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Queer Industry Night Is Ushering in Pride on Capitol Hill

Plus, Ray’s Boathouse turns 50 and more news of the week

A small disco ball decoration hanging over a bowl of olives Queer Industry Night
Harry Cheadle is the editor of Eater Seattle.

One of the unfortunate ironies of Pride Month is that the LGBQ staff at the restaurants and bars that host events are sometimes too busy to actually enjoy a time that’s supposed to celebrate their own community. Erin “Roo” Schaeferle of the After Hours Group (AHG) is hoping to change that.

Schaeferle, who uses they/them pronouns, co-founded AHG after they lost their jobs at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. AHG’s mission is to help chefs and bartenders launch their own businesses, and it also puts on the occasional event, like Queer Industry Night, which is being held at Capitol Hill’s Life on Mars this Monday, July 5.

The idea, as explained on the Eventbrite page, is to create a “queer-ass space” for LGBTQ service workers and give them a night of “cocktails, community, and cruising.” Drinks will be served by bartenders from places like Damn the Weather, Foreign National, and en Rama and tunes will be spun by DJ Baby Van Beezly and DJ MIXX America. Tickets are $25, with a portion of those proceeds going to benefit the Groundswell Fund, a nonprofit that distributes grants to groups led by Black people, Indigenous people, women, and people of color. Note that this is a night out specifically for LGBTQ people — non-queer folks can attend with friends or partners, but the event listing encourages straight allies to lend their support by sponsoring a ticket for someone who can’t afford one, or covering an LGBTQ coworker’s shift so they can attend.

Ray’s Boathouse turns 50

In straight news, the greybeard of Seattle’s dining scene is celebrating a big anniversary. Ray’s Boathouse opened as a seafood restaurant all the way back in 1973; it’s been around for so long that it helped popularize Copper River salmon and Olympia oysters, two mainstays of PNW cuisine. It still occupies the same slice of real estate on the shores of Shilshole Bay and the iconic neon sign still beckons drivers to come on in. You can watch a documentary produced by the restaurant about itself here; the restaurant is also serving a special Copper River salmon dinner until June 30.

The Pike Place Market and Development Authority also turns 50

The PDA, as it’s thankfully called for short, was formed in 1973 after a successful campaign to save Pike Place Market from being “redeveloped,” a.k.a. torn down. It is the entity that owns and manages the market, and though it doesn’t get that much public recognition, it’s throwing itself a party of sorts this Saturday, June 3. Details on the event can be found here, including details about something called the “Great Tater Truck Derby.”

Rachel’s Bagels and Burritos takes over Full Tilt space

One of Ballard’s favorite breakfast places is going to have a little bit more elbow room. On Instagram, Rachel’s Bagels and Burritos announced that it was taking over the neighboring storefront, which was occupied by a Full Tilt Ice Cream location until this January, when the landlord declined to renew the lease. Rachel’s, for those unaware, was once Porkchop & Co., but pandemic lockdowns forced it to pivot to takeaway breakfast. That pivot is going pretty well, sounds like.