They call it a city for a reason…

From the 24th and Marion mailing list regarding a proposed small bar at 25th and union that Erin Nestor and Rebecca Denk of the Bottleneck Lounge want to open:

“There are a handful of neighbors that are very opposed to this project.  They do not want a bar as their neighbor… matter what type.”

I’m truly at a loss for words here. Bars are the types of establishments that give neighborhoods character. They become meeting places and centers of community. Perhaps those that object would prefer to move to the anti-social suburbs?

“They are concerned about drunk driving, noise from people coming and leaving the venue, and parking issues.”

Neighborhood bars like the one proposed at 25th and Union probably do more to discourage drunk driving by *gasp* encouraging people to walk to their neighborhood bar. Look at capitol hill, nearly no one who lives on the hill actually drives to the bar. People take cabs, ride bikes and walk. I don’t necessarily think Union and 23rd to 25th needs to have the same level of activity as pike/pine in capitol hill, but it would be really nice to have some sort of life on that street after dark, as oppose to drug pushing. Oh and good neighbors please get used to the fact that non of us are entitled to free street parking.

Anyway we can all help:

“Erin and Rebecca have invited us to send letters of support to the WA State Liquor Board.

Here is the address:

Washington State Liquor Control Board
Licensing and Regulation
PO Box 43098
Olympia, WA  98504-3098
Attention: Dean Lau

Liquor license #: 403447
1137 25th Ave. Unit E”

12 Responses to “They call it a city for a reason…”

  1. Sabina Pade

    Amen! And well argued.

  2. JesseJB

    Are you crazy?!

    We are supposed to wake up, go to work, come home and not leave the house for any reason whatsoever. Or at least thats what Greg Nickels told me in a dream.

  3. Bobby

    “People take cabs, ride bike and walk”

    So when is bike riding under the influence legal ?

  4. NBeacon Jon

    Well, maybe, just maybe now, they are considering the neighborhood as a whole? Have you actually been to 25th and Union? I ride by there every day. Putting a bar there probably won’t help a struggling neighborhood that is already weary of crime.

  5. Sabina Pade

    On the contrary, NBJon, bars are precisely the sort of public places policemen, uniformed and non-uniformed alike, can frequent with an eye to the goings-on in a neighbourhood.

  6. johna

    I think your points are generally true, but simplistic. As NBeacon Jon (#4) points out, this is a more complicated situation than it seems. I think some people around here know, as certainly everyone around 23rd and Union does, that that area has declined precipitously over the last couple of years. Primarily because, as people worked to clean up the Madison Ave corridor (which, ironically, is what made places like the Bottleneck and Crush possibly profitable), 23rd and Union has had the misfortune of soaking up most of the badness from the corner formerly know as Deano’s.

    In this context, it’s easy to see the neighbor’s opposition – who wants another Deano’s, especialy on their block? I think if you filter most of their statements through the idea of a Deano’s type of experience, their anti-local neighborhood points all of a sudden become very real and valid.

    Now, anyone who knows Erin and Rebecca at all knows that they would never open anything remotely Deano’s like; I mean just look at the name – “Tryst”. But still, this requires getting to know them, so unless they’re willing to do the outreach to the community, I think this kind of opposition is natural and justified, albeit in this case unfortunate and misguided.

  7. Dave

    Re: Bobby at (3)
    I’ll point you to the relevent RCW

    According to the law, riding on a bike while intoxicated is not strictly illegal. If an officer pulls over a cyclist who they suspect of being intoxicate they officer may offer to transport the rider home. If the rider declines, the officer may choose to impound the riders bicycle “if the officer determines that impoundment is necessary to reduce a threat to public safety.”

    Re: johna at (6)

    I’m not against our neighbors having input into the type of establishments opened in our neighborhood. My annoyance is with the NIMBYs who object to any option that doesn’t fit their narrow single family view of the world. Bars can be very positive additions to neighborhoods, especially bars such as the bottleneck that have a really nice chilled, laid back vibe. We’re not talking about opening another Deano’s here.

  8. Phuong

    I live on 21st and Union and have noticed the big influx of “unsavory” activities since the clean up on Madison. The area in front of my house is a open air drug market. The idea of a bar like Tryst is welcomed in my eyes. The CD is need of an injection of spaces where the neighborhood can come together. People on the streets be it bangers or neighbors is a good thing. Most of those bangers and their family have been in this neighborhood way longer then any of us and they gotta eat too. I have no problems with the dealers…they’ve been doing it forever and I don’t expect that to change. This NIMBY thing is just gotta push it to another area anyways. Why not deal with it for what it is. As long as we get out on the streets like trekking down to our neighborhood watering hole, then we are creating a more vibrant neighborhood. We are the ones that can make it safe by engaging our neighbors and neighborhood bangers. Erin and Rebecca, I’ll be writing into the liquor board supporting you guys. Let’s keep that space on the up and up when you get it up. :)

  9. NBeacon Jon

    …and I don’t mean to infer the place will not be run well/look nice/be a positive addition to the community. I just pointed out what may be causing your neighbors concern. Heck, I’ll stop by on my way home probably when you open. :)
    …but I won’t have too many else the Bianchi might get impounded. :o

  10. johna

    And like NBeacon John I’m not implying that Tryst would be anything other than a positive force in the neighborhood. My point was that encouraging neighborhood congregation is not in and of itself a good thing – there are complicating factors involved. I’ve lived in neighborhoods that have been slowly taken over by drugs and crime, and had the experience of dreading yet another place opening that caters to that element. There was actually a bar in Brooklyn near my friend’s house called “Cokie’s” – not the kind of place you’d want to spend any time at all.

    The environment has to be one where all neighbors feel welcome. And I totally know that Tryst will be one of those places, and I’m confident that once the objecting neighbors find out what sort of establishment the owners intend on, er, establishing, they will be both relieved and excited. They just need to know. Unless this is simply mindless NIMBYism, in which case they should just be ignored.

  11. mistamatic

    I took a chance and emailed the LCB regarding the Tryst lounge getting a license at 24th & Union and it seems to have worked fine…got a response and everything:


    The guy handling the comments is actually named Merwil V. Guzman, so people may want to change whose attn: the mail goes to.

  12. JenMoon

    My comments: “oh, please, yes” and “tell me who my neighbors are opposing this so I can start canvassing”. The only reason I don’t visit the Bottleneck more often is it’s too far a walk in the dark tipsy. I live 2 blocks from 25th and Union as do about 10 of my friends. This would be such a great thing for us and the right vibe as well especially if they serve a little food.

    The more the merrier on Union. More establishments will upgrade the neighborhood and get more eyes, not fewer.

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