After a two-month overhaul on 10th Avenue, Neumos is back and Moe Bar is now The Runaway.
“It’s crazy how many iterations,” said Jerry Everard during The Runaway’s unveiling last Wednesday, March 8. “I was telling someone it’s probably had 20 remodels in 25 years.”
Everard and his partners opened Moe’s Mo’roc’n Café in the old Salvation Army building back in 1994, after stepping away from The Crocodile he helped open downtown.
“There was only The Comet,” Everard said of the bar scene in Capitol Hill at that time. “It was an industrial warehouse district.”
It was grunge club at the start, reopening as Neumos Crystal Ball Reading Room in 2004.
“Now I think people still refer to Neumos as an indie-rock venue,” Everard said.
Neumos and Moe Bar next door at 925 E. Pike St., closed at the beginning of the year for a remodel of the music venue and reimagining for Moe.
“I wanted it to be super fun, really graphic and special to all the music we do and the people that support us,” said co-owner Jason Lajeunesse.
The Runaway is a nod to the band by the same name, Joan Jett, and the 70s in general. Lajeunesse said he wanted a light constellation inside the bar, and they went with 1970s spaghetti lamps. The upholstery is basil green and chairs and bar stools are plush tufted.
The walls of The Runaway are a collage of old black-and-white music posters from two decades of performances. Lajeunesse said there were 800 to choose from, and colored prints were framed and put up in other spots between the bar and Neumos.
Neumos Group licensed a print of an 80s guitar by Jennifer Ament, the image wrapping around The Runaway bar. Photographer Coco Foto provided three photos at the front of The Runaway. Lajeunesse said Foto will attend performances, providing three new photos to be featured every month as part of a yearlong installation.
Neumos benefited from added seating, remodeled bar space, new flooring and — as some guests noted last week — major restroom improvements.
With another 10-year lease locked down, it was a good time for a remodel of both spaces, Lajeuness said.
“It was time,” he said. “It’s been a venue on and off for 20 years, and we’ve been here 12 years as Neumos, and it really needed an upgrade.”
“I think Jason and Mike (Meckling) did a fantastic job with this remodel,” Everard said. “These guys really killed it. It’s just of a nod to the history, but not making it in your face too much.”
On top of a new cocktail program by Seattle bartender Veronika Groth, The Runaway patrons can also order messy sandwiches delivered over from newly opened Paseo next door 4-10 p.m. daily.