My favorite bar in Seattle is closing down, and I am heartbroken. I think I need a drink.
For months now I have heard rumor after rumor of the Seamonster Lounge‘s inevitable demise; I knew it was only a matter of time as the location has been for sale since last year. I followed each declaration of the bar’s closure that I heard with a slow roll down 45th in Wallingford to ascertain that the bar was indeed still open. Alas, it is now confirmed: the best bar in Seattle is closing. When the Seamonster ends its run at the end of May to be converted into a restaurant, the neighborhood will have lost something special. Where will we go now? The belongs-in-Belltown overt fake chi-chiness that is Babalu? Goldies, frat-boy heaven of a sports bar complete with trivia night and video gambling? Murphy’s Irish Pub, a lame hangout which I’ve been in three times but for some reason can only remember the screaming? The Pelican, wicker palace of fried food whose decor was inspired by your crazy grandmother’s back porch?
No, nothing can replace theÂ Seamonster. We loved it.Â
I will miss the Seamonster terribly, and not for the elongated, fair-skinned mermaid swimming along the wall or her bright red hair swirling around next to her. Not because of the cushy make-out swing in the back of the bar or the strands of blue and green Christmas lights that provided all the atmosphere the small spot needed or wanted. I am not crying in my beer because of the tiny dance floor where I smacked more than one bass guitarist with my flailing arms, or because of tassle-tinged Tuesday burlesque nights where the best part was not the T & A but the look of pleasant surprise on the faces of strangers who had just walked in to see a girl wearing a gold fan and high heels. It isn’t because of the smell of Dick’s hamburgers wafting up the street as you bummed a smoke outside, the benches on either side of the front door, or the proximity of the Seamonster to my home, a.k.a: stumbling distance. It isn’t because of the little fake fireplace with orange and red tinsel inside the door which somehow always felt warm, or the strong drinks I rarely paid for, or Purple Friday and the strains of Strawberry Beret filling the whole dark space. I am not distressed because my girl gang, The Crimson Rose, no longer has a home base for our shady activities which include dressing up in pink vinyl pants and dancing like maniacs; I am not distraught because I will miss the intimate live music performance space where I got to jam to the Boogielistics, the Drunken Masters, the Nepotistas,Â Haiku-Chi, and so many more skillful local musicians.
No, the reason that theÂ SeamonsterÂ was so special and that many will will mourn it’s passage is simple and singular: Andrew.
Andrew is the owner, the manager, the bartender, the late-night talker, a funny guy and party boy, hat-wearer and giver of many-a free tequila shot, damn good-looking and the talented funkadelic singer who is leaving behind the glamorous life of the Seamonster Lounge to pursue his musical future with his band,Â Haiku-Chi. Andrew is the spirit of the Seamonster, the creator and purveyor of the good vibes that brought wanderers in off the street and had them coming back again and again.
Energy cannot be destroyed, however, and the party will follow Andrew and Haiku-Chi as they continue funking up the Seattle soul scene and spreading the love. Visit CultureMob.com for information onÂ Haiku-Chi‘s upcoming performances, and stop by theÂ SeamonsterÂ before the end of May to pay your respects to Andrew and the best bar in Seattle and have a drink. And as Andrew would say, “Cheers, bitches.”
Cheers, indeed, and R.I.P. Seamonster. This is what it sounds like when doves cry.