Anthology Closes Its Doors

It’s the end of the road for Anthology, the second of San Diego’s well-known music venues to close its doors recently.

The iconic Little Italy venue's marketing manager said Friday that Anthology was closing and will not be reopening.

"It is with great sadness that I send this email today to inform you that owner Howard Berkson announced today that Anthology has officially closed its doors and will not be reopening," Anthology's Casey Pukl wrote in a note sent out in the afternoon.

Over the past three years, SoundDiego has covered acts ranging through all genres of music, including Hubert Sumlin, Bettye Lavette, Susanna Hoffs, the Milk Carton Kids, Parliament-Funkadelic, Leo Kottke, Los Lobos, Meshell Ndegeocello, Bela Fleck, Booker T. Jones, Albert Lee, John Popper, Joan Osborne, the Jazz Crusaders and dozens of others.

The Little Italy venue is the second in a month in San Diego to shut down after the owners of downtown’s 4th and B lost their lease late last year.

“It’s a great loss to the San Diego music community to hear that Anthology is closing, especially after hearing last month about 4th & B,” SoundDiego managing editor Eric Page said. “Anthology was a unique venue to San Diego, showcasing jazz and blues artists that may in some cases now have a hard time finding a venue to perform at in San Diego.”

Berkson, a real estate developer with Chicago ties, and his wife, Marsha, opened Anthology in 2007 as a music venue and supper club.

The club boasted a nearly sonically perfect room and a upscale reputation. However that may have also led to its demise, said Rosemary Bystrak, who blogs for SDDialedIn and SoundDiego.

“I don’t know that the supper club as an idea could really flourish in San Diego,” Bystrak said.

Bystrak said she suspected the club was closing for financial reasons as well.

Besides showcasing acts inside its venue, Anthology hosted a pair of street festivals called StreetBeat that filled the blocks around the club with acts like Jakob Dylan and the Wallflowers, O.A.R. and Gomez.

While Pukl declined to comment on the reasons for the closure, the music community had been concerned about Anthology's future after it was announced last month that one San Diego's most upscale music spot's was "temporarily postponing our concert schedule due to refurbishment upgrades and repairs" in January.

Fans weren't the only ones who loved Anthology -- so did performers, including Tom Hanks' wife, Rita Wilson, who performed there in May.

"I just want to give a shout out to Anthology," Wilson told SoundDiego. "Such a beautiful club. You guys are so lucky to have a club this beautiful in this community. You're really, really lucky."

Music fans were understandably upset about the closure, many commenting on SoundDiego's Facebook page about shows they had seen at the iconic India Street venue.

"What?! NO!!!!!," posted Traci Strand. "What an amazing place to see a show! I first saw Anna Nalick there and became a huge fan. I'm so sorry to see this place go!"

Victoria Price Eicher spoke for many when she posted, "Sad news! Loved that venue!"

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