Dorothy's Capital Campaign

Big Dreams, Big Fun

Dorothy’s Piano Bar and Cabaret and Dorothy's Little Black Box Theatre’s joint venture in creating a great entertainment venue in Seattle is about to take off. We’re dreaming big… How big? That depends on the support of our community. To paraphrase Fame, you dream big, and big dreams cost (but not just in sweat).

Dorothy’s big dream is to own its own building. We have a few properties in mind, and we’re also considering renting space, but either way, to open Dorothy’s doors as soon as possible, we need your help. Where we end up and what we can contribute to Seattle’s performance community hinges on you—our donors and investors.

It Takes Two

Dorothy’s is a cooperative adventure—without your help, we can’t exist, but with your help, together we create a unique space for live performance that supports the arts in Seattle with far-reaching effects. You should support Dorothy’s because:

It feels good.

You get a great space to hang out and make music.

Small businesses stimulate the economy and help create good-paying jobs.

We offer lots of great perks, investment opportunities, and possible tax write-offs.

The arts need champions more than ever.

Love (and Money) Make the World Go ‘Round

Here are some ways you can help Dorothy’s achieve make our big dreams a reality.


Become a Donor

You can see all of the great perks we offer to donors on our website and in the GoFundMe campaign.

1.       Donate on our GoFundMe Page. All donations made here will go directly to Dorothy’s Little Black Box, which is an IRS approved 501[c]3 organization and may be tax-deductible. Please consult your tax-advisor.

2.       Send a check made out to Dorothy’s to 6002 5th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107.

3.       Donate directly on Dorothy’s website:  .


Become an Investor

Dorothy’s encourages silent investors to become part of our family. Investments begin at $2,000 and offer a 20% return on your investment. Please contact us at [email redacted] for more information.


Thank You for Being a Friend

Our minimum campaign goal is $100,000. Coupled with money already raised and small business loans, achieving this goal means Dorothy’s can open mid-to-late 2018. We’re grateful for any amount you contribute, and we want you to know how your money will help.


Hey, Big Spender

Raising $20,000

Dorothy's becomes more attractive to more investors and lenders as we seek to raise additional funds through financial lending and business grants. Our target opening date becomes early 2020 for a piano bar in rented space, 1,500-2,000 square feet, with accommodation for 40-50 people. We’ll add more features such as the cabaret lounge and black box as we grow by building more capital and securing a larger space.

Raising $50,000

Dorothy’s opens the piano bar in mid-2019 (possibly sooner), adds a cabaret lounge in 2020, and opens the black box theatre somewhere down the road in a larger venue. The size and capacity of Dorothy's remains the same until capital and space increase.

Raising $75,000

Dorothy’s becomes very attractive to lenders and other backers. We open in late 2018 or early 2019 with a piano bar and small cabaret space, likely over 2,000 square feet, with anticipated capacity for up to 75 patrons. The cabaret space may be a part of the bar space or in its own separate room, based on the venue configuration. 

Raising $100,000

Dorothy’s becomes a hot property, attractive to prospective landlords as well as backers. We open the piano bar and cabaret lounge mid-to-late 2018, raising additional capital through traditional lending and other backers. We anticipate a 2,500 square foot space, with the cabaret lounge and piano bar in separate rooms. We continue to develop funding for the black box theatre with anticipated opening by 2020.


At this level, fund allocation includes:

Build-out and renovation - $40,000

Licensing - $2,500

Furniture & Fixtures - $35,000

Inventory - $10,000

Rent - $12,500


Raising beyond that goal expands our opportunities and the budget items.


Great Big Stuff

Dorothy’s is a dream that’s going to become a reality, so here’s what we’ll do if we exceed our initial $100,000 goal.

Raising $200,000

Dorothy’s opens in 2018, with a 3,500-square-foot space for 100+ people in separate bar and cabaret areas. We attract performers from around the country and generate additional revenue through special event rentals.

Raising $500,000

Dorothy’s becomes competitive in the market to buy our own location. We start small, with room for 40-50 people in a piano bar area and a small cabaret space—and no landlord. We seek additional funds from other sources and become a stable presence in the Seattle performing community.

Raising $1,000,000

Dorothy’s buys our own space, debt-free. We have a piano bar and a cabaret lounge large enough to stage small musicals, seating up to 100. Alternatively, we place a down payment on a large facility such as the Guild 45 or Seven Gables, with additional funds sought through commercial lending and business grants. With this room, we have a large cabaret lounge, a piano bar, and a black box theatre space seating up to 200. 

Raising $3,000,000

Dorothy’s has enough money to purchase a historic building and complete most major renovations. We become a major entertainment venue in Seattle with a large bar, cabaret lounge, and theatre.


Finishing the Hat

From other sources, (our own savings, business loans and grants), Dorothy’s will raise coverage for additional expenses, including:

Cash reserves

General supplies


Initial staff salaries and benefits




Dorothy’s revenue streams for maintaining and growing will come from:

Bar and food sales

Cabaret tickets

Merchandise sales

Space rentals

Theatre tickets

Program advertising for theatre shows

Corporate sponsorships for events

Theatre grants


There’s No Business Like Show Business

Whatever contribution you can make will contribute toward making Dorothy’s possible not just for our sake but for yours too. Keeping the arts alive in times of turmoil provides solace and a forum for uniting our many voices into a powerful chorus. Thank you for your help—we’re looking forward to seeing you in our new place soon!

Our Team

Owner John Lehrack has over 30 years experience as a professional musician, theatre performer and cabaret artist and has successfully run his own business for most of those years. John is connected with cabaret artists from New York to Mexico and in many cities throughout the country. He has also worked with several Seattle-area theatre companies, actors, critics and musicians and can leverage those connections to help build a solid audience base and provide support and referrals. John is well-known by his peers and friends for being extremely creative, patient, diligent, tenacious and personable; all traits which will be required to help make Dorothy's a success.

General Manager Ellen Dessler is a fixture in the local theatre community, having appeared on stages from Fifth Avenue Theatre in Seattle to Village Theatre in Bellevue. Currently the sales manager for an area wine distributor and a moonlighting bartender, Ellen has a vast knowledge of both the bar industry and the entertainment industry. Her connections will draw patrons and performers and her sales experience will be invaluable in dealing with our vendors.

Bar Manager Sean Naki has over 20 years' experience in the hospitality industry, working as a bar manager, lead bartender and server in several locations in Honolulu including Angle's Waikiki, Hula's Bar and Lei Stand and Fusion Nightclub. Sean is also a seasoned performer, having sung in many choral groups, as a solo artist and in theatrical productions. Sean's thorough knowledge of the bar industry and standards and practices will be vital in assuring strong management of the bar and quality service for our patrons.


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John Lehrack 
Seattle, WA
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