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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

$495,000

posted by on December 18 at 10:27 AM

That’s how much the Crocodile Cafe is gonna cost you.

From the agency’s listing (it’s real, we checked, and the bolds are mine):

Seattle Area Business Opportunity

$495,000

Approx. 6,400 SF Space with (2) Bars, Kitchen, and Live Music Stage. Brand New 10 Year Lease Term. Fabulous Location on corner of 2nd Ave & Blanchard ideal for any full service restaurant or bar concept. Character-filled single story masonry building. In the Heart of Chic Belltown Scene - Txori, Zoe, Mistral, See Sound Lounge and More! An excerpt from the Seattle Weekly raves:’A central meeting place for Seattle’s world famous music scene.’ Become part of the Legend that is the Crocodile Cafe.

Thanks to Line Out Tipper Matt

RSS icon Comments

1

I'm surprised it's not higher, honestly.

But hey, if someone comes around with a real co-op plan and offers shares of the place, I might be persuaded to buy some.

Posted by tsm | December 18, 2007 10:44 AM
2

That's cheaper than the condos that are going to replace it!

Posted by John | December 18, 2007 10:45 AM
3

i got 5 on it

Posted by john | December 18, 2007 10:46 AM
4

I wonder what the rent is.

Posted by DOUG. | December 18, 2007 10:46 AM
5

How much are those noise fines again?

Posted by Cato | December 18, 2007 10:48 AM
6

If we could get 500 people to front $1,000 + $10/month and find someone to manage it decently, it could totally be viable.

Members get in free and can carry a monthly tab.

Posted by John | December 18, 2007 10:50 AM
7

It would ultimately cost a bit more than that, John, with property taxes and overhead and all, but yeah, it's theoretically viable. I'd buy a few thousand $ worth of shares if the administration seemed sufficiently clueful (that's a big "if" here, note) and they came with the appropriate legal protections, voting rights, and the like.

Posted by tsm | December 18, 2007 10:56 AM
8

@#6, what a great idea! Then for the really cool shows, with the bands that have large guarantees, you'd have 300-400 entitled alcoholic owners in attendance, and only be able to sell 150 tickets. Can't pay the bands, and oh yeah, you're losing money at the bar.

Maybe a co-op ownership model could fly, but go easy on those perks!

Posted by or not.. | December 18, 2007 10:57 AM
9

Re-bar was going for a lot less and it's way more fun...

Posted by michael strangeways | December 18, 2007 10:58 AM
10

You can't get 500 people in the Crocodile. And if you could, 500 people in free = HUGE PROFITS!

Rent's probably $20,000 a month or something. That's a big space.

Posted by Fnarf | December 18, 2007 11:01 AM
11

I'd sign up for a couple of those shares.

Posted by josh | December 18, 2007 11:02 AM
12

Who owns the building, and what (if any) is the commitment of that owner to not sell to a developer? The co-op concept is great, but I'd hate to see the Croc get bought through a surge of community only to have it squashed a year later (or less) by yet another Land Use Proposal.

Posted by genevieve | December 18, 2007 11:05 AM
13

Oh, and then, there'd be insurance. Nightclubs can get pretty expensive to ensure, and the deductibles are usually pretty high.

Posted by tsm | December 18, 2007 11:05 AM
14

I would buy it and tear it down.

It only makes more sense to develop the property into a viable business or some more housing.

sorry hipsters, go hang out in your parents basements in your girls clothes.

Posted by ecce homo | December 18, 2007 11:06 AM
15

I put that business plan together in the time it took to type it, so spare me the grief. Monthly tab means being able to carry a credit, not getting any free drinks. Maybe members get in free for shows once a month or something. Just an idea. If you're asking 500 people for $1000 + $120/year they're going to want something in return.

Posted by John | December 18, 2007 11:07 AM
16

Oh, ecce.

Posted by tsm | December 18, 2007 11:07 AM
17

Not sure if Fnarf/10 has it right. This looks like $495K for 10 years' worth of lease, with no other hidden monthly charges beyond the normal utilities and costs of running a business.

If that's actually true, then rent works out to $4125/mo, and that's assuming you pay all $495,000 of the lease up front, so assume more for interest. Is that a good deal for that part of town? Or, better put, is that a good deal for the kind of $ a mid-sized rock club can possibly pull?

Posted by Sam M. | December 18, 2007 11:11 AM
18

hah! that $495k doesn't include the lease! that's ridiculous.

Posted by john | December 18, 2007 11:17 AM
19

I hope you guys realize that you could save a lot more money and try and start a new club instead in an adjacent neighborhood with less potential noise issues. it would be healthier.

the owner is trying to make as much money out of this disaster as possible. she doesn't have interest in having something like the croc take its place as her priority. it's very clear.

just let the croc die.

give life to more nightlife elsewhere. it's more feasible, possibly more fun, and you won't have to deal with that pole, you know that thing that was always blocking your view from the stage if you were more than three people behind?

Posted by mackro mackro | December 18, 2007 11:19 AM
20

I hate that fucking pole.

Posted by Ari Spool | December 18, 2007 11:21 AM
21

When somebody shuts down an online forum, there is always a scramble by everybody who was part of that online community to quickly set up a new hang out somewhere else. The new hangout almost always fails. Why?

1) You'll never be able to recreate the feel of the original
2) Not everybody will migrate to the new hangout
3) Everybody who designs the new place will try to adjust the formula based on lessons learned from the old place. As such, all the quirks that made the original place interesting will be "fixed"
5) The new place will get hyped up, everybody will be excited to relive the past. They will quickly be disappointed and go away.

The croc is dead. Better to break all ties, learn from its mistakes, and build something better from the ashes.

Posted by cannot be done | December 18, 2007 11:22 AM
22

@10,@17 - Yeah, I wonder what the $495K includes.

Just the space, which would imply just 10 years worth of rent? I doubt it, since $4125/month seems way low for that huge space in Belltown.

Or, just everything in the building - sound gear, kitchen/bar equipment, furniture, etc - and doesn't include rent? That seems more likely.

Posted by Mahtli69 | December 18, 2007 11:22 AM
23

Usually when you buy a restaurant, the money you pay is for the equipment, tenant improvements, and "goodwill", which means reputation.
This real estate ad isnt real clear, but I would guess for your $495K, you get whats in the building, and the ownership of the lease- but I would bet you STILL GOTTA PAY THE MONTHLY RENT.

On top of the $495K.

Considering that tenant improvements and kitchen for a Tom Douglas style restaurant can easily run a cool million, this isnt even that expensive.

But you dont own the building, and while I may be wrong, I dont think this price includes the rent.

Posted by Ries | December 18, 2007 11:26 AM
24

$495k gets you the name, obsolete kitchen equipment and maybe some liquor, and the right to assume a (possibly) below market 10 year lease. And you'll have to qualify for your own liquor license.

Best to wait a couple months and see how desperate they are to sell then. After all, no revenue's going out (or coming in).

Smart money would be sucking up to the landlord in hopes of picking it off when the Croc's owner defaults on rent payments.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | December 18, 2007 11:31 AM
25

@23 is correct. The $495K does not include rent. From what I hear, rent in that space is not astronomical and the landlord is rumored to be cool.

That asking price is ridiculous, which is why no one has purchased it yet. The Crocodile has been quietly on the market for a little while now. I know of a few people that have seriously looked at it, only to be scared off by the price.

It also bears repeating that the sound equipment does not come with the club -- all that stuff belongs to Jim.

I am unsure about whether or not the space is equipped with a sprinkler system, which is a costly requirement that goes into effect soon. Add to that the very real fact that the Croc has been neglected for quite some time -- you ever really look around that place?

All said, I'd love to see someone that knows what they're doing take the space and keep it as a rock club. Co-op idea is cute, but unrealistic.

Posted by kerri harrop | December 18, 2007 11:38 AM
26

@21, I'm with you until "learn from its mistakes." How many mistakes do you think were made by a club that lasted for almost two decades, outlasting every other quality rock club in Seattle, while remaining relevant and central to the music scene for a huge chunk of that time?

Posted by Eric F | December 18, 2007 11:41 AM
27

@25 - well, 924 Gilman is still around in SF, so it is possible to do a coop. (Although it should be noted that 924 is alcohol-free, which probably cuts costs considerably.)

Posted by tsm | December 18, 2007 11:42 AM
28

And when half of your members turn out to be slow payers on their bar tabs, how far do you go before you turn them out? How much time do you plan on managing this? Have you ever managed a membership organization before? I have, a little, and 50 people is a fucking nightmare, let alone 500, especially when it's not 500 boring homeowners but 500 irresponsible hipsters. How are you going to GET 500? Remember, you don't need promises for a grand, you need THE GRAND. If all you get is promises, you're going to be walking into the real estate agent's with about $10,000 in your hand in real money. the rest is going to take approximately one phone call per dollar to collect. That's, hmm, 490,000 minutes, or more than a year of 16-hour days. Since we're doing imaginary math here.

To buy this club you need to be ONE GUY, or a couple of partners, who can swing a loan and not futz with the silly member business. Then you need to figure out how to make it pay -- which it currently can't. There aren't enough bands that can fill the room, and the ones who can can often be filling the Showbox or Neumo's as well. We know that, because under current management it was losing money. Whatever goes in there, to be successful, will have to be SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER, in order to get bigger crowds at a bigger $, who buy more and more expensive drinks.

But hey, best of luck.

Posted by Fnarf | December 18, 2007 11:45 AM
29

the venue holds 550. she probably came to $495k by doubling what she figures she lost on it during her run. in addition to the name, the pole, ancient computers (maybe...), what kitchen equipment hasn't already been sold over the past few months, and half full bottles of booze, you get a *great* calendar of shows over the next few months that are rapidly jumping ship to other venues and the badly damaged relationship and history with those bands and agents. why not wait? that price is going to just drop and drop

Posted by Abe | December 18, 2007 11:50 AM
30

As others pointed out, current landowner (and according to County records, has been for ages and ages) is Howard Close. Close is pushing 83 now, if he told the truth to Real Change in the linked article. County records show Close still also owns the Franklin Apts. at 4th & Bell, which Real Change reported does not screen tenants (yay!) and accordingly has a high proportion of ex-offenders as tenants (hm..).

His fabulous store next to the Franklin, Close Instrument Repair, is where he has "been repairing and selling binoculars, levels, microscopes, surveying equipment, barometers, telescopes, drafting instruments, and tripods since 1947."

So he'd be the landlord at the Croc. If you're interested, his contact info is on his store's website, closeinstrument.com.


http://www.realchangenews.org/2005/2005_06_08/fromprisontopit.html

Posted by tomasyalba | December 18, 2007 11:50 AM
31

I have looked around the place, Kerri, and I think the dirt is the only thing holding parts of it together. It is MEGA filthy in places. Those charming old Trader Vic decorations would qualify as war crimes if you saw them in full natural light.

Still, a good hard clean would be fun for a bunch of committed volunteers, right? But I can just imagine how many holes to drop money in would appear. "Hey, boss, how much do new bathroom floors cost?"

Maybe they could open up the huge secret palatial green room that's underneath the club, outfitted like Ali Baba's hideaway. I hear it's FANTASTIC.

Posted by Fnarf | December 18, 2007 11:53 AM
32

Fnarf, your pessimism is entirely warranted, and yet organizations of the kind we're talking about still continue to exist. I think anyone that actually joined in on a co-op at this level would have to do so assuming they could lose money and it could fail. Some would still participate, for the same reason investors still pony up funds for movies unlikely to ever make a profit: they just want to be a part of something they think is cool. (BTW, I think you could get more boring homeowners in on this than you'd think. There are plenty of them that miss being irresponsible hipsters.)

Posted by tsm | December 18, 2007 11:56 AM
33

There's plenty of aging rock stars in Seattle that could buy this club with cold hard cash.

Posted by DOUG. | December 18, 2007 12:03 PM
34

@30 Close was contacted earlier this morning. I asked him if the building itself had been sold or was in the process of being sold and he flatly said that he wasn't at liberty to comment and hung up.

Posted by Megan Seling | December 18, 2007 12:03 PM
35

That is too funny! Thanks for the update Megan.

Posted by tomasyalba | December 18, 2007 12:17 PM
36

500 of them?

What's your governance? If memberships were $10, you'd tell them "here, you get this wallet card, now go away", but for $1,000 a pop you are going to have to give them more of a voice. 500 people = at least 800 different opinions on EVERYTHING. And you are bound to have at least 10 officious asswipes who will start threatening to sue you if you want to peel the wrong sticker off of a urinal.

What you need to make the Croc work is a scene. That's what made it work the first time. And it has to be a NEW scene, not a bunch of oldsters reminiscing about Tad. But the sets of "people who have $1000 to drop on something cool" and "people who are likely to come out of nowhere with something that 551 people are going to crash the doors for" don't intersect.

Assuming such people even exist. The next big indie rock scene almost certainly isn't going to be indie rock. But even if it is, it's going to happen in a skanky little club somewhere else with no name and no half-mil price tag.

Posted by Fnarf | December 18, 2007 12:22 PM
37

Half a million bucks for a failed business? You could start your own business, lose half a million bucks yourself, and have a lot more fun that way!

Sorry, folks, the Croc is dead. Perhaps someday someone will open another music club in Seattle...

Posted by J.R. | December 18, 2007 12:26 PM
38

There's WAY more music clubs in this town now than when the Croc opened. I'm hearing a lot of "oh noes, the scene is dead, closed clubs are littering the scenery" but I'm not seeing it. ONE club closed.

I can remember when there weren't ANY music clubs in Seattle, just a few halls that would occasionally get rented out (IOOF, Washington Hall), some taverns that would put on a couple of bands in the back room, and maybe one or two places that were nominally "clubs" but were only open one night a month or something. House parties. When I moved back here in 1992, I couldn't BELIEVE how many places were open every single night -- and there are twice as many now. One of them is run by the frickin' CITY! That was not likely back in the days of the Bird or the Gorilla Room.

Posted by Fnarf | December 18, 2007 12:33 PM
39
but for $1,000 a pop you are going to have to give them more of a voice. 500 people = at least 800 different opinions on EVERYTHING. And you are bound to have at least 10 officious asswipes who will start threatening to sue you if you want to peel the wrong sticker off of a urinal.

It could be a registered nonprofit. I point to the Green Bay Packers as an example. They're a nonprofit corporation with more than 100,000 shareholders. Good Lord! How do they accomplish anything?! Answer: straightforward democratic governance. Shareholders get a vote, and they know exactly what their vote gets them when they buy in. Obviously this can go wrong in the hands of dumb leadership, but the same applies to any large organization, really.

Posted by tsm | December 18, 2007 12:34 PM
40

Coming soon - the Tabelladile

Posted by Purveyor of False Rumors | December 18, 2007 12:36 PM
41

@23 Can you confirm that the system belongs to Jim, Kerri? That would be pretty unusual I think. I'm sure Jim has some personal stuff tucked away here and there... but the whole thing?

Posted by Jimmy Legs | December 18, 2007 12:38 PM
42

I'm thinking a Halloween Superstore.

It will sit empty for a time. It may be a failed club of some sort in the future, but that won't last. It will be razed. If it gets divided up, part of it could probably function as a successful bar, but any old space in that neighborhood seems to be biding its time.

Posted by Dougsf | December 18, 2007 12:47 PM
43

also note that nearly all of the things on the calendar have jumped ship already. you'd be buying a club with no calendar. all the major shows are in the process of moving to neumo's or chop suey. those bookers don't get paid for nothing.

Posted by john | December 18, 2007 12:49 PM
44

I agree with Fnarf - the co-op idea would be a clusterfuck. The only way it could possibly work is if there were no perks to membership, other than getting a vote. There would need to be competent leadership that are authorized to make decisions.

tsm (@27) mentioned Gilman in Berkeley, but that is very different from the Croc. All-ages (no alcohol), volunteer staff, located in an industrial area, and shows only on weekends. Do you think something like that could survive in the heart of Belltown? Georgetown maybe, but not Belltown.

@39 - The Green Bay Packers is an interesting case, but comparing a small-town pro-football team with a nightclub is a little apples and oranges, don't you think?

Posted by Mahtli69 | December 18, 2007 12:53 PM
45

I wonder if anyone out there can help I Heart Rummage get their A-boards, banners and lights from the joint??

Posted by I Heart Rummage | December 18, 2007 1:02 PM
46

If anything, @44, I'd think the Packers have more potential for disaster. You may be right about the Croc not being the best venue, though; if the $495K only includes what @23 says, then yeah, it's currently a shit deal. I'd still say a co-op could work somewhere, in devoted and smart hands.

Posted by tsm | December 18, 2007 1:06 PM
47

at this point, i'm more concerned about keeping shorty's, the lava lounge, and tula's alive.

would could take the croc's place that could retain the vibe of that block if it's not a music venue?

Posted by mackro mackro | December 18, 2007 1:08 PM
48

Why can't Paul Allen buy it? And then why can't he expand to the streetcar to stop at the Croc and his Cinerama? Then it would go down to the waterfront and zip on to his Qwest field.

Posted by stink | December 18, 2007 1:08 PM
49

Paul Allen could buy it and move it into EMP brick by brick. Add an animatronic Jim Anderson behind the board and let people play on stage with those fake guitar thingies.

Posted by SmartAss | December 18, 2007 1:16 PM
50

@41: I can't confirm exactly what is Jim's, but my educated guess is that most of the equipment, if not all of it, is his. It's a fairly common set-up for clubs of that size to lease sound equipment from a reputable engineer.

Chop Suey, for instance, has worked with the wonderful Kelly Berry for years. Kelly provides sound for a number of venues, including Neumo's. Very little of that stuff actually belongs to the venue.

I saw Jim outside the Croc with a hand truck yesterday. Bummer.

Posted by kerri harrop | December 18, 2007 1:23 PM
51

There have to be a handful of other people bored with their jobs but in love with live music with a little bit of money tucked away that could partner up, clean up (or overhaul) the place and make it into as much of a destination as Neumo's or the Showbox. I'd be into such a venture.

I have no problem with the Croc as it was dying, and there are plenty of really good smaller venues around town to pick up the smaller shows, but if someone who knew their market ran that place, it could be a prominent venue again.

Posted by Jamie | December 18, 2007 1:31 PM
52

TO the Co-op supporters here who used 924 Gilman as an example of a successful place - keep in mind that that was created to address the Bay Area's lack of a good, safe underage club where everything was up to code (so the cops couldn't harass it). Also keep in mind that Maximum Rock n Roll was behind its formation and they had lots of clout to keep everyone on the same page; and it had a big East Bay scene to propel it (Operation Ivy, Green Day, and about 100 other soon-to-be-prominent punk bands). It sounds like Seattle is sorely lacking in all these departments right now.

Before proceeding with an idea like saving the Croc, be sure to ask yourself "What need does Seattle have that saving the Croc (or opening a new club in its space) is the answer for?" Seattle has lots of music clubs now, probably having more than a little to do with the Croc's financial troubles. There are all-ages shows, 21+ shows, smaller clubs, larger clubs, etc. Don't just try to save the Croc because it's the Croc.

Posted by Matt from Denver | December 18, 2007 1:34 PM
53

Like AEG?

Posted by NapoleonXIV | December 18, 2007 1:39 PM
54

@46 - Turns out the Packers have had some close calls. Whenever they get in a pinch, they sell more shares. Their strength is the fact that people in Wisconsin live, breathe, and die with the Packers. It is the only game in town.

Contrast that with the general ho-hum attitude about the Sonics leaving Seattle.

Posted by Mahtli69 | December 18, 2007 1:39 PM
55

Slog is still running banner ads for the Crocodile. Funny.

Posted by Greg | December 18, 2007 1:43 PM
56

When I said "Mistakes", I didn't mean real ones. When anybody gets a chance to take something over, they are always going to add something to it. "Gee, I never liked how the old Croc had auto flush toliets, so we should probably add those" or "Gee, they never had any pan-asian food on the menu". Even something as innocent as "the sound board was 20 years old, lets upgrade" can ruin a place.

"Mistake" means "we know all the problems with the old design, so lets rebuild it better".

Happens every time you try to do something like this. If you tried to do it as a membership organization, it would be even worse. Everybody in the club will bicker about what should be done to "improve" or "fix what was wrong" with the old place.

The croc is dead. If you tried to bring it back, it would be a poor mockery of what it once was and you would tarnish the fond memories all have shared in the past.

Place your energy into a new venue with a new name and a new attitude. Let the croc live on as a fond memory.

Posted by cannot be done | December 18, 2007 1:54 PM
57

@56 Business are bought and sold all the time. Some take a dump, some succeed. The situation with the Croc is just more polarizing because people are a tiny bit nostalgic and emotionally involved in the outcome.

There's an opportunity to keep an established business going. Or, people could be right that the reason it went downhill was oversaturation of venues. It could have also been poor management. It's just something worth looking into.

Posted by Jamie | December 18, 2007 2:06 PM
58

I can confirm that 100% of the sound gear at the Croc is property of Jim Anderson.

I can also confirm that while Jim and I are not blood relivitves, we are both certified bad-asses.

Posted by Eli | December 18, 2007 2:40 PM
59

LOOKS LIKE THE MONET PAINTING SHE BOUGHT AND TOSSED IN THE GARAGE IS UP FOR SALE


For those of you that are interested in purchasing the Crocodile or know someone that is, please pay attention to the following

1.
#58 Eli is correct. Jim owns all the Sound equipment(lets not let him get screwed by having the value of his equipment be incorporated into the "for Sale" price)What does he get out of it???

2. The liquor license is in Peter Bucks' name so there might be an issue of obtaining another one(more money)
2. Make sure both(2) bars are up to specifications.


3. Ask about the plumbing issues they have had there for the last 5 years.


4. Ask about the Leaky roof.


5. Ask about the Gas leaks in the kitchen

Happy holidays and Merry Xmas.

Posted by SleeperAgent | December 18, 2007 3:13 PM
60

So the lucky buyer would need to clear an average of approximately $137.50 per night over the course of 10 years to break even (assuming you're paying cash). That's over the approximately 137.5 variable expenses that it takes to run a club with a kitchen and a bar. I'm sure the liquor license could not be included, regardless of whose name it's under and I can't believe that anyone is thinking that the rent would be included.

Posted by go for it | December 18, 2007 3:34 PM
61

Leaky roof could be a major problem--most buildings of that vintage have a bunch of 2x6 wood planks nailed together to form a six-inch thick solid mass.

It becomes very expensive to repair/replace.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | December 18, 2007 3:44 PM
62

cheaper than a condo!

Posted by *gong* | December 18, 2007 3:47 PM
63

A coop may or may not work, but I can't imagine why anyone would pay $500k for a business that doesn't own its property. $500k is a lot of a name, crappy barware, and possible unknown liabilities. If anyone seriously wants to do this, the thing to do is contact the landlord and put together a new lease on the building for a new business. The name has *some* value, so maybe offer something just to buy the rights, but buying the business in general is crazy.

Posted by Brooks | December 18, 2007 3:51 PM
64

The nostalgia doesn't lie in the club or its remains. It lies in everybody who cares enough to still support live music. Like everyone who posted a comment here in reminiscence of the Croc or what it's new beginning may be. Frankly let it die, it had a great run. And now its time to build a new club, maybe with a new atmosphere. Something totally the opposite of what the Croc was, with nerdy programmers with no tattoos for bouncers, clean bathrooms that actually don't smell like old urine. Cheap stiff drinks, DJ's between live music sets, and video games projected on the walls. Maybe that's a little far but c'mon lets do something new for a change instead of what already been done. May the Croc R.I.P.

Posted by C | December 18, 2007 4:01 PM
65

I'm so tired of all of the negative reactions to people trying to save something that means something to them. Seattle is changing and not everyone believes it's for the better.

If you don't agree just let it be. It's not like it's going to effect you in the long run.

Posted by tired for a tuesday | December 18, 2007 4:55 PM
66

I've never seen so many morons on one website, wow!

The discussions on how one might purchase a 495,00 dollar business are hilarious! If anyone here had even half of that money they'd take their mouth breathing ass down to the real estate office or open their own business for people to talk shit about.

Lastly, Eli is checking this thing regularly to see if people are still talking about him, what a tool!

Thanks for the laughs!

Posted by Hillary Rodham Clinton | December 18, 2007 4:59 PM
67

Nobody here is being negative. Just realistic. You would be quite nieve in thinking you could restore the croc, or that it is even a good idea. Sometimes good things need to rest in peace.

The only constant in life is change. The only thing you can change is your attitude toward it.

Seattle is changing. You can stick your head in the ground and complain, or you can accept it and make the most of the change. I personally choose to think the increased density in our downtown core is a good thing. Properly zoned, more people moving in can only make our city better. Buying condos means they aren't transient and are in it for the long haul.

More people, more culture, more dialog, and of course, a chance for a more diverse music scene. What is wrong with that?

Posted by cannot be done | December 18, 2007 5:35 PM
68

it's funny reading all the comments about how dirty the croc was - isn't a rock club supposed to be dirty? You fucking pussies! Anyway, much respect to the memory of the croc. From when it opened until about 2000 or so, it was the coolest club in my little book, then after I took a break from Seattle for a few years, I came back in 2005 and realized there weren't any shows I wanted to see there. Changing times, changing tastes , yes, but I really take exception to the comments calling it a "grunge club" (see the PI's blog for many examples). The croc hosted so many different types of ROCK, it is stupid to pigeonhole it. And Jim Anderson, if you are reading this, I truly hope you find the room of your dreams to make it sound perfect. God bless ya.

Posted by knockedup | December 18, 2007 6:08 PM
69

And by the way... whoever the sound dude was at the croc was the pimp. Best. Soundguy. Ever.

Posted by cannot be done | December 18, 2007 6:33 PM
70

Businesses are sold on multiples of income.
The business has no net income because management is bad.
The business has the name - you have to decide whether or not that is worth nursing back to health.
The poster who wrote about the lease not being included is smart.
Most of the rest of you are not.
Someone will buy it, but nowhere near that price.
Thankfully, the biggest problem of the shop will be gone when you buy it. Then you get to deal with the plumbing, electrical and trying to get people to come back.
I wish the buyer luck and I hope the Phoenix rises, pole or no pole.

Posted by How2Decide | December 18, 2007 8:15 PM
71

Alright. Buying and re-opening the Croc could be done, no doubt. But in order to make it a viable venue, a whole lot of changes would be necessary, and most of them would cost a lot. Someone with experience in developing and renovating property would have to be involved. A pro forma document outlining tenant improvement and ongoing expenses versus expected revenue would have to be drawn up. What tenant improvements? Well, all the repairs mentioned above, for one. It seems the biggest problem with drawing bands to the Croc recently has been the limited capacity. So, knock out the walls and add that currently wasted dining area to the showroom. Put the bar in the same space so people wouldn't have to lose sight of the band to get a drink. Add raised levels and some seating, to attract a more diverse crowd and make it easier to do all ages shows. Upgrade the sound system and room acoustics. Get rid of the kitchen entirely; it's a money-loser and totally unnecessary. Doing all this could easily come to a million or more (in addition to the purchase cost) and there has to be more money set aside (or at least a solid bank line of credit) for unforeseen problems that absolutely will pop up. And of course, an ironclad long term lease would be absolutely essential, one that would be enforceable even if/when the octagenarian owner of the property kicks off, which could be next year or 10 years from now, otherwise forget it.

As far as the co-op idea, well that's cute and all but pretty much ridiculous and more or less guaranteed to fail in the long run. You need at most a handful of major investors to serve as general partners and board of directors. Sure, you might consider selling shares at say $1000/unit to limited partners (like key employees), to keep them vested and interested. Limited partners would have VERY limited perks and NO managerial input. Limited partners WOULD receive dividends if/when the business turned a profit.

Is all this doable? Of course! But it would take the right person to get it off the ground, which probably doesn't include anyone reading this blog. And most of all, realistic expectations: after the initial investment, the 'new and improved' Croc probably wouldn't turn a profit or pay any dividends at all for at least several years.

Of course, one could argue that, after all these changes, it wouldn't really be the Croc anymore. Perhaps. But don't underestimate the place's history and name. A surprising number of people I know, who have NO interest in current music, mentioned to me today that they'd heard on the news that it had closed. With the right touch, it could work.

Personally, I'd be happy to buy 50 limited partner shares in something like that. I wouldn't need any perks beyond the guaranteed right to BUY tix for any show before the general public. But getting the right person to put it all together - aye, there's the rub, and that's probably why it won't happen.

Posted by rk | December 18, 2007 8:58 PM
72

Hey I know! Let's put on a show to raise money! We'll get Alfalfa and Spanky...let's see...Darla....oh yeah and Buckwheat..Froggy...it'll be great gang!

Come on now...just let it go already.

Posted by Patrick | December 18, 2007 9:36 PM
73

Listen to #65 - Have a fuckin' heart!

Posted by Rebel Dyke | December 18, 2007 10:17 PM
74

Tell the person sleeping on the helm who ran the Titanic of venues into an iceberg. It was totally avoidable with a little work and a financial commitment along the way. Sometimes people have to learn to look in the mirror and take responsibility. For a person to take this place over, they will not only have to have a big heart, but (pardon me "rebel" for this) big cajones.

Posted by HeartlessInSeattle | December 18, 2007 10:38 PM
75

I just wonder how many Stephanie Dorgan sock puppets there are in this thread...

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | December 18, 2007 11:21 PM
76

It's a bargain at twice the price!

Posted by StephanieDorgansSockPuppet | December 19, 2007 1:37 AM
77

#45 I wonder if anyone out there can help I Heart Rummage get their A-boards, banners and lights from the joint??


I went to this for the first time Sunday without a lot of expectation, hoping i'd find something nice for the GF. It ended up being a cool community of craft artisans, who had their monthly sales offerings at the Croc. They'd sell one Sunday a month, and of course they were scheduled for this last Sunday too—their one and only big Christmas sale—but got thrown out the night before by the Croc management.

Robin Pecknold, J. Tillman and David Bazan got to be the last to play Saturday night, but I Heart Rummage on Sunday morning got to be the first to be turned away, as they got locked out from even retrieving some of their stuff. I was walking by the Croc on Sunday morning and wondered what had happened, but fortunately I Heart Rummage had attracted a big enough crowd that i could tell they'd moved down the street to an art gallery in a last second switch. (Nice save BLVD)

Anbody who can get in touch with the owners should,in order to help these people at least get their stuff back soon, before it gets bundled up and auctioned too.

Posted by Sondhi | December 19, 2007 4:13 AM
78


If you're the only bidder, it might be a bargain at half the price.Or maybe even a quarter...

Posted by sock it to me... | December 19, 2007 9:17 AM
79

We should get Mars Hill to buy the croc and reopen it.

Posted by JT | December 19, 2007 10:21 AM
80

That fucking pole better end up in the EMP.

Posted by ex-seattle | December 19, 2007 8:04 PM
81

don't worry my little sad hipsters, I've already heard through the grapevine that the Croc has been sold to three local buyers (one of them being a big wig from Sub Pop) who are going to dump some significant money into upgrades.

I've lived and seen many a club closing it's doors...like the Rockcandy, Backstage, Off Ramp, Gibsons, and the Vogue. We live in an expensive city like it or not, and the first places to hit the road typically involve the arts.

Posted by crappy | December 22, 2007 3:53 PM
82

@79 - seriously!?! If that crazy ass church bought the Croc we would be subjected to unoriginal Christian music, watered down coffee, and misogynist ranting. No thanks.

Posted by pro-croc | December 23, 2007 12:11 AM

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