Cats Out Of The Bag! All That We Know, About Chainsaw Cat!
In mid-May, rumors started circling about the former Drink'n Games location at 509 West Yakima Ave. All we knew for sure was that the site was being worked on and the name "Chainsaw Cat"! A pretty awesome name, but for what kind of business?
UPDATE: THE CHAINSAW CAT'S GRAND OPENING!
Well, on a sad note, on June 6th, an amazing business in Yakima, Punks Bar, announced via its Facebook Page that it would be shutting its doors. On the 7th, it posted a heartfelt thanks:
"Thank you, Yakima, for a great closing day. We wish that could have been the norm, but wishes are wishes, and they don't do the dishes! We had a great time serving up happiness to this community! Hopefully, the next original venue gets as much support as you gave us on our day of closing, every day!! As I always say, when the show is over! PEACE, LOVE & ANARCHY! BE A BETTER HUMAN EVERY DAY!"
– Punks Bar
A few days later, Punks Bar announced that some of its upcoming concerts scheduled in July, August, and September would be hosted at Chainsaw Cat. So that gave us an idea of what Chainsaw Cat was set to be, a new bar and, more importantly, a venue to open soon!
After my original article about Chainsaw Cat, I contacted the business partners behind Chainsaw Cat! I met up with Abiel Hoff and Traci Burnes to get a tour and discuss their plans for the spot with so much potential!
The first question I asked was simply, what will Chainsaw Cat be? The answer was more in-depth than expected, which excited me even more!
"We are a music venue whose primary focus will be supporting local musicians, artists, and charities within the Yakima community while also hosting nationally and internationally touring acts." - Abiel
How is it going to be different and impact/help the community?
"The sole drive of The Chainsaw Cat is to give local, original artists of any genre an opportunity to perform, grow and hone their skills while residing in Yakima. If you are creating something original that you want to express or show the community, I want to give you stage time. Our creative journeys all start somewhere - We just want to be as supportive as possible. This mindset does not stop with music. We also want to support our local comedians, actors, drag performers and help to strengthen each creative community. I also want to support our underage artists and give them a safe, positive stage to express their creativity to their peers." – Abiel
The name Chainsaw Cat is so awesome and unique; where did it come from?
"Mow Mow Chainsaw Cat AKA THE Chainsaw Cat (2002 – 2022). Mow Mow Chainsaw Cat was my beloved cat that passed in November of 2022. Small body, big soul, she was the most badass, amazing creature that would greet everyone with a grumpy face and an affectionate purr. I wish everyone could have had the chance to meet her. So, naturally, I wanted to immortalize her the best way I knew how." – Traci
You've mentioned helping the community; what are your ties and history here in Yakima?
"I grew up in Yakima. I went to school in West Valley until graduating from WVHS. Growing up here, I honestly felt like I couldn't wait to get out. During my teen years, I picked up a guitar at the encouragement of my Uncle Ruben Rodriguez and my Dad, Darrell Hoff. Music really helped me navigate the flood of emotions that growing up can throw your way. Back then, I was a frequent visitor and player at The Zone. These days were crucial for my creative development. Being a part of a community of musicians and artists really helped me find my own creative strengths and personal drive that has carried me through into my adult years. I left in 2004 for college and made the decision to come back to Yakima permanently in 2019. Since being back, I have been inspired by so many people, small businesses, and other creatives. I'm very excited to create this place in this town that I love so much. This community means the world to me, and I want the whole world to know it." – Abiel
What about you Traci? What's your relation to Yakima & drive to help open a business here?
"For me, there is something really appealing about knowing and enriching your community and investing in a town that you really love. When I first started visiting Yakima in 2016, I quickly fell in love with the town and its amazing people.
I'm fortunate that I've had great mentors in the small business world. Growing a business and being able to empower the wonderful people around me has always been one of my passions. So when I look around, I see so many thriving small businesses, and I'm in awe of all of them. Talk about variety! If you look at just a few blocks' radius, you get Game & Grog, Three Sisters Metaphysical Arts, Main Stop on the Ave, Le Mercantile, and honestly, so many more to name. Together, all these businesses make the community of Yakima what it is, and I'm super happy to be joining them!" – Traci
While getting the tour of the building, I brought up the other bars and venues that are bringing entertainment into the valley. If there were any worries about stepping on toes? Abiel mentioned working with the other venues to help coordinate and cross-promote each other.
"I firmly believe that together we can achieve something amazing. I have as much passion for my own business as I do for my surrounding venues and small businesses. We all have our story to tell - Together; we tell the story of our city. I have been inspired by all of our local venues since moving back and want to be sure that I am showing them love on my concert calendar." - Abiel
I'm excited for the upcoming opportunities that Chainsaw Cat will be able to offer. After The Capitol Theatre and The Seasons, the stage in Chainaw Cat is one of the biggest in the valley, and any entertainment, whether music, comedy, or theatrical, will be very welcomed here in Yakima. As of this writing, the time frame for their grand opening is Mid-Summer of this year.
QUIZ: Can you identify 50 famous companies by their logos?
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