The Comet Tavern, a Capitol Hill icon, is in trouble

The Comet Tavern, a Capitol Hill icon, is in trouble
(Photo: Jason Anfinsen, CC 3.0 license)

The corner of 10th and Pike has been a little quieter for the last week, as the iconic Comet Tavern has been shuttered for reasons that still remain unclear. 

Conflicting reports have lead to some murkiness surrounding the fate of the Comet, but according to the legendary dive's Facebook page, it is closed for the foreseeable future.

"The Comet owner secretly removed the sound system and other items of value from the venue," wrote booking manager Michelle Smith on Monday.

"...It looks like we are kaput unless another owner decides to lease the place from the building owner and maintain it as The Comet Tavern. In the meantime if you have a show that was booked at the Comet we are working on moving shows to other venues," she added.

The message came just days after a previous note, which stated that the bar was merely temporarily closed due to "lease/water bill issues."

"...We may end up closing but for now, the owner is working on a plan. He has a potential partner lined up but is still trying to negotiate with the property owner/landlord. So, we aren't done yet," read the original post, which was in response to multiple reports that the bar was, in fact, closed for good. 

All of the shows that were booked at the bar have been moved to other venues, including one that was scheduled for tomorrow night, which has now been turned into a fundraiser for the Comet's employees.

Brian Balodis bought the Comet from former owner Chris Dasef in 2007 for $400,000. The building, which has been in the same hands since the early 90s, recently got a boost when Lost Lake, a 24-hour diner owned by nightlife staple David Meinert. 

Emails to Smith have not yet been returned, and Balodis has yet to comment publicly on the matter. 

The Comet's closure comes on the heels of the final days of another beloved Capitol Hill spot; Bauhaus Books & Coffee celebrated the end of its 20-year run on Saturday night. The coffee shop and gathering place will move up the street into the space left vacant by the closure of the Capitol Club last month.