Yesterday, we heard the news that beloved coffee shop Jobot had just 10 days left to live after lease negotiations with its landlord failed.
The suddenness of the closure took everyone in the community by surprise, including owner John Sagasta.
"We are not at all prepared for this move," Sagasta wrote on Facebook, announcing the closure.
While the details behind the move remain hazy, the loss of a beloved local business in the face of gentrification concerns on Roosevelt Row raises troubling questions about the future of other businesses on Fifth Street.
If your first reaction to the news of Jobot's closure was to think of the future of live music on Fifth Street, don't worry. Those businesses aren't going anywhere. At least not yet.
Lost Leaf, the 10-year-old bar that hosts live music almost every night of the year, is staying right where it is. Tato Caraveo, who does most of the booking at Lost Leaf, told New Times that the bar isn't going anywhere.
"About three months ago, we renewed our lease for 10 years," Caraveo said.
The renovations to the bar's front patio are proceeding as scheduled, Caraveo added.
The Lost Leaf building is owned by Michael Elliot, who also owns the building housing Melt, the ice cream store into which Sagasta might temporarily move Jobot's coffee operations. The LLC that owns the building Jobot inhabited is owned by Mitchell J. Hudak.
Hudak also owns the building occupied by the other two Fifth Street businesses that host live music events.
However, the owners of those businesses say they're aren't leaving anytime soon.
Lawn Gnome Publishing owner Aaron Hopkins-Johnson said that though the store doesn't have a long-term lease, he plans on staying in the location as long as he can.
The owner of Bud's Glass Joint, Bud Meister (who, full disclosure, works on the business side of New Times), said that he has four years left on a five-year lease and doesn't anticipate any major disruptions to his business.
But Jobot was a central meeting place for the community, and its loss will hit its many regulars hard. It's a particularly bad day for Sagasta as well — Flowers Beer and Wine, the shop a half-block north of Jobot that Sagasta co-owns with Mike Cosentino, is also closing. Developer Niels Kreipke, founder of the company that owns the Flowers building, previously told New Times that it seemed likely that the store would be able to remain in the building during some planned renovations. That no longer appears to be the case — the store has emptied its inventory and is giving away its inventory shelves.
But for now, Lost Leaf will continue renovating its patio and hosting music every night. Bud's Glass Joint will continue to host the occasional concert in its recently renovated front patio, and Lawn Gnome's open mics and backyard parties are safe.
What does it all mean? It means the future of live music on Fifth Street appears bright. And loud.
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