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Seven Seas Restaurant turning into strip club?

Posted by Mai Ling on May 27th, 2011

By Katie Melton

The former Seven Seas Restaurant, 8914 Lake City Way N.E., might soon become the newest bachelor party destination in the wake of Rick’s demise. According to a neighborhood flier (click to see a larger version), construction to turn the restaurant into a strip club will begin June 1.

“I found out yesterday when one of my friends went to the Seven Seas Restaurant and the doors were closed,” Marilee Catero, a resident nearby the proposed strip club, told sister site Wedgwood View earlier this week. “She asked what was up and they told her they lost the lease and a strip club was now renting the space. Today was an incredible scramble trying to find out what happened.”

The permit, for an adult cabaret, has already been issued to the owner, Jack Johnson of Mill Creek. The strip club can be authorized for use in a commercial area because it’s located more than 800 feet from legally recognized or permitted public park and open spaces, community centers, elementary or secondary schools, or child care centers.

According to the Wedgwood Community Council, the Sacajawea Elementary School, 9501 20th Ave. N.E., is the closest school to the site at about 1,500 feet away. The closest child care center, at about 1,000 feet, is the Ryther Child Center, 2400 N.E. 95th St., which provides outpatient and prevention programs, as well as residential services for children.

Since the strip club is authorized for commercial use, no public notice was required for the permit to be issued, the council says.

However, Catero has been conducting her own public notice, circulating the above fliers around the neighborhood in hopes that the Seattle Department of Planning and Development will conduct a neighborhood impact study.

That’s not the only strip club action this week on Lake City Way. Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it will auction off Rick’s Strip Club, 11332 Lake City Way N.E., and the offices of Talents West, 8600 Lake City Way N.E., on June 29. 

The buildings belonged to Frank Colacurcio Sr., who passed away last year, and his family, who ran the establishments for years. Allegations of prostitution, organized crime and money laundering led to an FBI investigation, which shut down the Colacurcio businesses.

Bidding starts at $100,000 for Rick’s, and $50,000 for Talents West. Part of the proceeds of the sales will benefit local law enforcement agencies that assisted in the investigation. More information on the sale is available is on the auction site, LPSAuctions. Our news partners The Seattle Times had a story earlier this week.

It looks like a situation of “out with the old, in with the new” strip clubs on Lake City Way, and this time, they’re even closer to home for some neighbors.

Any thoughts on this new information?

Katie Melton is the intern for Maple Leaf Life. She is a journalism student at the University of Washington.



Tags: Uncategorized

47 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Jarrett // May 27, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    It’s about time something came to this quiet, uptite place I call home!

  • 2 Dave Gill // May 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Good, I had been missing my weekly fix at Rick’s since they closed. More power to them!

  • 3 Simon // May 27, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    I don’t think the strip club will move forward; they are within 800 feet of at least one if not two private childcare providers. The permit should never have been issued, and the inevitable lawsuit will shut them down.

    I don’t think the owners will find Maple Leaf to be very welcoming, so they are in for a world of difficulty trying to stay open in the middle of a middle class/residential neighborhood in any case.

  • 4 Dan // May 27, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    It’s too bad they can’t buy up Rick’s instead and takeover an existing strip club–less resistance and much less expensive of a remodel. Seven Seas was a dive, but their food was OK in a fix and when you’re watching bands at the Shanty Tavern next door, it was nice to be able to cruise over to the Seven Seas for some hard alcohol.

    I’m probably the closest homeowner, about a half a block away. I’m not too worried about any spillover into Maple Leaf, Lake City Way is 4 lanes wide of busy traffic to cross. That new assisted living community across the street from it has to be pretty bummed out though. That’s definitely going to hurt their business, I can’t see people wanting to put their parents there with a strip club across the street.

  • 5 Robin // May 27, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Yuck.
    Thanks Maple Leaf Life blog for the heads-up.

  • 6 Neighbor // May 27, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Let me tell you – you don’t have to be a bachelor to enjoy these types of establishments.

  • 7 kutis // May 27, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Why are people so uptight about this type of thing? In Portland you don’t even have a real neighborhood unless you *have* a strip club and I don’t hear people saying it’s a terrible city. As a matter of fact, I always here people gushing about how cool and progressive Portland is. For a city who touts themselves as being so progressive and liberal, there sure are a bunch of prudes around here!

  • 8 Clay // May 28, 2011 at 10:16 am

    The army of prudes and moral despots that will mobilize to tell people what they can’t do are infinitely more offensive…

  • 9 Simon // May 28, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Well, let’s consider Rick’s as an example of what a strip club has to offer. Organized crime. Trafficking in women. Prostitution. Money laundering. Drug dealing (that will be helpful for the Ryther Child Center kids undergoing substance abuse treatment right up the street). Used prophylactic supplies littering nearby quiet streets where tricks are more private to do. Bar fights spreading into the parking lot at 2am. Residential property values declining about 10-15% from baseline if located within two or three blocks. So people living near this new strip club can expect the same.

    The fact is the strip club is right smack in the middle of a medium-density residential area (and, no, I’m sorry, similar neighborhoods in Portland do not have strip clubs – that is a complete fabrication), and it’s also within the enroachment restriction of at least one day care (so the project will never be completed anyway).

    There is nothing wrong with grown men having a bit of adult fun watching consenting and properly protected and remunerated grown women perform at a strip club, nor with women (or men) enjoying men perform. But a purely residential neighborhood is never a good location for an adult cabaret, and that is the case here.

  • 10 Susan // May 28, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Yuck! Poor Lake City Way can’t take a step forward without being smacked back down to the crass tacky level it is trying to escape. I hope this doesn’t go through.

    Seven Seas actually had awesome Mongolian Beef. We liked that particular dish at Seven Seas even better than Snappy Dragon.

  • 11 Brant // May 28, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Sweet, some real city action! It’s almost like seattle is a real city instead of controlled by a horrible puritan controlled liquor law!

  • 12 Brad // May 28, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    I think it is a significant overreaction to assume that this is a blight on the neighborhood. It’s not right in the middle of a single-family neighborhood; it is smack dab on a 4-lane state highway. How often does anybody from the new senior center even cross over to that side of the street?

    Let’s relax a little, please?

  • 13 Susan // May 28, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Well lets put is on Roosevelt in the heart of Maple Leaf and see how you all like it. I drive past there every day and live just around the corner. I would much rather have a nice friendly pub or quirky business instead of a car lot or a tacky strip club.

  • 14 Maple Leaf Bob // May 28, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    It’s a pretty simple thing. If you don’t like strip clubs, don’t go inside. Problem solved. You gotta love the attitude of some people in this city. On one hand its all about being progressive and freedom of choice and expression for the arts, but on the other hand its a “unless I don’t personally like it” type attitude. You can’t have it both ways.

    It’s not like they display signs with nudity on the outside for all to see. Plus, lets get real folks, it’s Lake City Way. Its always been a little trashy and always will. Its like expecting highway 99 to look nice and welcoming. It’s never going to happen, so just ignore all the car dealerships and strips clubs as you drive by like normal. You never know, the building might even look better because it can’t possibly look worse than current restaurant building.

  • 15 JJ // May 28, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    I’m just bummed that Seven Seas is already closed! We really enjoyed going there for casual late night dinners. The fare was always consistent, generous, and satisfying, and Dave was an excellent waiter. He charmingly remembered each of our group’s food and drink preferences every time we visited.

    Does anyone know whether they will reopen elsewhere, or are they calling it quits? I only wish we could have grabbed one last farewell meal. This is a loss for the neighborhood.

    You sleaze balls better enjoy your new strip club…

  • 16 Nick // May 29, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Terrible news. We don’t need any more crap like this on Lake City Way. We have got to push this stuff out of here.

  • 17 Brant // May 30, 2011 at 12:20 am

    @nick Can we push the blacks and Catholics and gays out too? Let’s get rid of anyone who doesn’t fit in our tiny little mental profile of a neighborhood.

  • 18 DC // May 30, 2011 at 12:48 am

    Step aside Moral Majority! The Seattle Prude Patrol is out in full force.

  • 19 Cheddar // May 30, 2011 at 10:33 am

    The new Little Sleazers pizza shop, umpteen tanning salons and NG liquor store within blocks of Maple Leaf negatively impact many more lives than would a tacky strip club…

    Strip clubs are sad places, but why does nudity elicit such controversy when cheap fat, fake tans and booze actually kill people?

  • 20 DC // May 30, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Hey as long as we’re cleaning up the neighborhood, let’s get started on a Maple Leaf dress code.

  • 21 anotherEric // May 30, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Get a grip Brant.

  • 22 littleleers // May 31, 2011 at 9:28 am

    I live between Northgate and Lake City and Lake City continues its dive with a strip club opening up in the old Seven Seas. Not only that, but the Feds are going to auction off the Rick’s Topless property in a month or two. That surely will be another one of these joints.

    Hey, residents DO NOT like adult crap in their neighborhood. It brings crime, drugs, and property values. The airport or downtown area or industrial areas are fine, but keep it out of neighborhoods.

    We also will have a permanent Homeless Encampment in the old Lake City Fire Station per Mayor McGinn. And neighborhood folks were told that would only be temporary!

    I cannot wait to get out of this area. Why can’t we get a classy restaurant instead? The North end has NONE.

  • 23 Mrs. Baker // May 31, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Oh joy. I was hoping that downscale little strip of Lake City Way would evolve into something useful to the neighborhood. The surrounding area is mostly single family residential and condos. It would have been nice to have a real restaurant move in there. But hey, I’m sure the strip club will be a good neighbor. I just wish it was moving in elsewhere.

  • 24 Terra // May 31, 2011 at 11:19 am

    The woman who provides in home daycare to my daughter lives at the corner of 90th and 17th….. I’m guessing she’s within 800 feet of this place. I’m not thrilled at all about the prospect of this going into our neighborhood. Any suggestions on how I can use this information to hopefully halt this establishment from moving forward?

  • 25 Lakegrrl // May 31, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    It’s not about prudishness; it’s about wanting a better neighborhood, and wanting places that all can/will enjoy. It’s about not wanting to live next to/drive by sleaze all the time. Lake City already has 2 XXX theaters/stores, gun shops, and who knows what kind of business will buy the old Rick’s? This kind of stuff should be in industrial areas, not in neighborhoods.

  • 26 Dan // May 31, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    So, Seven Seas was open this weekend. At least the parking lot was full and the open sign was lit up. Is this story for real?

  • 27 CC // May 31, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    I may be putting words in peoples mouths here, but I think its the secondary effects of a strip club in the immediate neighborhood that worries people. I would hate to find out that the same activities that led to an FBI investigation and conviction at Ricks was happening 3 blocks from my house. Lets face it, some strip clubs attract some pretty unsavory people.

    That being said, if the owners are responsible, it won’t be the end of the world. But people on both sides certainly have points.

  • 28 Mike Hunt // May 31, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Glad to see a new place to get my lapdance on! Screw you, nannies!

  • 29 Mrs. Baker // May 31, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Mike Hunt, thank you for demonstrating why the local residents are concerned about the “secondary effects” of a strip club. It’s first and foremost a nice neighborhood which happens to have a 4-lane highway running through it.

  • 30 KPz // May 31, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    It’s a nice neighborhood? Yeah, if you can get over the occasional home invasion robbery and the speedway next door on Ravenna.

  • 31 Still Right // May 31, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    As long as it caters to lesbians it will do very well…

  • 32 Paul // May 31, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    I see no reason why a business shouldn’t open just because some moralizing puritanical prudes get uppity about it.

    Only adults will be allowed in, and adults can make their own decisions about what is acceptable.

    Let the market decide if it’s a viable business or not, and if you don’t like it, then don’t go!

  • 33 Mrs. Baker // May 31, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    “moralizing puritanical prudes get uppity about it” Is that what we are calling the people who live nearby? How charming. This is exactly the kind of person the area would like to avoid inviting over.

  • 34 Stoops // May 31, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Hey if you think this strip club is ok then why don’t you buy my condo which is right next door?

  • 35 I hate ricks // May 31, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    hahahahaha

    Now you folks over there can deal with night after night of crime we put up with living near ricks not to mention the thousands of dollars I spend replacing the windshield on my car on average once a week from the beer bottles getting chucked over they better think twice before putting another back here get a camera record and report cause you have a ton of problems on the way the crack head women your husbands go see and the drug dealer paradise boyfriends ricks management was fully aware of the sh#t going on in the parking lots did do squat you know why one of the night managers was a druggie too THAT’S WHY camera never lies

  • 36 Dan // Jun 1, 2011 at 12:10 am

    @35- There are no houses within throwing distance of the Seven Seas. It’s actually pretty damn isolated except for the Shanty Tavern next door.

    @34- You must be confused, there are no condos next door. The Shanty and the public storage place are the only things next door to the Seven Seas. Unless your “condo” is a public storage unit.

    You know, if strip clubs in Seattle were like they are in Portland with food and booze, I’d think this was an upgrade. But Seattle has such weird laws governing strip clubs that they make them really vanilla and unfun. I see us losing a bar and restaurant and gaining a cheesy alcohol free strip club.

  • 37 Mr. X // Jun 1, 2011 at 10:22 am

    As everyone knows, strip clubs are so dangerous and bad for property values that NO one would build an art museum and/or giant upscale condo complex near one.

    Oh wait, they did.

    Life will go on.

  • 38 Susan // Jun 2, 2011 at 8:40 am

    At least Lusty Lady was owned by the dancers.

  • 39 Maple Leaf 4 Life // Jun 2, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    I live in the neighborhood, I have two young daughters, I have no problem with it. Strip club DOES NOT equal drugs and crime anymore than a decrepit restaurant does. These people are working within the law and should be allowed to do so without prejudice. If you know any dancers, you know they are not criminals, they are human brings trying to make a living in a legal manner. If there were fewer people making judgments about others based on their PERFECTLY LEGAL sexuality and personal behavior, this would be a better city. People who would prejudge an establishment like this and the people who work there, remind me of those bigots at the Westboro Baptist Church.

  • 40 MAJ/Rizzo // Jun 2, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Okay, I wrote something yesterday but somehow it didn’t get posted, so I will try again. I said this yesterday and I will say it again: Look, to all of you who think that it is prudish or close minded to NOT want this type of establishment in our neighborhood, get off that kick. This is not about prudishness or trying to be judgmental, this is about the reality of what a strip club brings to the neighborhood. I don’t argue that the women are hard working people, but they work with no benefits, no job security and may be coming from some pretty awful situations. Granted not all but some of these women may have alcohol and/or drug problems, domestic abuse problems and a lack of education.
    That being said, what concerns me most are the type of people who frequent this kind of establishment not the dancers. I realize that there is a need for this sort of club but not in a residential neighborhood within walking distance of several schools, day care centers, family businesses and senior housing. Enough with judging people who DON’T want to live next door to the next Rick’s/Sands strip club. If you are so darn comfortable with living next to, near or within walking distance of a strip club, good for you. Then you should move down to the SODO district and have at it, but for those of us who don’t want our property values diminished or don’t want to lose a treasured hang out, no matter how much of a “dive” bar it was, let us have our say and you should quit judging us for speaking our mind.
    I have been a regular at the Seven Seas over the last 14 years, first as a patron of the restaurant where we enjoyed our family birthday dinners, then hanging out in the bar, shooting pool, listening to the juke box, watching the Huskies or Seahawks play or just yakking with friends. Let me make it clear that this isn’t about having a place for a bunch of drunks to hang out, if that were the case there are plenty of places to do that. And no I don’t drink alcohol but enjoyed all the friends I have met and made over the years at the Seven Seas. David and Vivian made all of us feel like family no matter our situation, never judging any of us. Yes, it was a business and they made money, but they worked unbelievably long hours and employed family and friends over the last fourteen years. I am so disgusted by the way this whole thing has played out with the property owner and how there was never any chance for the public or neighbors to have a say. This sadly and profoundly shows how much Seattle is ruled by the great almighty $BUCK$!

  • 41 Mike // Jun 2, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Hi Maj/Rizzo. (This is Maple Leaf Life.) Your yesterday’s comment actually did get posted, here: http://www.mapleleaflife.com/2011/06/01/more-news-about-proposed-strip-club/
    You just put it on a more recent post than this one. Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

  • 42 MAJ/Rizzo // Jun 2, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    P.S. at Mike thanks for the heads up about my comments. I appreciate it.

  • 43 hmmm... // Jun 2, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    I used to live very close to this location and now live in Lake Forest Park just down the street from the Deja Vu. Honestly, I have not seen the adverse affects of living near a strip club, HOWEVER Deja Vu is part of an established, well-run chain (not that I am promoting chains). I think what many Maple Leaf residents are concerned about is this new establishments connection with Rick’s and don’t want to see the same kind of illegal activity that occurred at Rick’s.

  • 44 mapleleafer // Jun 4, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Actually there ARE condos behind the Seven Seas parking lot – I live in one of them!, and new ones being built that actually border the SE side of the parking lot. We don’t want beer bottle in our back yard from patrons getting their drink on before the show!!!

  • 45 RightdownLC // Jun 7, 2011 at 11:40 am

    I live about 1 block away from the Seven Seas and I do not believe this would create any unmanageable negative impact for the neighborhood. I can only imagine those who are against it are people who feel they somehow are the communities moral superiors and wish to force their views on others. I hope everyone just gets over themselves for a little while. Some people may enjoy something that you do not and that’s OK; it doesn’t me it is a terrible thing.

  • 46 Susan // Jun 7, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Maybe we were just hoping for an upgrade to the neighborhood. This is not an upgrade.

    I have already heard of one homeowner who was selling their house and the deal fell through because the buyer backed out when they heard about the strip club going in. Whether you like these kind of establishments or not, they bring down the property value.

  • 47 Home Seller // Jun 7, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    As a home owner who has their home on the market, I just found out about this as a very interested buyer just walked away from making on offer on my home because of the “neighborhood.” The buyer was the one that just informed me of the new strip club going in. All homeowners out there should be very concerned about the value of your homes with this new addition to the neighbohood.