Velvet Elvis Arts Lounge To Close

The teetering Seattle all-ages club scene took another direct hit yesterday with the announcement that the Velvet Elvis Arts Lounge will close at the end of June. The not-for-profit theater in Pioneer Square, run by a volunteer staff, cited financial reasons for closing after six years of music and theater entertainment.

"It's a bummer," said Megan Jasper, general manager of Sub Pop Records. "I am so disappointed that the Velvet Elvis is closing. It's one of the only places in town that's been available to kids - and not only kids, but where people of all ages could get together as a community and see new bands play."

RKCNDY, Seattle's other prominent all-ages venue for rock music, expects to close by the end of the year. (The building it occupies is being sold.)

"We realized that it was just a matter of time before the economic challenges of running a mid-level arts venue with nonpaid staff would come to an end," said Carolyn Budd, managing director of the Velvet Elvis. In a statement, Budd said "a sharp rise in real estate and development in Pioneer Square" was the reason behind the closing. "We simply do not have the resources to weather what we know lies ahead."