Razing the Bar

The Valley loses another rock stronghold with the shutdown of Tempe's Cannery Row

For the folks who've been around town long enough, the passing of another local treasure is cause for little more than a shrug of the shoulders. At this point, the majority are desensitized, resigned to the fact that this is the way it's going to be. And like Smutnak, most are anticipating an eventual escape.

Just down the street from the Cannery, the corpse of the late, lamented Six East lies silent, buried beneath a few hundred thousand tons of bricks and mortar, while the shadow of the wrecking ball creeps toward the area's last and most hallowed watering hole, Long Wong's. And reluctantly, we await the day until there's nothing but a sea of shining chain bars, maybe even a bright new Bennigan's, to take their place.

And, ultimately, maybe that's okay. Perhaps it's the natural order of things, an unavoidable by-product of progress and the passage of time. Someday, in the not too distant future, there won't be a Fenway Park or a Wrigley Field, either. But drinking, like America's other pastime, will continue whether or not the old shrines exist.

Trash rockers the Sonic Thrills hanging out on the precarious Cannery Row stage.
Paolo Vescia
Trash rockers the Sonic Thrills hanging out on the precarious Cannery Row stage.
The Holmes Brothers headline the Rhythm Room's 10th anniversary show.
The Holmes Brothers headline the Rhythm Room's 10th anniversary show.

But for the time being, Tempe's going to feel a little more empty without Greg Smutnak's cold cans and the warmth of Cannery Row.

Cannery Row's closing celebration featuring the Del'Vamps, Thee Oh-Nos and the Bada-Bings is scheduled for Friday, August 31. Showtime is 9 p.m.

Say It's Yer Birthday: In happier club news, a pair of local venues are celebrating birthdays this week. The Valley's venerable roots and blues joint, the Rhythm Room, marks its 10-year anniversary with a bash this Sunday, September 2. The all-day celebration features headliners and Alligator recording artists the Holmes Brothers, as well as a cast of local talents ranging from Big Pete Pearson and Sistah Blue to Hans Olson and Chico Chism. Doors open at 2 p.m. and music goes from 3 p.m. until close.

On Friday, August 31, Tempe's Lucky Dragon Restaurant passes a one-year anniversary at its new location at the intersection of McClintock and Southern. The art/performance space/Asian eatery will mark the occasion with sets from the Hammertoes and the Sweet Bleeders. The Dragon will also host an after-hours party featuring Morse Code, Dehga, and the Drunken Immortals. Showtime is 9 p.m.

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