Photo by Alex Stover
Celebrated local venue and comic-book shop SLG Art Boutiki will throw two nights of packed programming before its South Market Street location closes for good to make way for a new residential development.
On March 15, SLG Art Boutiki hosts Drop Dead Sixty, Curious Quail, Fossil Tree, Brooke D and 8:19. March 16 features Picture Atlantic, Bent Knee, Little Red Lung, Rin Tin Tiger and Zen Zenith. As the venue’s last shows, the weekend includes some of the owner’s top groups.
“They’re all personal favorites of mine,” says Dan Vado’s, owner of SLG Art Boutiki. Vado says that no band turned the gig down. “People made the time,” he says. “They’re trying to make sure we end on a high note.”
Asked why the space holds a personal reverence for so many, Vado cites Art Boutiki’s willingness to let anyone shine onstage. “We took the same approach to giving bands a space as we did publishing comics—it’s all about what you can do with your art,” he explains. “If a musician takes themselves seriously, we’ll bring them back.”
Art Boutiki will be moving from its current space to a location on Race Street near The Alameda. Vado sees the move as an opportunity to get involved with a growing midtown scene that’s become populated with boutiques and specialty shops over the last few years.
Although he isn’t sure what the neighborhood reception will be for live music at the new location, his outlook remains confident: “I’m thinking we’ll be OK; we don’t run rowdy shows.”
While he’s sad to be leaving downtown, Vado said his landlord told him 11 years ago that there were plans to develop the building eventually. However, he says he wishes there was a way for it to be converted to something other than residential space.
“No one saw potential for that corner to be anything other than some middle- to high-rise development,” he says.
With San Jose turning downtown into what Vado calls a “bedroom community,” it’s hard for venues like Art Boutiki to compete with money gained through redevelopment.
Though Art Boutiki may have only hosted a small community, it was fervent. To Vado, that passion is worth something. He just wishes downtown saw value in helping develop that passion.
“It’s the little guy people really get behind,” Vado muses. Despite a tough location, Art Boutiki was able to create a scene that resonated with both bands and patrons. As the venue awaits its reception on Race Street, yet another live music space turns vacant downtown.
Read more about SLG Art Boutiki in Metro’s Archives.