Normal Heights

Beloved San Diego Music Venue Takes Final Bow

LeStat's West music venue in Normal Heights has closed down, citing it could not survive the pandemic

NBC Universal, Inc.

A beloved San Diego music venue is closing down permanently. The owner of LeStat's West, John Husler, said the venue did not survive the long pandemic shutdown.

"I wish there was more interest in it," Husler said. "The artists have great interest in it and my heart's with them, but the audiences aren't as big and, you know, not as excited as they used to be."

LeStat's got its start 25 years ago when Husler opened up LeStat's coffee shop on Adams Avenue in Normal Heights. Five years later Husler opened the theater next door, Lestat's West.

Husler found great success and eventually opened two more LeStat coffee shops, one in Hillcrest and another in University Heights.

"Jason Mraz played here a lot, I met him and so many great musicians and such a great venue," musician Lawrence Johnson said.

The music venue was known to be a welcoming place for up-and-coming artists to develop their crafts. Well-known artist, like Grammy Award-winning artist Jason Mraz, performed there, too.

"I hope that it finds its footing someplace because without it, I just feel that a big piece of our culture will die," Husler said.

The theater closed its doors back in March 2020 during the start of the pandemic, but they never re-opened. San Diego musicians told NBC 7 how they will miss the all ages club that brought live music to the community.

"The music industry paid the price for this one, and the touring industry. We're the last to come back and we're hit the hardest," said Louis Brazier, the booking manager and sound engineer of LeStat's West.

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