Opening/Closing

Sucker Punch Sally's Closes For Summer (or Maybe Forever?)

I've always wondered if there's some sort of unseen force in nature that dictates the following: "If Phoenix ever gets anything even the slightest bit cool, it will inevitably (and eventually) go belly up."

If so, than it's possibly one of the culprits behind the latest closure (which Michele Laudig blogged about over on Chow Bella earlier today): Retro diner Sucker Punch Sally's in Tempe is closing.

That's the bad news. The good news is that it could just be for the summer only. Per Michele the air conditioning for the Mill Avenue diner (which has hosted live bands and DJs four nights a week) went kablooie yesterday. And if you've lived in the PHX longer than five minutes this time of year, you obviously understand why SPS is no longer open.

If this tweet is to be believed, the diner will reopen on Sep. 1 after getting a new A/C and some renovation work done. A Chow Bella source, however, told Michele the closure is permanent.

Who's right? Only time will tell. The only thing that's certain is that some local bands and DJs are now left without a place to play.

Johnny Volume, who hosted the Cut the Crap punk night at the diner with DJ Horsepussy on Wednesdays, told me he was in the process of picking out some vinyl to spin yesterday afternoon when he got a call detailing the bad news.

"I had spent a couple of hours pulling records for the night and then it was like, 'It's not happening,'" he says.

(The DJ added although he and Horsepussy don't have any plans to move the night to another location, they've got plans in motion for a few more nights.)

He's not the only one who's been displaced. Former U.S. Bombs member Chip Hanna also had a weekly acoustic show on Mondays (which, ironically enough, was just promoted on the SPS Facebook yesterday morning) and Kevin Daly's newish band Chicken & Waffles was scheduled to gig next Saturday.

As I pointed out in my recent Needle Exchange about Cut the Crap, Sucker Punch Sally's vintage décor and retro bent made it a rather suitable venue for live music. So it kinda sucks that it's A/C pulled a BSOD. Johnny Volume agrees.

"It was a good place and I hate to see it go away," he says. "The nights were getting better and the crowds were getting better."

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