A new club is set to join Pike/Pine’s nightlife. The Capitol Lounge opened softly this week and is preparing for its first weekend of action in the DJ-focused dance and club culture that has formed around E Pike’s Friday and Saturday nights.
“We want Capitol Hill to define it,” a representative for the new club tells CHS of the plan for the lounge.
Born in a space left vacant when gay-friendly the Lobby Bar exited the street, the Capitol Lounge isn’t a gay dance club or even a dance club, exactly, the people putting together the new nightspot say. “We’ll definitely have dance nights on Friday and Saturday and we’ll be DJ-focused,” the Capitol Lounge representative said.
DJs Shan tha Don and Michael Kidd are already lined up to hold down the booth starting this weekend.
CHS first reported on the Capitol Lounge in December as Seattle’s Japanese hot dog king Shinsuke Nikaido continued to expand his Pike/Pine investments after making his name serving his popular street food to the long, hungry, sometimes highly intoxicated lines of clubbers, dancers, and those we love them. Capitol Lounge’s booze, music, and dancing neighbor Nikaido’s Ikina Sushi which debuted last summer in the madness of the main stage crowd at the Capitol Hill Block Party. Ideas for some aspects of the new venture have been in flux — one idea for the club to serve Mexican food has been put aside, apparently, in favor of a menu that will leverage the neighboring Ikina.
The real focus for Capitol Lounge will be the bar. Nikaido has reconfigured the old Lobby Bar space to open more room on the floor, add televisions, and set up a VIP area upstairs — all requirements for an optimized nightclub business to be able to cash in on the Pike/Pine crowds. The new lounge joins nearby Q, Grim’s and the Rhino Room, which helped usher in the new era of Pike/Pine club activity in 2014, in the DJ-focused Capitol Hill club scene. Meanwhile, Neighbours, and R Place continue the original gay disco recipe only blocks away while the Cuff, and the Wildrose have dance recipes all their own.
As for where it falls in the Hill’s club spectrum, Capitol Lounge sounds like it might breathe from some of the same air that powered 95 Slide’s scene. The sports bar/nightclub pulled in crowds for DJs and ultimate fighting before closing late last year to make way for a new development. Capitol Lounge is also planning to feature sporting events on its screens to keep things hopping outside of DJ hours. Meanwhile, plenty of other Pike/Pine bars have also developed a velvet rope and VIP booth scene when the neighborhood is bursting with visitors on Friday and Saturday nights.
Gearing up for weekend business in Pike/Pine also means being ready for crowds on the security side of things. There are no requirements from the city or state on how a nightclub must staff security to be permitted and licensed but Seattle Police spokesperson Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said the Joint Enforcement Team that helps patrol Pike/Pine’s bars and clubs view operating safe and efficient security as “a partnership” and a “shared investment” and can offer a new club like the Capitol Lounge help planning training and staffing levels.
The Capitol Lounge is located at 916 E Pike. You can learn more at capitolloungeseattle.com.