After a long dormancy that involved a threatened eviction, a widespread community reaction, and a last-minute rescue from chancellor Pradeep Kholsa, UCSD’s Che Café will finally reopen after a year of being shuttered.
1000 Scholars Drive, UCSD
“We’re waiting final word back from the manager of construction about when we will actually reopen,” says Cameron Royce, said to be a core member of the Che Collective that runs the 30-year-old, all-ages, alcohol-free venue.
Royce says an official June 2 Che Café grand reopening featuring past Che headliners is a for-sure thing, and that a May 11 show with Teenage Pleasure Club is tentatively booked, based on a hoped-for reopening schedule.
Royce says that the previously announced March opening was delayed when the Che Collective objected to the building of a wheelchair-accessible bathroom within the main building that would have swallowed up precious hallway space. He said it was eventually agreed that the handicapped bathroom would be built in an adjoining room formerly called Dark Star Books that was once a science fiction book store.
According to Royce, the new Che Café will not have a half-foot wooden riser that existed before, and that the floor will now be a one-level concrete deck.
“It got a little crazy when there were [mosh] pits,” says Royce. “The different level could cause people to lose balance.”
Royce says local promoters like the Casbah and Soda Bar are still welcome to access the Che Café to bring in nationally touring acts. “We are still figuring out the insurance costs,” he says about the process to determine future rental rates for outside promoters.
The Café’s previous capacity of 170 will probably be the same, he says.
The 550-capacity UCSD music venue formerly know as Porter’s Pub is now up and running and operating as the Stage Room. The prime concert space that once hosted such popular headliners as Unwritten Law, Common, Kendrick Lamar, Nipsey Hussle, and KRS-One is now used by student groups for their own events or by the same UCSD in-house booking talent booker that books the Loft. The restaurant group Soda and Swine operates the adjoining Stage Room restaurant space. Since it opened last fall, the Stage has hosted R&B artists Daniel Caesar and Smino.
Meanwhile, the downtown Quartyard venue is about to reactivate at its new space at 13th and Market Street. Upcoming Quartyard headliners include Moose Blood with Lydia and McCafferty April 2, and Frankie Cosmos with Ian Sweet and Lomelda on April 10.