Neighbours has been destroyed!! The pictures at the bottom are hard to see...
The Neighbours LGBTQ+ Nightclub has always been the place to go where you know you are in a safe space regardless of your background, lifestyle, gender, or sexual preference.
You could be yourself or anything at all, and it was ok to come in and party hard, spend time with friends, propose to the love of your life, come out of the closet, and so much more because the freedom to be yourself is what Neighbours provided for all its neighbors.
Yes, it is a nightclub, but to those neighbors who know and love Neighbours, it is so much more!
I cannot count how many things they have done for the LGBTQ+ community of Capitol Hill, let alone the entire city of Seattle.
I mean, it is an LGBTQ+ Icon for this city.
Honestly, even for those neighbors not in the LGBTQ+ community, it's still an icon of acceptance for all people and all their styles of life. Does that mean that straight people are in the club? Yes! Because at Neighbours, there's no judgment, or at least that's how they made my friends feel. It was enough for them to take me there when they did a "show of the city" tour over my first few months in Seattle so long ago.
Neighbours has been a meeting ground for many groups (like The Court of Seattle) and have fundraised TONS of money for LGBTQ+ causes.
I want to list them all, however, this place has been in Seattle for about 39 years, and it has been working with their neighbors in the community since day one, so you can imagine...
People have even told me that Neighbours was playing Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" from their roof top to the the huge crowd celebrating the Obama's 2008 presidential campaign victory.
Why does a nightclub need help?
The first answer, all nightclubs need help right now. With COVID-19 happening, Clubs are closing everywhere for good. There are many reasons for this like Utilities, Insurance, Accounting, and so much more, Let alone what we all have to deal with, Rent.
Those who did not have nest eggs or other income forms to help cover the loss COVID-19 provided their clubs, have had to close never to reopen.
I don't know Neighbours full situation on their nest egg, but they are working to make sure that this Icon of the LGBTQ+ community does not fall and have kept on strong through this.
However, that is not why Neighbours need our help!
The reason for this GoFundMe is because something bad has happened to the club that breaks my heart.
You all know where Neighbours is right off-Broadway and not far from Cal Anderson Park.
During the protest march on the 20th of July, Neighbours was broken into and looted. Not only did they steal everything worth anything, but they broke things and spray-painted the entire club. This is something no club could have expected to happen, especially with already having to deal with COVID-19's shutdown of clubs.
Recognize this place? No...?
This is just the start...
Yes, you know what this is, and yes, that's what it looks like now.
(I promise I will show you more now pictures down below.)
Did you think that was all this place has had to go through?
After the protestors opened the doors, in came the homeless to pee and poop everywhere and further destroyed the place. It was a huge loss to get looted and tagged all over with spray paint, and now this too!?!?!
It needed repairs to recover, but after the homeless moved in, the damage is not repairable but now needing to be replaced.
After 9 years in Vancouver and 39 years in Seattle, Neighbours may have to close their doors. COVID-19 is one thing, but to have to replace and rebuild everything on top of being shut down for who knows how much longer. I don't know if they're going to make it.
Here is what Google says about Neighbours...
"Neighbours Nightclub is Seattle's most popular, longest-standing LGBT and Mixed dance club featuring two floors with 4 bars including a Front Patio Mezzanine and Lounge Area. Neighbours have a strong tradition of catering to a diverse and trendy crowd, and has become one of the most popular LGBT and Mixed clubs on Capitol Hill."
... and honestly, that's not even close to what Neighbours means to this community. To lose this business to this terrible year of 2020 is not something I want to accept at all, and neither should you!
Ok, so know that I don't want people to see this beautiful place of magic to be seen like this. However, I want you to see what I've gotten to see as we are all neighbors in this issue.
These pictures I will show to you were given to me by one of my friends who helped the owner review the damage.
I know clubs are different once you turn on the lights. However, in the following pictures, it does not look anything like the place before, not even a shadow.
I know it's a small thing, but I love to play pool, and the pool table has stuff on it like it is just a table. So many great games have been had there, and it really makes me sad.
As promised, here is what happened to our Neighbours...
I know that was hard. It was hard for me to look at too.
That is why I made this GoFundMe. Because those pictures are not ok and I know others feel the same.
I spoke to Neighbours' owner about raising funds for this important Icon, and their response was wonderful!
They told me, and now I am telling you - that when they make it through this and the ongoing pandemic, That their first day open will become an annual holiday at the club to memorialize our community's power to get through the hard stuff together as neighbors will never be, just a nightclub. Neighbours is a Community.
I don't know for sure, but the repairs will likely go over $100,000 in cost as it looks like everything needs replacement, even the walls as I was told [some holes were not captured on camera as well].
However, the owner has told me that anything we raised that they don't use for repairs will go straight into starting a nonprofit organization to promote LGBTQ+ Education, Small businesses, and Entrepreneurship.
To me, this speaks millions on their character, and I wish I had millions to provide them in exchange. That's where you come in.
My pocketbook may be low in funds just like most during this pandemic, but for this, I know I can give, and you can too if we all give a little. I know we can help change Neighbours' future together by keeping it going.
Even if it is a dollar, every donation helps our community keep this Icon of acceptance alive to continue serving the community.
We are powerful together!
- Patrick Doherty
- Brian James
- Corinna Adams
- Timothy Wagner
- ERIC SANTOS
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