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Capitol Lounge ready for first weekend in Pike/Pine’s club scene

(Image: Capitol Lounge)

(Image: Capitol Lounge)

Pd0GUph0A 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 QGrim’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

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15 thoughts on “Capitol Lounge ready for first weekend in Pike/Pine’s club scene

    • The whole idea of having a VIP section at all just seems so weirdly foreign. Why are we importing this New York style status-seeker bullshit? I always liked the more egalitarian culture here. I feel less welcome in clubs that have a VIP section. Whoever those people are, they’re not my people.

  1. Went last night. I love what they did with switching the bar location around. Much more open. Us gays have so far reclaimed the territory though the “VIP area” is concerning for attracting the dudebros crowd. There’s even a “New Lobby” location on Facebook you can check into. It will be interesting to see if it can stay as the only non-Wildrose gay space on Pike.

    • Wow. Bring back segregation. How come you and like minded people are allowed to label and name call? “Dude bros, tech bros”, blah, blah, blah.

    • Cloey- Because sometimes you want a space where you can get away from the sexual harassment the “bros” dole out in a once queer-friendly neighborhood.

      However, as a lesbian techy, I generally refrain from the term techbro.

  2. Cloey, because they aren’t out Bro-bashing and beating the shit out of people for being different. The Hill used to be a queer and artistic mecca, and now its new old belltown. Locals rarely even feel safe enough to go out on the weekends for fear of personal safety and/or having the ability to get a drink at their home bars.

    This is now a tourist destination, reclaiming something that used to be a gay space seems like a pretty good start to me

    • As a straight white guy, I agree with Jake completely. Bros can be bros in pretty much any bar in the city. This isn’t about segregation Cloey, it’s about safety. When you can guarantee that a gay couple, or African Americans, or any other minority can walk into any bar in town and not get hastled or treated as “different”, then your point is a valid one. Even in liberal Seattle, we’re a long way away from that being true.

  3. “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.”

    Please dear God, no.

    • Me2. When I read, “We want Capitol Hill to define it”, my first thought was “Uh-oh…”.
      Then when I read, “…it might breathe from some of the same air that powered 95 Slide’s scene…”, I thought, “oh, shit”.

    • A plus side for me: it’s two blocks farther away from my apartment than 95 Slide, with no rooftop parties blasting noise every Sunday evening in the summer, so I can keep my windows open.