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Thursday, July 19, 2007

12th Ave & E. Jefferson

posted by on July 19 at 17:35 PM


Since Waid’s Hatian Lounge, located on 12th and Jefferson, opened in July 2006, neighbors have complained about late-night noise. This week, after a shooting occurred near Waid’s, a small group of Barclay Court residents marched to city hall and urged the City Council to pass legislation to “protect” their neighborhood. Mike Webb, who lives around the block from Waid’s, told the council the shooting was “the result…of an illegal nightclub in our neighborhood,” However, according to Seattle Police Department spokeswoman Renee Witt, SPD found “no connection between the incident and Waid’s.”

This is how bad things have gotten between Waid’s owner, Waid Sainvil, and the neighborhood. For the last 3 years, neighbors say the he building Waid’s occupies has been home to several problem businesses. Before it was Waid’s it was Cafe Langano and before that, Mundo’s.

Now, neighbors say they’re fed up with the booming bass and loud patrons, and they want Waid’s out of the neighborhood.

While Barclay Court residents have been complaining about the problem for years, they’ve yet to produce any real concrete evidence that Waid’s is a problem. Anecdotally, I’ve gone to Waid’s late on a Saturday night and didn’t hear the earth-rattling bass several neighbors told me about. However, Waid Sainvil has been able to produce some evidence that he’s trying to appease the neighborhood. He sent me a copy of a recent test by a sound engineer, which showed he was within the city’s noise level limits, and he claims he’s spent $70,000 soundproofing the building, although he was unable to show me any receipts for the work.

Yesterday, I spoke with Barclay Court resident Richard Shaffer and asked why Waid’s had been blamed for the recent shooting. Shaeffer clarified the neighborhood’s position. “It does appear that there was no clear connection between the shooting and Waid’s”, he said. “There was no malicious intent [in our statement]. That was our understanding at the time. We apologize if we jumped to a conclusion.”

Waid’s conditional use permit —which allows him to operate near a residential zone— is under review by the Department of Planning and Development and a final decision about the restaurant/bar/nightclub’s future should come next Monday. Sainvil is confident that his business will remain open. “This thing is just getting out of control,” he says. “If they want to shut me down, they have to come up with a good reason. The shooting had nothing to do with me.”

RSS icon Comments


Sometimes when I see your name, I think it says Spaghetti Lee - you know, like that guy in Rush.

Posted by Peepdurple | July 19, 2007 6:08 PM

That would explain the weird website blog. I just wanted restaurant hours and a menu. I may have misread the sign out front, but I thought it said dinner hours start at 8 p.m.?

Anyway, yeah it sucks to not get sleep at night, but sometimes you gotta pay the price for living right in the middle of the city on a fairly busy intersection. I doubt it was all farmland when the residents moved in.

Posted by ljg | July 19, 2007 6:21 PM

So I'm left asking: Where is the accountability on the part of the condo builders & sellers in all this?

Why are developers allowed to save money by skimping on soundproofing for their units without having to disclose that information to potential buyers?

I’d like to see a simple requirement to that effect be included in all this debate.

If the exterior walls of a new condo unit are only rated for 50 db sound blocking and the condo has been built in a mixed commercial/residential area were the legally acceptable sound level mandated under law is 70 db, doesn’t the onus fall upon the developer to inform potential buyers of this before they take a dime of their money?

And I think new condo buyers in commercial areas should have to sign off -- acknowledging that they’ve been informed by the seller of the sound ratings for their unit relative to the legal noise level permitted for the neighborhood -- and that buy purchasing the condo they have willing chosen to accept those levels of noise.

Anyone ever heard of “responsibility” and “accountability”?

Or do those things only apply to the clubs and not to Nickel's friends; the rich developers?

Posted by Tim Rhodes | July 19, 2007 7:03 PM

The problem is, was and will be the am/pm across the street. Why? I don't know...

Posted by ampm | July 19, 2007 10:26 PM

um... there was a shooting right there a bit over a year ago - just before waid's opened. (i live a few blocks away... i keep track of these things.) now are they going to say it happened b/c the site was *about to become* a nightclub?

waid's is one of the most non-shoot-em-up bars in town. it'd be like hearing of a shooting at the tractor.

Posted by stacy | July 20, 2007 7:13 AM

I really don't get this. That neighborhood has been sketchy for as long as I remember. Since Waid's appeared there are often friendly looking people outside. It seems like a decent restaurant / nightclub can do nothing but improve the area.

And not to get all music-profily or anything, but they have a goddamn blues dancing night there. When is the last time y'all have heard of a bluesdancing party getting out of hand and turning violent.

Also, the food is damn good.

Posted by mason | July 20, 2007 8:50 AM


What's a "Hatian" lounge? Do you have to wear a brim to go inside?

Posted by elrider | July 20, 2007 10:21 AM

Haitian music isn't exactly known for its booming bass. Either the neighbors are full of shit or a Haitian lounge is inexplicably not playing kompa.

As to the comment @3, where are the condos in that area? I haven't been down there for a while, but I recall mostly houses, not apartment buildings.

Posted by keshmeshi | July 20, 2007 11:12 AM

Mike Webb is alive?

Posted by Will from HA | July 20, 2007 11:39 AM

I'm in this neighborhood a LOT, as my Seattle office and business partner's house is just a block away. It has ALWAYS been a little sketchy. God bless the Ethiopian businesses, but they are a focal point for the Ethiopian community, and us Americans just eat there, pretty much. I've met Waid once, but I can tell he's made a concerted effort to create a friendly, broad-based, community-making place. He also did a lot of noise-limiting renovations at his own expense after moving in, for the neighbors' benefit. Yeah, he has music. And the yards of the houses behind him back up to his fence, and that probably sucks. But he's obeying the law, and one of the prices of buying a house in center of the city is that it's noisy sometimes. I've been sleeping with earplugs since I moved to Mexico last fall. Noise is part of living around people and if you try to extinguish it you will inevitably be extinguishing some of the life that brings it on. It would be very bad for this neighborhood if Waid's went away - I am certain that what replaced it would be inferior. The shooting isn't the issue, and anyone familiar with the neighborhood knows it. It's the noise. Folks on Barclay Court should realize a mix of uses is what makes a city vital, buy some earplugs, go over to Waid's and see what a good vibe it is, and be neighbors.

Posted by Grant Cogswell | July 20, 2007 3:55 PM

Buy some earplugs? Good freaking god.

Here's the thing. Earplugs do not not block bass. Let me repeat that.

Earplugs do not block bass.

Did you catch that? Or were you too busy seeing a good vibe?

Maybe you think crazy neighbors band together to pursue conspiracies against Ethiopian nightclubs. I don't know. There are weirder ideas floating around. But you know, those are the kinds of ideas that sane people, say, people who have jobs and have to work in the morning and don't want to wear industrial headset to bed, tend to hold. But just groove on, my man, groove on.

Posted by croydonfacelift | July 20, 2007 10:23 PM

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