Preston venue brings new shows to town

May 4, 2010

By David Hayes

Pete Nelson knows that on any given weekend, Seattle has a stellar selection of live entertainment to choose from. He had the idea that since such acts are already performing nearby, why not get them to perform during the week at one of the Eastside’s burgeoning venues — Treehouse Point in Preston.

Off the beaten path of Preston-Fall City Road, far above the ground are Nelson’s two completed treehouses, the first of 10 he plans to open as bed and breakfast places for the adventuresome.

“We’re not musicians, but we love live music. Thus, a passion was born,” he said.

While he works out the permitting process with King County, the main, landlocked bed and breakfast is open and has been serving as a venue for live entertainment.

In the main house, he and his wife Judy host private shows that hold about 40 people. The bigger, “pond room,” which they’ve opened up for public performances, holds up to 100 in the audience.

Part of a sold-out audience on April 14 listens to urban folk music by (onstage, from left) Chris Kokesh and Jonathan Byrd, in the main hall at Treehouse Point. Photos by Greg Farrar

Nelson said he offers tickets in his small operation through Brown Paper Tickets and are usually about $30. There is a catch.

“We don’t have a liquor license yet, and probably won’t,” he said. “So, we’ve been telling people on our mailing list it’s BYOB.”

Nelson has partnered with Skillet Street Food in Seattle to provide food at events through the summer.

“I’m happy to say we have a broad taste of music here,” Nelson said. “The folk music had an especially nice feeling of joy amidst the quiet setting.”

The genres vary from funk and rock ’n roll to folk and mellow.

Buzz has been building for Treehouse Point, both through the mailers Nelson sends and through the artists’ own websites, allowing him to grab from their fan base.

“It’s become a nice, organic little process,” he said.

The Nelsons have owned the property for four years, but only opened operations to the public last year. Their foray into hosting weddings has expanded to every weekend being completely booked this summer.

While the wedding bookings have been Treehouse Point’s bread and butter, Nelson said, by the feedback they’ve been getting, the excitement is growing for the live entertainment.

“The feedback has come mostly from friends,” he said. “But they’ve said the quality of shows speak for themselves. And by that one alone, they’re coming back to every show.”

David Hayes: dhayes@isspress.com, 392-6434, ext. 237. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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