Archive for the ‘bars’ Category

the crocodile : soundcheck, check

It’s difficult to understate the degree of the transformation at the Crocodile. But at last night’s soundcheck and preview, there were at least two familiar sights from the Crocodile Cafe (RIP) among the otherwise extreme makeover that is the Crocodile:

new sound board


old pole

The (new) Crocodile is, as everyone else has already said in more and better words, a beautiful new showroom. Gone is almost every piece of dingy kitsch, hanging paper-mâché sculpture, worn-out furniture, neon sheep, and eerie black light. In exorcising them, the club’s new owners found miles of high ceilings (so much so that they could fit in a mezzanine poster paradise with a skylight) with exposed beams and wood everywhere, space for two green rooms (that have bands raving), spacious bathrooms with marble sinks, a makeout nook [!], a giant stage situated opposite a large bar. Except for the second level, the layout reminds me a lot of the club on the new web series Rockville, CA (which is really just the Echoplex). It feels warm and roomy and the higher stage means better sightlines from all over.
Oh, and the three bands — among booking agent Eli Anderson’s local favorites — sounded great in the new room. The only minor hitch was that due to late-breaking liquor permits, the bar started low on alcohol (beer only) and ran out fast. The crowd, a mix of die hards, music insiders, and curious onlookers, thinned appreciably after the wells ran dry. Luckily, 2nd Avenue has no shortage of bars. For instance, between sets Shorty’s seemed a whole lot like the Crocodile Cafe’s back bar that I loved so much, with bands, fans, and other less glossy Belltowners filtering in for drinks.

More pictures — including the Quiet Ones, Hypatia Lake, and the Kindness Kind — in the opening night photoset. [flickr]

the crocodile is re-opening on THURSDAY


OMG, you guys. The Crocodile is reopening THIS WEEK. Their first night will be Thursday. They’ll be warming up the freshly-renovated and much-beloved club with a series of two free shows powered by local bands:

Thursday, March 19: SOUNDCHECK with Hypatia Lake, the Kindness Kind, the Quiet Ones, 8:30 pm, 21+

Friday, March 20: SOUNDCHECK with Akimbo, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, Patrol. 8:00 pm, 21+

There are no advance tickets for either show; so it’s first-come, first-served. Get there early, since the new hand built pizza oven at Via Tribulani will be fired up and ready to feed you. See you there after our meetup at Oddfellows, OK?

(press release after the jump)

the knee high is open [olive way remains so hot right now]

photo by david choe / invisible hour [flickr]; more in his knee high photoset [#].

The Knee High, a speakeasy-themed bar opened quietly over the weekend. They’ve taken over the small space left by Il Forno, the quiet pizza parlor on the street level of triangular apartment building occupying the intersection of Olive and Bellevue [#] that closed last fall.

When I dropped in early Saturday the evening, proprietor Jack Valko was stationed in the velvet curtained vestibule greeting curious visitors. Inside, the cherub mirror mural survived the remodel [#], which brought mottled blue walls, glitzy chandeliers, several cozily arranged tables, and a bar that fills the back of the room. The menu features a couple pages of clever Prohibition-inspired cocktails and a small menu. Around our table good things were said about most of the drinks (priced in the $7ish range), a chicken pot pie seemed well received, and I was especially thrilled to find among the food selections a pretzel with rarebit. This, alone, would have enough to win me over. Paired with the more sour than sweet drinks, though, the place enters cat’s pajamas territory.

The place was comfortably full when I left and rumor has it that crowds arrived throughout the evening; so it sounds like they’re off to a good start. I hope to return early and often to make my way through the cocktail list.

// the knee high; 1356 Olive Way.

Bifrost Six Ways

Last night the Elysian on Capitol Hill was the sight of the Winter Beer Festival. This morning, my tiny studio apartment is the sight of a massive hangover. Metblogs does the heavy lifting so you don’t have to.

It was easy to pass up the sampler of guest taps to experience six different versions of Bifrost from two different vintages. (Yes, I am talking about vintages and beer.) This was the lineup:

1) Bifrost 2008
2) Jack Frost (aged in second-use Jack Daniels barrels)
3) Oak Frost (conditioned with French Oak staves for one month)
4) Brett Frost (re-inoclulated with Brettanomyces and aged in a Cabernet barrel)
5) Bifrost 2007
6) Cask Bye-Bye Frost 2007

The Jack Frost and Oak Frost were both very good; like the judicious use of oak on a good wine, these beers had added complexity. The 2007s seemed a little faded; more of a curiosity that a good example of an age-worthy beer. (This is why you get the sampler rather than committing to just one. And this is not a metaphor for life, I am just talking about beer.)

The clear winner that was so good I had to run to the ATM and come back for a schooner (only because the Elysian would not pour a pint for liability reasons) was the Brett Frost. I am familiar with Brettanomyces (a non-spore forming genus of yeast, duh) from the world of wine and my understanding is that the Brett found in wine is at best funky and at worst disgusting. The addition of Brett to the Bifrost, however, transformed the beer into something akin to a strong Belgian farmhouse ale; it was a delicious and deadly sipper.

Now enjoy the finest in cell phone camera technology; this crap photo looks like it was taken by my poor liver, which was worked harder than a rented mule:

(Or was it the tequila and mescal-soaked karaoke at Jalisco’s in Queen Anne afterwords where the real damage took place?)

tuesday agenda: Happy Birthday Linda’s

photo by joshc [flickr]. the dust on that buffalo is vintage.

Tonight marks the fifteenth birthday of Linda’s, Capitol Hill’s most favorite pseudo-Montana tavern. Really though, the thematic qualification is hardly needed: as the flagship in the increasingly wonderful fleet launched by Linda Derschang three-quarter score years ago, it’s practically the neighborhood’s living room and back patio.

Tonight beer prices drop to 1994 levels (perfect for the economic climate!) and the first people to show up to pay their respects get commemorative T-shirts; so it should be even more of a fun Tuesday night than usual.

related: On the occasion of the bar’s tenth birthday, the P-I profiled Linda [p-i]. Since then Viceroy is now Rob Roy and she’s opened Smith on 15th, King’s Hardware in Ballard, and Oddfellows in Capitol Hill, making it possible to find great comfortable drinking throughout the city limits.

John Roderick on the new Crocodile

It’s time for a new round of Crocodile-related nostalgia, now that the new/old space is creeping ever closer to being finished, tickets are starting to be on sale, and bands are listing the venue in their tour schedules. John Roderick went in to the unfinished space and took a good look around [SW]:

I was excited to see it, but a little reluctant too, dreading the prospect that they’d remodeled it into some Belltown bridge-and-tunnel meat market. Don’t get me wrong: I didn’t treasure the decor of the old Crocodile. But it was a completely unpretentious, utilitarian space, and there are a thousand ways they could have gotten it wrong in trying to transform it into something new. The first person I saw wearing Armani Exchange was going to get a kick in the biscuits.

I am really, really excited for this reopening.

Tonight: Metblogs Meetup @ Odd Fellows

Party Penguin by Slightlynorth

Party Penguin by Slightlynorth

Join us at Odd Fellows (1525 10th Ave Capitol Hill) for drinks, discussion, and to hang out. We’re combining tonight’s meeting with a town-hall style discussion on the future of the news in Seattle, emphasis on the sale/closure of the Seattle-PI. We’ll be there from 6:30pm to whenever things wind up. Drop by for a drink, stay for a few hours…anything goes!

Readings, signings, et cetera

for Saturday, December 27, 2008

7:00 – 9:30 PM: Even writers like to spend the holidays at home, so not much is happening around town until after the new year; however, John Cohassey will be at the Rendezvous in Belltown, tomorrow. Cohassey is promoting his book, American Culture Rebels: Avant Garde and Bohemian Artists. After his talk, Ramona will play some hip-hop and electronica.

Cohassey and Roy Kotynek spent years researching and writing American Culture Rebels. From the press release: “The book focuses on American artists from all disciples [ed.- I think they mean disciplines.] and their influence on counter culture movements from the 1850s through the 1960s. It starts with transcendentalists Thoreau and Emerson, and ends with Allen Ginsburg, Bob Dylan and The Doors. In between, they discuss Georgia O’Keefe, Ezra Pound, Ken Kesey, Walt Whitman, Jack Kerouac and many more.”
This event is 21 and over.

Update from The Bus Stop

It feels like we have been waiting for The Bus Stop to open in its new location on Olive and Denny for forever, and last week a little birdie told me that their final inspections were nearly done and that it could be open as soon as two days ago. And then this weather happened, and everything shut down.

Today, we were given another update. The good news is that, if you can get there, you might be able to drink as soon as tonight! The bad news is, you know, that Snowmegeddon is on its way.

“So the good news is that we’ve passed all our inspections, have a liquor license, and alcohol on premises. The bad news is that due to bad weather we do not have a credit card machine, a soda gun, foam/apholstry for the bench seats, sound equipment, paper products for the bathrooms, garbage service, or neon for the windows. We are doing our best to get all of these taken care of, and still may open as early as tonight (Dec 20th).

If we do open please be patient as we won’t be able to take credit or debit cards. Again we are working as hard as we can to get this resolved but with the weather keeping our vendors closed there is little we can do.”

I can’t wait to start drinking at The Bus Stop again, so hopefully the weather will cut all of us and our livers a break very soon.

Northwest Punk Explosion

My favorite local punk rock band The Damage Done are playing an All Ages show with Anchor Down, No Secrets Between Sailors and more tonight at King Cobra. It should be one hell of a time.

I’ve you’ve never heard The Damage Done but are a fan of Alkaline Trio, J Church, Lawrence Arms, Rise Against, etc you should definitely check them out. I saw them open for The Independents awhile back and they reminded me of good, old punk rock I used to listen to when I was a teenager.

Thanks to The Damage Done for use of their flier.

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