For sixteen years, music fans far and wide recognized the Crocodile Café as Seattle’s best live music venue. There is no other spot in the 206 with such a storied and beloved past, and no other rock and roll venue that has earned its right to occupy the hearts of so many.
The Crocodile opened its doors in late April, 1991, with little fanfare and not much attention. Seattle was a very different place at the time – the “Seattle Sound” was still in its infancy, the Washington State Liquor Control Board had some pretty strict rules in place, and you could still travel from one end of the city to the other in fifteen minutes. With traffic.
Located on the corner of Second and Blanchard, in the spot that formerly housed a Greek joint called Athens Café, the Crocodile was an unlikely place for the history that would soon follow. With residential apartments lining the block, and a bustling drug trade around the corner, the Crocodile stood out like an oasis in the neighborhood, welcoming all, and facilitating many a good time.
Virtually every band you have ever loved has played within the walls of Belltown’s much loved living room. Nirvana? Yep. Pearl Jam? Yes sir. Cheap Trick, R.E.M., Mudhoney, and Yoko Ono? Why, of course.
But, the Crocodile has always been about more than the stellar talent onstage, or the cheap beer on tap at the bar. The Crocodile has long been the heart and soul of Seattle – the spot where couples met for the very first time, and bands were formed over pitchers of Rainier in the Live Bait Lounge.
The Crocodile was where you would always see friends, or people you recognized, or bands you adored. If you play by the rules – don’t get too wasted, be nice to others – you would be just fine. The Croc was where somebody always knew your name, even if you couldn’t hear them say it over the amazing sounds coming from the stage.
The club’s abrupt closure in December, 2007, broke many a heart, and it is safe to say that folks felt a piece of Seattle had died. Which only meant one thing: the Crocodile must be resurrected, and woven back into its rightful place in Seattle’s amazing cultural fabric.
After months of renovations and reconstruction, the mighty Crocodile is nearly ready for its unveiling. It won’t be the same old grimy room you remember – the stage has been upgraded, the sightlines have been improved, and that damn pole is gone – but that is the way life goes. The Croc keeps swimming forward, just as we all do.
We look forward to welcoming you back.