- Kelly O
- Waid Sainvil, founder and owner of his eponymous club.
Waid's, the last black-owned nightspot in the Central District, is still fighting for survival. On Monday, administrative law judge Gina Hale issued a ruling against the restaurant and lounge and recommended that its liquor license be revoked, which would effectively shut the business down. The Washington State Liquor Control Board will review the order and make a decision on whether to yank the license. Waid Sainvil, the club's owner, can appeal.
The city says Waid's is a threat to public safety, but the loss of the club would be of a piece with the area's intensifying gentrification over the past two decades, during which it has lost 30 percent of its black population, according to census data. "There is no space owned and operated by a person of color in the Central District that people can go to after-hours," writer Naomi Ishisaka told me last month. "This is a last stand."
Sainvil tells me he'll appeal any decision against the club and campaign to keep it open—including urging the club's fans to mobilize and contact the city and Liquor Control Board—if he loses the liquor license. "I have no choice. I got nothing else to lose."