Another One Bites the Dust: RIP Shorty's Pinball


Shorty's has a robust business renting out pinball machines to other bars, it would honestly be a big surprise to me if they didn't find another vaguely shitty storefront to relocate to and keep their legacy alive. No need for it to be in Belltown because fuck that area.

Tula's, on the other hand, is the real tragedy here. I don't think jazz clubs operate on very big margins and finding a new location where they an afford the rent ain't gonna be easy.
"Condos, condos, condos"? Or apartments, like the linked article actually said?
Honestly, worst news I've heard since Mama's is closing. Belltown is dead to me.
Fuck this town. Fuck Seattle. Fuck the goddamn developers. Fuck Amazon. And fuck their 'Vibrant Urban Lifestyle. '

Seattle is dead.

And I am so outta here.
gotta go w/ #5
Good riddance to the shitty Mama's Mexican but Shorty's was a cool place. RIP.
Yep, they are apartments, not condos.

In other words, exactly the density you've been kvetching for and a positive step toward reducing rents.

@5, 6 Another positive step toward reducing rents. Bye!
@5 & @6) Glad to see you go and don't bump yer ass on the way out!
The Stranger is pro density, just as long as it's in some neighborhood they'll never visit.
Damn, Shorty's was/is a staple, and Tula's is the only venue of its kind in the downtown area, that I know of... Rocco's is REALLY good pizza, and a nice looking place, besides. Why don't they tear down some shit that is outdated or obsolescent, instead?!
Is Lava lounge gonna survive? What about Rabbit Hole, Clever Bottle and the Crocodile?

Plus the other businesses on that block (Tula's has already been mentioned), including Freehold Theatre Lab, which is a pretty unique establishment itself. And with space at a premium pretty much everywhere else, it's going to be very difficult - if not outright impossible - for some of these places to relocate.

And yeah, yeah, I get the whole "more density is good" thing, but seriously, are we just going to raze every single building under four stories in this town and replace them all with crappy-looking habitrail-inspired shelter-pods? Can't we prod the developers - and their investors - to come up with something - anything - just a little more aesthetically pleasing? After all, they'll be off to another locale shortly to build more cheap-ass crackerbox buildings and rake in more truckloads of cash, but WE (those of us who can still manage to eke out a marginal existence here on our paltry five-figure salaries, anyway) have to LIVE with their creations.
Time and again we see that is the places that make a block happen are the same ones attract re-developers. I suppose it is only a coincidence that they are so often Stranger advertisers. It is almost as if the Hipster crowd is somehow adding value to existing real estate values. It is sort of a Heisenberg dilemma. One can enjoy a place or preserve it but, not both.
@10: Yes? That's perfectly in keeping.
Damn totally forgot about Freehold, hope they have some good benefactors willing to help them find and establish a new home

The people that move into the new apartments will move there on the reputation of what it was, and happily patronize whatever soulless new establishments move in. Those of us who actually experienced what it was will never go back. Sad, innit?
I loved Shorty's, RIP.

But it isn't a cultural institution. Its just a pinball/punk bar. A great time, but man, the bar for "culturally significant" seems too low in Seattle. Did something important happen there that I don't know about? They didn't do shows...
In my view its actually all the rules that mess up the designs. It is really hard to legislate beauty. It is better to give architects artistic license, and let them go nuts. That's how you get interesting buildings, especially skyscrapers, where the bones are so expensive that if you have a low-ish height limit (like 400'), you have to maximize livable area at the expense of any ornamentation.
Now wherever in Seattle will a body be able to find pinball, pizza, beer, and hot dogs? Woe betide us all!
@8, @9: if you're the types who enjoy this new Seattle, I'll gladly go party with @5 and @6 and peace the fuck outta this city. Enjoy the same thing, every day, for the rest of your time in Seattle!
What is preventing Shorty's from relocating? The space they occupied was quite small, nothing special about it. Businesses in the rest of the universe relocate all the time, landlords sell, change strategy, zoning changes happen. More important was that rabbit's warren of shithole apartments above it that could not possibly have been up to anything like code.
@8 & @9

Uhh... I don't rent, so my departure from Belltown and Seattle isn't going to help much.

Grew up in Alaska and moved to Kitsap County in '84. Moved to Seattle in '94.

It's been a good run here but it's coming to an end. Maybe I'm becoming a curmudgeon but Seattle isn't any better than it was in '96... just four times more expensive with a whole lot less soul.

To a young brogrammer who is the best and brightest of their generation who somehow managed to escape Mississippi or Iowa or wherever, Seattle might be the coolest thing since fire; but to me, this town is careening toward a soul made of plastic made by DuPont and delivered to your door by Amazon.

Enjoy your future.

@17, the cultural significance argument actually stems from the Wayne Apartments behind/above Shorty's, which are over 120 years old and (I believe) the only remaining row houses built in Belltown. I think I read somewhere that they precede the Denny regrade, not sure. Don't have those dates in my brain.
@21, nothing is preventing Shorty's from relocating, if it came to that. Avout has said they would if they were forced out, I believe.
@everyone else, why does this have to be a credibility pissing match and/or about the alleged death of Seattle? Why can't it just be about a beloved and unique strip of businesses at odds with the explosive, exciting and often extremely frustrating growth of this great city?
That whole block is vintage Seattle and it's a shame our politicians don't preserve pockets of character or implement thoughtful design standards like real cities. The 8 story earth tone Subway/apartments replacing it is sadly all too common in a city that markets it's cool image while selling out.
yes, shorty's and tula's will be gone. these were 1-story piece of shit buildings. or storefronts built on piece of shit 3-story apartments. where do you want density to happen? not downtown? you'd rather leave it to the vagrants and drug addicts?

20 years ago, what was georgetown? what was columbia city? what was tangle town? admiral junction? fuck, what was ballard? some things are getting better.
It'll be all right. One of Seattle's two bar owners will set up shop in the new space. They'll reclaim the wood from the tenement upstairs for paneled walls, put a taxidermy pinball machine overhead, and serve hot dog bahn mi sliders in honor of the place.
Another landmark dead. Another over-inflated fly-by-night clapboard housing project going in. Soon I'm out of Washington state and the city and state can bleed the new Amazonian Culture dry for revenue. I promise I'll keep The Stranger on my tablet to keep tabs on "The Decline and Fall of Seattle". Aloha suckers!
Seattle needs a Land Mark Business Preservation Board that can designate businesses as "land mark" businesses and require builders to offer then long term (100yr) leases for similar space at similar cost if they're going to replace a landmark business's building.
I'm a Belltown resident. 2nd Ave is very nice, no doubt. A walkable restaurant row is a great asset, but it easily be reclaimed. If we make those buildings historic, then we can never, ever get more housing there - which we really need. Instead, let's demand a high rise be placed there instead of a boring 5+2 building. Make it mixed income, and get ST to place a light rail stop on 3rd and Bell.

It's not appropriate for the government to declare this an historic landmark.
Perfectly written article Kelly O.
Maybe the city council should pass a law that would mandate that the developers offer the business owners who are displaced a space in the development for the same rent as they were paying. Fat chance of that as the council is pretty much in the pocket of the developers...
Development at Northgate is about increasing density. (Build whatever you want here! You can't possibly ruin Seattle's most boring neighborhood!) Development in Belltown is about cashing in on a neighborhood's "hip" reputation while simultaneously ruining its hipness, ala Capitol Hill, or cashing in on water views, or both.

And to all of you "so long Seattle!" folks -- I'm dying to know where you're moving that's so much better.

There used to be one guy here -- I don't remember his name -- who was always rhapsodizing about how great Kent and the suburbs in general were, how much better than Seattle, and it was kind of adorable, if totally unconvincing. But at least he had a place.