UPDATE 10:08 a.m.: Benny Tucker, the booking agent at Church, confirmed via Facebook the rock club was closing. More announcements, as well as an update on the venue’s restaurant space, are expected sometime this week or next.
Following weeks of rumors and speculation about the future of the venue, Fenway rock cub Church has closed.
Sources tell Vanyaland that the owners made the decision to shutter the venue yesterday afternoon after reaching a deal to sell the rock club portion of the building. Church’s adjacent restaurant, we are told, will remain open. However, the 225-capacity live music room, which has been dogged by feverish neighborhood opposition since opening in the late 2000s, has cancelled all of its upcoming shows. We’re also told it will host one last weekend of live music sometime in early October. Church has not made any public statements regarding its closing.
Of course, this news comes a few weeks after Johnny D’s in Somerville announced it will close in January or February, and after longtime Cambridge venue T.T. The Bear’s Place closed in July.
Earlier this summer, the city reportedly reduced Church’s curfew to midnight, a virtual death sentence for a mid-sized rock club. Neighbors in the Kilmarnock Street area frequently went to the city to voice complaints over noise and loitering, both in the street in front of the venue and behind the building in its parking lot, so our sources tell us that it’s very unlikely the new building owners will use the space as a live music venue. The 46-space parking lot at Church is also utilized during Red Sox games for fans attending the ballgame at nearby Fenway Park, making it unavailable for bands and show-goers during live music events.
Before re-opening as Church nearly 10 years ago, the venue was known as the Linwood Bar & Grill.
Among the cancelled shows next week include Secret Sessions Tuesdays with Light Bright (September 8), Wednesday’s Bearly Dead – A Tribute To The Grateful Dead (September 9), and New York-based Tool cover band SCHISM on Friday (September 11). All shows listed on Church’s online ticket-selling site Ticketfly are tagged with “Venue is now closed.”
More to come.