The Crocodile

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The Crocodile
The Croc
Crocodile Cafe.jpg
Exterior of venue (c.2007)
Former namesCrocodile Cafe (1991-2007)
Address2200 2nd Ave
Seattle, WA 98121-2017
OwnerMarcus Charles
Susan Silver
Sean Kinney
Eric Howk
Peggy Curtis[1]
OpenedApril 30, 1991 (1991-04-30)
Venue Website

The Crocodile (formerly The Crocodile Cafe, and sometimes called The Croc) is a music club at 2200 2nd Avenue at Blanchard Street in the neighborhood of Belltown in Seattle, Washington, United States. Opened as the "Crocodile Cafe" on April 30, 1991 by Stephanie Dorgan, it quickly became a fixture on the local music scene. It closed on December 15, 2007,[3] and reopened on March 19, 2009.[4]


The venue's first show featured The Posies and Love Battery;[5] the last, Robin Pecknold, J. Tillman, and David Bazan.[6] During its initial 16-year run, the Croc hosted numerous well-known acts including Mudhoney,[6] Tad,[6] Nirvana,[6] Pearl Jam,[6] Sunny Day Real Estate,[6] Everclear,[6] Mad Season,[6] Green Day,[6] The Strokes,[6] Joanna Newsom,[7] Cheap Trick,[6] Indigo Girls,[8] Robyn Hitchcock,[6] Porcupine Tree,[9] Glenn Tilbrook,[10] Rhonda Vincent,[11] Death Cab for Cutie,[6] Yoko Ono,[6] Ann Wilson,[8] Sleater-Kinney,[6] R.E.M.,[6] Soft Boys, Built to Spill,[6] Neutral Milk Hotel,[12] Dinosaur Jr.,[8] Beastie Boys,[6] Corinne Bailey Rae,[8] Rachael Yamagata, Kevn Kinney of Drivin N Cryin, Ventures,[8] Chris Knox, The Presidents of the United States of America,[6] and Harvey Danger, who chose the Cafe for their final performance.[13]

Mad Season played their first concert at the Crocodile Cafe on October 12, 1994 under the name The Gacy Bunch.[14]

In February 1996, Seattle's Popllama Records released the compilation album Bite Back: Live at the Crocodile Cafe, which featured bands such as The Walkabouts, Girl Trouble, Flop, and Gas Huffer.[6]

After opening the Crocodile Cafe, owner Stephanie Dorgan later married R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, who became a partner in the Crocodile. Buck often played there with his other band, The Minus 5. Dorgan and Buck divorced in 2006 and the Croc closed unexpectedly in December 2007.[3]


The closing of the Crocodile Cafe, a fixture of the local music scene, caused widespread speculation in regard to the future of the establishment. After months of speculation, a group of business people and musicians including Alice in Chains' drummer Sean Kinney,[15][16] Alice in Chains manager Susan Silver,[15][16] Peggy Curtis,[17] Portugal. The Man guitarist Eric Howk, and Capitol Hill Block Party co-founder Marcus Charles purchased the establishment.[17] The new owners renamed it "The Crocodile" and reopened it on March 19, 2009 after much-needed renovation.[17][4] The venue was re-open to the public with two consecutive nights featuring all local bands.[4]

In March 2013, Rolling Stone named The Crocodile as one of the best clubs in America, ranked at No. 7.[18] The Guardian included the club in its list of the "Top 10 live music venues in Seattle".[19]

On October 9, 2013, R&B singer JoJo performed "Smells Like Teen Spirit" during the final stop of her West Coast promotional tour.[20] It was a little more than 21 years since Nirvana last performed at the club on October 4, 1992 billed as a "secret opening act" though they actually did not play "Teen Spirit" despite getting requests to do so, making this one of the few performances of the song at the Crocodile.[21]

On August 22, 2018, Alice in Chains sent fans on a Scavenger Hunt to access a secret gig that the band would be performing in Seattle on August 24. Ten signed copies of their latest album Rainier Fog were hidden around the city as a ticket into the show, and the band asked the fans to keep an eye on their Instagram story for details on these 10 hidden locations. Once all 10 albums were found, the band revealed that the secret gig would be at The Crocodile with limited tickets available with the purchase of their new album at a pop-up event at the same venue the next day.[22]

On August 23 and 24, 2018, The Crocodile hosted a pop-up shop and retrospective for Alice in Chains featuring rare photos, limited-edition merchandise, memorabilia and music gear that showcased the band's 30+ year career. The admission was free.[23]

In popular culture[edit]

The Crocodile Cafe is referenced by Canadian singer-songwriter Mae Moore in the song "Fine" from her 1995 Dragonfly LP.

Scenes from the 1995 film Georgia starring Jennifer Jason Leigh were shot at the venue.[8]



  1. ^ "The Crocodile reopens Saturday with a Hot Buttered Rum show". The Seattle Times. March 20, 2009. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  2. ^ "The Best Live Music Venues in Seattle". Seattle Magazine. September 2014. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Tom Scanlon (December 17, 2007). "Crocodile Cafe abruptly closes its doors". The Seattle Times.
  4. ^ a b c Levin, Hannah (March 17, 2009). "The New Crocodile Opens on Thursday With Two Nights of Free Shows". Seattle Weekly. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  5. ^ "The Croc's miracle mixer man Originally published". The Seattle Times. December 21, 2007. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Blecha, Peter (February 14, 2008). "Crocodile Cafe: Seattle's Icon of the Grunge Rock Era". Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  7. ^ "Joanna Newsom Concert Setlist at Crocodile Cafe, Seattle on June 5, 2004". Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d e f John Marshall (December 18, 2007). "Seattle's Crocodile Cafe closes". Seattle Post Intelligencer.
  9. ^ "Porcupine Tree Concert Setlist at Crocodile Cafe, Seattle on June 4, 2005". Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  10. ^ Wilson, Kathleen (April 25, 2002). "It's My Party". The Stranger. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  11. ^ "'Mandolin Mama' wows with stirring style of bluegrass". Seattle PI. June 16, 2005. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  12. ^ "Neutral Milk Hotel Concert Setlist at Crocodile Cafe, Seattle on April 14, 1998". Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  13. ^ "Harvey Danger Play Final Show". SPIN. August 31, 2009. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  14. ^ de Sola, David (August 4, 2015). Alice in Chains: The Untold Story. Thomas Dunne Books. p. 221. ISBN 1250048079.
  15. ^ a b "Legendary Crocodile, the cradle of grunge, rocks into its next stage". The Seattle Times. March 21, 2009. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  16. ^ a b Gillian G. Gaar (February 2, 2010). "Alice in Chains' Homecoming". Seattle Weekly. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  17. ^ a b c "The Return of The Crocodile". The Stranger. March 26, 2009. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
  18. ^ "The Best Clubs in America / 7. The Crocodile in Seattle". Rolling Stone. March 28, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  19. ^ Simmons, Abbey (May 25, 2013). "Top 10 live music venues in Seattle". The Guardian.
  20. ^ "JoJo covers Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in Seattle". October 10, 2013.
  21. ^ "Nirvana - Crocodile Cafe, Seattle, WA 1992". YouTube.
  22. ^ Banas, Erica (August 23, 2018). "Alice In Chains Sent Fans on a Scavenger Hunt to Access Secret Gig". ALT 92.9 Boston. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  23. ^ "Alice in Chains Pop-up Museum Coming to the Croc". KISW. August 8, 2018. Retrieved August 24, 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°36′49″N 122°20′40″W / 47.613488°N 122.344373°W / 47.613488; -122.344373