Neumos in Seattle hosted its first show in 476 days
What has changed for you since our last conversation?
Neumos and Barboza opened on July 1. It was all the locals and the people who worked for us. We had Charm the nomad downstairs [at Barboza] which was a massive understatement for her. It sold out in, I don’t know, a week. She’s a killer. At the top, we did this Spirit Award group, which is our GM assistant which is in 17 groups. People from Real Estate, Deep Sea Diver and the Shins came to play. It looked to be pretty amazing.
You were not there ?
I couldn’t be there. I can’t stand right now and there is nowhere to sit. But seeing the big queue outside and hearing people talk about it, that’s what we do. This is what we have been doing for half of my life. Literally half of my life I have put on shows and haven’t been able to do so for the past 476 days. We were closed for 476 days. Nothing can ruffle my feathers anymore if we can get by.
Are there still capacity limits for your rooms?
Do people have to wear masks?
Nope. You must have proof that you are vaccinated or you must wear a mask. All you need is a photo of your card. Our vaccination rates in King County and Seattle are very high, but people are coming from outside Seattle and people are more comfortable. It makes us more comfortable. But yes, it’s back to 100%. It’s gonna be weird to see people end up side by side after so long.
Any news from the SBA about your shutter site operator grant application?
[Laughs] A friend told me yesterday how tired I looked. I am so tired and so frustrated. I know that [the SBA] try, but it’s hard to accept that it’s so fucked up. The fact that people in levels 2 and 3 are paid before level 1 is simply not acceptable. (Note: Tier 1 applicants lost 90% or more of their income in 2020, while Tier 2 and 3 lost 70% and 25%, respectively.) Now they say they’re going to focus and only watch Tier 1 apps, but it’s like, “How weren’t you doing that already?” It was part of the plan. We lost 90% of our income for a year. How are you going to finance someone who only lost 50% or even 75%? Everyone needs help, but there are people who need more help. There are people who are going to close. I hear about it every day. Then people are turned away and it looks like a mistake. The SBA is very sorry and it looks like they are really trying, but it’s not rocket science.
Do you personally know of any places that have received their funds?
A lot. I think up to 20% of sites were told they were receiving or had received money. (Editor’s note: According to the SBA site, just over 4,220 applicants were honored, which is roughly 28% of the 14,884 applications submitted.) A lot of people I know have had it who really need it. We celebrate each of them. But there are people I helped apply and they applied much later than me. I’m just baffled. [Laughs] Just tell me that it happens. Let me know so I can let this stress go.