For many Capitol Hill coffee house habitués, Bauhaus Books & Coffee, 301 E. Pine St. is the place to be.
But not if you intend to play chess. Last month Bauhaus banished the game from its premises.
Bad behavior, says Bauhaus.
Not so, says chess player Dave Widlan.
Widlan, 32, a psychologist who lives on Capitol Hill, contends, "There were complaints about people not cleaning up, but most players would spend money. Three dollar cups of coffee add up."
Widlan says a core group of a dozen or so players gathered every day in the late afternoon and played into the evening for the past year.
Widlan acknowledges there were also complaints about the chess players staying too long, but "people stay three hours studying," he counters.
So, maybe the chess players were a little too unhip?
"Chess is very linear," Widlan says. "There's an old saying: good at chess, bad at life. Social relationships aren't linear."
Mis Loe, who works at Bauhaus, has definite opinions, linear or not, on the subject.
Originally, when Bauhaus agreed to let chess players play, she says it was supposed to happen on Tuesdays, 6-10 p.m.
"They took over the place 10 to 12 hours a day," Loe explains. "There would be eight people hovering around a table meant for two."
"Some were nice, some where not," she said of the chess players. "A handful of them ruined it for everybody."
"We had one guy bring his own beer and put it in his tea," Loe continues. "And one guy got in a fight with a transvestite. The guy used our signboard as a weapon and the transvestite had a whip. It turned into a circus."
The chess group has found a new venue in a backroom of a barbershop on Denny. Still, Widlan looks back on the Bauhaus with a touch of wistfulness.
"The Bauhaus scene was a pretty good chess scene," Widlan says. "There's one in Bellevue, but who wants to go to Bellevue?"