Report: Two popular Austin dance clubs were suddenly shuttered last month

The Austin Chronicle reports that two Austin clubs specializing in shows by electronic dance music artists have suddenly closed.

Misa Soliz dances to a DJ set at Ethics Music Lounge during an event celebrating the life of the late Jamon Jaleki Horne, an Austin house music icon who performed as DJ J.A.M.O.N., on March 25, 2017. (Tamir Kalifa/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

According to the Chronicle, the owners of the clubs, Kingdom and Ethics Music Lounge, were “locked out by their new landlord” after the properties housing the clubs were acquired by the Austin-based investment firm, World Class Capital Group.

Ethics owner Vincent Salvaggio told the Chronicle the new owners locked him out of his club for delinquent payment even though he was not aware the property had been sold and he had a new landlord.

“They’re trying to raise the rent on everything, so it’s good for (them) to get people out who are playing lower rent,” he told the Chronicle.

Local EDM artist Todd Burgener, who goes by the DJ name Toddy B., wrote a Facebook post about the club closing on July 14.

“Sad to post this but you will all soon hear/see that Ethics Music Lounge is no more!  😦 The owners sold the building and the new owners want to go another direction with the venue,” he wrote.

Burgener, who says he’s been involved with the club “since day one,” went on to say that club has found a new venue/home.

“Plans are to pick up where we left off, with the Void Acoustics sound system in our new home without skipping a beat!” he wrote, adding ,”I have been in this music scene for over 20+ years in Austin and as we all know these clubs come and go but the people who support it will always be here!”

The official Ethics Music Lounge Facebook page shared and pinned Burgener’s post.

Owners of Kingdom have not made a social media announcement about the club closing and declined to comment on the Chronicle’s story, but scheduled shows at the club have been relocated to other venues.

The Chronicle reports that World Class Capital Group also purchased the property of Empire Control Room, the indoor space of the Red River Cultural District club that’s grown into a vibrant incubator since opening its doors in 2013. The outdoor Garage space of the club has a separate owner.

“We are waiting to see what kind of lease WC offers us,” Stephen Sternschein, owner of Empire said on Thursday. “If it is a huge increase or unreasonable in some other way, we will have to make other plans. I’m hopeful based on my initial conversation with (World Class Capital Group owner) Nate (Paul) that this will work out OK.”


Author: Deborah Sengupta Stith

Deborah Sengupta Stith has been hanging out in dimly lit corners of the city soaking in the music scene for almost 20 years. Twitter: @deborific

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