Join Us

Food. Creativity. Music. Performing Arts.

A community-run space where all the best things happen. Dance, eat, play, talk, learn, celebrate.  Let's step up our game! 

The Black and Tan Hall Founders
From left Tarik Abdullah, Ben Hunter and Rodney Herold inside the Black and Tan Hall, still under construction.
Photo by Steve Korn for City Arts

~ We want your passion ~

This space is a challenge to the current way we run business. We strive to make this a community-run business that fosters consensus and idea-sharing, and reflects the passions, cultures, and energies that make up our community. We are a for-profit business that places people above profit, because that's how everyone truly wins. Apply to join us, become a partner, have a voice in major decisions, and reap the benefits and dividends, while also making our community more inclusive, understanding, and prosperous!


  • Why are we doing this?
    We love the idea of bringing our community together around arts and food, dancing and performing, stimulating discourse to go with small plates and drinks. Also, many regular people like ourselves do not have the time or money in the short term to own a stake in a community company, and we want to extend the opportunity for ownership to those willing to work hard, contribute as they are able to our business, and put themselves on the path of reaping the rewards--both tangible and intangible--of owning a successful local business.
  • What does the Black & Tan Hall do to make money?
    You can see the income streams in the pie chart displayed below, but fundamentally our company is offering a unique blend of experiences to patrons and investors. There is no other venue in our region where you can show up after work on a weeknight, share delicious small plate dinners while watching a theater performance, and then stick around to dance to live music to top off your night. Beyond that experience, Black & Tan Hall's three distinct spaces can be cordoned off or used together to allow separate rentals for events or workshops. Our company offers a simple subscription model for local families who can pay a flat monthly fee for routine access to discounts on many events.
  • How Much does it take to invest? Do I have to be rich?
    We do not just want your hours of work and your money. We want your ideas and your voice as we shape this community and company together. More than anything, we want you to share your passion with us. Of course, while we require both capital and labor to be contributed to our company to gain Partnership status (i.e. ownership shares), we want your ideas and your passion for our project above all else. You can invest your capital incrementally. The minimum amount required to invest is 52 hours of yearly unpaid labor plus a minimum of $2,500 in capital (only the labor is needed annually--the capital investment is a one-time contribution). If you are invited to join us as a Partner after applying, we will establish a payment plan with you that is manageable for your budget. If you wish to invest more money but less time, you may instead contribute 24 hours of unpaid work per year along with a minimum one-time investment of $10,000.
  • Where do I have to live to apply for Partnership?
    While our company is rooted in the South Seattle district of Hillman City, we are open to investment from all over the globe. Regardless of geography, each investor still must contribute both their capital and unpaid labor before they will be eligible for earning any dividends from our business. Of course, "labor" could take the form of promoting our events, or providing other essential services from a remote location. We are less concerned with where you live and more focused on whether you share our values as a partner in the company.
  • Who are the people responsible for running this business?
    Our Partners are craftspeople, community organizers, artists, musicians and educators. No matter what percentage of the business a partner owns, each has a voice at all of our quarterly meetings when we make major decisions and map the trajectory of our business. So we're all in this together and we like it that way.
  • What are the competitive advantages of Black and Tan Hall?
    We believe synergy is the key to our successful model. Instead of focusing on one revenue stream, we plan to create a hub of complementary activities. Our chef and founder, Tarik, brings vast talents and a respected name to the restaurant; and a small-plates menu has proven to be both profitable and pleasing. Many music venues struggle because they pay rent 24/7 but only make money in the evenings. Our plan is to be open early for breakfast and continue with profitable activities through the end of the day. With multiple streams of income (see chart below), we don't need to rely on just one income source as we ramp them all up to full potential. And finally there is the marketing symbiosis that comes from concentrating these activities in one center. People who come for breakfast may be delighted to discover they can come back later for guitar lessons, dance lessons, or live music.
  • How are dividends allocated?
    Make no mistake. The Black and Tan Hall is a for-profit business and we very much intend to turn a profit for our partners. On a periodic basis (most likely quarterly), if we have no past-due bills and are maintaining sufficient operating capital and funds earmarked for reinvestment, all excess profits will be distributed to partners. Distribution will be based upon percentage ownership. So although the financial barriers to investment are low (we value passion over money), the more an individual invests, the larger portion of dividends they'll earn.
  • When is this happening?
    We'll be officially open for business the summer of 2017. 1921 was the year our building was built. It was originally a movie theater called "The American Theater."
  • I do not want to become an owner, are there other ways I can contribute?
    Yes! While you are invited to describe exactly how you want to contribute by filling out the simple form below, we have already set up a simpler way to get involved: you can become a subscriber for a flat monthly fee. Contact us for more info.
  • Great! I like all of this, how should I get in touch?
    Fill out the simple form below to tell us both how and why you would like to be involved in our business.

~ Multiple Streams of Revenue ~

  • Classes

    Another focus of the business is education, and we intend to make the Black & Tan Hall a hub for learning music and arts. Once construction is complete upstairs, we'll have private instruction rooms in addition to one larger group area. And the hall downstairs can also accommodate group lessons. The demand for music and arts instruction in Seattle is high and we intend to build a roster of respected music and art teachers from the area and maintain a full schedule of lessons throughout the day. This is a natural extension of the work Ben Hunter has been doing with his local non-profit, Community Arts Create, as well as the work that he and Joe Seamons have done educating youth with the Rhapsody Project. We’re excited to make this a core part of the Black and Tan vision.

  • Subscriptions

    As community is a big focus of our model, we seek creative ways to keep families engaged on a sustained basis. We want to be a vibrant third place for the neighborhood. This is where the subscription model comes in, which can be paid monthly and will include benefits that encourage engagement.  These benefits may include discounts for the multiple activities that we'll be offering such as performance shows, music lessons, cooking classes, and dance classes.

  • Beverages

    Initially, Black and Tan Hall will serve beer, wine and creative wine and kombucha cocktails, as well as an assortment of non-alcoholic beverages. Later, as our evening activities expand, we may obtain a liquor license and stock a full bar for additional revenue.

  • Restaurant

    We’re very excited about the restaurant component of the business as our kitchen will be in the masterful hands of Chef Tarik. Tarik has been featured on ABC’s "The Taste", on Anthony Bourdain’s team, and has built a legion of local fans through both his culinary skills and education and empowerment efforts. Initially, he’ll serve brunch from 8am until 3pm. This will later expand to include an assortment of small plates served in the evening. The menu will emphasize a fusion in world cuisine to reflect the diverse community of the south end, with the twist of Tarik "the spice man" Abdullah, of course!

  • Space Rental

    The hall is perfectly suited for a variety of public and private events hosted by third-party groups, including parties, weddings, awards ceremonies, poetry slams, group instructions, and anything requiring a large tasteful space or stage. We’ve set things up in a way that will allow us to close off the hall and stage area from the dining area, so we can keep the restaurant going even when private events are held.

  • Performance

    Our multipurpose stage and hall can accommodate live music, theater, dance, movies, spoken word, comedy, or any form of performance art. We’ll employ multiple models that include staging ticketed and non-ticketed shows, renting the space for events, and selling recordings and videos to the performers. Our objective will be to maintain activities in the hall and on the stage seven evenings a week. We’ll also explore using technology to reach wider audiences by partnering with services such as to access global fans of live music.

~ Apply Here ~

Answer these brief questions below and we'll reach out with next steps. We look forward to partnering with you!