Outerland, the Island’s main music venue, will close Jan. 1 and not reopen again until spring.
Outerland owner Barry Rosenthal came before the Edgartown selectmen on Monday to request a change in his liquor license from year-round to seasonal, one month after he had been granted permission to shift from seasonal to year-round. He said his reasons are strictly financial. “It has been bleeding money since September,” Mr. Rosenthal said.
Formerly named the Hot Tin Roof under its previous owners, who included Carly Simon, the club opened in 1979 and previously functioned as a summer venue. Mr. Rosenthal bought the club in January 2006. His long-range plans had included a wide range of year-round entertainment, including family events.
Seasonal liquor licenses expire on Nov. 30, but Mr. Rosenthal asked the selectmen for permission to stay open through Jan. 1, in order to accommodate bookings that have already been made. These include a charity event for Big Brothers, Big Sisters, a New Year’s Eve party and a popular trivia night which has started on Wednesdays. The request was granted.
Speaking by telephone this week, Mr. Rosenthal downplayed his financial straits but said: “People would be amazed at the overhead.”
After the first of the year Mr. Rosenthal will need to reapply for a seasonal liquor license. If he is successful, Outerland will reopen on May 1.
“I fully expect to get the license, though it is obviously up to the selectmen,” said Mr. Rosenthal, whose business background is in creative marketing.
He said financial restructuring is already underway to make Outerland a profitable seasonal business. “We have listened to restaurant and night club advisors,” he said. “Next year we’ll start doubling up on big name artists, so for example you’ll see Hall and Oates for two nights.”