It was needed, the people were calling for it and those that tried to deliver fell short. Then there was a glimmer of hope, a rumor of what was to come. Could it be true? Could there finally be a new bar/dance club coming to the Capitol Hill area with a unique feel and staying power? The latter will be revealed over time, however the former…they nailed that one on the head.
Q Nightclub is situated right on Broadway between Madison and Pike, the ideal location if you ask anyone who prowls the hill at night. Close to the other bars and clubs, close to the late night grub of native tacos and street dogs, and also right in the hub of all that is Pike/Pine. From the outside it looks small and industrial but when you enter the large glass doors it’s a whole new world.
The front entrance hall is long and snakes you down it’s lime colored walls. Upon entering you are greeted by the main bar, the larger of the two that Q offers. The main bar is circular with counter all the way around, 57 pendant lights illuminating above and two and three-top seating at tables along the back two walls. The back brick wall is lit by a computer controlled LED lighting system which can change the color to match the current mood. To your immediate left a large dance floor with three disco balls, an amazing lighting system (this one also controlled by computer) and of course those sweet Funktion One speakers everyone has been reading about.
Continue across the dance floor and you will come upon the elevated DJ booth which displays the DJ on somewhat of a pedestal, quit fittingly considering the names that will be running that house from there and behind the DJ the lighting technician who’s running the light show. Back to the right of the DJ booth is a little alcove they’ve coined the “Bourbon Bar” in which is a much more intimate setting. Sleek couches, tables and wood paneling create the setting for Q’s second bar, which offers (of course) bourbon, and limited whiskey and scotch. Out the other side of the bourbon bar and you’re in the back hallway which houses the stairs to the upper level, an alcove which I’m told will later house an ATM, the main restrooms, and a wrap around hall back to the main bar.
The upstairs area contains seating, tables, two unisex bathrooms and a loft-like view down to the dance floor and main bar. Tension cords along the seating area ensure no one gets too tipsy and takes a tumble, but at the same time adds to the feel of the room. Dressed entirely in red, there’s no doubt this is the sexiest room of Q by far.
The main bathrooms on the main floor provide a new approach to restrooms. You walk into a large open area with sinks, counter and hand dryers. To the left around a wall are three urinals for men and to the right are restroom “closets” in which three are labeled for women and one labeled as unisex. In this setting women and men are sharing mirror, sink and hand dryers. The bathroom closets are large enough to fit at least five people standing up and have a shelf for your drink, a hook for your coat or purse, and a mirror to check your hair and makeup.
Now that I’ve got the aesthetics out of the way – let’s talk feel. Clubs and bars alike that have made it have done so on their staff as much as their amenities. You can’t buy loyalty with big fancy finishes if your staff sucks. For the most part there was a good vibe however the amount of security was overwhelming. There security “concierge” (which is the title indicated on their shirts) to guest ratio was about 1:10. One security person in particular made it a point to “don’t touch that” “keep your hand on your drink” “don’t lean there” to everyone upstairs all night. After witnessing several accounts of this I should have known better than to go with my wife into a bathroom closet which caused him to find it necessary to greet us outside the bathroom with five other security “concierge”. The manager informed us that Q has a strict policy of no more than one person in a bathroom at a time, which I kindly suggested he post to avoid future issues.
Q backs up their looks with talent. They hosted DJ Quentin Harris for their grand opening and have begun to advertise participating in the upcoming dB festival with well known names such as Erykah Badu herself. Making a regular weekend appearances are DJ Recess on Friday, DJ Nark on Saturday and the well-love Seattle favorit DJ Riz on Sundays. As if making a sexy-chic club with well loved talent wasn’t enough, Q decided to dabble in the vodka business. Q is happy to offer up many of it’s own infused vodka from the smooth and sweet Dulce de Leche to the “oh-no-you-didn’t” Hickory Bacon.
In conclusion, I am happy to see a club opening on the hill that is being done to the highest standard from top to bottom. I anticipate there to be some kinks to be worked out as with any nightclub opening as they find their way into the scene. However their location, look and even talent provide the perfect platform to spring them to the top of the industry.