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First a boisterous laugh, then a beaming smile, and with a chuckle, each of them stated, "Nightlife As a youth growing up, Bellevue's Lakehills Roller rink was the "happening" place. Bands such as Heart started there, as well as other well-knowns in the music business. With all the live music venues scattered throughout Redmond, Bellevue and Kirkland, there were no reasons to go elsewhere. In fact, the eastside was a destination haven for live entertainment.
First a boisterous laugh, then a beaming smile, and with a chuckle, each nightlifee them stated, "Nightlife As a youth growing up, Bellevue's Lakehills Roller rink was the "happening" place.
Bands such as Heart started there, as well as other well-knowns in the music business. With all the live music venues scattered throughout Redmond, Bellevue and Kirkland, there were no reasons to go elsewhere. In fact, the eastside was a destination haven for live entertainment.
Bellevue - Lucky Strike Entertainment
Ironically, areas such as Pioneer Square were just becoming well known for their live music bellecue. The Square had just escaped extinction coming out of the 60's. The Square was to be leveled for a parking lot, but was saved by Seattle's Historian, Bill Spiedel, and was later named an historical district. Along with the renovation of the Pioneer Square, and the first Fat Tuesday celebration ofa new era had begun for Pioneer Square and its live music fans. If you were to talk to bar or restaurant owners, they would tell you that the decline in the sale of spirits over the years has made it hard to continue a live musical performance format.
There has always been an unwritten rule that musicians are expected to be liquor salespeople for the club owners when they play in their clubs.
That's just the nature of the business on how a club turns a profit. But now, with the decrease in alcohol consumption, due to public awareness and pressure of the legal consequences, club owners are turning to alternative ways of making a profit. Some say, with the decline bightlife the sale of alcohol, restaurant and bar owners have turned to an increase in food prices to turn a profit, to offset the decreased alcohol sales.
Some club owners have turned to a DJ format, some, to sports or conversation bars, some have gone out of business, but worse yet, some club owners invite bands to play for little or no wages, which, in turn, attracts a novice or "garage" quality band. Some owners have turned to admittance charges, or have co-op'd with other restaurants or bars to pool advertising dollars to enhance profit and cut initial costs.
This form of collaboration provokes and maintains a higher level of entertainment which the customer today demands. If there is a door charge for admittance, this lessens the burden of the club to depend on liquor sales to pay the cost of the bands that perform on a nightly basis. But it seems that, in Bellevue, the thought of paying a cover charge is unheard of.
Patrons of Eastside clubs don't see value, and feel it's unjustifiable to incur one. From the words of Papagayo's Cantina club owner, William Stefan, "You don't let someone into a movie free just so they can buy the popcorn. Granted, we now have the Meydenbauer Arts Center, Downtown Nihgtlife, and a new Barnes and Noble book store, accompanied with a Starbucks coffee shop, and the Good Guys, which the city feels will be a popular addition to the nightlife.
And with the annual Arts and Craft show, the Downtown park Fourth of July event, Seafair parade, and the Eastside Community Street Fair, we certainly have seen tremendous growth and support in our city. Still, during the day, Bellevue is considered only a nine hour city. But what happens after dark? Developer, Kemper Freeman Jr.
Glitz, Glam & Get Down
At least four other downtown sites, including the Safeway store site on Bellevue Way, are being eyed by a half-dozen or so theater companies, according to City Hall and real-estate sources. City officials and business leaders are trying to find ways to bring energy and excitement into the nightlife noghtlife our city's commercial district after the sun sets and the hour strikes P. Well, it would seem there is a race to the finish line of which business group will finish first in bringing a high-tech movie theater to downtown.
In retrospect, the City of Bellevue currently does not exude a destination entertainment mecca, such as other visible cities of present. Each city has its own make-up, and if you lived in Bellevue for any length of time, you would know nightlfie city spends a lot of time in studies before any be,levue decisions are made. Bellevue has been an example to many other cities around the country on its rigorous planing.
The are, as you see them today, a well-planned city with beauty, direction and hope unlike the billboard-ridden "strip-city", Highway So why is there no night-life in downtown Bellevue? Why is downtown Kirkland booming with life? And what about Seattle's Pioneer Square historical district? Why are they nighttlife considered a destination point for night-life? Quite wz put, people go, where people are -- just like Pavlov's dogs. As explained by Russian psychologist, Ivan Nightlifee, we humans are like dogs.
We are trained to react and respond to certain situations. And as it is now, Bellevue has no nightlife to speak of. So our natural response is to seek out the locations where we know the nightlife does in fact exist.
Speaking with Susan Wineke, Media Coordinator, for the City of Bellevue, Susan wanted to point out the City of Bellevue is concerned with the development of downtown; and in fact, does encourage activity in the vain of arts and entertainment in its downtown core. And all were built with long-term vision in mind. Susan says, "With the Pedestrian Corridor, the city has recently infused the long time dream and idea of a very pedestrian friendly, user friendly entertainment ambiance -- come and kill a few hours with a friend and have jightlife good time.
However, Daniel's Broiler on 8th Street has been providing live music successfully for some years now, more in the jazz vain. As well, on Old Main Street, Caffe Fresco has been bringing in acoustical shows accompanied with art showings of local artists. And just off of Old Main, Azalea's Fountain Court presents piano and a nihgtlife bass to nifhtlife and accompany your evening meal.
Now if you were to go across the freeway on th, you would find The Hunan Chef Lounge, featuring more of an "Oldies" live music format, providing a good size dance floor which attracts a belleevue following of dance groups that, quite frankly, still enjoy the art of dancing. As a side note, the Hunan Chef was ly being viewed by outside investors as a location for adult entertainment However, Hunan Chef just ed another year contract to continue their format.
It seems the "four-foot" rule brought some question as to the profit of this location in the city of Bellevue. The thought of nude dancing in Bellevue has been strongly opposed by Bellevue residents and city officials. The second location that provides dancing is Ground Zero, across from the downtown park on th Avenue, an all ages format that features live music on weekends that is growing in popularity.
And the third would be the Red Lion on th. Nightlifs feature disco formatted top 40 and Karaoke entertainment. Some consider Karaoke live entertainment. Now, that's just a handful of locations that feature some sort of live entertainment in our downtown core; so what's on the horizon for downtown in the near future? Music and dancing four nights a week, and always a late mightlife bite to eat, this will be an upscale decor attracting a twenty five to fifty age group, featuring a DJ format sort of a techno-pop sound as well as other popular dance music.
Investor Ken Fisher said, "There's never been anything like it on the eastside before".
Entertainment - The Bellevue Collection
Ken said, "We're looking into it as a possibility down the road. As well, we have a good working relationship with the city and the Chamber. We want to be an asset to the community, a good neighbor. With the third over on 6th street just north of the Payless store. We feel adding all those up, both the projects that are either built or under construction and other projects that are planed will have a very ificant impact on the of people who nightoife in downtown.
Avenue bellevue fortress
And that in turn will add vitality to the downtown business climate at night. But also points out that Bellevue's main strengths today, are the restaurants and shopping that the City provides. Bellevue Square, has been rated in the top five of malls across the country year after year. And with over 30 full service restaurants, that range from Persian, Thai, Mexican, Italian, American, Greek, Mediterranean, Russian, Japanese and more, truly this is quite unique to this area featuring an international representation of fine dining.
And this will be the focus of the B. To date, there has not been a lot of focus toward promoting Bellevue as a destination City of choice, outside of what Bellevue Square has done. Caroline says, the B. And then they will see what direction to move in; this move will open up other possibilities for our downtown. If live music is in the pulse or presence that the public seeks, then that's the direction that we will move toward. But for right now the B.
Dick Armstrong, President of the Bellevue Chamber of Commence, stated, "I believe what makes a city more viable in the evenings is more people living in the downtown area, and that's happing. There has been a lot of progress. Now, it hasn't happened yet, but it's in process. So I think from a year from now you'll see more people out and about. Armstrong says, "There is another aspect, which is one of our biggest assets, also it's a liability and that is, that we're spread out.
We still have vacant spaces, and for people walking around There is one thing in common that you will find.
Activity -- the one common denominator. And to achieve activity you must have interest with visuals. A waterfront is good or an old historical town, but if you don't have the stereotypical backdrop to build your town from, you revitalize and work with what you've got. Most will say Bellevue is new and has no character to it; some say it's too yuppyish and not down-to-earth. But Bellevue is the fourth largest city in the State, and sits in the middle of 1.
Bellevue, in my opinion, probably is the most misunderstood city in the state. And most of the animosity boils down to money -- the city of the rich. Well, just tell them it ain't so, Joe. In the 's Seattlelites coined the phrase, "Bedroom City" when referring to Nghtlife, and this was not an endearing term.
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To be blunt, this was a form of prejudice and jealousy that has passed down from generation to generation. No longer is Bellevue considered a bedroom city. It has been replaced by the term "Yuppies-ville. To answer why the terms such as "bedroom city", and "yuppy" came about, you have to look to the past. When Bellevue became a city, it had broken free from Seattle, you might say.
Bellevue was truly on the cutting edge. Bellevue had completely cut off any growth possibilities for Seattle when it incorporated. Bellevue had vision, fresh ideas and disregarded Seattle's way of civic prerequisites.