Changes In Store for Til-Two Club

Changes are on the way for Til-Two Club, City Heights' beloved rock & roll venue

Joni Mitchell once famously sang, “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” That phrase can be applied here and now quite literally to City Heights’ rock & roll stalwart, the Til-Two Club. Before assuming the worst -- no, the beloved club isn’t going anywhere -- some impending changes are around the corner.

The venue, situated at 4746 El Cajon Blvd., goes back to 1948 and was purchased most recently in 2010 by Mick Rossler and Dannielle Cobb (who also own/operate the Tower Bar down the street). When they took over the club from the then-Beauty Bar, they left most of it intact save a replica of the original Til-Two Club sign that was hoisted out front, new coats of paint, and some inside aesthetics.

The all-important stage, which took up an outdoor area of the club, stayed in place. With noise ordinances in place, how they’ve continued to put on the raucous rock/punk shows they’re known for boggles the mind. Turns out, complaints haven’t been much of an issue, according to Rossler.

“[We’d get noise complaints] only very occasionally if we had a show during the week that went late, but the neighbors have been really good about it. It doesn’t seem to bother them too much.”

One can only hope that continues. In May, Til-Two will undergo a massive structural change to accommodate the construction of new neighborhood projects.

“It’s been in the process for a long time,” Rossler told SoundDiego by phone. “They’re going to build some low-income apartments behind us and also a coffee shop … and a little parking lot [where the stage is now]. We were a little worried at first, but they’ve actually been talking to the community and they decided to base the project around us, even -- they’ve redesigned the apartments to fit into the Art Deco thing. We’re actually happy about it.”

So that outdoor stage area? Gone. You might be thinking: What is Til-Two going to do for shows? Well, they’ve got some plans in mind.

“We’re meeting with someone tomorrow that does stage construction,” Rossler explained. “I’m picturing having the stage where the roll-up door is right now. We’ll also take out the dropped ceiling right there. Which, actually won’t be too bad.”

The bar’s co-owner said they’re basically ready to roll when necessary.

“They pushed [construction] back to May 16. So the plan is as soon as that happens, we’ll build the new stage pretty quickly. At the most, maybe two or three weeks if we have to do some major stuff. So it won’t interfere with shows too much. And then in June, we’re thinking about maybe taking out a wall or making the actual bar smaller so we can fit more people.”

With a four-story apartment complex moving in directly behind them, our conversation circled back around to the noise issue and the influx of new residents about to move in. Surely, having a roof over the stage will help, right? Rossler agreed.

“Yea. I think we’ll have some sound people come in and make it so the noise doesn’t escape the room too much.”

While Til-Two preps for new neighbors and a change to the venue, it was clear that its owners were welcoming the transition and have their minds on the future of the establishment.

“There’s many positive things coming from this — for one, we’ll have an actual roof,” Rossler said. “That was always kind of a worry, with the noise and the weather. And one day, maybe if the insurance place on the corner ever moves, it’d be cool to move into that space too.”

Dustin Lothspeich plays in Diamond Lakes and Boy King, and runs Gear and Loathing in San Diego. Follow his updates on Twitter or contact him directly.

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