At the center of a new Capitol Hill business family, Queer/Bar turns 5


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(Image: Queer/Bar)

In October 2017, Queer/Bar opened on 11th Ave to make a stand for queer nightlife and culture in Pike/Pine. Then the next five years happened.

Now, the bar and performance venue is ready to mark five years on Capitol Hill and continue its climb to be a center of LGBTQIA+ good times in Seattle. It will do so at the center of a new Capitol Hill business family made up of some familiar old but valued faces including The Cuff, Elliott Bay, and, now, Oddfellows.

“It’s amazing. Queer/Bar is turning this awesome corner,” owner Joey Burgess tells CHS. “We just didn’t stop working through the pandemic. Kept our core crew. We’ve been kind of dreaming of this the whole way through the pandemic.”

Queer/Bar at five is finally taking its full shape with performances and events that keep the club “activated every night of the week” and “just makes the venue feel alive,” Burgess said. Continue reading

Three Capitol Hill clubs, three futures: Neighbours ‘under new ownership,’ former R Place shaped as restaurant project, Q marks 10 years of dancing on Broadway

The 10th anniversary party at Q (Image: Q Nightclub)

Meanwhile, new ownership at Neighbours (Image: CHS)

Three centers of Capitol Hill nightlife face very different futures as a new owner has closed a $2.7 million deal to purchase iconic Capitol Hill gay dance bar Neighbours. Meanwhile, the next life for the former R Place is taking shape while Broadway club Q is marking 10 years in the neighborhood with plans for changes behind the scenes.

“It’s been a long road, but we finally took over,” new Neighbours owner TJ Bruce tells CHS.

CHS broke the news on the Neighbours deal in April as Bruce, an investor and backer of gay clubs stretching from Fresno to San Jose to San Francisco to Portland, was shaping a deal for the Seattle club and the 1911-built, 14,000-square-foot Broadway building it has called home for 40 years. The property hit the market for $6.9 million in 2019 only to be relisted at $5.75 million in late 2020. Bruce arrived at a deal at a much lower price as the Elassiouti family that has owned the property, local managers, and promoters who have kept Neighbours open and busy prepared to hand over the reins.

The market for well-loved and a little rough around the edges Capitol Hill gay dance clubs apparently tops out around $3 million. King County property records show the former E Pine home of R Place also finally sold this year for $2.5 million. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Triumphant September return readies Trans Pride Seattle for future Junes

Volunteer Park and its new amphitheater proved a worthy host for the return of the annual Trans Pride celebration in Seattle. September also held up its end of the bargain.

Friday night on a gorgeous late summer Seattle night, hundreds gathered in the park for a return of the important LGBTQ celebration that organizers decided to move back to September to provide an easier logistical and financial restart after years of pandemic postponements.

CHS reported here on the effort to bring back Trans Pride Seattle and its move to Volunteer Park, a Capitol HIll setting with a long history providing a space and center for queer events and rallies including its part in Seattle’s first Pride celebrations in 1974. Continue reading

Trans Pride Seattle returns with a September night for togetherness and freedom in Volunteer Park

A scene from Trans Pride Seattle 2019

By Elizabeth Turnbull

By 2019, Trans Pride Seattle had grown into a surprisingly massive event with huge crowds rallying on Capitol Hill for a celebration of civil rights, love, and good times. 2020 brought the pandemic and a move to online-only events to mark traditions like Pride. 2021 came and went without an in-person Trans Pride celebration.

Now this year, it is time to rally together again but Trans Pride 2022 will be an event in transition, indeed. Seattle’s Gender Justice League has recovered in time to pull together a September version of the annual event that will bring a different take on the celebration. Moved to Volunteer Park, Trans Pride in 2022 will focus on being together, for this year at least, moving on from its past marching through the streets of the Hill. The police are a pain to work with, organizers say. Instead, Friday night, the crowds will come together to hear speakers and entertainers to enjoy a summer evening in Volunteer Park.

The event is designed to create a safe and celebratory space to bolster a sense of togetherness and freedom.

“Trans Pride in itself is just a beacon for the general trans community,“ Ganesha Gold Buffalo, a SafeHouse advocate with the Gender Justice League told CHS. ”And it allows us to gather in a space where we’re in a time of being disconnected from the community on a lot of different levels.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill has a new Pride-ful bus stop on 15th Ave E — UPDATE

(Image: SDOT)

There is a new transit friendly feature on 15th Ave E that has added a year-round celebration of Pride to the neighborhood.

As Pride weekend arrived, crews were putting the finishing touches on an enhanced bus stop serving the northbound Route 10 on the street. Moved about 100 feet north, the new stop includes a bus bulb designed to “expand and separate the passenger waiting area from the sidewalk.”

“This provides more room for people moving through the area, and the raised bulb makes boarding the bus a bit easier,” Stephen Cuplin, a planning intern for the Seattle Department of Transportation tells CHS. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Pride returns to its rightful space on Capitol Hill

With photographs by Ananya Mishra and Lisa Hagen Glynn

Against a backdrop of a nation’s eroding civil rights, Seattle came to Capitol Hill to celebrate freedom Saturday. The return in full of Pride celebrations in the neighborhood was also a celebration of doggie drag and cooling stations.

With bright sun and the first truly summer-like temperatures of 2022 in Seattle, thousands partied on Broadway at the street festival and in Pike/Pine at bar and restaurant celebrations and beer gardens as Pride weekend took its rightful place in June.

In 2021, concerns over the continued spread of COVID-19 pushed Capitol Hill celebrations into September. In 2020, the celebrations in the first months of the pandemic gave way to online gatherings and continued protest during a summer of demonstrations over Black Lives Matter and police violence.

There were many happy returns on the day. Saturday night, the Seattle Dyke March rallied for the first time in years at Seattle Central’s plaza and marched through Pike/Pine and Broadway again after going virtual during the pandemic. Continue reading

For Pride 2022, visit Gay City in its new Capitol Hill home

Gay City’s sign is up outside its new location (Image: Gay City)

The LGBTQ health and community center Gay City is moved into its new Capitol Hill home and inviting visitors to stop in Sunday over Pride weekend for an open house.

Whether you need to take a break from Pride festivities or just want to check it out, join us in our NEW space at 400 E. Pine St. Seattle, WA 98122 for an open house! We’ll have snacks, water, sunscreen, onsite HIV/STI testing, comfy areas to rest, and more.

The center’s Michael C. Weidemann LGBTQ+ Library will also be open to check out books, Gay City announced.

CHS reported on the center’s move from E Pike where Gay City lost its space to make way for planned redevelopment.

Gay City’s new home on the ground floor of the Pine Bellevue office building at 400 E Pine has room for an expanded slate of services and offerings at the center including a new pharmacy in partnership with Kelley-Ross and new services added to its mix including a new “Youth Space” in the middle of the center. Continue reading

Community leaders address gentrification in Seattle’s queer landscape

By Elizabeth Turnbull

In addition to celebrations in honor of Pride, Real Change and KVRU 105.7 FM hosted a panel this week to explore why queer Seattle also feels gentrified and why BIPOC queer people are not always protected and safe.

Several queer BIPOC community leaders spoke at the panel including Aleksa Manila, Leinani Lucas, LC, and Moni Tep while Luzviminda Uzuri Carpenter, the station manager at KVRU, and Guy Oron, staff reporter at Real Change, co-moderated the event.

Gentrification was a center of conversation and panelists talked about how the queer neighborhoods in the city have shifted, moving from Renton Hill and Pioneer Square to Capitol Hill where ongoing changes and gentrification have taken place.

“I no longer see a sea of family-owned queer-owned brown-owned businesses,” Aleksa Manila, the founder of Pride Asia said at the panel. “… I can only think of two very specific queer POC owned businesses, or a handful [that are still there].”

In their place, Aleksa said she sees corporate-owned businesses—surrounded by housing that many queer BIPOC people can no longer afford. Continue reading

Including the return of the Seattle Dyke March to Broadway, here’s a map of Capitol Hill’s major Pride weekend events

The Dyke March will fully return for the first time since 2019

Source: City of Seattle

With traditions like the Seattle Dyke March back in the flesh on Broadway for the first time in years, Pride weekend on Capitol Hill is so busy, you’re going to need a map.

Fortunately, the good people at the Special Events Committee charged with organizing City Hall’s resources to help support Seattle’s incredibly busy schedule of major festivals and gatherings have created this mapping of street closures around the major Pride events across the Hill starting Friday night and continuing through Sunday’s big parade downtown. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Some celebrated Juneteenth in the Central District with a roller party — Get ready for Pride skate dancing this weekend on Capitol Hill

As Seattle observes the holiday for the first time with a quiet Monday at City Hall, there was a wealth of Juneteenth celebrations across the city and the Central District Sunday including a day of roller skate dancing in Judkins Park.

The Juneteenth Celebration: Skate Party & Community Day was hosted by the Northwest African American Museum and included complimentary skate rentals for people to join the fun.

You’ll want to keep those wheels rolling. Pride on Capitol Hill will feature a roller party at the smooth and well paved AIDS Memorial Pathway Plaza on Saturday: Continue reading