Food & Drink

Bar Exam

Pony Rides Again

"Dress slutty" was the dictate for the Wednesday-night edition of Pony's three opening parties last week, and compliance was creative. There was a Harlequin-man in skintight black-and-white-striped Lycra, a mustached and suspendered marching-band member, a cowboy wearing a kerchief and not much else, a hot sailor with a slightly soiled cap. A couple hours of free drinks got the evening off to a well-lubricated start, and those arriving after midnight found people having so much fun, it was kind of scary.

The original Pony was everybody's favorite limited-time-only trashy gay disco two summers ago, back in the halcyon days before the 500 block of Pine Street got razed for a condo development. The block contained approximately 27 of Seattle's best bars; you'll recall that after the Cha Cha moved out (destined for a new location on Pike Street a few blocks away), Pony moved in. (Once the entire block was demolished, some guy filed a lawsuit against the impending building for its failure to meet Seattle's Neighborhood Design Guidelines. Now the former bar-hopper's paradise is a parking lot, though one of the other bars, the Bus Stop, has also reopened elsewhere.) At the time, the theoretical-minded posited that it was the temporal nature of Pony that made it so wild and free: The bulldozers were coming, so meanwhile, we drink Colt 45 and we dance on the bar in tiny cutoff shorts and we sleaze about the place gloriously (we being, by and large, very sexy gay men).

The new Pony, on that triangle-shaped block on Madison at 12th where a florist used to be, is permanent, and yet it also runs wild. A stripper pole has been installed on the bar to facilitate bar-top dancing; the large-size cans of Crisco are absent, but the air hockey came along, as did lots of wheat-pasted full-frontal action. (Notable: a triptych of Andy Warhol darling Joe Dallesandro.) A sign proclaims "MAN'S COUNTRY / Why settle for anything less?" Over by the restrooms (marked "MEN" and "BOYS"), blown-up pages from dirty novels provide reading while you wait: "'Tonight I'm all yours,' he continued, unbuckling his belt as he stepped out of his shoes." And wait you will: Pony's bathrooms are violently striped in black and white, inviting photo shoots and all manner of locked-in shenanigans. A tiny triangular shelf awaits, upon which to temporarily rest your intoxicant, and (at least for the party) the toilet paper is extremely soft.

Outside, in the point of the triangle, is a deck enclosed by an ingenious fence made of old street signs and planks of wood. It's the shape of a ship, and it feels like one, too. "You're above the waves, but you're on the ocean!" a celebrant remarked. "But you're on a pony! Probably bareback." recommended

Pony, 1221 E Madison St

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Comments (3) RSS

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This fella Matt at Urbanlivn has a weird sidenote: "Well, I met the owner, Mark Stoner, of the (new) Pony at an Urbnlivn meetup and turns out the Pony is just an interim project until he builds condos on the site."…

While if true that knocks some pixie dust off Pony's cred for me, still I can't help hoping that master plan doesn't pencil out for a long, long time.
Posted by gloomy gus on September 9, 2009 at 12:49 PM · Report this
mmm.... pony rides for the wicked.

well, dear bethany jean clement, perhaps there is more to life than the stud farm.

any time you want to bring a gift certificate over from fremont's underwire sire, you can get a rush paint job for free...

and today there is clean soapy water with which to wash our mouths out.

just in case this is described as innuendo, remember, please remember in december
it's only curse words that bring down the heart.

Posted by dan k. on September 10, 2009 at 10:49 AM · Report this
@1: I spoke with Pony owner Mr. Stoner on the phone about the chances of the new Pony making way for condominiums, and he said: "That was the original plan, but, you know, I put so much money and time into it—it’s definitely going to be open for quite a while, and maybe it’ll just be continuous... Basically nothing will be happening anytime soon, and maybe never." If condos ever happen, they should clearly be called Pony, with Pony-the-bar on the ground floor (or in the basement!).

@2: I shall remember!
Posted by Bethany Jean Clement on September 15, 2009 at 12:29 PM · Report this

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