SEATTLE -- For 17 years, The Fenix Underground was a well-known center of Pioneer Square's live music universe. On December 31st, the club's owners hope the old name will rise to its former heights again.
"I never thought I'd be opening another one," said co-owner Rick Wyatt, "If anything's going to work in Pioneer Square, it'll be another Fenix."
This will be the sixth incarnation of The Fenix. The most recent went bankrupt in 2007. Prior to that, the largest version of The Fenix was damaged beyond repair in the 2001 Nisqually earthquake.
"The earthquake was a dark day for me," continued Wyatt. "I lost everything. It just took five more years to play out."
Since The Fenix shutdown, Wyatt left Seattle for a time for medical reasons. Now back, he said plans to bring back The Fenix started just two months ago.
The new Fenix will replace The Last Supper Club, another Pioneer Square staple.
"Took me an hour to tell (the Supper Club owner), don't close it. Let's make it a Fenix," recalled Wyatt, "The Fenix had to rise again."
Even Wyatt acknowledged the nightlife in Pioneer Square has changed since 2007. Much of the live music and events have moved to other parts of the city.
"The dark days of Pioneer Square were about three years ago," said Wyatt, "But the viaduct's coming down. We're going to have an embarcadero and a waterfront. We're going to have a whole new economic vitality here."
Wyatt thinks Pioneer Square is reenergizing itself, and his Fenix name needs to be part of it.
"I'll be dead sixty years I'm sure and I'll have to crawl out of my grave to open another one because they called it The Fenix," joked Wyatt.
The new Fenix opens New Year's Eve.