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Fundraising campaign launched for Big Dipper

The Big Dipper, that distinctive blue brick building on the corner of Washington Street and Second Avenue, might finally get a chance at a new life.

Musician Dan Hoerner, a founding member of the Seattle indie rock band Sunny Day Real Estate, bought the Dipper last year and plans to reopen it as a live music venue.

The last time the Big Dipper building was fully operational, it was home to the revamped Empyrean Coffee House, which closed its doors in early 2011. In order for the building to be up to code, a new fire sprinkler system will need to be installed, and Hoerner has reached out for donations on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo. The current fundraising goal is set at $50,000, and donations will be accepted through April 23. Incentives for donations (depending on dollar amount) include concert passes, Big Dipper T-shirts and, if you’ve got $25,000 to spare, a plaque with your name on it commemorating the stage.

“The Big Dipper was a great club, and it can be a great club again,” Hoerner says in the pitch video on the Indiegogo page. We’ll have more complete coverage of the venue’s potential reopening in coming weeks.

To make a donation, visit