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Saturday, December 24, 2016

#2491 #S1230 - The Rhino Room, Seattle - 3/29/2014

The Rhino Room, Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA
The economic model of the urban dance club is a mystery to me. They always seem to packed with people when I see them, and often with a subset of guests only too eager to drop cash ostentatiously into vacuous perks like VIP sections. They may have limited hours, but when open they pack far more customers per square inch of space than other bars. They can't spend much money on liquor -- the tastes of their customer base tends to run toward things like candy flavored vodka concoctions at craft cocktail prices -- and their staff and fixed costs seem like they should be well understood. And yet they can never seem to stay in business.

The Rhino Room, Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA
You might glibly write off the management of these clubs as prone to the same excesses generally associated with their club scenes, but if the model worked, surely there would be cooler headed capitalists to step in and herd the cash cows back into the black. And yet, with the exception of one or two old school gay clubs, they never seem to outlast the suburban tavern that never has more than five people in it. Do laser lights and fog machines just have untenable maintenance costs?

Despite emulating Studio 54, the Rhino Room may not be strictly comparable to the clubs I have in mind. It's smaller, and it's run by folks with a deep history in upscale restaurants -- Patric Gabre-Kida (Book Bindery, Anchovies and Olives), Jacob and IL Mihoulides (Tavolata, How to Cook a Wolf), Emma Schwartzman and Chris Rice. And I have a fondness for bars named "The Room" especially if the is a random, remarkable artifact (Gabre-Kidan found the rhino on Craigslist).

I dropped by on a lazy Spring Saturday afternoon when I was one of two customers in the place. I had a nice cocktail, but not having stood in line for an hour to get in on a throbbing Saturday night, I'm really in no position to assess the place. Then again, even if I was, I'd have no idea if it will still be here tomorrow.



















1535 11th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122                                        
Est. March 7, 2014 - Building constructed: 1906
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: therhinoroom.comfacebook
Reviews: seattletimes - seattlemet - capitolhillblogcapitolhillblog - yelp - thestranger

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