Sadly, another music institution in the city is shuttering. Live at the Rrazz (otherwise known as the Rrazz Room), which went through a series of difficulties and legal issues this past year, including an ill-fated venue change, has announced it will be closing for good.
In an email to its patrons last week (including the Bay Area Reporter's BARtab, which tipped us off) and now on the front page of its website, Rrazz said, “As many of you know. the last several months have been monumentally challenging for us. It seems like all the forces in the universe have been working against us.”
In any situation, it's a sad day when a nightclub turns off the lights. Under slightly different monikers and variations, Live at the Rrazz has been presenting shows in San Francisco for 12 years, often focusing on souful crooners, R&B, jazz, funk, and doo-wop acts in performance slots. Performers as diverse as Lil Kim, Pete Escovedo, Paula West, Shirley Jones, Rita Moreno, and Jefferson Starship have all stopped by the Rrazz over the years.
The Rrazz Room was first housed in the Plush Room at the then-York Hotel and moved to the Hotel Nikko from 2007 through the end of '12. Yet after a dispute with the Hotel Nikko (with Rrazz owners Robert Kotonly and Rory Paull alleging racism by the hotel's management), it moved to the mezzanine level at 1000 Van Ness. That was open only sporadically, with the Rrazz later posting on its site about permit and noise issues, and canceling performances.
It was supposed to be resolved by April 30 (at the earliest) but now it appears the Rrazz has pulled back, effectively ending operations.
Here's more from that Rrazz letter:
“We will miss the loyal audiences (many of which would report back to us on their particular likes and dislikes), dedicated work force (servers, bartenders, tech), super talented musicians, consistent press supporters, and many absolutely phenomenal performers who have been on this journey with us. Without all of you, we would not have been able to realize this dream.
At the end of the day, we are so very proud to have been able to accomplish so much in a relatively short amount of time. We are very humbled and appreciative to the San Francisco Bay Area for its willingness to let us realize our full potential. The experiences and relationships we will walk away with are priceless. "