Clean-Cuts and Punk Rockers Flock to Cha Cha's New Digs

It's Saturday night between 10th and 11th on Pike Street, Capitol Hill's bustling new epicenter. The influx of new activity is due in part to the recent eastward migration of Seattle institution the Cha Cha Lounge to its new spot on the block. And, just up from Neumo's/Moe Bar and across from Havana, it's a hot one. Upstairs, the 21-and-up Bimbo's Cantina provides the perfect spot to accrue a drinking base with Mexican standards like tacos and burritos while watching folks stumble up and down the long stairwell that leads to the basement, an appropriate locale for the new home of its sister of sin. (As DJ Cherry Canoe put it: "The upstairs is nice and mellow for the grown folks, while the kids can lose their damn minds in the rumpus room.") A robust crew of clean-cut dudes in cargo shorts is followed by two slight punk rockers with coal black liner smudged around their eyes. A few immaculate pairs of Nike Dunks and screen-printed hoodies à la GOODS flash by. All night this steady stream of varied clientele leads to a melting pot of madness below. Everyone is gathered around booths and tables exported from the old spot, bathed in the familiar red-hued lights. The whole look and feel of the original bar has been successfully replicated, complete with the tiki-thatched roofs, kitchy velvet paintings, sombreros, weekend warriors, and staff heavy with local band members. The difference? More bathroom stalls! And more square footage to fill. If this weekend was any indication, they'll have no problem with that. 1013 E. Pike St., 322-0703.

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