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Tempe's Club Red Is Moving to Mesa in May

Club Red in Tempe.
Club Red in Tempe.
Voice Places

The Tempe music scene's suffered the loss of a slew of venues in the last couple years, including the Clubhouse, Rocky Point Cantina, Stray Cat, and -- a few months from now -- The Sail Inn. And it's about to lose two more: Club Red and Red Owl.

The proprietors of side-by-side concert spots, situated near University Drive and Loop 101 in Tempe, announced this afternoon that they're planning to move the venue approximately two miles west to Mesa by Memorial Day.

Club Red/Red Owl owner Kim Commons told New Times that they're headed to bigger and better digs inside of an 8,100-square-foot property at University Drive and Alma School Road.

The space, which is located in the Westwood Plaza shopping center and formerly housed both a movie theatre and church over the decades, is a "definitely an improvement" over the Club Red/Red Owl's current home, which he says has more than a few problems.

"We've done the best we could with our [present] location but it's always had its big flaws. It had no dedicated spot for tour bus parking, which made it difficult for bands to load in easily. And during big shows, the parking lot would always get [full] and some of the neighboring businesses would start towing people," he says. "And our low ceilings meant that we weren't able to build as much staging as we wanted, which hurt sightlines when shows were sold out."

Their new home, however, negates all these problems and more, since its got space to spare both inside and out. The space, which is located in the Westwood Plaza shopping center and formerly housed both a movie theatre and church over the decades, is a "definitely an improvement" over the Club Red/Red Owl's current home, which he says has more than a few problems.

According to Commons, the move came as a result of his selling the Omni Center, the shopping center where Club Red/Red Owl is located, to new owners who aren't interested in having a music venue on the premises.

Commons, who's owned the property for 20 years, says that he sold the plaza due to "multiple reasons," including financial and personal issues, and that various plans are in the works for shopping plaza that don't include concerts.

"The new owners don't really want live music in the center," he says. "And we basically understood that and felt that we could find a new location, which we did and its only two miles away. Our new home is definitely ideal for live music."

Commons feels like they've definitely traded up.

 

The Sword performs at Club Red in 2012.
The Sword performs at Club Red in 2012.
Jim Louvau

"We've done the best we could with our [present] location but it's always had its big flaws. It had no dedicated spot for tour bus parking, which made it difficult for bands to load in easily. And during big shows, the parking lot would always get [full] and some of the neighboring businesses would start towing people," he says. "And our low ceilings meant that we weren't able to build as much staging as we wanted, which hurt sightlines when shows were sold out."

Their new home, however, negates all these problems and more, since its got space to spare both inside and out.

Thanks to its history as a movie theatre, it boasts two large auditoriums with high ceilings and downwardly sloping floors, which Commons says will mean that crowds won't have to jockey for position to see bands.

"Yeah, we aren't going to any more issues with stage height" he says, laughing. "We could go as high as we wanted -- literally, we could have a 10-foot-high stage, although it would be funny to see them up that high -- but we have the ceiling height for that."

And the venue's new home has parking for days, including close to a half acre behind the building and approximately 600 spaces out front.

"We now have all the parking we could ever ask for," he says. "We could actually park 20 tour busses if we wanted to."

Commons adds that the new location, which will simply be known as Club Red when it opens on May 31, will also offer better acoustics over its current spot.

"We did what we could with the Red Owl with the L-shaped [property] and that big bar in the middle, but there were a lot of limitations," he says. "The new location is the perfect shape for sound transmission. So we're going from where we had to tweak our sound to what you dream of as an audio engineer."

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Use Current Location

Related Locations

miles
Club Red

1308 W. University Drive
Mesa, AZ 85201

480-258-2733

www.clubredrocks.com

miles
Red Owl - Closed

1308 W. University Drive
Mesa, AZ 85201

480-258-2733

www.clubredrocks.com


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