The Mirabeau Room, the Lower Queen Anne lounge that Showbox owner Jeff Steichen and Fuzed Music's Dave Meinert opened in the spring of 2004, is preparing to shut its doors this September. We spotted an extremely similar-looking venue for sale on craigslist this March—going for $650,000—along with an ad for what resembled nearby Element. Our first thought was, is the smoking ban really screwing up things that much?
Five months later, the music and nightlife movers and shakers in Seattle have a lot more to worry about than the 25-foot rule. "The smoking ban hasn't affected the Mirabeau as much as it has other places for sure," says businessman and activist Meinert. He claims the decision to sell is all dollars and sense ("It's an investment. We're just selling it 'cause we want to sell it"), but admits that "Seattle is a tough place to do business, and as far as the nightclub industry, the city's making it even tougher."
Meinert and Steichen have plenty on their plates, and God knows there are enough under-attended hip-hop, house, and mash-up weeklies scattered around town to fill the void left by Mirabeau's closure, but Queen Anne partyers and comedy fans (the long-running Wednesday ComedyNight regularly packs the house) will be left with one less gathering place. For a spot that aimed to "kick everyone's ass" not three years ago, it's perhaps the first casualty of Seattle's new nightlife agenda. RACHEL SHIMP
Seattle's taco geeks have finally sprung into action. LosTacoTrucks.com may not yet have cataloged every taco truck in the Puget Sound region, but it's on its way. Last summer, site founder Galen Ward couldn't find any kind of directory of the taco trucks in town, so he created one. (The fact that he was auditioning for a career as a map-based Web site developer didn't hurt.) The site opens with a Google map. Click on the location markers to pull up each taco truck's name, address, a few pictures—even a link to the most recent health inspection. Ward and his friends are writing up their visits to the taco trucks (check the blog to see where they've been most recently) and you can add your own review of each in the comments section. Ward says he knows they've got more trucks to cover, namely, the ones on Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Aurora Avenue and in West Seattle. If you want to put a lonchera on the map, tell him. Let us add: big ups to Tacos Los Potrillos's birria tacos, which pack in more spice per square inch than a Indian supermarket. JONATHAN KAUFFMAN