then I was told that they would put a security guard at the door. Yeah right – people still come out! I have been round and round about this with The Social’s management and they never really gave a crap, until SPD told me to start calling 911. I had to call 911 a couple of times because of people exiting onto my patio and scaring me . . . I am glad to put an end to this crap.

  36. The place where you work is a poorly-planned blight on the area and everyone for a mile around wants it out pronto. It’s simply not welcome. It sucks that you’ll be out of a job but the joint you work for was bad news from the start – take it up with them for picking such a profoundly bad location for a 600-capacity club. Good riddance to them, and good luck to you.

  37. You can’t blame the neighbors for being “one sided”. It seems the real problems stem from your customer base– who quite obviously don’t care how they behave, or how it will negatively impact the club. Seems like the only hope for survival is targeting a different crowd that won’t be The Social’s undoing.

  38. Adding to the shooting comment:: that was a private party hosted by an independent booker that the Social nor Theory no longer book events with, due to the behavior displayed and the actions of the crowd. It has not happened since. The company has not taken lightly to this and immediately upped security after the incident. They even pat every person coming along with checking purses, bags etc.

    All of you people are being incredibly ignorant and pompous, as I was informed Seattlites were. You should be embarrassed of your selfish outlook and consider all of the people who are losing their jobs due to this unfortunate situation. Myself included. While you get silence after your boring 9-5 salary-based corporate cushioned jobs, 42+ of us will be struggling to get by. As progressive as this city and state claim to be, and you all pride yourselves in being a part of it, you have now become part of the the problem.

  39. Certainly not easy to find employment when you comment like an angry twelve year old.

    And it seems like everyone who works there is an entitled brat,

    “All of you people are being incredibly ignorant and pompous, as I was informed Seattlites were.”

    Just because people want to be able to have their neighborhood be clean and safe?

  40. I remember when we first learned that the building next door would soon be turned into a club. Like our neighbors, we were somewhat concerned – as I imagine you would be if a club were to open literally 15 feet from your bedroom window. Then the Social actually opened, and we were all extremely positively surprised. There was hardly any noise from patrons and you could barely hear the music in our apartments. Nobody complained. Ever.

    A few months later, unfortunately, the managers must have made the decision to change the concept and to cater to a different crowd. Overnight, a pleasant surprise turned into a nightmare. They either turned up the volume or started playing music in non-insulated parts of the club – it became so loud that even with earplugs, it was as if we were playing it on our stereo. Outside of the club, patrons became louder, more drunk and more aggressive each week. Now, there are fights and shouting matches IN FRONT OF OUR BEDROOM WINDOW several times each weekend. There’s vomit in the alley, there’s trash all over the place. There are hordes of drunks on our doorstep.

    Don’t pretend that it’s impossible to run a dance club in this neighborhood without wreaking havoc! Don’t act as if the people who live here were a bunch of intolerant dicks who would call the police at the faintest whisper. CC Attles, Tommy Gun and all the other bars and clubs on the Hill prove that we can get along just fine.. The same people who run the Social have demonstrated the same thing – before deciding to put profit over anything else and turning their club into what it is today: A disaster.

    So if you lose your job, complain to your greedy, inconsiderate bosses. They know very well why this is ending as badly as it is.

  41. You’re completely off base. I’m sorry you’re going to lose your employment, but your club does a horrible job. That’s great you’re working out the kinks while ruining hundreds of people’s nights of sleep and bringing down the entire neighborhood. The owners don’t have to serve 600 people. Or they could hire more employees. And they certainly could apologize and attempt to ameliorate neighbor concerns. Instead, they are horrible to work with and complete bullies. And just as the club has a right to exist, we have a right to do whatever we can to shut you down.

  42. To come into a neighborhood and cause such unanimously horrible issues that piss EVERYONE off, and then tell us that we’re ignorant and selfish, shows your complete lack of concern for anyone other than yourself.

    If you do lose your job, it will be your employer’s fault and not ours. I’m sure you can find something that doesn’t involve torturing those around you.

  43. Here’s the deal, I live next door, and no matter how quickly you clear this place out at 2, you still encourage your patrons to line up blocking access to my back door underneath the windows of my neighbors blocking the sidewalk screaming at each other, with no attempt to quiet them and very little and ineffective attempts to control their positioning. I shit you not I awoke one night at 1130 PM to one of your fellow employees yelling in our trash area and putting together the address sign that is on your building on top of our dumpsters. I had to ask him twice to stop. Twice. He was technically trespassing and should not have needed to be asked even once, but twice I had to get up, put on shoes and a jacket, and ask him to stop his light carpentry on the buildings’ property. I feel for you, and your job. But your club violates the city noise ordinance, both with the noise it leaks (and yes I checked it goes above the decibel level regularly) and the noise its patrons make which you make no attempt to control and which the staff regularly adds to. As for your zoning regulation argument, no one is saying businesses shouldn’t exist, but guess what, even zoned for a business such as yours, you must meet the noise ordinance requirements, and The Social doesn’t. It must meet the dram shop and over-service laws, and the Social doesn’t. Being zoned for business is not a pass to do whatever you’d like. The argument about planning where you live cuts both ways. I assure you the residences nearby have been in existence far longer than the Social has and if the Social did want to be plagued by noise complaints, it should have considered that before building a club in an area where residences like the Harvard Crest have sat for 90 years. I’d rather you didn’t lose your job, please keep it, but to do so you have to not violate the noise ordinance and before you launch into a “we can’t control the patrons” speech, I don’t care and neither does the law, The Social is responsible for the noise they cause and without the Social, they aren’t there.

  44. I live next to an abandoned church in Seattle where drunk homeless people or troublesome teens like to loiter and make a lot of noise in the middle of the night. I’ve called 911 at least 10 times and the cops have seemed to respond just about every time. It is my goal to call 911 whenever I can so that it will prompt the city to tear down the building.

  45. A major question has to be: Why did the City bureaucrats license this club in this location in the first place? It seems pretty obvious that it would create serious problems with the neighbors, and not just in retrospect.

    Doesn’t the City have the legal authority to turn down a request to open a club in a specific location? I certainly hope so. This disaster should never have happened in the first place if City bureaucrats were doing their job, and if they were at least a little tuned in to the surrounding buildings and the needs of the neighbors.

  46. While I am sorry that you and others will likely lose your jobs, I would like to draw attention to the fact that many of us have also suffered financially because of The Social’s presence. Your commentary does not take into account the very serious costs that have been incurred upon the residents and other small business owners of East Olive Way and possibly the citizens of Seattle more broadly. The following are the costs that citizens have incurred as a result of the placement and operation of The Social nightclub:

    1) Property values of condos in the vicinity have plummeted because of the existence of the nightclub. Homeowners are losing money. The city is losing property taxes.
    2) Renters are moving out. Landlords are losing money.
    3) Renters are refusing to renew their year-long leases and instead opting for month-to-month leases in hopes that The Social will go out of business, and they will not have to move. They do not want to be locked into a year lease if The Social stays around and continues to operate as it does. Renters are losing money.
    4) Other small business on the block have changed their business practices to accomodate the insanely huge crowds of people who gather on the block of East Olive Way (between Harvard and Boylston). See a video taken by a resident trying to get into their condo building’s front gate here:

    . For example, one of the other bars on the block hired security guards to mitigate any potential issues with crowds from The Social. Another example is that the owner of the small corner store in our condo building reports that he sometimes chooses to close his store early to avoid the hoards of drunken patrons leaving The Social late at night. Responsible and community-oriented small business owners are losing money.

    Finally, the emotional costs for residents of this neighborhood have been enormous. Hundreds of people’s sleep and quiet enjoyment of their homes have been disrupted. The owners of The Social do not seem to care, and the city’s current noise and zoning policies are not able to remedy this situation either. If Mayor McGinn is going to continue his attempt to develop a thriving, vibrant and safe nightlife economy in Seattle (, he and others must take the issues presented by The Social seriously. The block of East Olive Way should have never been zoned for such an enormous nightclub establishment. Let’s get this right, Seattle, and ensure that we do not find ourselves in this type of disruptive and harmful situation again.

  47. I just heard that the social got it’s liquor license back and will be open this weekend :( does anyone have any more information on this?? I wonder if there is anything us neighbors can do. Is there a person on the city council who will hear our complaints? This really isn’t right, I love Capitol Hill and this place makes me want to move!!