In which a shall-we-say "well-seasoned" journalist takes a walk on the wilder side, and finds he's not entirely alone when it comes to older folks partaking of Capitol Hill nightlife.
A new venue for electronic music in a century-old garage at Broadway and Pike, a nightclub named Q opened this weekend. At 12,000 square feet, with room for 700 party-goers, it's the same size, give or take, as the Showbox or the Last Supper Club. The owners hope it marks the beginning of an exodus of clubs away from Pioneer Square.
Co-owner and managing partner Scott Smith has done this before, in NYC's Chelsea district, where he created a high-tech, high-design club and gay bar called xl, the first nightclub in the country to feature computer-aided LED lighting..Q, he says, will be "a neighborhood club where you can expect exceptional music every day of the week."
Cornichon went for a look as a guest of the management.
Sidewalk: Velvet ropes on the Broadway sidewalk, half a dozen large and extremely courteous security guys and tiny, extremely polite young women with clipoards
Corridor: long, narrow and undulating, concrete wall on one side, glossy finish on other, with photobooth at the end and another check point where more extremely polite young women stamp your hand, offer glass of Champagne.
Interior: Sleek, spacious, with 18-foot ceilings. Designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, built by Dovetail General Contractors, multiple levels with serpentine walls, platforms, alcoves, drink rails.
Bars: Main bar is dazzling white, stocked with enough spirits to inebriate several seasons of "Mad Men." (Barman makes us Negroni on the rocks.) "Bourbon bar" behind the DJ stand is walnut-paneled.
Food: Staff circulates with tasty sliders (from the outside catering firm--no onsite kitchen--of Duos Catering) and deviled eggs. Put napkin down and a gent wearing a Q shirt asks politely if he can remove it.
Music: electronic, as promised. Funktion One sound system unique on west coast. Speakers are normally purple, but that would have clashed with the interior design (by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson), so they're powdered-coated white. Employees will be outfitted with earplugs, which will keep them smiling and genial.
DJ's: Quentin Harris and DJ Little Rock will alternate. DJ Nark is creative director.
Lighting: Las Vegas outfit called SJ Lighting rigged 4 disco balls, 47 spots, 25 moving heads, 388 LED panels. Green, purple, bright white.
Balcony: You can almost reach out and touch the gyrating lights as they cast their beams on the dance floor below. Built into the wall: vents that occasionally emit blasts of mist. Should you set your drink on the ledge, an extremely polite security dude will remind you to keep at least one hand on the glass.
Weekly feature: KEXP's Riz Rollins will serve as DJ and "musical spirit guide" for Sunday afternoon "tea dances"
Dance floor: Empty, perhaps because it's still early. Surrounded by chairs, though.
Distinguished guest: Sitting in one of those chairs, an elegant Joe Biden look-alike is actually co-owner Scott Smith's dad, 72-year-old Lacey T. Smith from Louisville, Ky, dressed in blazer, French cuffs, paisely tie. A former state legislator and retired lawyer (Harvard Law School), Smith is the author of "Get It!" Subtitle is: "Street-Smart Negotiation at Work: How Emotions Get What You Want." Mr. Smith looked very satisfied with his son's accomplishments.
Q, 1426 Broadway, 206-432-9306. Website: qcapitolhill.com
This post first appeared on Eater.com