When the University District’s Kraken Bar and Lounge closed down in early March, it was a bummer on multiple fronts. Firstly, the venue was a beloved pirate-themed punk dive that served solid bar food and had a great slate of pinball games, so there were about a dozen ways you could have a good night there. Secondly, this was the place that sued Seattle’s NHL team for naming a restaurant the Kraken Bar and Lounge — and got the hockey franchise to change the name.
Thirdly, the closure felt bigger than just one bar. Live music venues in Seattle seem to be closing at an alarming rate in recent years as the city gets redeveloped; in the Kraken’s case, the building it occupied was bought by a landlord who wanted to tear it down and build something else in its place. If you can’t keep a punk bar open on the grungier end of the Ave, where in the Seattle city limits can you keep one alive?
The good news is that the Kraken owners have now found a new location in the U District. This update was first shared in April by the organizer of the GoFundMe campaign that’s seeking to raise $50,000 to relocate the bar. That amount will hopefully cover the costs of getting new permits and turning the new space into a fully-functioning bar, restaurant, and venue.
The bad news is that the new space will need a lot of work. It’s located at 5828 Roosevelt Way, the former site of the old Cafe Racer, which closed in 2020. The storefront has been vacant long enough that it’s been broken into multiple times and the copper wiring has been ripped out of the walls, say the Kraken owners, who were cleaning when Eater Seattle stopped by the address on Monday.
The better news is that they’ve secured a U District Partnership grant that when combined with the GoFundMe money should be enough to get the beloved venue back on its feet (tentacles?) once more. There’s no date yet on when it will actually reopen, but there should be more info on that front by the end of this month.