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 | All the sides of Capitol Hill Block Party 2022

Guess which side has beer

In June, Pride returned to its rightful space on Capitol Hill. It felt good to be there and have dozens of great pictures to share of the triumphant return after two summers of cancellations and postponements.

In July, another neighborhood tradition returned. Below, we’ve shared the scenes of Capitol Hill Block Party 2022 from inside and outside the fences — and from above.

We reported here on the return of the three-day music festival and its ongoing mixed relationship with Pike/Pine’s culture, neighbors, and small business community. Some of the images below are illustrative of the dynamic. There are glorious scenes of a summer party. And there are scenes of fenced-off neighborhood streets. The good news is we found a party on both sides.

 

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After COVID’s lost summers, Capitol Hill Block Party returns to a changed Pike/Pine

Some of the best fun can be found outside the fences

The math will never work out right for Capitol Hill Block Party. There are the two years of pandemic cancellations. And the debate on its origin. Are you a summer of 1997 truther or do you go back further still to the days when the events were more street fair than a massive, three-day festival on the streets of Pike/Pine?

Friday, after COVID’s lost summers, the 24th year of the Block Party as we pretty much know it will arrive.

The main stage crowd in 2019 (Image: Capitol Hill Block Party)

Like this year’s Pride revelers who celebrated in Pike/Pine’s beer gardens in June for the first time in three years, the 30,000 or so attendees who will visit Pike/Pine across Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will be experiencing the return of a summer Capitol Hill tradition.

Producer Daydream State, formed by ownership from Pike/Pine institutions including the Neumos and Barboza family, Lost Lake Cafe, the Comet, and Big Mario’s, and the festival’s relationship to the neighborhood appears to have greatly shifted during the lost time.

Some of the fences have shifted, also.

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CHS Pics | After big Seattle events postponed last June, Pride 2022 starts with day of music and celebration in Volunteer Park

Sure it was corporate. And sure the sky was gay gray. But this is Seattle circa 2022. Summer starts around July 5th. Big companies love Pride. And people like a good excuse to gather, dance, and enjoy a beer garden in Volunteer Park. And then there is the whole overcoming the pandemic thing. Last year, Pride’s big events didn’t even happen in June.

Saturday, Seattle’s return of official™ Pride season kicked off with Seattle Pride in the Park, the annual music celebration that has filled Volunteer Park with bands and LGBTQ+ love and community in recent years before pandemic disruptions. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Lady Krishna — love, meditation, and new music

Natasha Shulman, better known as Lady Krishna, tells CHS she is working on a new album. Those unfamiliar with Lady Krishna need look no farther than her website, which showcases her multimedia art and performances.

Lady Krishna has lived in the neighborhood consistently since the late 90s after nearly two decades spent in New York City, among other spots. Ever since, she has enriched the Hill with her paintings, albums, and meditations, though not without recent challenges due to her health as well as the coronavirus.

“I feel a part of the community so much in Seattle, I’m happy I’m here and I’m getting such good care here,” said Lady Krishna.

She recently finished mixing and mastering her latest song, with the working title I’m a butterfly, I came to be free, as part of an upcoming album.

Three months ago, Lady Krishna was diagnosed with colon cancer. Continue reading

After 11 years in the Central District, Hollow Earth Radio has hit the road in search of a new home

Days plays the Hollow Earth studio in simpler times (Image: @lou.creative)

CHS reported here on the plans for nonprofit Photographic Center Northwest to be part of the mixed-use redevelopment of the property it owns at 12th and Marion in a rare example of a Capitol Hill arts organization owning and controlling its own real estate destiny.

On the other end of that dial, Seattle’s community-run Hollow Earth online and Low Power FM radio station has left is Central District birthplace to start 2022 and is searching for a new home.

“After a conversation with the landlord about the lease, their needs, and what they were looking for, it was not going to work out,” spokesperson Genevieve Green told CHS about leaving E Union last month. Continue reading

Picking up where it left off three summers ago, Capitol Hill Block Party announces lineup, plans for 2022 return

CAPITOL HILL BLOCK PARTY 2022 FULL LINEUP
DIPLO • CHARLI XCX • JAI WOLF • TORO Y MOI • 100 GECS • REMI WOLF • DANNY BROWN • FLO MILLI • TOKIMONSTA • BEACH BUNNY • DUCKWRTH • THE BETHS • EVAN GIIA • CHET PORTER • CANNONS • SUDAN ARCHIVES • MANILA KILLA • IDK • TKAY MAIDZA • MAGDALENA BAY • KENNY MASON • ELA MINUS • CHLOE MORIONDO • LIZZY MCALPINE • ENUMCLAW • MICHELLE • IAN SWEET • BOYISH • DEMPSEY HOPE • THE BLACK TONES • ARCHIE • BREAKS & SWELLS • THE MOSS • THE GRIZZLED MIGHTY • TEZATALKS • BRENT AMAKER AND THE RODEO • LIVT • ALL STAR OPERA • RUDY • LA FONDA • LINDA FROM WORK • JANG • CLAUDINE MAGBAG • BIBLIOTEKA • ARIANA DEBOO • AMONG AUTHORS • TINSLEY • ERIK WALTERS • JULIETTE • LOVELY COLOURS • JUSMONI • TODD ZACK JR. • KING YOUNGBLOOD • SMALL PAUL • LAURELI • JOZA • JANE DON’T & FRIENDS • SEA LEMON • MOTUS • DAVE SHANAE • RELL BE FREE • HHERB (LIVE SET) • CHINESE AMERICAN BEAR • HALLEY GREG • PINK BOA • ALLA • SEIICHI • GOOD JOB • OH MY EYES

By the time July 2022 rolls around, there is hope that a lot of things will have changed in Seattle since the recent omicron spike. So much has changed since last summer when the Capitol Hill Block Party was canceled due to pandemic challenges. And even more has changed since 2019, the last time the three-day music festival in the streets of Pike/Pine was held.

Tuesday, producers for the event announced the lineup for the 2022 Capitol Hill Block Party with the festival’s recipe seemingly not missing a beat with a mix of national headliners and Pacific Northwest artists and bands slated to take the main stage at Broadway and Pike starting July 22nd.

“If there’s ever been a time to have a community block party to celebrate Seattle’s rich tradition of music and the arts, it’s summer 2022,” Evan Johnson, Capitol Hill Block Party’s talent buyer said in the announcement. “Local businesses — restaurants and bars in particular — have been hit especially hard by the pandemic. We’re excited to help revitalize the neighborhood and bring attention back to the many independent businesses operating in the Pike/Pine Corridor.”

The announcement comes early in the year and follows last May’s decision to pull the plug on the 2021 festival due to concerns over COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns with uncertainty about what would come next for the virus. The 2021 Capitol Hill Block Party cancellation marked the second year that the COVID-19 crisis kept the one of a kind music festival off the streets of Pike/Pine. CHS reported here on the decision to shut the event down in 2020.

Its hopes for helping the revitalization of Pike/Pine in 2022 are also part of a new message following what had been increasing criticism of the ticketed, three-day music festival by some local businesses and neighborhood residents tired of the mess, the crowds, and the disruption of the neighborhood the event represents for some. Continue reading

CHS Classics | Capitol Hill’s (smaller than you might think) place in Seattle grunge music history

CHS first ran this list of Capitol Hill’s shorter than expected list of grunge era landmarks a decade ago. Nice thing about history — things don’t change much. With KEXP in full nostalgia mode on its 50th anniversary and thanks to some inspiration from this poster for a 1987 show at the Canterbury unearthed by the PNW Music Archives, CHS is again counting it down.

Seattle may have birthed the hard crunch of rock and roll grunge but most of Capitol Hill’s stages we know weren’t born when it happened. The ones that were there have mostly faded away. There is no live music at today’s Canterbury — and the pounding of Soundgarden would most definitely not be welcomed by the apartment dwellers above. How they felt about it in 1987? Unclear. A decade ago, CHS described Capitol Hill’s role in grunge history as overstated thanks to Cameron Crowe. Grunge was, indeed, “born” around Belltown, the International District, and Pioneer Square. But the rockers did live and drink here. And, according to the histories, more played here than you might remember.

Here is a quick and dirty look at some points of interest from Capitol Hill’s place in Seattle’s grunge history. If you were here and know of a landmark or two we should consider, add a comment.

  • Odd Fellows Hall: Before the growth of the Hill’s live music and nightlife scene, one of the most important performance venues on the Hill was the Odd Fellows Hall. It was also a much different place than the overhauled building we know now. The U-Men, possibly the first “true” grunge band, rocked the old rafters. Today, we’re betting a U-Man or two may have sampled a delicious Oddfellows brunch. Continue reading

Seattle’s new plans for Bumbershoot to be led by group with Capitol Hill and First Hill music and arts roots

(Image: City of Seattle)

New life for Seattle music and arts festival Bumbershoot could include a burst of energy straight out of Capitol Hill and First Hill as the annual summer event transitions to include “a year-round presence” in the city.

The Seattle Center and City of Seattle announced Wednesday that New Rising Sun, “a coalition of Seattle-based arts, entertainment, and cultural leaders” including Steven Severin of Neumos and Life on Mars, and Greg Lundgren of First Hill’s Museum of Museums and Vito’s, has been selected “to build a sustainable structure to drive the beloved festival forward in ways that maintain its original spirit, audaciousness, and appeal” after a “request for proposals” garnered bid from six groups hoping to produce the event. Continue reading

Dueling piano bars? The future of former Re-bar is Keys on Main — UPDATE: No Dorothy’s on Broadway :(

Coming to the former Re-Bar (Image: Keys on Main)

Was Re-bar an extension of Capitol Hill? Or was Capitol Hill an extension of Re-bar? We’ll never know. Closed during the pandemic and reportedly on the hunt for a new Seattle-area home, Re-bar won’t be coming back to Howell St. as its old space is making a home for a new piano bar just as a new ebony and ivory tinkled venture is being readied on Broadway.

According to construction permits and a newly issued liquor permit, the former Re-bar is being prepared to reopen as the new home for Seattle’s Keys on Main piano bar. Continue reading