A message posted on the Lestat's West Music Venue Facebook page on Monday afternoon had some sad news for local music fans: "This is it, folks, come out and support the venue. *** Lestat's West Music Venue closing at the end of March ***"
"The closure [of the music venue] is not set in stone, but it's likely to close at the end of the month," said Lestat's owner John Husler, who suspected one of the music venue's employees had put up the Facebook post, adding that it was "more than likely that the theater will close, probably to reopen in 18 months with more of a community focus."
Fans of the adjoining Lestat's Coffee House, however, as well as of the two Lestat's satellites in University Heights and Hillcrest, can rest easy -- Husler said all three cafes would remain open for business.
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As a whole, Lestat's has been hosting live music and other entertainment for 20 years, opening the Lestat's West Music Venue 12 years ago. Since then, thousands of singers and songwriters and other performers have come to love the small theater on Adams Avenue.
Husler said the music venue "hasn't been profitable, and that's the issue," and that the discussion of the closure has been ongoing for the past two years. Millennials, he believes, won't go out to see a local band unless they're famous.
"It's never been profitable, but it was more cost-neutral [in the past]," Husler said.
When the site does re-open -- possibly as early as next March -- it will likely be hosting events that pull from the local community, such as nearby clubs, churches and SDSU student events; "events that are more attractive to millennials," in his words. And the relaunch -- which will feature some sort of minor cosmetic improvements -- won't be entirely music-free. Husler said he plans to continue open mike nights, as well as the poetry readings and the comedy nights that have been successful in the past.
Husler said the two employees who did the lion's share of work at the music venue were both being offered positions within the restaurant.