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Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Posted by on September 13 at 13:52 PM

Word is: Capitol Hill’s hipster drag, the stretch of property along Pine St. that houses The Cha-Cha Lounge, Bimbo’s, The Bus Stop, Man-Ray, Harry’s Market, and Kincora’s has been sold. (This is on the North side of Pine between Summit and Belmont).

Reportedly, all the business owners along the block will be getting letters today telling them they can stay through November 2007 (the businesses—who’d been aware of a pending sale—were nervous that they were going to have to split by next April).

More condos on Capitol Hill?

No word yet on who’s buying.

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good riddence to the Cha Cha, hopefully the patrons will get expelled too. that place needs to get bombed or gassed.

I sent this tip into slog 3 months ago, but you never printed it. :p

i can see it now: on the cha-cha's last day patrons will form a line of coke that stretches from one end of the bar to the other and once everyone has had their fill they'll tear the bricks out of the walls with their teeth.

Mock the Cha Cha all you want but the hipsters will find a new place to drink -- and it might be at YOUR favorite watering hole. What will you do then social retards?

There is a shortage of available condos in this town! Can we cut down every tree, pave over every stretch of grass?

Hey Floyd:

Are you a real hipster, or just some guy who feels hip when the other people in a bar are wearing the right sort of clothes and hairstyles?

I ask because sneering defensiveness is a hallmark of the latter.

ahhh yes, more of the new Seattle..... hope y'all are enjoying the "density".

anyone remember a few years back (maybe 2002) when there was a spate of "kill hipsters on sight" DIY posters that popped up on telephone poles all over cap hill? i loved those things.

the owner's been sold? this is most disturbing.

right and so is denying you're a hipster. Yawn.

Anyway, this is old news to alot of folks and there are people gearing up for a really big confrontation with whoever the fuck you would get into it with over this shit.

The rest of us are just moving away. No big deal. I can't be bothered giving a damn. The wheels are in motion. Good luck tryin to convince money to listen to moneyless.

(I know, good riddance. There I said it for you.)

You would think it would be more lucrative for the new owner to keep the established businesses around and just collect their rents. Thats a lot of change for seattlites to handle (I noticed we don't like change) there could be a revolt or something ickier.

Why can't Sub Pop just break down and buy that block, already? Goddamn.

Come on. It would be difficult for me to name another block on Capitol Hill that is as ugly and under-utilized as that block. Sure, the rent may be cheap, but you get what you pay for (or not, in the case of Manray, which can't have the outdoor area for which it pays rent open to serve its customers). It's dilapidated, depressing, dirty, and sometimes dangerous. Plus, some of the space has turned over repeatedly in the past few years and can't hold a tenant. So exactly what are we preserving and why should anyone give a damn? what's wrong with hipsters?

they're the people who pump $$ into capitol hill.

why does everyone hate them/us so?

I hope the current owners hang on to it, even if they change use. The publicly-named taxpayer for these properties the last few years has been a partnership of folks who first rose with the flannel tide of early-90s local music. Maybe they'll build housing affordable for Hillsters who haven't done as well for various honorable reasons, folks who may have bought those tickets and built that buzz for the owners' early local shows and all.

I give a damn. I don't care about the battle of hip, I just love the Bus Stop and don't want the neighborhood to turn into blah Bellevue.

Welcome to the party, advocates of density at all costs.

This is exactly why the "Old Seattle" types the Stranger spends so much time dumping on have been concerned with the rush to build build build.

Well, welcome to the party, advocates of density at all costs - whether the cost is a diversity of building types, housing that is actually affordable, or cool hole in the wall joints like the Bus Stop or the Cha Cha...

OTOH, maybe they'll put another Cowgirls Inc. or Belltown Billiards up there if you're really really lucky....

Oops, I repeated myself.

Oops, I repeated myself.

Tomasyalba, don't hold your breath for affordable hipster housing on that stretch of pine, or that matter anywhere in the city. Capital Hill seems to be going more the way of belltown-bars, cheap eats, and galleries being knocked down and turned into condospace and expensive shopping locales.

Wouldn't miss cha cha--are they still serving that overrated piss water rainier and pouring weak drinks?

As a former hipster/current old fart, I have to concede mixed feelings on this whole thing. In the long run, I think the improved density of the Hill is a good thing, as long as it doesn't entirely consist of yuppie housing (i.e, no low-income-designated space). But I lament the loss of established spaces.

Still, we're not talking about truly historic businesses here. Every one of these places was something else before, in some cases something just as beloved by the local populace as these places. I mean really, is the neighborhood going to be ruined by the absence of late '90s relics like Manray?

Even an "institution" like Cha Cha has been open, what, maybe a decade?

Still, it's sad in the short term and it would be nice if the new builders were sensitive to the existing character of the neighborhood when they design the new construction. If there were really cool and progressive, they would offer reduced tenant leases to these businesses. But that's not how the world works.

well, it was bound to happen. Second Ave circa '89 was a great place to place to see and be seen, just like this spot is now. Then the condo crowd swept out the old and have entrenched themselves to the point that places like Twist get slapped around by the money elite for just having "one-of-those-vibes". Enjoy the area for another year, follow the few places that might relocate and hope your situation in life improves enough that you can still afford to live and hang in the neighborhood.

GODDAMNIT. This post has upset me more than any other I've ever read on Slog. I'm gonna miss the Cha-Cha. I fuckin' love that place. Really nice people work there and drink there. Why all the hate for the place and for hipsters? When's the last time a hipster made you feel threatened? Everyone in that place keeps mostly to themselves and their friends. Fine if the scene's not your cup of tea... but how would YOU feel if your favorite bar had to close down? Have some empathy, folks. This is shitty news for a lot of people who enjoy that place.

"Everyone in that place keeps mostly to themselves and their friends."

Part of the problem right there. Maybe you guys should mingle a little? So cliquey...

I posted another topic further down the list called "Condo Haven...". Just wanted to say that there's more to this issue than whether you like hipsters. It's more than the fact that places come and go. It's the idea that once these condos get built, and shoddily built, they're not going anywhere. That changes the face of the neighborhood. This is about money and class. That was my point. Sure this happens all the time, but why aren't people upset about it? And NO, the people are not moving into those condos that are replacing the cool bars because they like the neighborhood as it is. They don't give a fuck. The people who are moving in don't even care. It's the builders and owners who see an oppurtunity and are jumping on it. And then the neighborhood turns into something else; i.e. some other boring money-driven, no-character shithole.
Also, this is not just about this particular block. It's about ALL the condos that are going up. Everywhere on Capitol Hill. They are TAKING OVER GODDAMNITT!!! I'm all for progress but when is it too MUCH! The Jade Pagoda went down and every other corner is already scheduled for Condos so why do we need to knock down already existing businesses to build MORE!
The only answer is to move. I'm so fucking disappointed in everybody.

Slag the Cha-Cha and its coke-snortin' clientele (although they never bother me), but the bartenders there play some great music that you rarely hear in the city's other watering holes. And I always get a strong pour.

and what about the Linda's block? Do people still believe that they are just going to build the condos "around" Linda's and the War Room, or are we all in agreement that they are going to buy and tear that shit down when they build there?

We are all in for REALLY ugly condos all up and down Pine Street with stupid stores that have no heart below them.

Goodbye Cha Cha and Kinkora, hello Bath and Body Works and Quiznos!!!

I second the strong pour at the Cha Cha. Sometimes, I get a Cuba Libre and can cbarely tell there's Coke (-a-cola, of course) in it at all.

Mr. X - how many times have I said that the Stranger will NOT start caring about this issue until they start losing the places that they love? This is just the beginning.

Where o where is Knute Berger when you really need him?

Agreed, Seattlkook. You're addressing the larger problem here, and I didn't mean to diminish that by just being sad that my favorite bar has to close. Condos are whitewashing our city. We're losing the places that make things interesting around here. The places that make people want to walk instead of drive to their destinations. Stupid brick and aluminum-siding condominiums are boring to look at and boring to live in and it SUCKS they are taking the place of well-known and well-loved small businesses. I understand people need places to live, but we have to draw the line somewhere. And for me, that line should've been drawn before it encroached on any bitchin' burritos. Guess everyone else will get on board against a condo-land when the line starts getting close to things they care about.

reasons to hate hipsters and rejoice in the Cha Cha closing:

1. White Belts. dude, take off the white belt
2. White Oversized Sunglasses.
3. Bullet Belts. Retard.
4. Greasy Dyed Black Hair
5. Girl Jeans on Boys. Tapered Leg, black pants.
6. Black Chuck Taylors
7. Shoulder bag with indie rock pins
8. Ironic 80's/70's Hair Metal/Pop tee's. Played out bitches!
9. You all look alike!
10. See 1-9

Fuck Knute Berger, and the SUV he rode in from Kirkland on. Density is good - when you build transit, provide options for non-millionaires and take care of small businesses. None of those things is happening because this town is run by faux-liberal posers who really don't give a shit and wouldn't recognize a living urban culture if it was downstairs from them pumping out loud music till 2 AM. Someone said here, "Money won't listen to the moneyless", and that about covers it. We have to face the fact that the special thing we had here was carved out of little shelters from big capital. Our robber baron era will end here in 30 years, and our grandkids will move back in to renovate the now shiny condos, and hang out and make something interesting happen. (I hope.) There is a whole world out there in which the worldly spirit that is getting snuffed out here rages on. I reccommend getting the hell out of here, flying the Seattle seal from your porch in San Pedro or wherever to remember how it was and living for the present and future, not the past. The internet has made it possible for culture to be everywhere - but for those of us who crave real human contact and chaos and like to walk to work, the park, and the grocery store (and stumble home from the bar) there are lots of places to go. And then those places will be ruined by the arrival of the boring rich. But that will take years. In the meantime, call me up if you're ever in Mexico City, and we'll recall how the last bright light in Seattle in the early years of the century was that flower of unpretentious, loving, drunken joy we called the Bus Stop.

this is terrible news for everyone. anyone who thinks "this is great, fuck hipsters" is a fucking fool. these were independent business that were and are run by awesome locals. If you would rather look at a bunch of shitty condos....

why the fuck are you living on capitol hill if you hate everyone? MOVE TO FREMONT, BUTTFACE.

I stopped giving a shit about that block when Tugs on Belmont closed to make room for Kincora’s. Now that was a historic institution… For me, that marks the start of the decline of Capitol Hill.

So where's the official Stranger "Hooray for Density!!!!" over this?

I haven't gone to Bimbo's or the Cha Cha in a few years, have never gone to Bus Stop...but this is just a fucking shame.

"but for those of us who crave real human contact and chaos and like to walk to work, the park, and the grocery store (and stumble home from the bar) there are lots of places to go."

Grant, nyc is too expensive for us poor hipsters.

Whoa, I'm seeing comments from Mr. X and LH and Genevieve that make quite an assumption about my post...that is, making the assumption that I have strong feelings about this. And because I advocate for development and density, I'm being hypocritical for posting in protest against the sale.

Yes, my post was titled "Drag." But don't read so much into that. It was a cute pun on drag (as in strip) and drag as in bummer...

Yes, of course, I think, and probably a lot of Stranger readers think, it would be a bummer to lose groovy haunts like the Cha-Cha and the Bus Stop (which as a lot of my close friends know... is my favorite 1966 gloom room-a-go-go bar on the planet!)

But, nowhere in the post do I make an impassioned case to "save" the block. I reported the basic news, which I imagined was of interest to Slog readers. Judging from the number of comments—it is!

But there's no "Gotcha" here for you guys. Read my post again. Pretty straight forward. You might get a different story from Dan or ECB, but me: I don't feel strongly about it. And again, I do love the Bus Stop!!!

And please consider: The drag between Summit and Belmont is an active, bustling (dense) block of businesses. The kind of thing I've advocated for.

When Mr. X read me the riot act about advocating development in Northgate along 113th street, he was arguing to "save" a dilapidated lot!

I want them to tear it all down and rebuild it so that it's just like Robson Street in Vancouver. I have a high-fashion lifestyle, and want my neighborhood to reflect that.

I hate hipsters as much as anyone, but I also love the Cha-Cha. Don't ask why. Some things just are.

It'll be a shame to lose it and other places, but you know - things change. We move on. Perhaps we all need to be much more proactive here, both in getting involved in urban planning, city politics, and pooling resources to provide the kind of community spaces we want.

Or we can just sit around and bitch.

Tugs on Belmont, pisht. The historic Tugs was in Belltown, not Capitol Hill. Plus ça change....

No word on who's buying? Duh: rich white people. Fuck the lower class. Fuck them out of town and all the way to Renton.

Seattle is the new So. Cal., how lame that i just wrote 'So. Cal', which is gross of course. at least "hipsters" look kinda cool. unlike every one else in Seattle. nerds. nerds.

FNARF: I know, I agree, but that was b4 my time...

I can almost visualize all the people so filled with hate for the Pine Street Local
(or hipster, as you old fashioned folks say) I see a sad, depressed, used to have a life, REI shopping, frumpy, with a Super Cuts haircut, out of shape, let yourself go, stopped caring what you look like, bitter cause your having no fun, low self-esteem person who thinks its fun to rip on others 'cause it makes you feel better about how sad your life has become.

Eugene said,

'Perhaps we all need to be much more proactive here, both in getting involved in urban planning, city politics, and pooling resources to provide the kind of community spaces we want.'

Yes, of course you are right. Good luck with that, though. Seriously, stay away. Look at the 'debate' over the waterfront: should we put this colossal highway up in the air, or should we put it underground for ten blocks with a lot of huge ramps going in and out of the ground at four times the price? I spent ten years of my life on that shit, every day, and a lot of good it did. The only people with the stomach for that in this culture, in the long run, are unimaginative bores who can't see the darkness at the end of the (metaphorical) tunnel. Here's the secret I never told, I can't fucking stand political people. This is the way the world has always been and always will be. Eat the defeat, and sing. There is no justice: love and live and make art and babies while you can.

And Neo-Realist, I'm not talking about NYC, or London, or Paris. I'm talking about the vast, affordable cities of Hispanic America. I'm talking about Galveston, Texas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I'm talking about Krakow and Budapest and Melbourne, Australia. I'm talking about Mexico City, the Paris of the New World. The USA ain't the be-all and end-all.

Sept 17th
Chop Suey presents:
Mickey Avalon
The Saturday Knights
NRDLNGR featuring Biggie Tights, with their smash hit "2 drunk 2 fuck!"

(voted worst poster of the week by the stranger!)
see what all the hype is about.

the only thing worse then a goofy glam hipster is a confused yet jaded hipster. The death of this block is –in a way- the death of a cornerstone of Seattle culture. If you like it or not it’s important to understand that what’s going on does not benefit this heart of Seattle.

So the alcoholics and fornicators and onanists will have to find someplace new to practice their perversion. Such it has always been, such it will always be, until the time that He returns to reap his vengence on all that mock him.

The new owner is some developer company called
Murray Franklin Company. Check out their website and you will get a true taste of what the "New Pine Street" is going to look like....can you say "Little Kirkland"?

You're bitching about hipsters, and in praise making pine st. a merger of yuppy belltown, bellvue, or as said before: little kirkland?

I always found capitol hill (pine st. in paticular) to have more vitality than anyhwere i had been in seattle. there's a tremendous amount of culture brewing, whether it be hipsters, artists, musicians, or those of the like.

you see these condo's moving in, it drives real estate up, and as those prices go up, people are going to be a lot more inclined to sell. bitch and complain all you want about hipsters, but do you think they will stop turning capitol hill into condos after this section of pine street?

Hipsters, I love ya. So much time on your hands and everyone wanting to socialize and tear it up. I think it's great. I'd go nuts all over again, enjoying my first decade without, you know, curfew.

Alas, I've already put my time in in that regard. What ends up happening to you is that you just end up accumulating responsibilities the older you get. Not that you're irresponsible; it's just I used to be you, and you're gonna be me. No need to stress, or make assumptions: being over on this side doesn't mean you automatically fart-out. In some ways it's better, in fact. But that's for later. Go, have at it! Ya look great. Be hip and enjoy. (The wardrobe, though, let's vary it up a little bit. Step out a little more.)

My point is this: They are going to tear all that stuff down on Pine. Which is too bad. I like all those places. But you're just not gonna stop it. You're not the last person that's decided or will decide move to the Hill. I don't think it helps the situation that this strip of Pine is mother F scuzzy. It already looks like Little Pioneer Square. If I didn't only have one night out a week at this point, and if I thought you kids would step up and keep it tidy afterwards, I'd sand blast that whole strip with Fresh Step. At home, I clean the bathroom, and it's my duty also, to keep the kitchen clean. We flipped a coin for the kitchen -- no shit. Easier to square your messes as you go rather than waiting until it's such a problem that they just come and tear the whole thing down.

Density is good for a vibrant city. Old Seattle types just want to drag this city down. If they tear down Cha Cha there'll be room for a new and better nightclub. I hope they do build some nice condo's on that block. Anyone who rents instead of buying a condo is just throwing money down the drain.

Hey Progress_Sucks: This developer did the Bagley Lofts project in Wallingford and the Hotel 1000 project in downtown Seattle . Those projects are very urban and they don't look like Kirkland to me. Have you actually even been off the hill or do you just like to rag on anyone that is not exactly like your own perfect self?

Player_hater, wanna loan me $400,000 with no interest for 40 years? I might be able to come up with the $19,990 if I don't eat for the next 3 years. If are any indication of the prices: 1 Bedroom + den with Raised Loft 854 $419,990.

Oh right but since it's Capitol Hill, it will be 1/3 the square footage for the same price.

New development is SO overrated.

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