The second generation of the family that opened Johnny D's Uptown Restaurant & Music Club in 1969 announced yesterday that she plans to close the club early next year, the Boston Globe reported. Owner Carla DeLellis said the decision is personal, not financial.
"As I contemplate my stage in life and my children’s security, along with the market, the time is now right to develop the property," she wrote in a note on Facebook.
DeLellis' father, John, and mother, Tina, opened in 1969 as bar. It became a country music venue, and then eventually took on its current iteration as a restaurant and club for various types of music, from blues to jam, rock to jazz, world to zydeco and everything in between. DeLellis ran it with her brother, David, until his death in 1998.
The Globe notes DeLellis' announcement came the weekend that another iconic fixture of the local music scene, TT The Bear's Place in Central Square, shuttered.
Over the years, Johnny D's has built up a reputation especially for its Sunday jazz brunch, and the brunch and dinner menus feature many vegetarian options among the new American cuisine.
The club will produce the rest of the shows on its calendar through 2015, and DeLellis told the Globe she plans to book a run of commemorative shows featuring local acts and national groups who have played there over the years. It will likely close for good by February 2016.
DeLellis, who owns the building at 17 Holland St., plans to turn the 3,900-square foot venue into commercial space with three levels of residential space above it. "No firm plans have been made as to what will occupy the commercial space, and DeLellis did not rule out the possibility that it could include a smaller club," according to the Globe.
Late last year, DeLellis opened a short-lived, vegetarian and tea cafe next door to Johnny D's, Kindred Tea & Tonic. The place was about two years in the making and it closed after a handful of months in operation, thanks in part to the tough winter that Boston experienced.
Nine Bar Espresso, from the team behind Simon's Coffee Shop, is moving into the 11 Holland St. space. Renovation is underway and Nine Bar Espresso will open "relatively soon," according to a post last week on its Facebook page. "We just have a few more hurdles to overcome," the post reads.