While I appreciate your nostalgia, calling a nine year old bar a "granddad" and "legendary trendsetter" is rather amusing, especially for anyone who remembers Ernie Steele's.
Mat and Lisa who?
Shoot, The Roanoke has had the Seahawks and peanuts in the shell on Sundays for going on 20 years.
It got a wrap as being too hipster but that's pretty much because it's the only bar in the area where someone living on an artist's salary could afford to drink. Really one of the only places on the Hill that felt as welcoming to a young professional in a dress shirt as to a tatted-up punk. Just good folks all around. I'd be more distraught but this was a well-known secret and I've pretty much mourned the death of the Hill at this point. Glad they've got another year in them. Good job summing up the futility of anger, Tobias.
Uh, no. It's not the granddaddy of anything.
For the record, Pony replaced the Cha Cha before the development. It only existed because the other bars were temporarily vacant due to the tear-down.

And how can you forget the Man Ray?! That place's closure has left a hole in my heart no other gay bar can fill.
The last time I was there, a few months ago, the peanuts were no longer free. And that was really the motivation to go.
Density for thee, but not for me, eh?
This is probably the most pragmatic piece I've read on the changing face of Capitol Hill in the Stranger, well done. Cumulatively, I have spent more time in the Redwood than any other bar in that neighborhood, and so I have loved it but figured this was coming some day. Single-story small commercial establishments on the Hill are part of its past; the land is too well-situated, too valuable, and there are too many moneyed people moving to Seattle to have it any other way.
I remember being annoyed when the new hipster bar moved into the spot where I used to be able to do laundry, drink a PBR, and use the wifi--simultaneously!!! That was the best laundromat ever.
Jesus, nine years? Feels like yesterday.
That place is closing because the jack ass owner of the oak (Jeff macisaac) ran it into the ground and chased the staff away.
2,000 bucks a month? cheaper than most apartments on the hill now.
People want more fucking density then get all pissed off when it happens. Seriously folks, quit your whining. The bar can find a new lease.
Didja ask them their thoughts on &$15/hr MW? All this funny talk about how much harder it is on Capitol Hill to operate in the development climate that small biz's are under...but you write about the burden of rent, but don't you know that payroll is a larger % BY FAR of a small businesses operating budget.

The bigger guys'll have little problem with it. Bars like Redwood? I wonder.
Back when I was a VERY young Catalina, and that was a VERY old laundromat (before it became a hipster laundromat) I was in there alone one late night with someone who (I think) fancied himself Seattle's answer to Tom of Finland. He was dressed all in leather, doing his laundry.

He wasn't bad looking, and he was flirting with me something terrible, but the combination of laundromat and leather daddy just made me giggle.
Losing the Redwood cuts deep. It was never annoying going there. Ok, I guess we'll all meet somewhere in Beacon hill in 3 years.
There are so many bars on Capitol Hill.
@7 if you were getting charged for peanuts then someone was pulling a fast one on ya.
This is a really well-written piece on the changing nature of Capitol Hill, except for the fact that the whole reason why it was the "weird and fun" neighborhood that you remember in the first place is because of money and gentrification. Which isn't me being a wrist-slapping buzzkill! I cut my early-adulthood teeth at the Redwood and Linda's and the DIY spaces like Atlas and HTFC that have also closed their doors. But those places had already displaced an existing Capitol Hill neighborhood.
Bummer, I will miss urinating in the men's room sink every time I visit!
As everyone else said: doesn't the Stranger positively love density, and want rental prices lowered? Can't have the latter without the former, and more apartments. They were getting a steal on rent in a space that was being used horribly inefficiently.

It was and is a favorite bar in town, but let's be honest: it isn't old, it isn't a granddaddy of anything, and it's gone downhill a lot in the last few years.

But it was a great place for a (slooooooow) boozy vegan brunch while watching football, even if it's taplist was always depressing.

When the Monk closes, then you can write this piece.
Join the Capitol Hill migration and come down to Georgetown!
If you don't want to be at the mercy of landlords, you have to become a landlord. But commercial properties are more expensive and harder to finance than residential. One solution might be distributed ownership, particularly in the form of worker-owned collectives. If we don't want to continue sacrificing community on the altar of self-serving capitalism we need to rethink how we structure businesses, otherwise we're all just living year to year at the mercy of people for whom money is the top, if not only, priority.
Hahaha. One man's progress is another mans gettin' tired.
Just another reason I need to move out of Capitol Hill. But to where do I go?
@26 Go south, young man!
RIP Redwood. The only two bars I ever felt were home -- Redwood, and Bus Stop. I remember sitting on the floor watching the Biden / Palin debates with a packed house. Next time I'm in town again, I'll pay my dues.
Please don't move south. Its bad enough with all the people who wish they could live in green lake
Get used to this, Seattle, you'll be SF in no time.

Oh yeah, your new lease just doubled, gotta move to FIFE.

I agree it's a shame this place is closing, but this article is so off-base it's ridiculous. Where are the journalistic standards?

1) The 12th Man has been around for decades (the "12" jersey was retired by the team in 1984). Not to mention, the Seahawks went to the Superbowl in early 2006 (just before this bar opened), so your attempt to make it sound like they "liked the Seahawks before it was cool" is misguided.

2) The Pine block with Cha Cha, Bus Stop, etc. wasn't shut down until 2007, over a year and a half after the Redwood opened. When it first opened, it wasn't replacing anything.

3) This place was in no way a trendsetter. If anything, it copied what many others have done with the lumberjack thing. Have you ever heard of Linda's (way older) or King's (opened around the same time), among many others ? Also, you're citing sweet potato fries and grass-fed meat as your examples of them being a trendsetter in 2006? Really? Just because you experienced it here first, doesn't mean they set any trends. Honestly, this place always struck me as derivative above all else.

I could keep going but what's the point?

Again, this is a fine bar and will leave a void, no doubt, but this article is wrong on so many levels and with so many facts it's hard to ignore.
@30 - Have you ever been to SF? Yes, it is insanely expensive, but they actually have a ton of dive bars left (much more than Seattle).
I've been to the Redwood less than a dozen times so I can't speak to quality, nostalgia etc. But this piece, in addition to being nicely written, really captures the role that hungry capital plays in disrupting neighborhoods. Seattle is awash in investor capital looking to buy and/or build apartments in Seattle, and Capitol Hill is their golden child for all the reasons you can imagine. There really isn't much anyone can do about that, except to enjoy and appreciate these wonderful establishments while they exist.
So it goes. There really are more important things in the world that hip places to see and be seen.
I do not really care much that you have made up a bunch of bullshit in order to write an article. Normally I do not care if people make up stuff and print it. Like Fox news in general or Sara Palin with her Obamacare is going to create death panels crap.

People make things up to cause less informed people to get riled up and think the way you want them to all the time.

Been going on for many many years and will keep going on.

Some reporters will simply make up their own facts to make the story sound better.

Like saying I “likely doesn’t have much of a stake in the cultural fate of the cultural fate of the neighborhood”

when in fact I have lived in the neighborhood longer than you have “likely” been alive.

And “he’s old enough to give a shit less about bars” when in fact I OWN A BAR in Seattle! And I own two buildings that house bars.

I don’t make up facts but I will make a guess that you do not, never have and never will own a bar.

And this one “he doesn’t have any motivation not to take the millions of dollars he will get from a developer and go retire comfortably”.

Who are these developers that are going to give me “millions of dollars”? I have no idea. Do you have some knowledge that I do not?

Could you please tell me who exactly they are so I could talk to them?

You statement “the bar that successfully fought off a very concerted effort by a few NIMBY neighbors to keep it from opening” would

be far more accurate if you said the owner of the building successfully fought off…as I was the one the city sued and I am the one that had to fight with Tom Carr

to keep the Redwood open.

I really do not care how many “facts” you want to make up in order to get your story in the paper.

None of the stuff you, Sara Palin or Fox news makes up really matters to me much.

It is kind of a pain explaining to my work that I am not retiring and it is just something the reporter just made up to make the story more interesting.

Fortunately the folks at my work realize that some reports will say anything to try to make the story more interesting.

But the part that goes like "He lives in the building behind the bar" followed by "he asked Brooke to maintain his anonymity" really pisses me off.

Even though reports make stuff up to make their story more interesting or just accept as fact what someone says without verifying it I always

thought they were bound by some sort of ethical code where you honor a person’s request to remain anonymous.

Maybe they did not teach you in reporter school that even worse than publishing a person’s name is publishing their address.

You and the Stranger should be ashamed of yourself.

All of Seattle should know that if the Strange tells you they will keep your identity private that does not include your address.

About the only thing you got right is that I am not an asshole but I certainly wonder about you.
This idiot of a "reporter" studied journalism at Evergreen it any wonder then why it is such a shitty article with made up BS in it?

SLOG is in the toilet.

This was an interesting article, and it does seem that the cities with the most character today are those with bad economies (Portland and Austin being a couple of examples).

However, historically, there have been a number of wealthy city neighborhoods that have also maintained unique, culturally rich personalities. Cambridge, MA or Providence, RI's eastside in the early 90's were great examples of this. I'm sure there were parts of NYC in the 80's where you probably could have said the same. While these neighborhoods were extremely wealthy, they were also loaded with galleries, vintage shops, used record stores & book stores, punk clubs, boutiques, dive bars and upscale bars, etc...

I think the problem isn't with the influx of money itself, but the values and desires of the currently wealthy that have changed.
Older Rich White "Progressives" - We need more density, just don't build over my view!
Younger Broker White "Progressives" - We need more density, just don't build over my favourite dive bar!

So much NIMBY BS in such a "Progressive" town.
This article didn't mention Jeffrey Montaño at all.


Jeffrey Montaño
I keep getting asked why I am kicking the redwood out of my building.

I am not.

This articular is BULL SHIT.

The Redwood's lease is expiring at the end of the year.

Most likely your lease for your apartment is expiring within a year. Does that mean you are getting kicked out of your apartment?

My guess would be that the Strangers lease is going to expire within a few years. Does that mean the Stranger is closing?

The Redwood, like most every other commercial building in the country, has a lease that will expire. That does not mean the lease will not be extended. That does not mean it is closing.

Had the author of this story bother to ask for the real facts there would be no story.

Perhaps that is why he did not ask.

Please wait...

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