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Thursday, December 27, 2007

“Some of My Best Friends Go to the Comet”

posted by on December 27 at 10:34 AM


The new owner of the Comet has stepped up to announce that there will be no major changes at the longstanding Capitol Hill dive-turned-rock venue, according to a story in the Seattle Times.

Brian Balodis, 31, is a banker by day and now a first-time bar owner. He paid former owner Chris Dasef $400,000 for the Comet, which Balodis said he’s keeping as-is. Michelle “Mamma Casserole” Smith will continue booking music at the place four or five nights a week, and the bar staff has been welcomed to stay on, should they want to.

“I’ve gone out up on Capitol Hill, and I was aware of the Comet, but quite honestly it was not a place I visited on a regular basis—but I have friends who do,” Belodis told the Times. “When I started looking for bar [to purchase] and I heard that one was available, I got some feedback from my friends that it’s a great scene, and it’s a prime location.”

Summary: A 30-something yuppie with a wad of spare cash buys a beloved business in a neighborhood he rarely visits but hears is “a great scene.”

Seattle, this is your life.

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Don't forget to add the part about buying it from ex-Chop Suey owner/supposed frat douche bag..?

Posted by yep | December 27, 2007 10:52 AM

I remember when the Comet didn't have shows and was just another Capitol Hill "faux dive".

Didn't it just change owners a year ago?

Posted by remembering | December 27, 2007 10:58 AM

Don't hate the player, hate the game.

Posted by Jason Josephes | December 27, 2007 11:11 AM

I really cant understand why J.Z. is so bitter about this purchase. That bitterness is self-centered and naive. It could have been a lot worse. Where was your 400 grand?

Posted by paul | December 27, 2007 11:12 AM

@4--do i sound bitter? i dont mean to. im just telling it like it is.

Posted by jz | December 27, 2007 11:18 AM

He may be a yuppie, but at least he is keeping it as it is.....

Posted by Scottie | December 27, 2007 11:50 AM

Yeah, it's only annoying when a yuppie buys something that was once cool, turns it into a fake version of the same thing, and doubles the prices. If dude is just buying it to leave it as is, more power to him.

Somebody should mention to him that the Croc might be available.

Posted by flamingbanjo | December 27, 2007 12:36 PM

Yups to the rescue!

Posted by Hernandez | December 27, 2007 12:53 PM

People still use the word "yuppie"? Come on!

Posted by Jason Josephes | December 27, 2007 1:02 PM

Now maybe they will keep the pinball machines in better shape!

Posted by dan10things | December 27, 2007 1:19 PM

"Seattle, this is your life"

So true.
But, you can't fault the guy, considering most of the cool/uncool/cherished/loathed establishments around town are owned by others of the same ilk. On the other hand, WHAT YOU CAN DO is provide the new owner with a list of improvements that are the bare-minimum-of-fixes-yet-totally-essential.

Here goes:

Dear New Business Owner,

The following is a list of necessary changes you may find helpful when considering possible improvements to your new purchase.

1. The P.A. at your bar/venue is perhaps one of the worst around for live sound. This should be your primary focus concerning the venue aspect of your club. You want to keep it "punk rock"? Fine, but keep in mind that the Funhouse and even the Monkey Pub are always going to be way more punk than the Comet AND you can at least hear the vocals at both of those venues.

2. Get rid of the crappy pool table by the men's room, relocate red neon/trademark "C" to a different wall, tear down wall between stage area and crappy pool table (where the "C" is currently hanging), and increase stage size.

3. Seal up glory holes (more like windows) in the men's room stalls.

4. Place plaque on ceiling with total amount of money that all of those bills up there add up to.

As you can see, these are all very minor, but crucial.

Thanks for your time,

Dude in Band

Posted by dude in band | December 27, 2007 1:22 PM

amen dude the p.a. is ridiculous.

Posted by gary | December 27, 2007 2:01 PM

@9--it's the term "banker"--which was used in the original times story--that throws me. it could mean anything, from the dude at the drive-up window, to the owner of the bank, to someone who brokers iron ore and timber with small African nations. i imagine a balding man with a monocle, one of those green-tinted visors, and garters around his shirtsleeves. "banker" is even more anachronistic than "yuppie." what kind of guy are we really talking about here?

Posted by jz | December 27, 2007 2:23 PM

'Banker' indeed . . . maybe he's a pool hustler?

Posted by Levislade | December 27, 2007 2:36 PM

I think Banker generally means someone who works for an investment bank, like an Associate (VP at the most for his age) in M&A or IB at Merrill Lynch or something similar. Typically, they're people with a MBA, so maybe (hopefully) he's the answer to keeping the place afloat (and hopefully, intact). Frat-boy dens in that neighborhood don't have a great history of success, I'm guessing (again, would hope) he's smart enough to realize that.

What's funny about the Comet is when I turned 21 (early 90's), it was a 30 and up only kinda place. Seattle's elder statesmen of rock almost-coulda-beens retired on their stools there. It was definitely a great place, but it was a never a "cool" place.

What you don't realize is that most of you are a small business license away from voting republican.

Posted by Dougsf | December 27, 2007 2:52 PM

Not quite a pool hustler, but I can hold my own. I work on the Emergency Management Team. We respond to disasters that impact our employees and critical operations.

I don't have an MBA, but if you asked those that know me, they'd say the Comet is in very good hands.

Oh, and dude in band, thanks for the feedback and I have added them to the list.

Posted by Owner | December 27, 2007 3:14 PM

The Comet isn't a "faux dive", it's the real deal (see bathrooms).

Posted by stunk | December 27, 2007 3:19 PM

Owner, you are quite welcome.

Posted by Dude in Band | December 27, 2007 3:25 PM

The new owner is plugged in enough to frequent the Slog? That's about as much as anyone could hope for. Congratulations on your new business venture, and thank you for valuing the Comet for what it is. Best of luck.

Posted by Exile in West Seattle | December 27, 2007 3:29 PM

@18, @19: It's impossible to confirm anyone's identity in the comments section of Line Out.

Posted by Eddie V. | December 27, 2007 3:32 PM

I'd like to go on the record as being me. Shit, it's my real name and everything.

Posted by Jason Josephes | December 27, 2007 4:09 PM

Dear New Comet Owner, please bring back the pinball.

And also the practice of winging your change at the tip jar in front of the bar mirror.

thank you.

Posted by Paulus | December 27, 2007 4:23 PM

as for the PA...the comet has some of the best sound guys in town and the PA was completely re-vamped and renovated more than a year ago.We've had loads of compliments about the sound in recent years and even installed some big honkin new speakers. Yes, years ago the sound sucked. Maybe with the influx of some $$ we can actually make some changes...I love the idea of removing the pool table, and the wall in back, as well as building a real stage.

Also-we are not a "punk rock" venue-we book everything at the comet from doom metal to singer/song writer..we are a pretty eclectic place...but we do have to appeal to the capitol hill demographic, I suppose.

Also we haven't had pinball machines for over a year?


Does anyone have any positive feedback about the comet?

Posted by Mamma Casserole | December 27, 2007 4:37 PM

the people that work at the comet are nice
the p.a. is not new
one of the new big speakers is actually a monitor
and out of the 2 actual monitors, one is broken
but yes.. the people there are nice

Posted by gary | December 27, 2007 5:07 PM

I am just happy that the Comet is still there. So many of the "old" venues are going away or changed into fern bars or places with hostile security. Thanks to the new owners for keeping it the way it is.
I love the Comet, but wish there were more shows that I want to see there. Please don't turn into indie rock central. More heavy rock and metal! :)

I'd love to see the pool tables and wall gone. They are very awkward during a show and the space could be MUCH better without. And that big C is always in my photographs. At least I know where I was when I look at them.

Posted by B. | December 27, 2007 8:08 PM

Everyone calm the eff down already. BB is a personal friend of mine. He's just an everyday dude who likes to drink and has wanted to own a bar for a while. He works at a large bank in the area (that is currently shrinking rapidly, wink-wink). He's a not an investment banker etc, but holds a job in the back office doing regular office stuff in IT. Anyone who would describe him as a "yuppie" is

1) Stuck in the 80's/90's and is using a obsolete/retarded term


2)obviously never met the dude.

Calm down, breathe, he's just a regular everyday dude who has saved up enough for a down payment and has to pay the mortgage bills to keep the place running like any regular owner.

I really want you to meet him JZ. Once you do I hope you have a sense of humor and can laugh at yourself for your use of the word "yuppie" and your fear of a "balding man with a monocle".

To fair though, he's losing some hair, and he tends to get a bit sweaty sometimes when drinking, but we love him just the same.


Posted by VR | December 27, 2007 9:57 PM

@26: fair enough. id love to meet balodis. you can let him know that as a music journalist, im an overweight, socially awkward elitist who hasnt kissed a girl since the pixies released a record.

if i dont break myself snowboarding tomorrow, ill be at the comet on saturday night. lets do shots!

Posted by jz | December 28, 2007 10:21 AM

I like the crappy pool table in the way and the small stage, that's character new venues can't mess with, yo!

The stage sound is loud enough with the new speakers. Faux dive or not, they could be tin cans and yarn so long as they produce...

leave the fucking glory holes, goddamnit!

Posted by JonPanther (2 cents on none of my beezwax) | December 28, 2007 12:00 PM

Whatever sort of renovation jz is planning, please don't change a thing about the large windows and thin walls. The PA sounds amazing from outside...

Posted by under21kid | December 28, 2007 2:16 PM

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