Music venue closes until Uplift finished

A fixture of the downtown Grand Junction music scene will start the New Year on a sour note.

Mesa Theater & Club, 538 Main St., one of the city’s largest venues for live music will close its doors, from Jan. 3 until sometime in the summer.

The decision to close is directly related to the second phase of the Grand Junction Downtown Uplift construction project scheduled to begin in January, Mesa Theater owner David Prather said.

The 400, 500 and 600 blocks of Main Street will be affected by the project, including businesses such as Mesa Theater.

“It was absolutely a very difficult decision” to close, Prather said.

However, the decision was made because the Uplift project will limit all Main Street access to the club for months. The alley behind Mesa Theater where bands usually park and enter is not conducive to being the only entrance to the club.

In addition to the access problems, Prather said he is concerned about the safety of the club’s customers and music talent with the ongoing construction.

Business already is slow because of the recession, so Prather chose to temporarily close the business.

He said he will use the months of closure for doing regular maintenance on the club. He also has some remodeling ideas. There will be noticeable differences when the club reopens this summer, he said.

Prather plans to stay involved in the entertainment scene during his closure through the promotion of other local shows, starting with comedian Norm MacDonald’s show Feb. 4 at the Avalon Theater.

In the 12 years Prather has owned Mesa Theater, he said he never closed for as long as he plans to close in 2011. Usually, he closes for a couple weeks in June because music fans flock toward larger, outdoor festivals such as Country Jam or the Telluride Bluegrass Festival.

But Mesa Theater doesn’t close for several more weeks. In the meantime, Prather plans to party it up at the club before the January closure, including the final event of the year: the $10 New Year’s Eve Bash, beginning at 9 p.m., with local band Pineapple Crackers and guests.

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