Who Wants to Buy Seattle Club Chop Suey? It's a Steal
Chop Suey, a funky lounge and music venue in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, is up for sale after rent in the stand-alone building rose too high. Known for its experimental streak with showcases like their Black Werido parties, but also home to concerts from the likes of Macklemore and Hawthorne Heights, Chop Suey went on the market in early August and is now listed at the "can-that-be-right?" price of $99,950.
A Coldwell Banker/Bain realtor is handling the dirt-cheap sale and describes Chop Suey, which opened in 2001, as a "very well-known nightclub, bar, lounge and event venue in vibrant Capitol Hill. This stage books tons of national and international talent and music groups. Beautiful, funky build-out."
The slightly unconventional listing urges potential buyers to check out the club as a customer but to not "alert anyone associated of the sale." Want a turn-key operation with a liquor license and a full staff already in place? This is your jam, though the listing doesn't tell you the square footage or the amount of bathrooms (or when the building was built).
According to the venue's booker, Jodi Ecklund, the rent at the 1325 E. Madison St. building is a whopping $13,000 a month. Ecklund told The Stranger that "even with a thriving club like Chop Suey, that is not sustainable. I have heard there are some interested parties and I have been contacted by a few folks for more insight. My number one concern is that if Chop Suey is purchased, I hope it is by someone who values the local music scene."
With that kind of rent, though, locals commenting on The Stranger site aren't exactly hopeful that Chop Suey will continue on as a music spot. "$13K rent? Sounds like a landlord looking for an excuse to knock down an old building and go 65' up," wrote Doug. "Good bye, sweet Chop Suey, it's been good knowin' ya," said another.
Until then it's business as usual for the club and upcoming shows include Tennessee two-piece Jeff the Brotherhood, a Bad Brains tribute and the Pizza Underground, former child actor Macaulay Culkin's pizza-fied Velvet Underground tribute band.
As noted by local blog CapitolHillSeattle.com, there was a murder at the club in 2009 and since then owners have diversified the bookings, which also includes comedy acts. According to King County Records, the building is owned by real estate developer Scott Shapiro. Other live venues in the area that have closed or altered their focus in recent years include the Electric Tea Garden and The Comet, which switched from performance venue to more of a food-and-beer joint.