The Ottobar, the local rock club that started in 1997 in a modest space downtown and grew to be a North Baltimore institution for local musicians and touring acts alike, will have new owners, the club announced in a Facebook post today.
A new ownership group will take over in 2019. According to the calendar on the venue’s website, shows are booked as far out as March 15 of next year, the second of two nights headlined by the post-hardcore band Thursday. But it’s not immediately clear what will happen to the club beyond that.
The listing agent for the property, Adam Meissner of DBM Real Estate Group, told Baltimore Fishbowl a sale has not gone through yet.
“The ownership group has [had the club] for 20 years, and they feel it’s their time to move on and bring something new to the neighborhood,” he said.
In a statement, Meissner said the owners are looking for a buyer who will keep it as a venue.
“We are in talks with a number of groups, but it is not yet under contract at this time. The ownership group will continue to operate and run The Ottobar as normal until a buyer is found who will preserve the integrity and carry on the tradition of being one of Baltimore’s premier music venues.”
Calls to one of the Ottobar’s co-owner and the law firm representing Cold Alligator, LLC, the company that owns the club, were not immediately returned.
A listing for the club went up on the commercial real estate website LoopNet on Oct. 15, with an asking price of $1.25 million. Properties along the block at 2547, 2551 and 2553 N. Howard St., were listed as part of the sale, but the option to buy 2549–the address of the club–in a separate sale was offered.
“The sale includes the real estate, LBD7 liquor license, 7 day live entertainment permit for all levels, state of the art sound system & all furniture, fixtures, equipment & goodwill of the business,” the listing says.
In the note, the current owners thanked the musicians, fans, staff and neighbors in Charles Village, Old Goucher and Remington.
“Finally, thank you Baltimore & all of our customers & music fans from far & wide for showing us so much love. It’s been a great 20+ year ride! Thanks again for all of your support!”
This story will be updated.
Clarification: This story has been updated to reflect that the club said it will change hands but did not make clear if a sale has been completed.