Opening/Closing

Bar Smith Owners Transforming PHX Nightclub into The Monarch Theatre


When local house music maestros Pete "Supermix" Salaz and Sean "Senbad" Badger teamed up with local restaurateur Edson Madrigal and took over Bar Smith in 2010, the trio helped turn the downtown Phoenix nightspot into an arty haven for DJs and urban street culture.

And now for their next trick: transforming the old and busted PHX Nightclub next door into a new nightclub and music venue called The Monarch Theatre.

Within the past few weeks, the triumvirate of Salaz, Senbad, Madrigal (who run Bar Smith and collectively make up the Solstice Management Group) began leasing the property that formerly housed the now-defunct hip-hop club, which is immediately adjacent to Bar Smith. And they've got some big plans for the place.

"It's primarily going to be as an electronic music venue," Salaz says. "Our hopes are to pick up larger electronic music acts and DJs that will bring in a crowd that Bar Smith couldn't handle."

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.