Wasted Velvet in Tempe Closes

See also: Pussycat Lounge in Scottsdale Closes

Anyone brimming with dreams of bringing their killer nightclub concept to the ASU crowd now has a vacant spot in which to make it a reality: The website of Tempe lounge and dance joint Wasted Velvet, located just off Mill Avenue, announced that the venue was closing earlier today.

As has become the norm as of late for club and music venue shutterings, Wasted Velvet's management posted a curt statement on its website concerning the closure with little or no explanation why the place went belly up.

"We are announcing effective Tuesday, July 3rd, that Wasted Velvet has closed its doors. We would like to thank all the patrons, fans, promoters, DJ's, staff and vendors for your support through the years."

Poking around Wasted Velvet's Facebook page, we're led to believe that its death may have come suddenly or came as a complete surprise to some employees (or whoever handled social media) as posts as recent as Sunday hyped current club events.

There were apparently a slew of changes taking place behind the scenes at Wasted Velvet, as one recent Facebook update encouraged patrons to "join us all summer long and watch the changes unfold" at the club. It leads us to believe that some sort of management transition or even a sale to new owners might have been in the works only to fall through and cause Wasted Velvet's undoing.

Ironically enough, the Facebook post also states that the big change would bring "new life" to the spot. And, in fact, new life will come to the property, albeit in the form of whatever business or entrepreneur decides to take over at some point in the future.

Unfortunately, they're likely to face the same difficulties that Wasted Velvet and any of the property's former tenants endured. Primarily, the fact that the space is hidden away behind a Starbucks and underneath a gigantic Gordon Biersch brewpub.

Numerous clubs and music venues have come and gone from the space over the years. Back in 2004, it was an upscale lounge called The Loft, only to become a live music venue booked by Gina Lombardi two years later during the period when she wasn't running The Sail Inn.

In 2008, the spot got a complete makeover and became Whip Lounge, which rocked a sexy vibe with large-scale photos of tasteful nudes, leather booth, and chains decorating the place. Awhile later, it transformed into Wasted Velvet where not much changed save for the new name.

But no matter what the signage says on the door or which DJs are spinning inside, the spot will forever be cursed with the same challenge: Getting drinkers, college kids, and party animals to walk a block off of Mill and into the place with cash in hand.

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