“This place was never the moneymaker; this was the community room,” said Jim Sweeney to the Times, who hosts a weekly revue at the venue. “What we’re losing is all the history of our tribe.”
The concert venue and bar was established in 2005 before the Uptown District was revitalized, but the changing neighborhood made the rising costs of running it too much to handle and it quickly flopped. It was reopened in 2007, but has since invested too much money to recoup.
While it made decent income on its performers thanks to local punk bands and other various art acts, the venue needed to deal with “unexpected infrastructure bills” totaling over $70,000 in just 2014.
Co-Owners Larry Trujillo, and physicians Ray Yeh and Robbin Green-Yeh are looking to sell Uptown to a conscious buyer who might keep the space as a venue, but unfortunately, it’s much easier to look for one while it’s closed. As Green-Yeh said, “There’s local interest, I don’t know if there’s local money.”
The loss of one of the last mid-sized venues in Oakland is a huge blow to the community, but there’s still time to catch one last show. Uptown will feature Dick Dale on November 5, and Sweeney’s revue “Hubba Hubba” will hold an “Uptown Funeral” this Monday.
More information at The Contra Costa Times.
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