City Pizza and Petty Covers Menace Alki!
posted by July 16 at 12:00 PMon
Speaking of the mayor’s war on nightlife, I happened to spend some time this weekend out on Alki, where two establishments—Slices, a small pizza shop, and the Celtic Swell, an Irish bar—ran into trouble with the mayor’s anti-nightlife goons almost exactly one year ago. Residents of the apartments directly above the Swell complained about noise from the bar, prompting the city to demand that its owners obtain a special license to sell booze after 10:00 pm and sign a “good-neighbor agreement” with the city. As for Slices, here’s what I reported a year ago:
Slices’ troubles with the city started earlier this year, when the pizza shop applied for a license to serve beer and wine. Some residents argued that the pizza joint would turn into a “beer garden” and contribute to public drunkenness, noise, litter, and underage drinking, according to the West Seattle Herald. (Because the restaurant is partly outdoors, some neighbors believe patrons would be able to pass beer to minors on the street. And no, we’re not making that up.) In response, the city attorney’s office has written a letter to the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) opposing Slices’ liquor license unless Slices owners Patrick Henley and Tom Lin sign a good-neighbor agreement of their own. In the past 24 years, the liquor board has never granted a liquor license to which the city objected. “It seemed pretty basic for a pizzeria to get a beer and wine license,” Henley says.
I went by Slices around 9:30 on Saturday night, and, like the last time I stopped by hoping for a slice after dark, it was closed. (Guess the city decided that pizza and beer don’t go together after all.) The Celtic Swell, in contrast, was jammed with large groups of mid-20s men and women on the prowl. The women wore gobs of makeup and tight sexy-casual clothes; the guys wore wrinkled khakis, ball caps, and bored expressions. The live music, which consisted of a Tom Petty-loving neo-hippie with a guitar, was more lousy than loud, and once we went outside, we couldn’t hear it.
Yes, I can imagine that if you lived right above a bar like the Celtic Swell, you might be able to hear its patrons occasionally. However, the idea that these two establishments are in any way a threat to Alki’s “peace and quiet” is laughable. In the summer, Alki is crowded with throngs of people from all over Seattle, from cackling teens to shrieking babies to wannabe gangstas blasting hiphop from souped-up Hondas. It is not, in short, a quiet place. Targeting small businesses isn’t going to make it so.