Erin Brindley and Terry Podgorski, the co-founders/co-Artistic Directors of Café Nordo are looking for help to fulfill an artistic dream. The Nordo Team made their debut nearly a decade ago as a “hybrid of the pop-up restaurant and underground theater” by staging their unique cabaret dinner theater pieces at a variety of unlikely venues all over the city to great acclaim before moving into their permanent home in Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square neighborhood in 2015.
The company took over part of the building formerly occupied by Elliott Bay Books (before they decamped to Capitol Hill) but long cherished the idea of taking over more of that space to open a second performing venue showcasing a wider variety of entertainment.
After long negotiations and planning, that dream is starting to come true. Nordo has signed a lease to take over the rest of the lower level space, the area that used to be Elliot Bay’s reading room and café, to turn it into THE KNIFE ROOM, a new cabaret space that will showcase live music and theater in a more intimate setting.
They’re actually already using the new room, to great success, (including their new Jazz series) while they continue to make changes and build out the space. But, Brindley and Podgorski could use some help from the community to make the new space a top notch arts destination…more info in their letter down below with links to help with donations.
Frankly, we think this is a great idea. Pioneer Square is a sadly under utilized arts and entertainment neighborhood, which is odd considering its great beauty and place as the birthplace of the city of Seattle. A combination of things contribute to the lack of “arty fun” in that hood…it’s too close to the big sports stadiums which means there are a lot of sports bars and rowdier types of entertainment venues, none of which are conducive to the artier side of the entertainment spectrum. There’s the issue of the very large homeless population which deters some people from enjoying the neighborhood after dark. There used to be many art galleries in that part of town, but many of them have closed up shop. It’s a neighborhood that can’t quite define itself…homeless people living side by side with tech workers living in pricey lofts; tourists milling about in the daytime and drunk sports fans/frat boys rampaging at night. Pioneer Square is a confusing place, despite its charm and history, and the presence of the Nordo Team is an important step into re-building a strong base for the arts in that part of Seattle.