Imperia Lake Union offers space for inclusive events

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Imperia team working on renovations — Photo courtesy of Imperia Lake Union
Imperia team working on renovations — Photo courtesy of Imperia Lake Union

As a long PNW winter closes in on the Seattle area, Imperia Lake Union offers a warm and friendly invitation to anyone who might soon be planning community, personal, or business indoor events.

Wives and business partners Danielle Moser (she/her) and Natasha Moser (she/her) have owned and operated Imperia in the Eastlake neighborhood for almost two years. In December 2020, they bought what was previously known as the Lake Union Café event space and have since used it to create an inclusive and customer-centric space for weddings and events.

Natasha (l) and Danielle — Photo courtesy of Imperia Lake Union  

The Mosers were drawn to the Lake Union Café in part because the previous owner was a well-established ally of the Queer community, having opened her venue's doors on February 13, 2012, the day that Washington legalized marriage equality. In a recent interview with the SGN, Danielle said, "It's kind of like it was meant to be: that this woman who is not LGBTQ+ was... such an ally that she just opened up her doors and said, 'Whoever wants to get married today, come get married.'"

After their own wedding, Danielle and Natasha noticed what felt like an unreasonable amount of stress and struggle in order to both plan and enjoy personal events. "When we were planning our wedding, it felt there were so many options, and it was hard to put everything together," Danielle recalled.

She described the discrepancies they felt between different aspects of an event (like catering and floral arrangements, for example) and started to imagine a venue that included more aspects of event planning than just the space itself. "After that whole experience, we... talked about how we knew we could create something better... We really just wanted to make it as easy and transparent as possible to throw an event. You shouldn't have to spend time worrying about throwing your party, you should spend time enjoying your party."

During the turnover from Lake Union Café to Imperia, Danielle and Natasha were able to keep most of the existing staff on board, including executive chef Ian Hoyt and florist Jennifer (JJ) Jones, which made for a much easier and more streamlined process for the entire team.

"It's really cool that we got to keep them [on], because it makes us one of the only inclusive venues in Seattle," said Danielle.

Along with a shared passion for inclusion and comfort that stems from personal experiences, they also bring a range of skills to the table in relation to their work at Imperia. Previously a graphic designer at Microsoft, Natasha now primarily handles the business and licensing side. In addition to the event space, Danielle also continues to work for a nonprofit organization that helps people create small businesses. "Natasha and I both got to take classes [at the nonprofit], in addition to my working there," Danielle explained. "I've... learned so much about what mistakes to avoid and how to think about financing and projections, things like that."

From speaking with Danielle and Natasha, or even just from glimpsing their website, it's clear that the Mosers have made inclusivity and community a pillar of their business. "We've been trying really hard to foster an environment where people feel like the space is made for them, no questions asked!" Natasha said.

Danielle also explained that they have worked hard to create an online and social media presence that tells people that everyone belongs at Imperia. "It's kind of like a warm hug to know that people stand by you," she offered. "I love that we've been able to see so many different points of [view] about what it means to be Queer in Seattle, because that experience is different for everybody."

The Imperia team hopes to explore more event options for the business, including public ticketed events and 1920s-themed jazz nights (inspired by the building's original art deco architecture and design). "I really want everyone to know that we aren't just a wedding venue," Natasha concluded. "It is still our main focus, but we still enjoy having business parties, networking events, mitzvahs, life celebrations, even birthday parties."

If you or anyone you know is looking for an event space, whether it's a company event, group reunion, or private birthday party, Imperia will welcome you with eager minds and open arms.

Imperia Lake Union is located at 3119 Eastlake Ave. E, and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. For more information about event options and/or upcoming public events, check out its website at or its Instagram page at