Legendary Denmark Street music venue the 12 Bar Club is set to become the latest victim of the cull of the Soho music scene when it is forced to close in January.
The closure of the venue, owned by property developer Consolidated, comes against the backdrop of the continued development of the Crossrail project, which has already directly led to the demolition of the Astoria theatre. The 12 Bar Club will cease operations on January 16 2015.
“It’s a special place for me,” says Dave Arcari, alt.blues musician and sometime contributor to PSNEurope, who made his London debut at the venue in 1999. “I’ve been back many times both as a performer and an audience member. It’s a fantastic, intimate venue, with great folks and a special vibe.” The venue also hosted the UK debuts of Jeff Buckley, Keane and Adele.
A representative for the 12 Bar stated in a Facebook posting that the venue “will live on” and that there will be “details of our new location shortly”.
12 Bar visitors this year included the Sex Pistols’ Paul Cook and The Buzzcocks’ Steve Diggle, as well as comedian Stewart Lee and actors Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen.
A Change.org petition, Save the 12 bar, has garnered over 19,000 signatures, including those of the Pistols’ Glen Matlock, The Kinks’ Mick Avory and The Who’s Pete Townshend.
A spokesperson for Consolidated told the NME in September: “We have a long-standing interest in Soho and are intent on working with the local community to preserve and enhance the heritage of Denmark Street and the surrounding area. As is the nature of redevelopment, change is inevitable, but it is hoped that in the long run this will be instrumental to a positive future for the area”.
The news comes on the back of the closure of another historic Soho music venue, Madame Jojo’s, last month, joining the long list of recent casualties such as the Astoria, Sin, Metro and the Bath House.
12 Bar stage photo: Jonathan Bowen