“It is with a heavy heart today that I announce that Great Scott will not reopen,” according to a message from Tim Philbin, the Boston rock club’s long-time manager, posted on facebook, instagram and twitter this afternoon.
The venue, located at 1222 Commonwealth Ave., Allston, had been closed since mid-March as part of community efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus. “After several weeks of dormancy, the venue was informed by its building landlords that its lease would not be renewed,” Michael Marotta reports at Vanyaland.
“The landlords were willing to extend the lease if we would not do live music anymore,” booker Carl Lavin tells Luke O’Neil. “They were open to extending the lease for two years. Frank was like I don’t have the money to pay to keep it open [during the shutdown]. … He’d have to borrow it to stay in business just long enough to be forced out in two years anyway and still have this loan.”
“For 44 years Great Scott has provided entertainment and more than a few beverages for a loyal group of customers,” the social media posts read. “From its inception in 1976 as a local bar featuring blues and folk performers to the 1980s and 1990s as a beloved college dive featuring cover bands and DJ nights, to the 2000s and its emergence as one of the best lives venues in the city, Great Scott has meant many things to many people. Through I all we’ve aspired to be a good neighbor to our community and a friend o all who walk hrough our doors. There is a sign that still hangs in the venue from the establishment that Great Scott replaced. The name of which was Brandy’s. That sign reads, ‘Where Incredible Friendships Began.’ I’m glad we never took it down because it explains Great Scott better than I ever could. Take care of yourselves and each other.”
“Ticket buyers will be receiving emails with further information,” the venue said on Facebook.
On March 16, Philbin had helped launch a “Great Scott / O’Brien’s Pub Employee Relief Fund” on GoFundMe.
“As many of you know, due to the Covid-19 virus, Great Scott and O’Brien’s Pub are required to close until at least April 17th and possibly much longer,” Philbin wrote on the fundraiser page then. “We’ve decided to start this fundraiser in order to help our most at risk employees. These employees will have great difficulty securing other positions while we are closed as all bars, clubs, and restaurants in Massachusetts are closed as well. Any donation is greatly appreciated and with your help we can make things a little easier for some worthy people. To add further transparency, As General Manager, I will be distributing all funds collected to hourly employees. No donations will go to management or ownership. Please be assured that your donation will help our employees pay rent, bills, and enable them to purchase food and other necessities.”
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