Club Deluxe is Saved!
Club Deluxe is no longer closing! The beloved Upper Haight club is going to remain open after a lengthy mediation on Monday night between Sarah Wilder, owner of Club Deluxe, and property owner Veritas Investments. As we had hoped, the city did in fact step in and supported Club Deluxe when they needed it the most.
This may not have gone as well had it not been for Supervisor Dean Preston. Preston’s district includes the club and he originally spoke on Twitter saying that he was going to step in and see what he could do.
It’s absolutely refreshing and amazing to hear that a city official sees the importance of places like Club Deluxe in San Francisco and did exactly what they said they would. Preston was a small business owner in his past. No doubt this helped him support Wilder as she navigated this negotiation.
“I am grateful that all parties came to the table to keep the doors open and we were able to hammer out a deal,” Preston said in a statement. “It was true before, but even more so as we emerge from the pandemic — our arts and our artists are what make San Francisco, San Francisco. Long live Club Deluxe.”
It was actually a city ordinance that played a critical part in the compromise between both parties. Passed unanimously in 2021, this ordinance cancels back rent for any San Francisco small business that was forced to close during the pandemic. This city ordinance was suggested by Preston himself and at the time he spoke about how this would be a vital way to protect small businesses. He said to CBS News about the ordinance, “We hear every day from businesses facing crushing rent debt that piled up while they were forced to shut down. We shouldn’t leave small businesses that complied with public health orders out to dry. If we’re going to meaningfully recover, we need small business rent debt forgiveness.”
What’s happens next for Club Deluxe?
Having been open for over 33 years, Club Deluxe may actually qualify as a Legacy Business. They are currently in the process of officially becoming one. What does this mean? According to the SF.gov website, Legacy Business in San Francisco needs to have been open for over 30 years, had no break in SF operations for more than 2 years, and contributed to San Francisco’s history and identity. The last requirement is that you must continue to keep your business’ history alive. This is definitly something Club Deluxe plans to do.
In a Facebook statement published Tuesday morning, Wilder says, “Dear Friends, Dean Preston, SF Heritage and the Legacy Business Program, Thank you so much for showing up and showing your support for Club Deluxe. Your love for this venue has helped the landlord understand it is worth supporting this small business by offering a fair and reasonable lease. Deluxe will be very happily staying at 1511 Haight Street. Hopefully for another 33 years.”
This is a huge win for San Francisco. Many people felt that all was lost and that the city didn’t care to save businesses like this. We now see that there are some people who do care and do want to help. It brings hope to a situation that felt hopeless when we first broke the story about the closing and talked about what was happening behind the scenes with their landlord. We are looking forward to seeing the city continue to support Club Deluxe and we hope to see more of this type of support for local small businesses as they recover from the last two years of economic uncertainty.
Now that Club Deluxe is here to stay, keep your eyes on their website’s event calendar. Events were only posted through August 27th due to the close. However, excitingly, there will no doubt be more events, and more music for years ahead.
“Long live Club Deluxe,” says Supervisor Dean Preston