Capitol Hill, Seattle
At one time this 1928 structure housed an auto dealership combined with the dealer's mechanic shop. In 2003 this became the first bowling alley to open in Seattle in 40 years.
The market for this type of establishment has proven very brisk, and even on a Sunday night it was possible to find all of the billiard tables in use as well as all the bowling lanes. As they don't take reservations in most circumstances, it can be hit or miss as to if you get a spot. This is especially the case if there are large parties that have reserved parts of the establishment.
Despite the heavy use, the pool tables seem to be kept in fairly good condition.
Prices depend on the day and time of day, and rates are listed on the web site. For example, every day from 3pm to 7pm is a "happy hour special" on the billiard tables, at $5 per hour ($5.48 including tax). Tuesday through Thursday it is $11 per hour 7pm to 10pm. Friday and Saturday from 7 to close (usually 2 am) is peak period, and the price is $14 per hour.
Bowling lane rates are $25 per hour peak hours on Friday and Saturday, and are $10 per lane per hour at their cheapest.
Certain areas of the facility are open to minors until 10, but for the most part the establishment is 21 and over only.
There is a fairly complete bar and restaurant inside, between the ground floor bowling lanes and the room filled with billiard tables.
Dress Code: Pretty much anything goes here, so long as the vitals are covered. Generally people are reasonably well dressed, but you do have to keep your arms and legs free for bowling and for billiards.
Sugar is now my favorite gay club in Seattle. I have ventured to a few of them w/ my good friend who is gay. If you don't mind watching hot boys dance on the bar (what girl wouldn't) and some top 40 music, then you can have some serious fun here. If you are shy of a little guy on guy making out then you should probably stay away from Capitol Hill in general. The lighting and decor reminded me of "South Beach Chic" it is a very beautiful spot. Upstairs has a seperate VIP section on one side of the building and the other 1/2 of the upstairs overlooks the dancefloor. The bar never seemed to be too crowded to get a drink in under 5 minutes. The dancefloor was packed but had tons of room. I just had a great time and will definately go back.
Be careful, they had a photographer all over the place...you may end up on their website :)
Friday was $5 cover
Dress Code: Designer casual, expensive jeans and a nice shirt, no tennis shoes. Gay guys in Seattle wear very nice clothes.
The Chapel Bar
1600 Melrose Avenue * Seattle, WA 98122 * P 206.447.4180 * F 206.447.9777 * firstname.lastname@example.org
Off of Melrose in the edge of Capital Hill merging into downtown lies a old church nestled into a block with businesses and apartment buildings that has been converted to a exquisite martini bar. It was built in the 1920's as part of the Butterworth's Mortuary as a place to honor the physical world passing into the spiritual world. Its is off this theme that the bar still thrives - bringing together people to honor one another, but in a different way. Its both a bar and a restaurant, serving fine food, fine spirits, and merging in culture, arts, and music. The drinks while higher priced are fabulously delicious. I haven't tried the food but I've heard excellent things. This is a top-notch establishment. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.
A good vibe, intimate club with a small dance floor and swanky bar. Every night there a music theme. My favorite is "I love Shiva", where all types of people dance together to a fusion of live musicians and a DJ spinning Bombay beats.
Dress Code: Dress nicely. Nothing too formal yet not too casual.
You will find me here at least once a month if not more for Drum & Bass Tuesdays. World renouned Drum & Bass DJs on a Tuesday night, I know sounds crazy right? Well its apparently been going on for the last 8 years. On any given Tuesday you will find local and (usually UK) other DJs tearing the turntables up. Be prepared for a late night as the local crowd that frequents doesn't show up until the headliner hits the stage usually at midnite. But if you get there early you can get your drink on w/ $3 wells until 11pm. Cover ranges from Free (for local djs only) to $12 for a big name.
War Room is open everyday of the week, although I've only go on Tuesdays. Went Saturday once... its hip hop, but got too trendy for me...only went once. Happy hour would be cool if I lived closer. 4 - 9pm on the top floor deck.
Check out the decor on the website. It's really nice. Dark wood, black leather cushions, dim lighting, and a red glow.
Dress Code: Jeans and a nice shirt works for hip hop night. Usually it doesn't really matter.
A new night - premiere if not a solitary occurence, a night set of carnival and cabaret fun. Doors open at 9, cover was $4 unless you come in costume. Strong drinks, good music. However the first night for whatever reason was poorly attended. What they put together was a good plan and a good start. Rating 2 stars out of 5. We'll revisit if it happens again.
Dress Code: Costume preferred
The Vogue - 1516 11th Ave, Seattle, WashingtonStarting around 9 pm, $3 cover, DJ Eternal Darkness mesmerizes the attendees of Dark Requiem, one of Seattle's longest running wednesday night Goth nights ... Great music and ambience, with plenty of room to dance on the dance floor - its a good night for dancing and drinking. Staff is always friendly and hospitable. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Dress Code: Dress in black
In case you haven't figured it out, Nightlife to me is seeing a band perform live or having drinks with my friends. I'm not a dance club type of girl.
That being said, it's hard to believe that Chop Suey had been open 4 years before the first time I saw a show there. Well, actually I tried to attend one about a year earlier, but it ended up being cancelled.
Like the Crocodile Cafe in Belltown, Chop Suey, which is located in the Capitol Hill neighboorhood is small, which is great for beind able to see the band. The characteristics it also unfortunately shares with the Croc are that it can be crowded and quite warm. It's helpful to dress in layers.
It's pretty much just one big open room with a railing separating the main bar area from the floor area, so you can see the band from the bar. There is, however, another bar with seating around the edge in a separate room in the back. Since the show I attended was all ages, drinks were not allowed on the floor, but I don't know if that's true during 21+ shows.
Goth. 80s. Darkwave. Industrial. Not too crowded, excellent DJ production and enchanting ... Dark Requiem will put you in a trance. Great dancefloor and visuals/screenplay. Always have a good time. Rated 4 1/2 stars out of 5.
It's been around for a long time, it's mellow, and everyone is welcome - as long as you are friendly, low key, and come with another womyn (no I did not spell that wrong).
This is a place for northwest lesbians. Generally, that means liberal politics, short hair, and minimal makeup. Men are welcome as long as they are respectful. I feel most comfortable here if I go with a lesbian friend.
The bar is the most mixed area. The pool table area tends to be just for the dykes. Some of the bar food is tastier than average. It's a very relaxed low pressure environment.
I wish some of the gay men's bars would learn a thing or two from this place - including having big windows along the sidewalk. It makes the place brighter and more welcoming.
Dress Code: Whatever you damn well please.
R Place was my favorite place to hang out with friends for a long time. We played darts, drank beer and socialized.
The bar has three levels. The lowest level is called the Living Room. It's very casual and comfortable. The Sports Lounge is on the second level. You can play darts there. Or, there is also a small dance floor on weekends. The largest is the top level where there are pool tables. This area gets really crowded on the weekends.
The place is popular with gay men aged 21 - 40. It offers a full bar selection and even some food, though the food isn't very good. It's only offered so they can serve hard liquor (the liquor laws in WA are archaic).
It's one of the friendlier bars in Seattle - but filled with groups of buddies hanging out, so don't expect for a lone visitor to have it easy unless you are friendly and outgoing.
Dress Code: Lots of jeans and T-shirts.
I'm and old guy (yes, 40 is old in the gay community - sad but true). If I want to eat a romantic meal and hold my partner's hand, we head to Thumpers. This is the last of Seattle's gay restaurants. The gay community has become so integrated that we have only one exclusively gay restaurant left.
Be wary of bars that say they serve food. In Washington, to serve a full bar you must also serve food - so many places heat up frozen chicken, toss it into a chafing dish and call it food. This is not the case at Thumpers.
The menu is decent, the prices are moderate, and the atmosphere is warm. A pleasant but smokey bar is attached.
Thumpers is also the heart of gay cabaret entertainment. Live music abounds on select nights. Reservations are good on weekends and performance nights.
Stay away from the Cadillac Grill across the street. It's horrible.
Dress Code: From jeans and a collared shirt, to suits and ties - all are appropriate.
Manray is best described as retro futuristic. Think of it as the gay bar Elroy Jetson would go to. The crowd is preppy or jocks. Lots of muscle and hair product.
Some people think there is too much attitude here. Maybe, but what would you expect from a crowd like this. This isn't the neighborhood tavern. Martini's are popular here, or the latest micro-brew. Burgers and sandwiches are served, but this really isn't a restaurant - its a bar.
Dress Code: The latest casual wear. Lots of designer jeans, khaki's, bright colors, and fashionable eyewear.
This is a Seattle style levi and leather bar - which means it really isn't hardcore. Mostly its a friendly mixed place for the 25 - 45 crowd with an occasional leather vest or harness thrown in, Some women/dykes too.
Compared to a couple leather bars I've been to in Boston, this place is tame.
There is a bar, a dance area, and an outdoor patio called "The Dog Run." The dance floor is open Friday and Saturday only.
Straight people are as rare as chicken teeth here.
Dress Code: Regular guys in jeans and a white or black T feel comfortable here. Wear black shoes. Lots of facial hair and bears - definetely a masculine vibe.
Neighbors is and has been Seattle's most popular and long lived dance club. It's also one of the largest in the city. Many straight people come here to dance. Other clubs can be very popular, but for some reason they don't seem to stay open for more than a couple years. Somehow, neighbors has endured.
The busiest nights are, of course, Friday and Saturday night. Neighbours has a cover on Wenesday - Saturday. It's $3 - $5. You enter the main club through an alley. It's usually filled with people so it's very safe.
I used to go here when I was in my 20s. But I don't go here any more. Men in their 40s are rare here.
On Friday's, I hear there is a section of the club open for the 18 - 21 crowd.
Dress Code: Everything from jeans and Ts to the latest club wear.
This is not some exclusive club. It's for everyone. Be sober, be friendly, and you will be welcome. Of course, always carry ID. You will have to show it at the door.