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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Party Crasher Goes Looking for Trouble at the Mayor’s “Five Most Violent Clubs in Seattle”

posted by on July 26 at 11:57 AM


And what does he find? Well, here he is taking a leak at the J&M…

A word for those who think they can easily buy drugs in nightclub bathrooms: All the clubs on this list either have tiny bathrooms with urinals so close that straight men want to flee them immediately, or they feature a kindly attendant. The J&M’s bathroom attendant is a lovely man with a few teeth who sprays soap on your hands, tells you that you look very sexually attractive to the opposite sex, and pats you on the back when you tip him. Selling or buying drugs in front of him would feel like having sex with a Wal-Mart greeter.

And here he is walking into Wild Palms…

I hand off [my contraband] sweatshirt to some friends and head inside. Behind me, someone moans, “What’s up with all these white people tonight?” There goes the neighborhood; I’m the seventh honky in the place, and it’s packed wall-to-wall…

He even ventures into Venom…

The owners of Venom must’ve designed it for people who think their other drinking establishment, Cowgirls Inc., is too subtle. Dozens of security people circulate, poking and prodding anyone who stands still for more than a minute; keep wandering about like cattle or they’ll bodily move you…

What does our intrepid man-about-First-Avenue conclude about the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad clubs on the mayor’s list? Find out here.

RSS icon Comments


Yes, the most revealing part of the story was about Tabella: "There are a few rowdy jackasses at the door, but security works quickly to move them down the street."
Well that's really wonderful for folks who live "down the street" from Tabella. This is precisely why these types of clubs are bad for nearby residents. Great, they keep the hostile drunks out of the club -- but by sending them out in the neighborhood?

Posted by tabellahood | July 26, 2007 12:11 PM

Who buys drugs in a bathroom?

Posted by violet | July 26, 2007 12:16 PM

#1, see keeping them out of the club is a good thing. Putting them on the street makes them the police department's priority and not the clubs.

You see, that's what we pay police to do.

Posted by Wll yeah... | July 26, 2007 12:19 PM

#3 Sure, if it is an occasional problem. If a club is constantly attracting these types of people, and constantly creating a situation that requires police attention, then there is a problem with the club. You think cops are free?

Posted by tabellahood | July 26, 2007 12:26 PM

#1 unless the club moved in after you, you should have known what you were getting into.
There are plenty of places to live that aren't near clubs, especially rowdy ones.
If they moved in after you, you have a point, but anywhere you live, you face the possibility of having rowdy neighbors.

Posted by violet | July 26, 2007 12:31 PM

#5 The club moved in well after I did. I like people having fun. The noise can be annoying but that's part of the bargain. However, when people start getting shot in front of my building, yes, I have a problem.
I don't really agree with your comment, though. Even if I had just moved in yesterday, I should have a right to expect that nearby businesses are not attracting violent criminals to my street.

Posted by tabellahood | July 26, 2007 12:45 PM


These things happen. Nothing you do will change that. There will always be violence, drugs, much like there will always be whiny little bitches such as yourself.

Posted by shut up | July 26, 2007 12:56 PM

Shut 'em down. There will always be murder, too, but you don't have to sit and watch it happen and do nothing. Shut these clubs down.

Posted by fnarf | July 26, 2007 1:01 PM

Tabellahood, I live in safe, safe Ballard and I still see crackheads in my sweet little corner store that is run by the nicest family ever, and I still here gunshots, and there are still fights, etc, etc.
I agree, no one wants violence in their 'hood. I think most of us don't want violence anywhere. And I'm guessing that the clubs in question don't want it anymore than you or I or anyone else.
I'm sure they are just some guys who wanted to open a club because it seemed like a fun, agreeable way to make some money. And I'm sure not everyone who goes there is violent, or wants violence.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that there probably really isn't a magic solution to the problem. Some places may be more likely to attract the "wrong crowd" than others, but I'm sure whoever is "in charge" isn't trying to attract THEM, they are trying to attract other people who happen to like similar music, atmosphere, etc and it's just a fact of life that people who suck are all over.
Don't get me wrong, I've never been to any of the places in question, as they are not my thing, but I don't want to see the places I like to go be the next target because some jackasses who don't even go there regularly decide to fight outside.

Posted by violet | July 26, 2007 1:15 PM

I am also a Tabella neighbor, but not a NIMBY. I have lived in the neighborhood for years and I have never been inside either Tabella or Venom (went into Medusa a couple times). I listened to the arguement and the subsequent gun shots of the most recent incident. Sure it was a bit unsettling, but that same thing could have happened anywhere in the city. After it was over, I rolled over and went right back to sleep.

While shots are never a good thing, noise of all kinds are part of living in the city. Get over it.

Shutting these clubs down won't do a thing to stop crime from happening in the neighborhood. It might make it seem a bit whiter and more sanitized though which is really what most of the "Shut these clubs down" folks are saying if you read between the lines.

Posted by Clint | July 26, 2007 1:23 PM

Not trying to sound snarky, but if you think that places in Ballard compare to Tabella and Venom, you need to come check out Western Ave. on a Friday or Saturday night and you'll understand the difference.

I don't agree that shutting down these clubs wouldn't make any difference. How many shootings happened on Western when Venom was still an Italian restaurant and Tabella didn't exist?

Posted by tabellahood | July 26, 2007 1:59 PM

It is easy to throw around the term NIMBY. It has no relevance in this case. No one in any neighborhood should have to live near a place that attracts drunks & meth-heads wielding loaded guns.

Posted by tabellahood | July 26, 2007 2:04 PM

I'm not saying that Ballard compares to Western Ave, or Belltown anywhere, or downtown, or Capital Hill get the picture. I'm just saying that urban life in general has it's fair share of crazies and violent people. Trust me, I've been to the neighborhood in question, and all the others I've mentioned. I go to some more often than others and one reason I might be more inclined to hang out (or live) in a particular neighborhood would be for safety's sake. Or quiet's sake, or the sake of not living next door to a rowdy nightclub. I'm not really afraid to go to any part of town I may feel compelled to go to, but I do make a point of being aware of what dangers may await in any given part of town. And I certainly would not live in certain areas for pretty much any reason.

Posted by violet | July 26, 2007 2:39 PM

I understand your point, Violet, and I'm basically in agreement. I do think though, that there has to be some kind of community standard for clubs. If shootings were happening outside a club on a weekly or nightly basis, would you say "hey, it's a city, this stuff happens -- the police should deal with it"? I don't think any reasonable person would say that (though maybe some folks at the Stranger would, I don't know). At that point, most folks would agree that the club is a menace. Now I think a lot of people would argue that the problems aren't bad enough in Seattle to warrant any intervention. Perhaps. Of course when someone gets shot in front of your building, it can change your perspective.

Posted by tabellahood | July 26, 2007 3:01 PM

Tabellahead, what attracts the drunks and methheads are all of the shelters in the neighborhood, combined with one of the largest open-air drug markets in the city - 2 blocks away, plus plenty of places to run and hide from the police. Addicts roam around the block 24x7. Tabella and Venom aren't open 24x7.

My guess is that if you were to write down your wishlist for community standards of clubs, #1 on the list would be "not so many black people listening to hip-hop music".

The fence that recently went up by the Marriott is a good start at solving one of those problems, the increased police presence (at least during daytime hours) at the drug market is another. Your list of "community standards for clubs".. Just racism..

Posted by Clint | July 26, 2007 3:29 PM

"Closing time in New York is 4:00 a.m., and that doesn't mean that people stay out getting drunk until 4:00 a.m. every night. It allows people to clear out at their own pace. When all the bars in Seattle close at 2:00 a.m., you wind up with thousands of people milling around on the sidewalk with no open businesses and not enough taxis, and that's when things start to happen."

Chances are this is the smartest thing I've ever heard in this debate. When I lived in the French Quarter they served alcohol 24 hours a day, no one ever stayed out past 4am and the noise never bothered me a bit. Making last call 2am (or 1:30am in the place I go to...) means that every single drunk in the city hits the streets at EXACTLY the same time. Letting people filter out as they want means a trickle of rowdy kids, not a torrent. In NYC the clubs are within puking distance of hundreds of condos and noise is taken very seriously, yet they don't seem to have much of a problem... When you show up at a bar at 11pm and have exactly 3 hours (or less) to pound drinks before they kick you out, it's no wonder they have drunken riots here.

Posted by Colton | July 26, 2007 6:03 PM

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