In a move that can only be described as good news for the San Diego music scene, the owners of the West Coast Tavern have announced that they purchased the adjoining North Park Theatre.
In the past, live music events have been programmed at the venue, but rarely. Instead, the theatre will now regularly feature both live bands (national and local) and moves, and will offer full food and drink service inside the theatre. Up till now, patrons could buy a cocktail in the lobby from West Coast’s bartenders, and then bring it inside with a useless, unnecessary lid.
"The theatre has been underutilized for many years due to financial and staffing constraints," said David Cohen, who, along with Bobby Jones and the Verant Group, are the site’s new owners. "The building needs a full-time management team in place that can dedicate 100 percent of its efforts and resources to booking the venue. We have assembled an all-star team to accomplish this task and look forward to producing about 200 events per year.”
Among those helping to program events: local music impresario Tim Mays, who is the owner of the Casbah and who, under the umbrella of Casbah Presents, has been booking shows everywhere from the Belly Up to the House of Blues to the Spreckels Theatre.
The theatre was built in the heart of North Park more than 80 years ago but languished for years prior to a renovation and re-opening in 2005. The 730-seat venue, which Cohen and his partners are hoping to expand to as much as 1,200, has been home to hundreds of events since then, including, just last month, a bill that included Ra Ra Riot during the San Diego Music Thing.