Whispers have been circulating that changes are afoot in the 2200 block of Second Avenue, and this week comes confirmation. As Seattle Weekly reported Monday, Lava Lounge is undergoing a switch in ownership, and it appears neighboring establishment The Juju will as well. Paper is now lining its windows; owner Marcus Charles has put the bar up for sale.
Charles, who also is involved with Local 360 and the Crocodile, said time constraints prompted the decision. A "typical Second Avenue incident" that took place several weekends ago also factored in. "That was the straw that broke the camel's back."
"That location, with literally 10 bars on that block and six others on the two adjacent blocks, needs a full-time owner operator and not someone with distractions like me."
The rowdy block—no doubt one of Seattle's most eclectic—is home to some truly unique establishments, including Shorty's, Mama's Mexican Kitchen, Rabbit Hole, and more recently Rocco's. In September Charles added to the mix with Alley Burger, a permanent burger and chili trailer located behind the Juju.
The bar got its start on Capitol Hill in the 11th Avenue address that is now home to Purr. There it was called Bad Juju but became known simply as the Juju when it made the move to Belltown.
Details should surface soon as to who may take over the space. "I’m sad because the Juju was perhaps the bar that spoke to me the most," says Charles, "but at the same time, change is good and this is going to be an opportunity for someone else."