Photo by Jessica Shirley-Donnelly.
Dan Vado, owner of San Jose comic book hub and live music venue SLG Art Boutiki, announced this week that the business must relocate to make way for a new apartment building.
After 11 years at the current SoFA District location, Vado will have to find a new location to call home.
“The property is scheduled to be razed and have an apartment building built,” Vado says. “When that will happen, we’re not sure, but we were informed that we should be looking for a new place to do business.”
However, the relocation date for SLG Art Boutiki remains unclear as plans to redevelop the property are still being finalized. “Based on the estimate, we could probably stay until the end of the summer,” Vado says. “However, if something presents itself before that time, we’re going to go.”
The Art Boutiki has hosted regular all-ages concerts for the last three years. A fundraiser was held less than a month ago to replace a violin stolen from Curious Quail’s violinist Alan Chen. Bands brought in their families and friends, and spread the word about the cause which, in turn, brought in other supporters who helped raise funds for a new instrument.
“It’s rare to see such strong community come together to help a fellow musician and it just gave me warm fuzzies,” says Zen Zenith, co-founder of the bimonthly concert series the Rock Hop. “I can’t imagine that it would happen anywhere other than Art Boutiki.”
The quirky décor of the performance space—tikis, comic books and t-shirts displayed for sale, a vinyl record stage backdrop and the infamous penguin always on stage—is also a favorite among many local bands.
“It’s one of the few venues where I can walk in and be able to say hi to everyone that works there,” says Daniel Hernandez Martinez, drummer of Picture Atlantic. “It feels more of a hangout spot then a venue, which sets it apart from most places where I’ve performed.”
The plans to move are inevitable but, for now, Vado is continuing to do business with the support of the building owners. “They’ve been very supportive of us as tenants as we’ve changed our business,” Vado says. “I value that relationship.”
In the meantime, Vado is searching for a new home that will accommodate all of his needs, and hopefully provide another all-ages venue. “I am hoping to continue to do live music, but the places where I can do that are limited and difficult to get into,” Vado says.