Community Post

Your Mission For Today: Support The Twilight

Last night Stephan, owner of the Twilight Exit, gave us an update on where things stand with the school district’s opposition to his move over to 25th & Cherry.

The new twist is that the district wants him to sign a Good Neighbor Agreement that would keep his bar & restaurant closed before 5pm and after 10pm and all day on Sunday. That would obviously make it impossible to do business. 

First of all, what business is it of the schools whether he’s open after 10pm or on Sundays?  School’s not even in session then.

Second, all of the convenience stores around the school are open during those hours, so why can’t we have a well-managed restaurant that’s open then too?

So since you’re stuck at home today anyway, time to get back to the phones and email! Make the schools and liquor board know that you support the Twilight and want to have some dining and entertainment options in your neighborhood.  Make sure to be polite and constructive!

Seattle Public Schools:

Liquor Control Board:

Reference: License # 400432 – 2D 

Email: [email protected]

PO Box 43075
3000 Pacific Avenue SE
Olympia, WA 98504-3075


0 thoughts on “Your Mission For Today: Support The Twilight

  1. Sending mail.

    I do find it kind of appalling that given all that has gone on in and around Garfield over the last several months, that SPS and the principal are this involved in opposing a pretty reputable business. It just appears to me that their priorities might want to rest elsewhere.

  2. I just left a voicemail for Ron English, but felt a little bad about tying up his VM. Google found his email: renglish@ . Maybe others could use that instead.

  3. Agreed! Lord, considering that it seems in the least safe place in the neighborhood is on the Garfield Campus with gun totting kids, it seems to me that we should be requiring THEM to sign a good neighbor agreement.

    It makes a person really want a stiff drink.

  4. I think the neighborhood surrounding Garfield should look into getting the school to sign a Good Neighbor Agreement stating that their students won’t discharge their firearms during schools hours or other school functions. The students at Garfield are much more dangerous to the community than any bar is to them.

  5. For what it’s worth, Seattle City Councilmember Sally Clark Chairs Seattle’s Planning, Land Use, and Neighborhoods Committee. I’ve sent her a letter, as well as the principle of Garfield and the LCB.

    [email protected]


    Dear Ms. Clarke:

    As Chair of the Planning, Land Use, and Neighborhoods Committee I write to seek your assistance in obtaining approval for the move of the Twilight Exit from Madison Street to Cherry Street. This is the second time in the last year that the Seattle School district has acted to prevent the opening of a nice, neighborhood restaurant & bar in a notoriously underdeveloped part of the City. Those of us who live here need your help so that our community can thrive and grow.

    The Twilight Exit is moving to 25th and Cherry and will be an upscale addition to our neighborhood. It has a long history in Seattle as a location that is welcoming to people of all backgrounds and orientations. However, leaders in the Seattle School District are objecting to this new bar and restaurant, without cause or legal right, and without outlining any reasons why they find it objectionable.

    As recently heard on NPR, “Third Places”—such as pubs and coffee houses—serve an important community function. They are particularly important during bad economic times.

    “For years, academics have been worried about the loss of a collective American civic life. In his column for the Los Angeles Times, Gregory Rodriguez says civic life is even more important in dire economic times, and what Americans need now are places to gather and do nothing — without purpose or politics.”

    State law gives school districts an option for any liquor application within 500 feet of a school or church. However, the proposed location of Twilight Exit is 987 feet from the closest door of a school. Fully aware of this fact, the School district nevertheless has opposed the application. The school lacks standing to make such an objection.

    The Tana Market convenience store now has a liquor license and is in the same building where the Twilight Exit will be located. And, there is an AM/PM at 23rd and Cherry, more than 100 feet closer to the Garfield school than where The Twilight Exit would be located. Both of these location are open to people of all ages, by contrast, the Twilight Exit would serve as a community pub for adults.

    As a resident of this neighborhood (21st and Cherry), I have been looking forward to the Opening of the Twilight Exit, which I feel very strongly will be a turning point for development in the neighborhood. I look forward to hearing from you .


  6. I really wish you would actually find out where the people who discharged firearms here go to high school or don’t. One of the victims was a Garfield student not engaged with other Garfield students or Garfield activities when he was killed.

    Garfield students are not a dangerous group and the last time I checked had a lower rate of alcohol use and drug use than other high school students in the city.

    I know you are frustrated but a bad attitude toward Garfield HS won’t help matters. Understanding our schools is important.

  7. If the statute that allows a school to oppose an application for a liquor license specifies that they can oppose it based on being closer than 500 ft, then how is this protest by the school even valid? I don’t understand why this is even an issue – am I missing something? Is the islamic school part of the Seattle school district? That’s a lot closer and would make more sense but Garfield and Nova don’t add up. Not based on that 500FT rule at least.

  8. I’ve seen folks try to make the “not garfield students” distinction, and while I understand we don’t want to give the students a bad name, I’m not sure it matters much. What should be of consequence is the simply fact that two shootings happened within 500ft of the school in the last 2 months, one a murder.

  9. It makes a difference regarding the implication that somehow Garfield HS is the reason for violence, while in reality it deserves our protection. Those who have worked hard to build strong programs and schools and wish to ensure that they aren’t trashed in the Media will understand. Supporting and protecting schools is the same as supporting and building the community. Actions taken on behalf of building good schools are some the most important that any community can take on its own behalf.

  10. The statute gives the school (or church) a right to contest the issuance of a liquor license WITHIN 500 FEET of the school or church. The new Twilight Exit location is almost double that. The school has no grounds. If you live in the Central District, and you are even marginally concerned about the quality of life here, please contact Ron English (School Board attorney), Ted Howard (Garfield Principal) and Sally Clarke of the City Council to make your voice heard. We need viable businesses in the CD. The Twilight Exit will be a meeting place for responsible adults, not a watering hole for teenagers who attend Garfield High School.

  11. I propose that we require the police chief and the mayor to sigh a good neighbor agreement that guns will not be fired in the vicinity while the Twlight is open so diners can enjoy their meals with a good bottle of wine!

  12. Dear Mr. Howard:

    I am a resident of the Central District and a neighbor of GHS. I am proud to have this school in my neck of the woods and want only the best for your students, faculty, and staff. However, I find the decision of the school district to challenge the opening of the Twilight Exit to be a misguided effort which is not based on common sense.

    What this neighborhood needs are more viable businesses, restaurants, and safe gathering places. The Twilight Exit is a pub and eatery with a long history of serving burgers, appetizers, and drinks to the residents of the Central District. The clientele of the establishment is law-abiding. It is not a gang hangout or watering hole for teenagers or hoodlums. It is a pub/eatery that has been in business for a long time.

    If you take a walk down Cherry Ave toward MLK, you will see perhaps 3 or 4 viable business, including an Ethiopian Restaurant that served alcohol, along with a convenience market whose main source of income is malt liquor and lottery tickets. Why is the school district singling out the Twilight Exit?

    Picture a neighborhood with streets lined with restaurants, shops, pubs, and cafes where people can safely meet, gather, and shop in safety. Now pretend that street is located near GHS (outside of your 500 foot comfort bubble, the boundary allotted to churches and schools by law where liquor cannot be sold or served). Where there are decrepit and abandoned buildings, the possibility exists for viable and thriving businesses to serve the neighborhood. Right now we need people to invest in our community. We need more businesses and more money to make the CD a nicer place to live and spend time. This will have the benefit of driving away thugs and hoodlums who menace our neighborhood and your campus with their lawlessness and violence.

    Will the Twilight Exit serve alcohol? Yes. Will they serve it to minors? NO. It’s called carding. “May I see some ID?” is a good way to prevent minors from buying alcohol, and I imagine this challenge to the new reopening of the Twilight Exit will make them doubly sure to prevent GHS students, or any minor for that matter, from buying or consuming alcohol.

    Please, for the good of this neighborhood and for your own school (which is in an economically depressed part of this dynamic and thriving city), please reconsider your challenge to this business moving to our part of town. We need more places like the Twilight Exit, not less. Let’s focus our efforts on making this neighborhood clean, safe, and pleasant to live/work/study in. Stonewalling viable businesses is not the way to do that.

    Thanks for your consideration, and best of luck to you and your staff in educating the students at GHS.


  13. Since GHS reopened this year, things have changed for the worse in the neighborhood. There is more garbage on the streets around the school and in people’s yards. The level of traffic and noise has gone up, there are more home invasions and muggings. I understand people don’t want to put a label on “all” the students who attend Garfield, but let’s face it, the level of crime has risen since the school reopened. I think the Twilight Exit would offer an alternative to the shitty bars already in the area. The AM/PM is one of the scariest places in the city! Ezelle’s s great, but the smell is disgusting and promotes poor eating habits.

  14. I don’t know if what you say regarding crime is true. My perception is that the postings have not increased since September when the school reopened, BUT it is a question that should be confirmed and if true, the issue should be taken to the HS administration. The trash issue should definitely be taken to the HS administration. Crime statistics would help this discussion.
    Yes, Garfield HS should be a good neighbor as well as the Seattle Parks and Recreation operated Community Center and Teen Life Center.
    I remember one posting sometime ago indicated that the Teen Life Center had a history of trouble. I was never sure to what degree that had been true. It and the Community Center are both run by the City—Parks and Recreation. The Teen Life Center was closed during the remodel and reopened with the school. If they are a source of trouble the City should be contacted as they are suppose to be resources to help Teens and the community, not sources of trouble.

    Getting the facts here and insisting that all are good neighbors are important. Constant strife between the community and any school is terrible for the neighborhood. Schools should be able to count on our support.

    I do believe the trash issue would increase with the reopening, and should be addressed. Traffic noise and pedestrian activity would, of course, increase. This would be true for any institution or business where more than 1000 people come daily. I don’t think that this would be legitimate concern beyond the desire of all of us to decrease the use of single occupied vehicles and increase the use of mass transit, bicycles, and walking etc.

    Teen Life Center web site:

  15. Another type of business that would be nice is a restaurant (not fast food or take out, not too expensive) where families and faculty could get a bite before and after events. I know that there are a great variety in Madrona, but it is not a convenient walk.

  16. According to google maps, Nova High School is only 350 feet from the proposed location. I don’t think that GHS is the issue here.

  17. The school district is huge and cumbersome-I’m sure they don’t have time to care about a gas station that’s been at 23rd and Cherry forever. I imagine the staff at Garfield however does care about the ampm and the trouble it’s students can get into at that corner. However, the ampm is certainly not selling blunts to HS kids-don’t be ridiculous. And it’s certainly not to blame for drug dealing and street crime that are but two of many symptoms of systemic oppression that was created and is perpetuated by those in power in our society.

    Of course the Twilight would not pose a threat to minors by opening at this location-it should be allowed to do so. However, I don’t share the same burning need for it, there are plenty of bars in the CD (Meskel and Ras Dashen are on the same street, Thompson’s, Waid’s, Mesob, and Hidmo are all nearby – why are we not counting those?)

    As for good neighbor agreements, these tactics are commonplace, this is the just the first time in recent memory that the bar in question is primarily patronized by white people. GNAs are often used to shut down long-running establishments at the will of new area residents. The pattern is roughly: white people move in, start an online community that claims to be “the community,” they’re generally scared of black people so they complain and get help from the SPD or the Seattle Neighborhood Group and organize to force law-abiding business to sign the same kind of restrictive GNA’s that the Twilight was faced with. Either the business signs something it cannot enforce in the long run and the slightest infraction is used to close it down. Or, if the business refuses to sign, they are labeled as a “bad neighbor,” and come under even more scrutiny.

    After the owners of Hidmo, a major cultural hub in the CD did not sign such an agreement, they were told directly by SPD, “we are going to try to shut you down.” Luckily after some of the condo owners who instigated the shitstorm actually went inside Hidmo, met people and realized it isn’t scary, they backed off and since then things have gotten better from what I hear. Hidmo is one of few places that is actually doing something to empower the marginalized youth in the neighborhood, but that’s another topic…

    But back to the Twilight, I hope they open, and I hope that there is as much outrage on the CD News and SLOG the next time another locally run business is muscled into a GNA. Rumor has it the folks who run the corner store at 28th and Jackson are in the same predicament even though they have no liquor violations… But it’s not a hipster or yuppie joint so I doubt they’ll get much support from the stranger or the CD news… I was never worried that the Twilight would actually be prohibited from opening-it’s got the support of those that the city listens to. Now, will Thompson’s be able to survive the paranoid eye of it’s neighbors… I sure hope so.