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Friday, August 25, 2006

News for Barflies, Good and Bad

Posted by on August 25 at 12:01 PM

Good: The Capitol Club on East Pine, which I had just about given up on after a series of overpriced, lackluster meals (bland, overcooked roast chicken; babaghanoush with an unpleasant, baby-food-like texture) has a new chef (from Argentina!) and a brand-new, non-Moroccan menu. Worth trying: the sausage sandwich with chimichurri; the eggplant sandwich (a certain colleague has had it the last two nights running), and the chilled tomato gazpacho, which is an ice-cold, spicy miracle.

Bad: The Jade Pagoda is closing its doors. Last night, the scene at the Jade was that of a bar that had already abandoned hope: The regulars who usually congregate on the Jade’s ratty barstools were gone, replaced by a pack of rowdy, obnoxious thirtysomethings trying desperately to shock. (Confidential to the lady in pink: In the future, feel free to assume that complete strangers do not want to see your breasts. In the corner, meanwhile were two sad-looking middle-aged men, including a semiconscious, shoeless vagrant, drinking alone.

Staffers were circumspect about the reason why (“it’s the landlord’s decision,” one waiter said), although condos were mentioned. (I have a call in to the citys’ Department of Planning and Development to see if there’s any truth to the rumors.)

The Jade closes forever August 31.

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I moved here from Pittsburgh six months ago for a software job. I got a great deal on a new condo, and love my job. Seattle bars? I made the mistake of going into this Chinese restaurant my first week here. What a shithole!

If this is "old Seattle" please rip it out and put in some more new high rise condos! I for one would love to live high above Broadway.

Better restaurants will arrive with the new people who move in, people who understand food. No real "foodie" would miss this place.

While saddened by the demise of the Jade Pagoda, my divebar tear ducts have yet to be replenished after the Ernie Steel Room (Eileen's) closed its doors a few years ago. Discuss.

There are a myriad of reasons why I became disillusioned with the Hill years ago, and the (nearly complete) lack of dives is one of them. Does everyone on the Hill really hate dive bars? I'm perplexed, honestly, because I thought this community used to love them. You pretty much have to head north or south to find anything with a reasonable amount of grit.

Hey, Pittsburgh: screw the foodies; no one with a human digestive tract will miss the Jade Pagoda's restaurant. The only meal I ever ate there wasn't fit for a dog.

Ernie Steele's departed long before they closed their doors. I was there the night Ileen took over, passing out "hors d'oeuvres" of boloney on triangles of white bread, and promising over and over that she'd never change a thing. A week later that horrible sign went up, and the beer inflatables. Ileen's was a travesty of the old bar.

according to the assessor the loverly 1926 building that houses the jade pagoda has been held in the same ownership since july of 2000. also, dpd shows no applications apart from a a cancelled (and undated) early design guidance application.

I wonder if they'll fix that broken urinal before they shut down? It's only been out of order for about a decade.

Close these dives so we can have more clubs like Capital Club and Havana. I love the eggplant sandwhiches and chilled soups!

Dive bars are gross. I didn't move here from Cincinnatti to sit in trashy dive bars. Capital hill needs more high rises and classy bars.

Hey Cincinnatti & Pittsburgh. Welcome to Seattle. Don’t worry … Big money is already well rooted in Seattle so dive bars and bad food are on their way out.
You'll find the locals like to play up a goofy version of being big city seedy. A "Down and Out in Seattle". I think of it as Goober Noir.

Just moved out to live with my sister while we both look for men on J-date. Good to hear more restaurants are on the way. I'd pay anything for a decent meal. Broadway is a hole. I have no idea why people think there's something worth saving there. The sooner they tear it all down and put up more condos, the sooner we'll have more restaurants.

If you can't move Broadway to the suburban malls, move the suburban malls to Broadway.

And on a personal note to everyone who wants upscale restaurants, gourmet markets, new condos, and plenty of convenient parking for their two cars ... why is it you moved to the city again?

No one moved to Seattle to eat at jade Pagoda I guarantee that. The food there sucked. That place would have lasted ten minutes in a shopping mall. Same goes for Ernie Steel's, or the Moroccan restaurant that was there before Capital club.

I can't wait to eat at the new place that takes over Jade Pagoda. I hope they have and artesinal cheese plate.

Hey Curtis -
I don't think anyone has asked for the parking. However, the upscale restaurants, gourmet markets and new condos are all things that you find in a real city - and things that are (currently) in short supply in provincial, unwelcoming Seattle.

A city interested in urban development isn't going to try and preserve most of its incumbent establishments, especially dive bars, usually the first items in the crosshairs of gentrification.

"things that are (currently) in short supply in provincial, unwelcoming Seattle."

Oh please - every other week we have some new overpriced pretentious restaurant opening, with the black clothing and severe eyewear bunch declaring that "it's a new era" for our "world class city" Give me a Rainier and a steak at Andy's Diner any day.

If Seattle is so provincial and unwelcoming to you, maybe you should leave. There's plenty of more sophisticated cities you can bitch about.

"There's plenty of more sophisticated cities you can bitch about."

This is true. But those cities don't jump at the bait every single time, like the locals in Seattle do.

Touche, Jersey. But at least I'm an equal opportunity crank. I get as annoyed with the "let's bitch about how Seattle is" crowd as I do with the "We live in an affluent world-class city" crowd. And don't get me started on the "Washington Native" bunch.

After growing up outside of Omaha and doing time in Minneapolis, and spending a lot of time in San Francisco, I think that Seattle is nice. I miss a lot of the "old" Seattle, and get the willies at some of the "new" Seattle, but usually just a look out a nearby window makes me forget all about that. We live in a beautiful place. And, despite the current trendy way to think about it, I think people in Seattle are pretty much like people everywhere else.

Gotta run. Matlock is on. ;-)

I just moved here from Lincoln Nebraska to work at a software company and I'll take the Calamari appetizer doused in a delicious spicy sauce with great gorgonzola empanadas and eggplant sandwiches they serve at Capital Club. The "New Seattle" and it's wonderful. Tear down all the old crap and bring us more great dining.

Catalina Vel-Duray wrote: "If Seattle is so provincial and unwelcoming to you, maybe you should leave."

Thanks for proving my point Cat!

Citygrl, how can I help in your relocation? Have you decided where to go? I hear that Pittsburgh is the really quite nice. I've heard similar things about Cincinatti. Then there's always Detroit....

Whatever your choice is dear, I'm here for you. Just say the world, I'll meet you at U-haul. :-)

Catalina's right! You new people are ruining our city. So what if all the dive joints are empty, they're Seattle institutions. Seattle was just fine without restaurants like Veil, Crush, Lark, etc (by the way, are you pretentious snobs too stupid to try something polysyllabic). Have you been to any of those restaurants (probably not because they're usually so crowded - you elitist fucks)? Everyone in there is either young, or gay, or dark-skinned, or rich, or fashionable - in other words, they aren't REAL Seattle. You people need to move back to wherever you came from. You outsiders are DESTROYING our city! Too many of you funny-looking fuckers are blighting the natural beauty. Catalina's been nice enough to volunteer to help you move - and so will I. Go back to your more sophisticated cities you homos and leave Seattle the way it was!

Le Pichet is my favorite restaurant. Dan Savage loves it to. It offers True French dining for those who know food. I'd love to see something like that on Broadway. $80 is not that much to pay for a meal, and anyone who's unwilling to pay what great food is worth, simply doesn't know how to live. The provincial locals are holding this city back.

I read The Stranger because it was started by people not from Seattle. It's the only paper pushing this city into the future. Great dining is Seattle's future.

Well, being both gay AND non-native, I think I'll have to pass on "real seattle native"'s generous offer of solidarity. Besides, I've already made my opinion on "Washington Natives" (in the sense of the bumper sticker/license plate crowd) known.

I just can't understand why anyone who dislikes living where they are living lives there. I hated Omaha, I left Omaha. I hated Minneapolis, I left Minneapolis. I like Seattle, I stayed in Seattle. Sure, it's not perfect, but no place with humans is.

But it seems that to be cool you must whine. But I'm far too old to be cool. I'm just this side of bifocals and sansabelt slacks.

Regarding the Jade Pagoda closing, the Mystery Museum is attempting to confirm if Bruce Lee (who was a waiter down the street 1959-1964) ever visited the Jade Pagoda. Apparently their was a friendship between owner Jimmy Woo and one of Bruce Lee's established students.

Oh Pittsburgh (the city I left to come here), if you made the mistake of eating the food at the Jade, you didn't get the experience. But without smoking (and without Burt), the Jade was slowly becoming unjaded. It was divey enough to keep out the yuppie riff-raff, but homey enough so that you needn't worry about bar fight. Regular patrons were glad of the thick, almost visibly sooty haze that greeted you on the way in, knowing it was barrier, a test of sorts. It is a great place to meet a few friends for cheap drinks (sometimes outside, where the mint could be picked for mojitos) and it has the best jukebox in the city. The cast of regulars is various and occasionally enlightening, although again the smoking law took its toll recently.

Do not doubt that the Jade will be missed, whatever the reason for its closing. If anything this is one more reason to think that Generation Y likes its neat little packages and hysterically sanitary. As for Seattle dives, just go up Lake City Way beyond 125th. Those bars will put hair on your chest, although their divieness is of a different order than the Jade's. I'd much prefer to apply the term raffish to the Jade, and in that category, there are few indeed left in Seattle (certainly none that have been there for over 60 years).

NNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! this is my favorite bar.God fucking damn it!

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