Yet Another Icon For Sale
Legendary rock club El Mocambo is the latest in the slew of popular asset sales, following Honest Ed's (which was even selling its famous storefront signs this past weekend) and Sam The Record Man. (It's getting harder to defend against people who say rock & roll is dead.)
Royal LePage Commercial broker Neil Warshafsky, who's handling the transaction, says reaction to the sale so far has been mixed. (We imagine much of it has come from the over-40 crowd.) The asking price is just under $4M, and the new owner will have a tough act to follow: The Rolling Stones played a gig there in 1977, and Elvis Costello, The Guess Who, U2, Blondie, and an early version of the Tragically Hip have all passed through.
Neil hopes the El Mocambo stays "as is," and that will be his preference as interested parties come forward. "Unfortunately," he says, "times change." Funny suggestions have come in: “The ElMoCondo” and “The ElMotel,” to name a few. There's been a fair bit of interest in the club, but Neil doesn't have a timeline for the sale just yet.
Some had hoped the city would make it a heritage space. Going forward, Neil says the ground floor could become a workout facility, or perhaps a restaurant or retail. Additional density is permitted under the zoning of the property, which could also make the building more appropriate for student residences. (Which in many ways are music clubs, just without the liquor license.)