Axios Seattle

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March 26, 2024

It's Tuesday and we're going in all gears.

🌧️ Today's weather: Rainy and cloudy. High near 53.

Thanks to our dedicated members. You too can support our local reporting team by becoming a member.

ğŸŽ‚ Happy birthday to our Axios Seattle member Jeff Tichenor!

Today's newsletter is 526 words, a 2-minute read.

1 big thing: Alcohol will soon be allowed at Washington strip clubs

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Washington plans to start letting strip clubs serve alcohol, something the state has banned for decades.

Why it matters: Adult entertainers say Washington's longtime ban on alcohol sales at strip joints has hurt clubs financially, causing club owners to charge dancers high fees in order to perform.

The latest: Washington's Legislature voted this month to repeal the statewide ban on selling alcohol at places that allow nudity — part of a larger package of safety reforms for the adult entertainment industry.

  • Senate Bill 6105, which supporters have dubbed a "strippers' bill of rights," also requires strip clubs to limit the fees they charge dancers; maintain emergency panic buttons, develop procedures for responding to allegations of customer misconduct; and hire adequate security staff, among other changes.

Zoom in: The bill, which Gov. Jay Inslee signed Monday, further directs the state Liquor and Cannabis Board to repeal its so-called "lewd conduct" rule, which which barred alcohol from being served at places where nipples or other body parts are exposed.

  • The rule dates to 1975, according to an analysis by liquor board staff.

What they're saying: Madison Zack-Wu, a dancer and campaign manager of the advocacy group Strippers Are Workers, told Axios that allowing Washington strip clubs to sell alcohol will make clubs more financially stable, helping them pay for added security and other improvements called for in the bill.

  • A state advisory committee said in a 2020 report that Washington's restriction on alcohol at strip clubs was unusual.
  • "Many of us have worked in other states and seen it is so much more sustainable and safe," Zack-Wu said.

Friction point: The push to repeal the ban on nudity around alcohol sales gained new momentum after recent inspections of LGBTQ+ bars in Seattle, which some patrons and community advocates described as "raids" that made them feel targeted and unsafe.

What's next: You shouldn't expect to see alcohol served in Washington strip clubs immediately.

  • The state Department of Labor and Industries first must develop detailed rules to implement the new strip club safety requirements, which are expected to be in place by January.

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2. Morning Buzz: Doggy day care data

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

ğŸŽ“ Washington students with disabilities are less likely to be employed or pursue postsecondary education after high school graduation, but connecting students with work experience while they're still in high school could help, a new survey finds. (Washington State Standard)

🐶 Seattle-area dog owners will find greater transparency when searching for pet day care services, after Public Health — Seattle & King County make permit suspensions data on the businesses available online later this year. (KING 5)

  • The change comes in response to last year's fire at Dog Resort SoDo, which forced the relocation of 43 dogs and left others missing.

🥗 Breaking lettuce news: Sweetgreen is coming to Seattle. (Seattle Refined)

🍔 A new "space-themed" 24-hour McDonald's has opened next to the Space Needle, and some city officials say it might help revitalize the area. (KOMO)

Editor's note: The pet day care item has been corrected to show Public Health — Seattle & King County will make permit suspensions data available online later this year but have not done so yet.

3. Where are we?

Photo: Christine Clarridge/Axios

Built to take in the region's travelers,

longtime home to prospectors and bachelors,

but it took quite a shake

in the Nisqually quake,

was refit and is now home to grandmothers.

If you know where we are, hit reply to answer!

🍐 Clarridge is designing a trellis for her new espalier Asian pear tree.

This newsletter was edited by Rachel La Corte and copy edited by Egan Millard.