One of Minneapolis’s most beloved music venues for the past 15 years and a lasting vestige of the non-corporate music business, the Triple Rock Social Club will close after Nov. 22 according to a posting on the club’s Facebook page Monday.
“We are proud to have been part of an amazing time in the Twin Cities Music scene,” the note says, but doesn’t cite any reasons for the closure.
The West Bank area club is owned and operated by Dillinger Four guitarist/co-vocalist Erik Funk and his restaurateur wife, Gretchen Funk. They opened it as a cool, low-frills corner bar in 1998 and then built on the live music room in 2003.
Reached for a comment, Erik Funk did not want to go into detail about the decision but said it was a hard one to make because "there are people besides us effected by it." He did offer this: "It's super sad, but it's not going down in flames. It's ending on our own terms."
All concerts on the club's calendar between now and Nov. 22 will still go on, including a strong string of dates over the next week that includes the return of the Hold Steady's frontman Craig Finn on Friday, punk legends the Dead Boys on Sunday and buzzing L.A. duo Girlpool next Monday. Finn reunited his cult-loved '90s band Lifter Puller for the first time just to inaugurate the music side of the bar in July 2003.
With its black vinyl sound padding around the stage and concrete floor, the Triple Rock's 380-capacity music room was never anything fancy. But it long offered great acoustics, good working relationships with musicians and a hangover-killing brunch that made most bands happy to play there.
Since that first kick-off run with Lifter Puller, the venue has hosted hundreds of release parties by local acts, including many metal and underground punk acts who can't find a lot of gigs elsewhere. Many Twin Cities bands reacted to the news on social media almost like a death in the family.
"Noooo," stormy power trio Fury Things posted on Twitter. "We have played & seen so many great shows at @triplerockmpls."
"This totally sucks," Strange Relations tweeted. "Triple Rock holds a very important role in this scene, given its scale let alone its history. Significant blow."
The venue has also welcomed innumerable touring bands on the rise, which in recent years has included the likes of Titus Andronicus, Passion Pit, Against Me!, Big Freedia, Deerhoof and Waxahatchee. Some of the mainstay bands there included Off With Their Heads, the Toasters, NOFX (who even wrote a song about the club, posted below) and, of course, Dillinger Four, who will no doubt play the club one last time before its era comes to an end.
Here’s the full posting from the Funks on Facebook:
"After 19 years of business, The Triple Rock will be closing after November 22nd.
We are proud to have been part of an amazing time in the Twin Cities Music scene. We have had more than our fair share of legendary performances and events, watched numerous local artists get their start on our stage, and hosted the Minneapolis debuts of countless national acts.
We want to thank all the customers, bands, and artists who have been a part of this place over the years.
Most of all we want to thank our current staff and those who have worked here in the past. We could not have done it without you!
We still have a lot of great events coming up, so come on down and celebrate The Triple Rock!"