Music

Former Anthology Venue to become Music Box

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If you build it (or buy it out of foreclosure) will they come?

Anthology, the former upscale venue for mid-level acts, in business for almost six years on India Street, abruptly closed on January 1, 2013. The venue looks as though it has new owners and will reopen in September.

The property has been purchased out of foreclosure by San Diego company 1337 India Street, LLC and will re-open the club as the Music Box. The first act of 14 confirmed shows at this point, is scheduled for September 17, featuring the Texas bluegrass band,Whiskey Myers.

Whether the club can rise out of the ashes is yet to be determined. The Chicago couple (who will remain nameless) who originally opened the club, in this entertainment reporter’s humble opinion, brought that, “we’re from the big city (Chicago) and we know how it’s done” attitude. They never realized that the San Diego market is truly unique and a different approach is absolutely required. They were very set in their ways and took the attitude that, as the ‘voice’ in Field of Dreams whispered, “if you build it, they will come.” (Actually, it was ‘he’ will come, but you get the point).

Their strength in booking acts was sabotaged by their marketing approach, which was very canned and while the cuisine was often touted, frankly, the quality, presentation and value never achieved the levels to charge the prices offered. Which, in addition to the ticket cost, became prohibitive.

In fairness, the Chicagoans suffered through the worst of the economy during their period of operation, when a lot of very interesting food, beverage and entertainment places struggled. But the parent company of the new venue (with principals, Barone brothers Damon and Daren) have reportedly committed $1.5 million dollars to acquire the property.

Clearly they have a high level of confidence in ‘re-adding’ the venue to a San Diego music scene that is sorely lacking in quality, live music. We’re hoping they make it. Stay tuned…

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