In a post signed by Uptown owners Robbin Green-Yeh and Ray Yeh, they said the decision to close was “heartbreaking” and “one we put off as long as we possibly could.”
“With no date in sight when having live entertainment will be safe, we just cannot afford to continue to pay our rent and other expenses with no income in the foreseeable future,” the post read.
Opened in 2005, the Uptown Nightclub hosted mostly rock and indie bands like Green Day, the Alabama Shakes and Tame Impala, though it also promoted ongoing special events like the neo-burlesque Hubba Hubba Revue. The East Bay Express awarded the title of “Best Rock Club” to the Uptown in 2008.
The Uptown was also one of dozens of music venues in the Bay Area forced to shut down in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many banded together to form the Independent Venue Alliance to lobby and raise funds to stay open as the state-ordered shutdown went on. But others, like Slim’s, closed soon after the pandemic hit.
It’s not the first time the club shut down over its 15 years. In 2007, original owners Bob Fratti and Kevin Burns sold the Uptown to Green-Yeh, Yeh and Larry Trujillo, owner of the Blank Club in San Jose. The new owners decided in 2014 not to renew their lease and abruptly shut down.
Green-Yeh and Yeh reopened the venue on New Year’s Day of 2016, initially for special events. Bands began playing there again not long after.
“The Uptown was never a financial investment for us – it was always a labor of love and the dividends it paid are measured in the wonderful friendships that sprung from the shared love of music,” the owners said.