Rumor Has It
Of Falafel and the Future
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
In my never-ending, but hopefully ending sometime in the near future, quest to be the world’s pushiest independent venue advocate, I’ve got more hot tips as to how we can help keep our shuttered venues afloat until live music can ring forth and fill their coffers again.
In very welcome and long-awaited news, the Racket is open for takeout and delivery—and even has a wee bit of outdoor seating for folks who simply can’t wait to tear into their Philly cheesesteaks and falafel sandwiches. The Racket’s hours are abbreviated and changing as they tweak their systems, so check online or call to be up on the most current details. They’re also offering to-go cocktails, which means I will not have to spend a summer without drinking the Blood of the Earth, otherwise known as “that beet thing,” otherwise known as my favorite cocktail in town that does not come in the form of a Jell-O shot.
Speaking of Jell-O shots—because I am always speaking of Jell-O shots whenever possible—Rumors Cabaret has dabbled in slinging rainbow Jell-O shots from their garage door entryway, while its buddy bar, the Back Door, has reopened with limited hours and offerings, including a drink styled after a Capri Sun that will allow you to relive your childhood, but with 100 percent more booze.
While Rumors might not come immediately to mind when we think of our music venues, with its DJs and drag shows, it occupies an important place in our entertainment ecosystem, and has been hit just as hard by shutdown orders.
Which brings me to my next point and the part that includes an ask for you to contact politicians.
You might’ve wondered, what with the slackening of laws allowing restaurants and other businesses to sell to-go cocktails, why such places as the Wild Buffalo or the Underground remain closed instead of keeping the booze flowing and reaping the benefits. The answer is simple: They operate under a nightclub license, which doesn’t allow them to do anything at this point other than remain idle. As I understand it, there’s nothing they can do or sell to save their businesses, other than try and change the kind of license they operate under, a time-consuming and expensive process.
I’m just going to come out and say it: This is ridiculous. Washington’s liquor laws have always been arbitrary at best and draconian at worst, but what was once a source of frustration has now become a matter of life and death for those operating under nightclub licenses.
But we can help by contacting everyone from Governor Inslee on down to our state and local politicians to ask them to either loosen the strictures of the nightclub license so that the establishments operating under them can sell to-go beer, wine and cocktails and/or eliminate the fees, expedite the process and create a means by which “nightclubs” can change temporarily their licenses to something more suited to our current situation and economic environment. Unlike trying to affect change at a national level, this is something more local and potentially more within reach that would have an immediate and positive impact on the outlook of a whole sector of the business community. We’ve got time for this. Let’s make shit happen.