Seattle's iconic Cafe Racer to be sold | KUOW News and Information

Seattle's iconic Cafe Racer to be sold

Mar 16, 2017

Seattle's Cafe Racer, where four people were shot and killed in 2012, is being sold. 

The cafe, bar and restaurant has been a fixture of the University District for years.

Lime green on the outside with velvet paintings hanging by the bar, it’s known as a popular meeting spot for local musicians and artists.


Owner of the café, Kurt Geissel, said the shooting was a dark point, but he said the outpouring of support afterward made him realize how important the business is to the neighborhood.

"It really brought the community around the place," Geissel said. "I had no idea what this space meant to other people."

After posting his decision to sell on Facebook, Geissel received a huge response from community members.

“This is so bittersweet,” Anastazja Chajewska wrote. “Thank you for making a place like Cafe Racer. You deserve now to do other things that make you happy.”

That sentiment seems to sum up Geissel’s feelings. He's selling with a heavy heart. But he's been struggling to keep the cafe afloat financially and says it's time for him to move on and focus on other things in his life.

He has a second full-time job at the University of Washington and Geissel said he wants to be able to finally have some time to relax.

“Not having to get up and think, what do I need to do, what bills do I have to pay, what should be painted, what should be cleaned? Just not having to worry about it for a little while, going on a road trip, just being a normal human.”

Geissel’s hope is that whoever buys the place will run it like him. 

"My dream is that it can remain as closely the same as possible. I mean, I want to be able to come down here and hang out and not see much difference."

Geissel said the business could be bought and turned into something like a store or sub shop. But it may stay a cafe, as he's been approached by people interested in keeping Cafe Racer open.

Until a deal is reached, Geissel said it's business as usual for customers and artists.