When I first moved to Eastlake in 2017, fresh out of grad school and an over-excited Sub Pop Intern, I had no idea the connection this neighborhood would have, not only on my entire life (quite literally, I’ll explain later) but also on Seattle’s music history. As I began researching, the connections to Eastlake venues just kept coming, and every venue is an endless source of stories and information.
I have the honor of working with Shana Iverson, an inspiring woman who grew up in Eastlake. I sat down with her to learn about her experiences growing up in the neighborhood. As a child she rode bikes along Fairview among the gateless docks. Her father, Stan Iverson, a famous leftist intellectual and activist lived on a Tugboat called The Ora Elwell. It was a place rich with intellectuals, artists, activism and of course, nude swimming to celebrate boating season’s opening day. She also told me about living above Rapunzel’s (at the time it was next to the carwash which later became the Flower Lady), afternoons spent at South Passage Point Park (known to her as Punk Rock Beach), seeing Ze Whiz Kidz with her mother as a kid and then later The Screamersat The Storeroom, Duffy Bishop at The Zoo and countless other shows.
Learning about Eastlake’s bohemian past is something I cannot get enough of. It is in these stories that I find a particularly interesting character and context to the neighborhood including businesses (old and new), as well as the people who live and create here (past and present). There is a deep interconnectedness imbedded in the cultural landscape that goes beyond the big names typically associated with Seattle music.
Venues of the Past
Rapunzel’s, feature image above, (3242 Eastlake Ave.)
Now Sebi’s Bistro, Rapunzel’s was once a popular music venue in the neighborhood. The owner of the original Red Robin (then a dive-bar), previously owned this historic building. Soundgarden notably played here in the 90s.
The Pipeline (1540 Eastlake Ave.)
Emmylou Harris performed here among many other artists. A list of which is available online at pnwbands.com.
The Storeroom (605 Eastlake Ave.)
The Storeroom closed 2001 and was a place where to countless punk bands performed.
Jensen’s Grove (1551 Eastlake Ave) was an entertainment venue located where Bloodworks and Adaptive Technologies are now located. As early as the 1880s it was a German beer garden, boat rental, bowling green and swimming beach.
The Zoo (2300 Eastlake Ave.)
The Zoo recently celebrated their 47th anniversary and is known for its divey vibe, unique space, decorations and characters. Looking at any inch of their walls you will probably find countless stories of fun times that have been had and continue to be had there. Over the years they have hosted many events from concerts to chili cook offs. My parents even went on one of their first dates to The Zoo in 1989, my mom recalled excitedly telling my father that she’d always wanted to “go check out the animals” there because it seemed like the place to be.
The Victory Lounge & Black Lodge (433 Eastlake Ave.)
Constructed in 1918, site of The Victory Lounge was once home to the Green Tavern (1945-60s), Mister Ed’s Tavern (70s) and Lobo Inn (closed in 2007). Prior to the Green Tavern, the building housed Rainwater & Company, Western Window Shade and Ben Odegaard Furniture Repair. The building is registered as a historical site. The Victory Lounge and The Black Lodge (located next door at 427 Eastlake Ave E) remain staple venues in Seattle for local & touring bands.
Otter Bar and Burger (2379 Eastlake Ave.)
Otter regularly hosts events including Karaoke, musical performances and trivia.
Thank you to Shana Iverson for sharing stories for this piece and to Chris Leman for providing endless information and photographs.
If you would like to share stories and photographs for future articles on local music past & present, send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org
GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings