The new Elite bar - relocated and transformed
|The new Elite bar - relocated and transformed|
by Ed Depicolzuane -
SGN Contributing Writer
Patrons to the old Elite bar at the north end of Broadway knew it as a cozy neighborhood hang-out where the close quarters made it easy to meet other patrons, and they missed it when it was gone, as other businesses in the block also closed.
The good news for the night scene is that the new Elite has opened on Olive Way a few doors down from Denny Way in a much larger and more diverse space, with a comfortable tap-room, an adjoining games room, an alcove 'living room', and a spacious mezzanine for a good view overlooking the surroundings.
It's a nicely arranged bar that can host a larger crowd than the old place, but its different rooms still keep the feel of a neighborhood bar. Its location serves an area that is becoming more densely populated with new apartment developments, and its crowd reflects that - along with the more open and comfortable times - diversifing some into mixed Gay and straight.
In years past under previous ownership, the old bar had become a site for drug trade, but the current owner, Robert Bault, has eliminated that activity, even surviving threats to his life from them as they retaliated, he tells. "I came close to death," he says, from attacks from the druggies he was cleaning out from the old bar after he took over. He and Kay, the new bar's manager, say they're putting their efforts toward creating a space where patrons can feel safe and relaxed, play games, watch TV, use the Wi-Fi, follow the bar's baseball team, the "Tsunami's", and meet other friendly patrons. The message they want to bring to the community follows their slogan: "Enter as strangers - leave as friends".