Music Box's landlord evicted; Blue Palms closing Sunday night
While today's sudden closure of the Music Box will have reverberations on the local music scene, it was the venue's craft beer bar that today provided some clarity on the situation. "In light of our landlord losing their lease, we are in middle of the fallout," writes the restaurant/bar on its Facebook page. As earlier reported, the venue was suddenly shuttered today, surprising even its main promoter for concerts, Goldenvoice.
The music community remains optimistic that the 1,300-capacity Music Box will reopen soon. Goldenvoice is continuing to sell tickets for concerts at the venue, including a Feb. 2 Jayhawks date, and is going ahead with tomorrow's planned on-sale for the Cults, who are scheduled to appear at the venue March 22. Tom Windish, the Cults' booking agent, wrote in an email, "The venue is going to reopen soon. If it doesn't, there is a backup venue in place."
No reason was given by the Music Box, the concert venue inside the Henry Fonda Theater, for its sudden closure, and emails and voicemails left with numerous Music Box executives have not been returned. The Music Box has also not updated any of its social networking sites, leaving fans confused if shows, such as Wednesday's dance event Funktion, are going forward as planned.
The Blue Palms, which has established itself as one of the city's premier craft beer bars with a heavily rotating list, wrote on its Facebook page that the restaurant could be in peril. "The Blue Palms is a small company and in the world of sterile business, we are pawns. Please stay tuned, we love you guys and we are doing our best to convince the owners of our worth. Please help us in posting your support and we hope to keep you posted."
Owner Brian Lenzo said the restaurant is open tonight and will remain open through Sunday evening, but then will be forced to close its doors. The restaurant was a sub-lease of the venue, and therefore, Lenzo said, was evicted along with those who ran the Music Box. "I'm trying to stay positive," Lenzo said. "The support of the beer community has been unbelievable."
Lenzo said Blue Palms will be tapping a host of offerings from Russian River Brewing Co. on Saturday, and is hoping to work out a lease with the owners of the property so as not to be beholden to those who are leasing the concert venue.
Earlier today, Goldenvoice was struggling to get a handle on the situation. The company released a statement that said, "At this time, it is our understanding that the closing of The Music Box is a short term closure, please be patient with us as we work out the details as they pertain to our previously scheduled shows."
-- Todd Martens
Image: The Music Box is the concert venue inside the Henry Fonda Theater, seen here in 1994. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times