An Internet Cafe, Hold The Cafe

Belltown's Speakeasy Cafe, one of Seattle's pioneering Internet cafes and a neighborhood hub of music, film and poetry, may be closing later this year to focus on its Internet-related enterprises.

Co-owner Mike Apgar said business hasn't been the same since state regulators revoked the cafe's "all-ages" late-night status early last year. The cafe, which serves alcohol, is now limited to patrons 21 and older after 9 p.m. on nights when live music is playing.

If the cafe does close, Apgar said Speakeasy plans to "aggressively expand" its 2,500-member e-mail network via other cafes and clubs throughout the Puget Sound region. Speakeasy also will continue to be an Internet service provider (ISP) and design Web sites for businesses.

"We don't want to be an ISP on the 15th floor of some skyscraper," Apgar said. "We have more of a street-level feel that we enjoy and want to continue."