The Sail Inn in Tempe to Close in June

Categories: Opening/Closing

future-loves-past-sail-inn-closing.jpg
Melissa Fossum
Future Loves Past performs at The Sail Inn last year.

"The Noodles have been a mainstay at The Sail Inn, but so has The Sugar Thieves, Black Carl, Dry River Yacht Club, Banana Gun, Japhy's Descent, Future Loves Past," Lombardi says. "These are all what I call Sail Inn bands and together we've thrown some big parties. I've always believed in throwing the best party you can, every weekend."

Lombardi admits she's a fan of most of the bands that have played The Sail Inn over the decades.

"I literally handpicked every band I booked. I listen to every one of them, I know them, and if I don't like it, then I don't book it," Lombardi says. "That's why you hasn't been a lot of heavy metal or rap here. It doesn't matter if a thousands fans want to come out and hear it. So that's guaranteed that if you come to the Sail Inn you're going to hear something good."

Dry River Yacht Club drummer Henri Benard says that he and the rest of the band were "pretty bummed" when they heard news.

"It's pretty sad to see it close. We've played I don't know how many shows at The Sail Inn. We've released three records there. We've had some of our better shows there," he says. "Gina took a little chance on us, helped us build our following."

He adds that Sail Inn's closing is also a big loss for both local bands and the Tempe music scene in general.

"To see that place go is just rough, especially for the community of Tempe. I mean, it's just like Tempe is running out of good venues. It's just a shame," Benard says. "Where are peeps gonna go? Where are they gonna get music? Where are bands going to play when they come through to Tempe. I think this is going to hurt Tempe."

Lombardi, ever the booster for local music, plans on doing her part to help keep stoking the Tempe scene. After the Sail Inn fades into the sunset this summer, the 53-year-old says that she will continue to be an "entertainment coordinator" and show promoter at Tempe bars and music venues, although she declined to specify which ones.

"I could retire if I wanted to. I'm really happy to start slowing down, but I don't want to retire quite yet," she says. "My horses don't want to be ridden every day. And you could only remodel your house so many times. And so I have way too much energy to retire. "

While Lombardi doesn't rule out the possibility of someday opening or running another rock bar or music venue -- like when she helped run bygone Tempe spot The Loft during the three-year period when The Sail Inn was defunct -- she admits that it won't be a recreation of her most famous spot, however.

"I don't think it can be repeated. No matter how hard I try, The Sail Inn is a different animal, you know. It's just very hard to repeat something like that. It has a once-in-a-lifetime vibe there in my mind. But in the end, most of the customers, I think will follow me to my next adventure," Lombardi says. "And I'm going to find the closest thing I can that has the feeling of The Sail Inn and keep the music alive as long as I can in Tempe, because Tempe needs the live music scene."

Lombardi plans on throwing some big parties to send off The Sail Inn, including an enormous blowout on June 29 that will feature many regulars, including The Noodles.

"The calendar is so solidly booked right now that every show from now until closing is going to be pretty big," she says. "And how apropos to go out with The Noodles, who have been with me for 20 years. The Noodles were there at the start of the Sail Inn and The Noodles will be there at the end."

Editor's note: This post has been modified from its original version.


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Location Info

Map

Sail Inn - CLOSED

26 S. Farmer Ave., Tempe, AZ

Category: Music

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114 comments
olliefromtempe
olliefromtempe

I was impressed by the remodel.  Really nice outdoor area that sounded good and has a cool view.  Before that it was disgusting.  The swamp cooler made the crusty Tempe hippies smell worse and I can only speculate that the loyal Tempe-ons tolerated it because the odor of thick cigarette smoke and last week's beer on the floor covered it up.

 Developers had been salivating over that spot since the light rail vote passed so this was inevitable.  That Trax place seemed to put zero effort in promotion while thousands of ASU kids went to the mickey mouse bars on Mill just one block away.  I don't think that was a serious attempt at business.





Robert Landau
Robert Landau

Lost 6east and long wongs,let's go way back to the hut, the cave and bluegrass country Yuppie urbanization has ruined Tempe. Anyone remember parking on mill av. ?

Brian Schaefer
Brian Schaefer

Wasn't this posted twice before in just this past week?

Julie Polick de Haven
Julie Polick de Haven

Those developers are killing tempe. We lost six east , long wongs and many more for a bunch if crap franchises. Only a couple good places left.. So sad to see

Ronald DeLucia Jr.
Ronald DeLucia Jr.

Well , Black Carl will have to find another venue to play at. The Crescent I guess.

Janice Titgen
Janice Titgen

I loved sail inn! So is some trendy overpriced place coming in?

Shari Hanger
Shari Hanger

that's a terrible shame. it's sad to see such a great place close its doors just to see it taken over by more overpriced restaurants.

Dfactor Pop
Dfactor Pop

Mitchell Hillman called it a month ago. :-)

Jesse Adams
Jesse Adams

where will the hipsters flock to now? Oh they still have casey moores, nevermind

Phil Razzi
Phil Razzi

Only to open under new management...

Jarrett Williams
Jarrett Williams

Awww shucks! I'm going to have to find another bar with meat locker curtains.

Cory Bergquist
Cory Bergquist

huge bummer, saw some great shows there. First time I saw Mergence was at the Sail Inn!

Jeff Casazza
Jeff Casazza

Bummer. Great place to hang out and listen to some tunes.

Comanche_Moon
Comanche_Moon

Tempe music can and gone. We all grew up and got jobs.

Lauren Parker
Lauren Parker

Redmond J Largay III awww noo!! the memories! haha

iamhewhois
iamhewhois

Good riddance to a terrible bar.

Ian Calder Drummond
Ian Calder Drummond

Probably ran by your typical amateur Arizona business owner with the typical amateur rude bartender and typical amateur Arizona manager. There is no reason that place should be shutting down.

Kevin Jay Clapper
Kevin Jay Clapper

Simply don't patronize whatever takes its place in the redevelopment. To hell with the land owner.

Jim Dustan
Jim Dustan

don't fret, there will be one more coffee joint and restaurant to choose from now.

John Wilson
John Wilson

Playing at Sail Inn one last time May 10. Big Tempe Buffaloes gathering. See you all there!

Chris Sobel
Chris Sobel

Spent many Grateful Dead Sundays there :-(

redrock435
redrock435

Typical idiotic response by an Arizona moron! Try reading the article then comment jackazz!

wyvernwy
wyvernwy

The Sail Inn *was* the landowner, they made their choices, and now the nightclub faces the natural consequences of those choices.  It's pretty common.  Nightclubs simply don't take in enough revenue to justify real estate purchases.  A nightclub that owns its real estate is incredibly well situated.  They had that, and they sold it.  I can't imagine they were taking in enough money, at least not consistently, to ever truly own that property fee simple with no debt.  If they did, and they sold at the weakest point in the AZ real estate crash, then I hope they understood what they were doing.  

wyvernwy
wyvernwy

Well, Boston's couldn't hold down their rent, and neither could Nita's.  Instead of *selling*, why didn't they *buy the junkyard* and create a legitimate venue?  

wyvernwy
wyvernwy

@redrock435  They had an opportunity to become a solid contender as a live music venue, and they made an honest effort, but their patio stage ended up oriented 90 degrees from what it should have been, which just didn't work, and the indoor stage is also pretty bad.  With these stages, they just weren't going to attract certain levels of talent, and even if they did, they would never be able to accommodate the kind of crowds such talent would draw.  I know that real estate is tough, but at some point over 20 years, it becomes important to hold some sort of ownership stake in your property.  It might not have ever been an option for CBGB's for instance, but this real estate changed hands, and the Sail Inn didn't get a piece of the action.  Did they ever try?

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