In case you missed it, St. Pete music Local 662 is shutting down by the end of the month.
The venue — presumably a beneficiary of former City Council member Leslie Curran’s idea to save the Crislip Arcade by offering five-year leases to local artists at $5 per square foot (Mimi Reilly, who moved her 18-years-running shop Star Booty off the block last year recently told the Tampa Bay Times that $25 per square foot is the new asking price) — was just one of the many brave new spots to help make The 600 Block great again.
Read: St. Pete's Local 662 closing in June?
Now, with a majority of the block acquired by Miami’s Tricera Capital, Local 662 (like many of the small shops in the area) is just another victim of rising rents and the inevitable growth that happens when an area becomes cool and hip again. A St. Pete urban development news website says that Local 662 will actually we replaced by a Jacksonville-born Maple Street Biscuit Company — home of The Squawking Goat (“a flaky buttery biscuit sandwich with an all-natural fried chicken breast, a fried goat cheese medallion, and house-made pepper jelly”).
Rock and roll, we guess.
One of the last shows happening at Local 662 features Goodnight Neverland, a long-running rock outfit fronted by Kerry Courtney. The band will be joined by Chasing Jonah and Mountain Holler. Young Tampa songwriter Ella Jet is also on the bill; it’s her first and last show there.
We asked promoter Kristin Stigaard and Courtney about the venue and what its meant for them over the years.
“Well, that venue has been next door to where I work for so long. The Local 662 means so much because No Clubs put on several shows there throughout the years and I've even put some on,” Stigaard, the 27-year-old director or marketing and promotion at No Clubs, told CL. “I first booked Goodnight Neverland in there when they were still virtually unknown, I found them on ReverbNation”
“There are many rad memories I'll never forget. That venue was important for Goodnight Neverland’s growth and even myself with the years we had in that spot, so I'm sad to see it go.”
Courtney, who is working on new music for Goodnight Neverland, says he’s had countless memories at Local 662, where he cherishes the venue’s intimate vibe which makes it easy to connect with friends during shows.
“There are many rad memories I'll never forget. That venue was important for Goodnight Neverland’s growth and even myself with the years we had in that spot, so I'm sad to see it go,” Courtney, 26, said. He says he was very careful to ask artists that are special to him to help Goodnight Neverland close the place down.
“I'm super stoked about this lineup and hope that friends and fans (frans, ha) can make it out to this one, because it's going to be really special. We're showcasing a lot of new material as well, ”Courtney said, adding that the new stuff has more of a post rock sound and that the band has taken new approaches to composing and arranging the tunes.
“I used to write and arrange our previous Goodnight Neverland songs and be more controlling with the process,” he said. “but with these songs, we're sitting in a room and each of us are writing melodies and parts for the songs as a band more.”
So it’s fitting that he’s bowing out of the Local with a crew of musicians and people he loves.
“I believe in each and every one of the bands on the bill and I'm glad to call them my friends in the music industry.”