Somerville’s Johnny D’s to Close Early Next Year
Johnny D’s Uptown Restaurant and Music Club, a Davis Square establishment since 1969 known for attracting a wide variety of musical acts and entertainers, is shutting its doors sometime early next year.
The owner of the building, Carla DeLellis, told the Boston Globe on Sunday that the decision is a personal choice and not driven by economics.
DeLellis said that she is aiming to converting the building into a four-story mixed-use property that is primarily residential. Things are very preliminary, so no formal plans have been devised or filed with Somerville. A mixed-use property with a smaller-scale nightclub is something DeLellis is not ruling out. The current club has a capacity of 300 for live shows.
DeLellis’s parents, John and Tina, opened the joint as simply a bar before it evolved into a music venue over time. She, along with her brother David, took over the property after her parents died. David died in 1998.
The nightclub has been a fixture in Davis Square for so long that it even pre-dates the arrival of Red Line service in 1989.
The owners of the Middle East nightclub and restaurant complex in Cambridge have floated a similar plan to the one DeLellis is considering.
The closure of Johnny D’s comes on the heels of the shuttering of another longtime rock club, T.T. the Bear’s Place in Central Square. T.T.’s is closing this Saturday after over 40 years as Cambridge rock mecca. The owners of the Middle East purchased the building that is home to T.T.’s in 2014.
Johnny D’s won a Best of Boston award three times. In 1990, Boston declared it the best rock club, but in 1994 it was given an even more prestigious honor when we found it to have the best pancakes in all of Boston.
In 2008, it was voted to have the best nightlife in Somerville.