The Comet Tavern Is Closed This Week for the Next Two Weeks
by Dave Segal
on Sun, Oct 6, 2013 at 7:22 PM
This post has been moved up due to new developments.
Michelle Smith, talent booker for the Comet Tavern, one of the last dive bars left on Capitol Hill and home to loads of great underground-rock, jazz, and electronic events, explains why the Comet has gone dark. "Right now we are closed this week due to a water bill/lease issue. The owner [Brian Balodis] is hoping to save it via a partnership." We'll update this post as we learn more about the situation.
UPDATE: The closure is expected to last at least two weeks.
UPDATE 2: Ian Hill—a local musician with RebelMart and an independent promoter with his own Flying Irishmen Productions—informs us that he's interested in possibly buying the Comet. Hill and his wife, the bar investor Allison Hill, think that the Comet is "right up [their] alley" and that they've been pondering going into the nightlife business for the last month. "We can't have the Comet close down," says Hill, whose band had just played the venue last week. "Inappropriate. That building sitting dark is absurd." Hill says that he and Allison have a team of investors who would go in with them on any potential deal.
UPDATE 3: Michelle Smith (aka Mamma Casserole) updated the situation on her Facebook page this evening:
The Comet owner secretly removed the sound system and other items of value from the venue. So it looks like we are kaput unless another owner decides to lease the place from the building owner and maintain it as The Comet Tavern. In the meantime if you have a show that was booked at the Comet we are working on moving shows to other venues such as Waids on 12th and Jefferson (Mon-Fri shows), Lofi, Highline and the Rendezvous (various holes) so please make sure you e-mail me (also if you are interested in creating future bills) Thanks Mamma firstname.lastname@example.org (until further notice)
UPDATE 4: Smith notes that Balodis changed the locks at the Comet, thereby making it impossible for its employees to retrieve personal belongings in the closed venue. Among Smith's possessions are two turntables and a mixer.