Cherry Lounge & Pit Becoming School of Rock

The changes to Mill Avenue just keep on coming. Here's the latest development: old and busted dance joint Cherry Lounge is about to transform into a new nightspot/music venue called School of Rock. The rebooted club, which is being designed around a rock 'n' roll theme (natch), will hold its grand opening on Friday, September 10.

The journalism Jedi-in-training over at The State Press reported on Sunday that a pair of ASU grads named Lars Havens and Kevin Guinan are behind the new nightlife venture and are planning to completely redesign the place to fit their new concept (which sounds like it was inspired by the Jack Black film of the same name)

The new nightclub is taking a sharp turn away from the cherry red walls that once adorned its predecessor. In its place will hang funky guitars and decorations fit for a schoolroom. 

"We really want to re-vibe the nightclub industry on Mill," Havens said. "There are a lot of bars but we are going to be the only feature nightclub."

Wait, you say, didn't Cherry Lounge go through a bunch of changes just a few months ago? You are correct, as the red-drenched dance parlor had a bit of turmoil over the summer involving trouble with its liquor license, a change in management, and new DJ nights. It apparently couldn't stave off closure for the club, which was originally part of the Dos Gringos empire of clubs when it opened in 2007.

Curious for more details on the demise of Cherry and the rise of the School of Rock?

Upcoming Events

Here's all the gory details: Cherry Lounge had a somewhat notorious reputation because of many alleged fights that took place outside the club, as well as numerous violations of its liquor license. According to Lee Hill from the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control, Cherry received multiple citations over the past six months, if not longer. (There was also a pretty nasty beatdown of East Coast hip-hop DJ Double-O in front of the establishment two summers ago.)

Hence, the club was required to close for two weeks this summer, fire its manager at the time, and was required to stop serving alcohol at 1 a.m., one hour earlier than other bars. According to the State Press, the club's tumultuous history and shoddy standing amongst Mill Avenue bars caused the Tempe Police Department to order its previous owners to sell the joint.

Hence, the club was required to close for two weeks this summer, fire its manager at the time, and was required to stop serving alcohol at 1 a.m., one hour earlier than other bars. According to the State Press, the club's tumultuous history and shoddy standing amongst Mill Avenue bars caused the Tempe Police Department to order its previous owners to sell the joint.

Enter Havens and Guinan, who plan on getting hardcore with checking IDs and security to prevent their predecessor's reputation from bleeding over to their era.

The pair are also (thankfully) planning on injecting more live rock 'n' roll into Mill Avenue. Though the wish list of bands they'd like to book at the club may seem a wee bit grandiose (Korn, Weezer) but it sounds like their hearts are in the right place. The establishment's new look will be designed around a "rock 'n' roll vintage theme" and will also feature a motorcycle of some sort.

Wonder if it's the chopper that used to be inside Sucker Punch Sally's?


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >