When word first started leaking out on Facebook that New Brunswick, N.J.'s Court Tavern had closed, an early response was, "Again? Is this a yearly occurrence now?" It wasn't as if the Court hadn't been in trouble before. A decade ago, management successfully fended off developers who wanted to build a high-rise on the land; thanks to local support, it remained stubbornly in place in the shadow of a gleaming 23-story structure. In 2009, the Court put out the word that it owed $26,000 in taxes; generous regulars and a gala benefit show headlined by the Smithereens and the Patti Smith Group, both of whom had New Brunswick roots, raised the money. At the end of 2011, club owner Bobby Albert gave an interview reflecting on 30 years of being located at 124 Church Street. The damned place seemed indestructible.
|The Gaslight Anthem at the Court Tavern. |
Sadly, confirmation came all too quickly. According to the Courier News, the Court closed "indefinitely" on Wednesday, January 18. (The booking agent had not been warned. Nor had local hardcore legends Ensign, who were scheduled to play a big show on Friday night.) The Court's website was subsequently updated with a statement: "As of January 17, 2012, The Court Tavern is indefately [sic] CLOSED. This is a very sad day for the music culture. Check the site or on facebook [sic] for updates. IT WILL BE MISSED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (The venue's Facebook groupas well as its MySpace and Tumblrremain unchanged.)
The property is listed for sale on real estate website Loopnetasking price $1.25 millionso the general consensus seems to be that "indefinitely" means "forever." If this is correct, the Court now takes its place next to the Melody Bar, the Roxy, Budapest Cocktail Lounge, Bowl-O-Drome, and Patrix on the list of now-shuttered music clubs that had once set up shop in New Brunswick.More »