Every true Seattleite knows theres only one true Kraken.
Every true Seattleite knows there's only one true Kraken. Courtesy of the Seattle Kraken Bar & Lounge

The Seattle Kraken is a pirate-themed punk rock dive bar, damn it.

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The dive on the northern part of University Way, or "the Ave," has withstood the changing tides of the neighborhood. For a decade, its live music shook the windows of the ratty old college houses that are now sleek apartment buildings.

The bar owners aren't planning to close the Kraken anytime soon, but they feel their brand is in jeopardy because a certain new similarly named NHL team is scourging the good, grungy Kraken name and plans to open a Kraken Bar & Grill sports bar in Northgate at the team's new training facility just 3.6 miles away.

So, owners William Knupp, Kat Colley, and Daniel Colley sued the NHL for $3.5 million, as originally reported by the Seattle Times. What's more punk than suing a $4.4 billion sports league over the name of a sea monster?

"When we first got the word about the team name we were like 'oh, great,'" Kat Colley said. She met her husband, Daniel, at the Kraken when it was still the Irish pub, Galway Arms. When the owners wanted to sell, the Colleys jumped at the opportunity to turn the pub into a nautically-themed music venue at the same time they were planning their wedding.

"That was what we had built up," Kat said. "We were Kraken Seattle. Quickly, we got buried."

Soon, people walking by assumed the bar was associated with the new hockey team. People started coming in with hockey jerseys. The nerve! Even though they "aren't anti-hockey or anti-sports bar," Kat said, the Kraken is home to a... pretty different community. It's a place for live music, misfits, and the only sport the bar supports is competitive pinball. Wait, hold on, this theme song the local band The Subjunctives made for The Kraken describes the bar far better than words ever could:

Does the new NHL team have its own punk theme song and video? I don't fucking think so. This video should be submitted as evidence in the bar's lawsuit against the NHL.

The NHL's presence made it more difficult for the Kraken Bar & Lounge to function as it had in the past. While local bands like The Subjunctives, Kids on Fire, FCON, Heck Yes, and Ol ‘Doris are staples of The Kraken, the bar depends on searchability to attract touring bands.

"Wait 'til we book our next show and we’ve got a confused touring band trying to find our address and they wind up at Kraken Bar & Grill, the sports bar," Kat said. I simply cannot fathom it.

Mostly, it just hurts Kat to become an afterthought.

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"It's like we don’t exist anymore," Kat said. "We've been here for 10 years and now no one will think of us when you say 'the Kraken Seattle.'"

She hasn't heard back from the NHL after filing the lawsuit on Thursday.

Personally, I think now is the time to rename the hockey team. The Seattle Freeze has a really good ring to it. I even heard someone suggest the Seattle Bitch Pigeons once and I think about that name probably once a week.

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