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March 4, 2013 Comments Off on The Fate Of The Social Decided Today…And, KOMO Gets In On The Bandwagon Views: 1485 Bars & Nightclubs, Nightlife

The Fate Of The Social Decided Today…And, KOMO Gets In On The Bandwagon

Troubled Capitol Hill nightlife venue The Social. Image: screen shot from KOMO TV.

Troubled Capitol Hill nightlife venue The Social. Image: screen shot from KOMO TV.

Big media finally got in on the controversy surrounding the Pterodactyl Group’s disastrous Capitol Hill night club, The Social, located at 1715 East Olive Way. KOMO TV is reporting on the club’s problematic relationship with its neighbors as well as today’s hearing on The Social’s liquor license status…the venue has been operating under a temporary license since it opened last May.

The report from KOMO is oddly titled: “Neighbors: Capitol Hill nightclub a ‘disaster,’ ‘nightmare'” which makes it sound like the article is about the long established LGBT club, Neighbours and not The Social…several commentators on the post have noted the problems with the confusing headline. (And, there are already plenty of rumors floating around out there about the status of Neighbours…alleged declining attendance, in addition to the increased value of the real estate and increased competition from newer clubs like Q and aggressive programming from R Place, have left many wondering if Neighbours can compete in the new gentrified world of Capitol Hill queer night life…)

As for The Social’s actual neighbors, both residential and commercial residents are increasingly at odds with the venue with charges of violation of the noise ordinance and issues with rowdy crowds at the club on weekends that include issues with noise, vandalism and littering. Other Capitol Hill residents have issues with The Social’s valet parking service which blocks traffic on busy Olive Way on weekend nights

Those complaints will probably be held against the club as the fate of the floundering venue is likely to be decided today at the hearing at King County Courthouse…or, not. According to Capitol Hill Seattle, The Pterodactyl Group has filed suit against the Washington State Liquor Control Board.

According to court documents, The Social’s ownership took the liquor control board to court in an attempt to win an injunction and restore the club’s ability to legally sell booze. Attorneys for The Social also took the unusual steps of attempting to sue the state for damages based on the decisions to suspend the licenses alleging the club will lose $3,000 each weekday and $25,000 each weekend day it is not operating. Additionally, the lawyers contend that The Social cost more than $700,000 to build before its 2012 opening. Lawyers also warned the court that the club’s closure would mean 42 people could lose their jobs.

A response from the State Attorney General denied many of the complaint’s allegations of wrongdoing by the board and countered that the state cannot be subject to civil damages. The AG’s response documents that The Social will need to pursue a “judicial review” and appeal any final decision by the board at a later date.

Generally speaking, it’s not a profitable idea to sue government agencies..they tend to win. And, it’s seldom wise to piss off a Liquor Board if you own a company with multiple liquor licenses…

More as it develops.

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