News King Cobra Strikes Cap Hill
posted by January 4 at 18:30 PMon
This press release just arrived at the Stranger office:
The club formerly known as Sugar will become Seattle’s newest live music venue.
Che Sabado, who owned the Kincora Pub for five years, partnered with longtime friend Jamie Garza, a businessman who used to book all-ages concerts in Bremerton and Bellingham, to buy the nightclub Sugar and are planning on reopening the place as the King Cobra. The new venue will accommodate 475 people and will be home to a diverse mix of live acts as well as be a bar where locals can come and relax. The two bought the club because they wanted to contribute to the music community in Seattle.
As Sabado and Garza grew up in this area they would go to local concerts and see some great bands that later became world famous. Now they want to provide that opportunity for other music fans.
“There is already great live music almost every night of the week thanks to Neumo’s, the Comet Tavern, and Chop Suey. We want to complement what is already going on, and hopefully add something new,” Sabado said. “We want people to know whoever they are, if they come to 10th and Pike they’re going to have a good time.”
Sabado tapped Jason Rothman, the editor and publisher of the former underground music magazine Disheveled, to handle the day-to-day booking, but the club is using many different local bookers that already work with all the live-music venues in the city.
“We want to feature everything from hiphop to punk, metal, alt-county, comedy, and even DJs.” Sabado said. “We don’t want to be known as a club where you only go see certain music, because the music fans in Seattle like all kinds of music.”
The staff is planning to open the club in the middle of January with live music starting soon after that.
Pretty exciting news. Seattle’s burgeoning “entertainment disctrict” continues to grow.
UPDATE: Just got off the phone with booker Jason Rothman. Here’s what he had to say:
There’s already so much sound equipment there, we’re just gonna reposition the speakers into stacks. We’re gonna hang the speakers, build a bigger stage, and paint the place. It’s almost done. It was an existing club before, so there wasn’t too much to do. We’re gonna take down that mirror because glass is the enemy of sound.
The club is in great shape and we’re only gonna make it better. We’re gonna get rid of the white. The walls are gonna go black. We have some artists who we’re looking at blowing up some big murals. Think of it as your rebellious teenage son who went into the room and redecorated it for himself. That, but nice. More than anything, the stage will be well positioned for music.
It’s all depending on when we get the official liquor license. Che had a liquor license for five years, so he has a relationship, but technically it’s a new license. The walkthrough with the liquor board is Wednesday and once we get the OK from him we can open up. And then it’s just a matter of getting it stocked with bottles and getting some acts. It’ll be tight in the beginning but we’re all gonna try to have a good time with it. We wanna build something that feeds off what’s already there.
The timing is good [with the Croc closing and 10th & Pike booming], which helps everyone. Used-car places help each other, gas stations are always open next to each other. It will only make the place better to have more live music than less.
I booked a few shows for Disheleveled. More than anything, I know almost every local band in this town. If I don’t know ‘em I know how to get ahold of them. We want a mixture of both local bands and national.
We’re looking for ways to keep costs low to keep ticket prices reasonable and pay the bands. We all play music, we’ve all been in bands, so we know what it’s like. We wanna give local bands a great stage to play that sounds great. I love the Comet, but sometimes it gets a little too crowded, or those speakers are a little too close to your ears.
BANDS ALREADY BOOKED
We’re keeping that under wraps. We’re working on it. Bands wanna know what day, and it’s all up in the air right now. I’m sure everyone will be happy to be able to play at another place.
The staff—all the bartenders from Kincora, Che and his girlfriend Dawn—will be a huge presence, as well as Jamie, who is moving from Bellingham to Seattle, and I’ll be there almost every night. We have some great sound men working—Paul the Sound Viking is signed up, and Greedy Greg who worked sound at Neumo’s forever.
UPDATE 2: Just did a walkthrough of Sugar with the lights on and met Jamie, Che, Dawn, and Jason. They have a lot of work ahead of them in the next few weeks. The place is DEFINITELY a dance club; though the infrastructure might be solid, every architectural detail and design element of the space is tailored to a semi-chic dance club experience, which is miles from what a good rock venue provides. Whoever previously remade the place into Sugar put a lot of money into making it look the way it does, so it’ll require at least a lot of effort into un-making it look that way.
Jason reiterated that the show experience will be paramount—stage and sound layout are being taken care of first, and the details will be worked out from there. Che mentioned booking a diverse range of entertainment, from comedy to Seattle Semi-pro Wrestling. A contractor and a couple of sound guys were already working on the place when I arrived.
The whole crew were prepared to basically live at the club over the next few weeks, pouring every waking moment into renovation. We’ll keep you posted.