Revered, 'unique' Haight-Ashbury jazz club to close

A saxophone on an empty stage.
A saxophone on an empty stage. Photo credit Getty Images

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS RADIO) – Haight-Ashbury's "Club Deluxe" is shutting down.

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The beloved jazz venue in San Francisco claimed it can no longer find a way to keep the doors open.

The 33-year old club was a regular stop for jazz and swing musicians, featuring a mix of local and touring acts seven nights a week, while also serving as a trusted venue for visitors to the city.

Band and touring leader Nick Rossi, who’s performed at the club many times, said the loss will be felt beyond the Bay Area.

"Not only is the venue unique to San Francisco, it's fairly singular when compared to other venues throughout the United States," he told KCBS Radio.

"It was a venue in which musicians like myself could make creative music and play for a mix of people that wanted to listen to the music and people that wanted to go out and soak in the atmosphere with some friends and sip some cocktails."

In a letter to musicians informing them of the club's closure, owner Sarah Wilde alluded to issues with the building's owners, though she didn’t provide a clear reason for the shutdown.

She added that she hoped to move the venue elsewhere, but did not know how or when.

Wilde was not available for comment to KCBS Radio.

Veritas Investments, which owns the building, told KCBS Radio in an emailed statement that Club Deluxe's owners have met the firm's offers to remain in the space "with a nearly total lack of responsiveness" over the last year.

Veritas COO Jeff Jerden said the club is on a month-to-month lease and that his firm offered an amended lease.

"It is incredibly frustrating that we have done everything possible to prevent them from closing, only to be met with what they’ve inaccurately posted," Jerden said.

Supervisor Dean Preston, whose district includes Club Deluxe, told the San Francisco Chronicle he's looking into how the club can remain open, including potentially nominating the business to receive legacy status from the city.

However, Rossi was pessimistic about the venue's future.

"The communication that we as band leaders have received today definitely gave the sense that this is the end of this incarnation," he said.

Rossi added that the closure is another indication for the direction San Francisco is moving in.

"Having lived and made music in the city for over three decades, yeah there was a time when more of these places existed in San Francisco, but that's few and far in between (now)," he said.

It was not immediately clear when Club Deluxe will officially close.

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