Seattle ravers, there's a new club in town. And her name is Cherry.
The new space is part of Kremwerk's expanding footprint in the Denny Triangle. At 2100 square feet and a 282-person capacity, Cherry will join Kremwerk, Timbre Room, and pizzeria Little Maria's (which is temporarily closed until spring, when Cherry construction is expected to die down) to become the biggest venue in the multi-level club complex. And this week, it will have its official grand opening as part of Kremwerk's eight-year anniversary fest, which brings performers from around the world out to party.
In a recent interview, Kremwerk owner and operator Nicole Stone told The Stranger that her dream had always been "to turn the entire structure into a big nightclub, all floors." That's doable, since she's her own landlord—Stone owns the part of the block the complex is situated on. So when Pho Bac exited the space next door during the pandemic, Stone jumped at the chance to expand her queer-friendly enterprise into the neighboring venue.
Cherry wasn't always going to be called Cherry. For years, Stone said the Kremwerk crew had been telling everyone that the next addition to the complex would be called Stardust (I also heard that rumor) up until very recently to give it an air of mystery. But because of all the brick in the space, Stardust "doesn't really land." Instead, Stone plucked the name Cherry as both a tribute to her Rottweiler, Cherrybomb, and a nod to a lesbian night of the same name put on by Seattle promoter and artist Lisa Orth back in the '90s.
“Cherry…it's different, and that's what we like about it,” said Stone. “It's clever, it’s queer. It could be so many things."
While there is an ADA-accessible entrance on the street, most clubgoers must go through Timbre Room's patio to a door near a back firepit to get into the club. From there, it's a bit of a maze to get to the stage—you're first greeted with the all-red chill-out zone called the Cherry Pit, before hitting the four all-gender bathrooms, then the huge shiny bar, THEN you get to the dancefloor. I could see it being a little difficult to navigate during packed events, as people waiting to piss or get a drink clog the hallway that serves as the club's spine. But the Cherry Pit is a welcome respite for when the venue gets too overwhelming.
If the original Kremwerk is a sweaty basement bunker and Timbre Room is a soundproof wooden shack, then the ground-level Cherry is the most spacious and femme-iest club of the bunch. Above the main space are more than a dozen (and counting) disco balls that splatter rainbows across the concrete and brick interiors. Just to the left of the stage is an all-black alcove for partiers to sit and rest. And to the right are giant Danley SH50 loudspeakers and TH118 subwoofers that will rock your shit 'til the wee hours. And because the space will host balls and drag shows (Cucci's Critter Barn and Noir will move permanently to Cherry), there will be a removable catwalk to use as needed.
"We're super excited about Cherry because Cherry has a much more vaulted ceiling effect than the other spaces," said Stone. "We want to do something that's a little more electronic and progressive."
Cherry is still a work in progress, however, with supply chain delays slowing some of the final touches of the space. Getting gear has been extremely difficult for the club, with their CDJ 3000s and Pioneer V10 LF mixers coming in at the last minute. There are also plans to construct a hanging DJ booth (so vinyl jockeys can play their records without bass reverberations making it skip), put up soundproofing curtains on the street-facing wall, and install cherry-themed light fixtures and wallpaper.
But the show must go on. Last Saturday, SeaTac Ballroom's Strike a Pose mini-ball and dance party took over Cherry for the venue's soft opening, like it will do every second Saturday of the month from now on. And as part of the Kremwerk complex's eighth-anniversary event this week, False Prophet officially opens the space on Wednesday. The showcase features industrial, coldwave, and minimal synth sets by Spike Hellis, Andi, Milliken Chamber, and Sharlese. Also very exciting: The legendary dance night Flammable will close out the anniversary lineup. Known as the longest-running house music weekly in the country, Flammable has moved over from former Kremwerk neighbor Re-bar (R.I.P.) to make Cherry its permanent home.
And on that Re-bar note: Kremwerk, Timbre Room, and Cherry aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Back in 2019, Diamond Parking put the building that housed Re-bar up for sale and was apparently waiting on Stone to sell her portion to nab the whole block. In our interview, Stone reiterated she has no plans to fork over Kremwerk complex's plot to any parking lot empire. She said she takes great pride in providing a safe community space for clubgoers of all stripes to come and be themselves.
"I feel very fortunate to be where we are and to be able to have these new people come into the venue," she told me. "People come from all over the world to see some of our shows here, which is pretty special."
Learn more about Cherry and Kremwerk's eighth-anniversary celebration here.