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Thursday, July 5, 2007

Tabella Witch-hunt

posted by on July 5 at 13:50 PM

As I Slogged earlier today in the news section round-up, we got ahold of security camera footage from inside Tabella (one club that’s being scapegoated for a shooting earlier this week) that shows the club isn’t at fault.

Well, Jonah just turned up more evidence to douse the witch-hunt: An SPD incident report from last week about a call to help Tabella. Tabella security asked the police to help them trespass a patron who had been told he was not welcome at the club two weeks earlier for flashing gang signs. The agitated, drunk, and threatening suspect was back, and at Tabella’s request, he was taken into custody.

The SPD report notes:

This nightclub does a very good job of patrolling the area just outside the club. They do their best to maintain order and have their customers disperse the area when the club closes.

When City Attorney Tom Carr and the City Council predictably go after Tabella to take away its liquor license, they probably won’t be citing this report from the city’s own police department.

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This morning's council meeting also revealed that the shooter and two of his two friends were sailors off the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln.

Posted by dro | July 5, 2007 2:18 PM


However, I think the point the Belltowners are trying to make is that it could be Tabella's, Venom, Medusa, or whomever: they claim that these clubs in general attract noise, nuisance, and violence. The question is: would the shooting have occurred had Tabella's (or a similar club) not been there at all?

Posted by wow | July 5, 2007 2:59 PM

#2 - exactly -- except the noise factor is not the issue. That is part of the bargain when you live in Belltown. Violence, on the other hand is not. It should never be acceptable. And a club like Tabella is a magnet for thugs. The reason they have so much security is because they know who their clientele is.

Josh, are you really incapable of understanding that not all nightclubs are the same? Yeah, if there was a violent episode outside of, say, Neighbours, it would be a fluke, and you could not really blame the club. At Tabella, on the other hand, violence is an inevitability. And it's perfectly legitimate to blame the club. The thugs wouldn't be hanging around if the club was not there. It's as simple as that. How is that a witchhunt?

Posted by belltown | July 5, 2007 3:44 PM

Thugs, like the U.S. Navy?

Call the Mayor! Looks like it's time to cancel Seafair!

Posted by NapoleonXIV | July 5, 2007 5:23 PM

if it walks like a duck...

some places just need to be shut down and Tabella is one of them.

that place is a cesspool - i can't believe anyone is out here defending it.

sometimes you have to just let go of your liberal guilt and stand up for law and order

a thug is a thug is a thug

Posted by BlindEye | July 5, 2007 5:24 PM

a thug is a thug is a thug

a nigger is a nigger is a nigger

Posted by sundown towner | July 5, 2007 5:40 PM

A troll is a troll is a troll.

Posted by Nose Knows | July 5, 2007 5:57 PM

Oh, how I hate this argument. The "it attracts the 'wrong crowd' argument that is always summed up this way:

If that club wasn't there, there wouldn't be any violence...

That misses one very important word after the ellipsis.


Go ahead. Close Tabella.

Then what?

No more violence?

Obviously not, because then the violence should have stopped when they closed Mr. Lucky's...or Larry's Tavern...or Celebrity Italian Kitchen...Sharky's Beach Bar...or any other club that has been a popular place that played the most popular music in this town--funk/r&b/hip hop.

Is the answer REALLY having FEWER places to try to squeeze as many people as like this kind of music into? Does anyone realize how that strategy might backfire...creating pressure cooker-like situations?

How about, instead of trying to "wish away" problems or NIMBY them...that we DEAL with what we, as a city, obviously want...which are...nice places to go, have a drink, meet people and dance to the music we like?

The city has a demand for MORE r&b/hip hop/funk clubs...but I know for a fact (from experience) that the city can be proactive in trying to prevent clubs from offering that style of entertainment. That's foolish.

Instead, the city should work WITH clubs and club owners. Police presence should match the needs of the area--rather than these duties being seen as an undue burden on the police, someone should remind this city that THAT'S WHY WE HAVE POLICE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

To help us safely do what we legally want to do...

The clubs aren't to blame. The music isn't to blame. The assholes who decide that a gun best expresses their frustrations are to blame.

You don't solve that problem by making them more frustrated.

Posted by pgreyy | July 5, 2007 7:41 PM

In fairness to the City Council, lay blame for this latest dog and pony show where it is due--in the Office of Mayor Nickels and Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis.

Posted by dro | July 5, 2007 10:14 PM

I thought the comment @6 was going to turn into a song about thugs that we could sing along to the tune of the Mr. Ed theme, but then I got to the second half. Disappointed sigh.

Posted by Darcy | July 5, 2007 11:49 PM

#8 - Your argument is the one that is ridiculous. Who ever said that closing Tabella would eliminate violence? What it would do is eliminate a magnet for thugs on that corner, near where people live. What are you talking about with "nice places to go, have a drink..."? Have you ever been to Tabella, or outside it at night? Do you have any idea what kind of crowd it attracts? If Tabella were down the street from where you live, you would not be happy. Tabella isn't Smith's, ok? If Tabella opened where Smith's is, it would only be a matter of time before some poor bystander had a bullethole in her arm on 15th Ave. And rather than raising everyone's taxes to turn Seattle into a police state with a hundred cops on every corner, which seems to be your preference, how about closing down clubs that aren't "nice places to go, have a drink" but are hotspots for gang activity and violence.

Posted by belltown | July 6, 2007 12:14 PM

"a magnet for thugs on the corner, near where people live"--Belltown're saying that the people who go to Tabella aren't people, now?

Jesus, has it really come to that?

Don't lecture me on what Tabella is...I know what Tabella is, and I've worked at places that were the Tabella of the day.

At any point do you think that the people that run Tabella thought "Hey, let's become a magnet for gang members and violence."?

I can assure you that the people who run Tabella and the people who work at Tabella are as annoyed as you are at those who are involved in incidents of violence.

People obviously want to go to clubs like Tabella...they like what they have to offer...and Tabella, as far as I know, isn't doing anything illegal. In fact, I think it's clear that there is more demand for what Tabella offers than there is supply...and I think that's a major component in why there are problems.

Shutting clubs doesn't fix the problem--it only moves it...and makes it worse...and that's especially true when the city basically shirks its duty to protect its citizens.

And although you try to dehumanize them, Belltown...those citizens include people who like to get drunk and dance to the music that they play on KUBE.

...rather than pursue a pointless policy of trying to pretend that these people don't exist, try picturing what it would take to make things safer and less annoying to you...

Think about whether or not you'd be happier of the concentration of people that bother you were spread around at various clubs.

Think about whether or not you think the problem of gang violence should be dealt with by dealing with gangs...rather than shutting down bars where sometimes gangs cause problems.

Or are you the type of person who hears about East Coast mob violence and thinks that Italian Restaurants should be shut down...because they're "hotspots for gang activity and violence."?

Posted by pgreyy | July 6, 2007 4:17 PM

You know, pgreyy, I don't see the point in arguing with someone who puts up strawman arguments. Because I say people LIVE near Tabella, that somehow means that I think Tabella patrons aren't people?! Please explain the logic there because it escapes me. I'm serious, I'd love to know how you drew that conclusion.
It is also clear from your evasive response that no, you have never been to Tabella. You just think you know everything about it.
Look, I have no problem with nightclubs, with loud music, dancing, people getting messed up, having fun, etc. I like all that stuff. I like that Belltown has a nightlife. But I do have a problem with a club that attracts a disrespectful and sometimes violent segment of the population. That would be Tabella and Venom. If you are going to have clubs like that, they should be in industrial areas, not around residences.
No, I don't think the way to deal with gang violence is to merely shut down clubs -- but if shutting down a club makes a neighborhood significantly safer for residents, then yes, it should be shut down. It's not a way to deal with gangs, it's a way to improve life downtown. I don't think that is unreasonable and if you do, I don't care. You sure haven't made a single persuasive argument to change my thinking. And your comment about Italian restaurants is just laughable.

Posted by belltown | July 6, 2007 5:54 PM

I think you know exactly what I meant when I questioned whether or not you actually think of the people who go to Tabella as people--because you clearly defined them as "thugs" and they shouldn't be where "people" live.

You just want them out of your neighborhood...but you'd love a place like Smith, instead. I think you know EXACTLY what I meant...

Look I remember Belltown before the recent boom in nightlife. In fact, I helped with the opening of one of the first of the new clubs down there--and I remember how scary Belltown was BEFORE that club opened...the dangers of Crack Park, the threat lurking behind any corner...and all that was before the clubs you're complaining about took residence there.

The drive towards density is shoving more people in that area...both to live and to play. Natural consequence of living downtown, I say. If you don't feel safe where you live, then the police aren't doing the jobs we pay them to do, I say.

But think that you should be able to make everyone bend to your personal whims and tastes. You say you've got no problem with clubs and music...just with THESE clubs and THIS music.

But I do have a problem with a club that attracts a disrespectful and sometimes violent segment of the population.--Belltown., you'd be against punk rock...and sporting events...?

That would be Tabella and Venom.


Oh, my mistake.

If you are going to have clubs like that, they should be in industrial areas, not around residences.

--Belltown don't know...a ghetto?

Some place where those "thugs" can leave "people" alone? Some place where you don't have to see around them...have to put up with them and their disrespectful ways?

That's the vibe that your argument is giving off, Belltown. You think it's a straw man argument of mine--I'm just telling you how you're NIMBYass is coming across. It's not pretty.

And it's also not productive to achieving your aims because you're simply and absolutely wrong about it being the CLUB that is the problem.

Until someone points out to me how Tabella is doing something illegal, I don't think they should be shut down...and doing so would just make the problem worse--and move it to a new location that might not be any better for Belltown's peculiar sensibilities.

I don't think ANY CLUB should be shut down simply because of the type of legal entertainment they offer...and I certainly don't think that ANY CLUB should be shut down just because Belltown doesn't like who goes there.

Want to feel safer? Tell the city to stop closing clubs and tell them to start letting off-duty cops get hired to help clubs with security again. Tell the police to do the job that we're already paying them to do and help us enjoy our city the way that we legally want to...and safely.

Or, YOU could always move...evidently, you're aware of some wonderful industrial areas that are blissfully free of all the things you don't like.


PS--The Italian Restaurant argument was SUPPOSED to be laughable...but when you've been part of a business that's been told that your liquor license is being held up until you promise to never play R&B or Hip Hop in your club...that laughter is the laughter of truth. The argument is the analogously the same--It sounds ridiculous, but they were basically saying "Serve Chinese food instead of Italian food, then you won't be a magnet for gang violence."

Changing the menu...or having fewer places to eat...doesn't solve the problem. It might move the problem, Belltown, and I think that's all you care about...

Posted by pgreyy | July 6, 2007 8:25 PM

Any nightclub is going to attract it's share of problems. Clubs don't make people break the law, carry guns or sell crack. Tabellas is a larger club, it attracts a larger crowd.

As clubs go, tell me which other clubs provide this level of security.
10 or more bouncers
2 or more armed security outside
Males are patted down and females get a purse check.
A metal detector wand is used.

This is provided because the owner chooses to try and provide the safest venue possible. When the police repsond it's because the club security calls them, or flags them down.

The club is held accountable because it's a club? Until recently the Shell station on Denny and 6th was a major trouble spot. I guess we should close all the gas stations because they attract a certain crowd. When are we going to start placing the blame on the people breaking the law, and stop looking for easy fixes?

Posted by Mutt224 | July 9, 2007 10:49 PM

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