Haight-Ashbury’s Club Deluxe reportedly closing

The Club Deluxe, a 33-year-old bar and music venue located at 1511 Haight St. in San Francisco’s iconic Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, would close its doors. District 5 Supervisor Dean Preston confirmed the news yesterday to the San Francisco Chronicle. (SFGATE and the San Francisco Chronicle are both owned by Hearst but operate independently of each other.)

On Tuesday, local musician Cathy Lemons posted a note on Facebook from Club Deluxe owner Sarah Wilde, informing their roster of musical acts that the venue would be closing.

“It is with sadness and a hint of disbelief that I must let you know that Deluxe will be closing,” the letter read in part. “Please let me say that I did everything I could.”

Wilde alludes to issues with the owners of the building and the Club Deluxe lease.

“We need the multi-billion dollar real estate company that owns our building, to allow a fraction of their portfolio to remain occupied by small businesses,” Wilde wrote. “…Because we simply cannot be held to the same leases as multi-million dollar companies; we don’t have real estate assets to pledge or inflated tech salaries piling up in our accounts.

Club Deluxe is one of those “soul of SF” places. Since 1989, it has provided a venue for local bands to showcase their talent and patrons, usually with no cover charge. The bar, which says on its website that it’s “reminiscent of an old New York jazz house,” is cozy and a bit funky, both in ambiance and in the spinning musical notes. It’s a real window into what people would like San Francisco to still be.

Wilde said in her memo that she hopes to move Club Deluxe to a new location, if possible. Preston offered to nominate the company to receive heirloom status, which would help with marketing efforts, business support and grants.

However, it would seem that the problem lies in the value that real estate investors place on small businesses. As of now, no official closing date has yet been announced.

“I love San Francisco,” Wilde wrote in his note. “But I worry about his soul.”

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