I know how it is: you’re sitting with some friends in a gin bar, wearing your finest flannel and skinny jeans combo, your Ray-Ban eyeglasses freshly polished and your sweet Aramaic tattoos catching the dim light just right, when suddenly, it breaks. The hipness floods out; too many people who look like you; and also, gin sucks! The tipping point has killed this gin joint, and your tattoos are going to have to find a new place to cool their incomprehensible heels. Well, look no further my trend-spotting, ukelele-playing twee bearded hero: the Elks lodge is over that next hill.
Just a year ago, the sight of 20- and 30-somethings inside Seattle’s Elks lodges — places long known for secret meetings, bingo games and square dancing — was fairly uncommon. Membership in fraternal clubs across the nation has been plummeting for decades.
But the Elks club is cool again in Seattle.
Yes, it would seem that hipsters are now going to ruin your dad’s favorite social spot. Just listen to what Jesse Calixto had to say upon discovering the Queen Anne Elks Lodge in Seattle:
“I didn’t think it would be as cool as it was,” said Calixto, 29, who lives on Capitol Hill. “You think of these things as stuffy retirement homes, but when I showed up it was this awesome building that has so much potential. It was a great party.”
That’s right–it was a great party. Cheap drinks, great views, and actual membership criteria (be a God-fearing American, and also have a friend in the club) to keep the riff-raff out! It’s a place where you can actually turn someone away! Not like some shitty gin bar where they’ll let any asshole wearing a polo shirt hang out. Polo? Has he never heard of Obey? Also, that Kelly Kapowski shirt hasn’t been cool for weeks. But I digress.
Elks clubs, with long plummeting memberships, are naturally pretty excited about this new wave of members. And since Elks clubs perform a variety of community services, this will undoubtedly be a win for whatever community chooses to allow hipsters to join their clubs.
Sadly, it will not be a win for your dad, who will simply not understand how to wear flannel ironically, or say with any feeling the phrase “I loved Lana Del Rey before she was cool.”
Tough break, dad. Now get the hell out–there’s pinball to be played and PBRs to be enjoyed. And is that a vintage High Life sign? Cool.