Gravity Lounge to Close

In this week’s C-Ville, Spencer Lathrop writes that every local musician’s favorite venue, The Gravity Lounge, is going out of business:

While rumors have long swirled about Gravity Lounge’s demise, people close to the source tell me that December really will be it for the club. Here’s hoping that’s not true—but in the meantime, you should show your support by checking out The Roches this week, and the unbelievably talented and funny Asylum Street Spankers next month.

It may well be that it’s just not profitable to run a venue so nice and so artist-friendly while keeping the prices so reasonable.
(Via Nailgun)

19 thoughts on “Gravity Lounge to Close”

  1. I’m with you. So many venues allow smoking, and I just can’t go to shows in those places I come home stinking of smoke, and have to immediately peel my clothes off to toss in the washer, lest they infect my other clothes. Plus, the physical layout of Gravity Lounge is so nice. I guess “cozy” would be the word.

  2. I won’t believe it until Bill tells me himself. Though there is a take-notice on Gravity’s home page about the Book Cellar closing.

    The Book Cellar notice is lifted from the store’s own, and no one bothered to put it into third-person instead of first-person. I wonder if that’s helping rumors to fly?

  3. I certainly hope not. First the Prism Coffeehouse, and now maybe GL. Lets hope the rumors are not true.
    They brought acts to town that you would likely see no place else here. Old 60s folk acts like Tom Rush and Jesse Colin Young. Feminist music like sonia disappear fear, Tret Fure, and Holly Near. And provided a venue for local musicians like our beloved Devon.
    And a great atmosphere- I really was reminded of the Prism circa 1969, except they did serve alcohol. But it was not a place where people went to get drunk and rowdy. Thats the reason I never go to bars to hear music. GL and the Paramount are tops for hearing music, albeit totally different in atmosphere and surroundings.
    Lets hope it stays!

  4. It’s my favorite venue for sit-down, low-key shows. I wish we had more smoke-free venues.

  5. Wow. I was just there on Monday night. Everything seemed just fine! Not that it would be at all obvious, that things weren’t going well. Certainly hope this doesn’t come to pass. Like the rest of you, I greatly enjoy being able to see such high caliber acts in a smoke-free environment. There are certainly a lot of performers who appreciate the lack of smoke, as well. Here’s hoping that they weather the storm. Guess it’s up to us to rally our friends and provide the support they obviously need.

  6. Blue Moon Diner, Prism Coffeehouse (hearing about this the first time but true), Jefferson Theatre, Gravity Lounge… except for C-Ville Coffee, which was still there in June when we visited, clean sweep I’d say, over and out for me… Could be anywheres.

  7. Those are divided into two groups, though — C-Ville Coffee and Gravity Lounge are brand-new, while the Blue Moon, the Jeff and the Prism Coffeehouse are (were) long-standing institutions.

  8. Krikken, my sources tell me that the Blue Moon Diner could re-open soon. Lots of work going on there, let’s hope…..

  9. The space where the Prism is is still putting together shows. The Blue Ridge Music School operates it now. The people who ran the Prism are long gone, but the space is still there. The question is, if the Gravity Lounge does close, what will become of it?

  10. That location looks pretty good to maybe put up an high end club. I am sure people will be bidding.

  11. I enjoyed the GL for lunch. But I never saw more than five or six other people there at lunch time, and couldn’t see how they stayed open.

  12. Bars in Virginia have to sell a certain percentage in food (40% of sales?). So if the bar is not a restaurant, it might play the lunch game, trying to get people in for lunch. I don’t really see how it adds up to 40%, especially when they try to make it a good deal to get people in, but who knows. I remember Trax was popular with the lunch crowd back in the day.

  13. The question is whether the financial problem, if it is that, is from the restautarant side, or from the concert hall side.
    My impression was that people went there for the music, and food and drink was secondary. I don’t know about lunch- I was under the impression they didnt serve lunch, never seeing it open in the daytime.
    But I hope somehow its unique entertainment niche can be preserved.

  14. Jefferson theater is a temporary closing, and Blue Moon is on it’s way back, but will be a little different. Don’t know about GL, but I would see shows there and there would be 20-30 people. That did not seem like nearly enough to keep the place going. You figure a 4 person band traveling to cville, and the venue only pulls in $400 for the show? That math doesn’t work, especially when people aren’t getting drunk. Beer had a huge markup, but people didn’t drink enough of it.

    Same for the lunch crowd. It didn’t seem like there was enough business to cover costs. Not sure why, because I liked it as well.

  15. i’m sad to hear of their closing, and i certainly i bear them no ill will, but i must say i never had a good time at the gravity lounge.

    their shows are ludicrously overpriced, the venue is decorated like the food court in a mall (it’s anything but “cozy” ), and on the rare occassions when they’ve booked an act i was actually interested in seeing, they always fail to sufficently publicize the show.

    again, i’m disappointed that they won’t be around — i was hoping for their improvement rather than their closure — but we’ve still got the tea bazaar, atomic burrito, escafe, dust, 1714, T-Rock shows at the Chapel, and assorted house parties. there are plenty of places to see cozy, quality shows in charlottesville. in addition to satellite ballroom and starr hill, we’re hardly short on music venues.

  16. They improved the sound a lot when they moved the bookcases, two years ago. Maybe the seating was not comfortable enough or the arrangement did not encourage circulation. It had a lot of square feet for a place that was more or less appealing to the church basement crowd, with the occasional blockbuster baby boomer show. I’d like to be more positive, because I like the place and what it stood for, but for reason I always heard a lot of silly carping about it. You can suffocate from the smoke at Atomic Burrito, but friends of mine seemed to take a special interest in complaining about the decor or whatever at Gravity. I don’t know, if it had been filled with sex acquiring yuppies or hipsters, nobody would have complained. Even then, with the bar at the front, you wouldn’t have much excuse to circulate to the far bottom, like the cargo hold of a ship. I used to read the books, but people even complained about them! Open a place, but somewhat interesting books of the wall (probably remainders), and people call bullsh*t on the books! You can’t get a break when you try to do something interesting. But hire one overworked bartender and put a giant mugshot of Frank Sinatra on the wall, and you can cash in! On the other hand, Burrito was pretty generous in what they paid bands when they opened; I don’t know about now.

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