Music venue Boot and Saddle closes doors

Photo/Mark Zimmaro
Photo/Mark Zimmaro

The music venue Boot and Saddle at Broad and Ellsworth streets has closed, according to its owners.

The trendy concert destination announced on its social media platforms that it was forced to shut its doors, due to lost revenue from the pandemic.

“After seven years and 1,500+ shows, we are now forced to close Boot and Saddle,” the statement said. “With COVID-19 cases back on the rise in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and around the country, the thought of having 200 people standing shoulder-to-shoulder in our small indoor bar early next year has faded. After eight months without a show, and without a clear reopening date in sight, we no longer have the luxury of paying the bills and expenses for two closed venues. And so, we have made the difficult decision to close Boot & Saddle for good.”

According to the statement, the bar was transformed from an old country and western bar after sitting idle for 18 years. It became a trendy underground bar that witnessed several intimate shows from popular acts such as Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth. Local bands such as The War on Drugs, Circa Survive and the Menzingers returned to play secret shows after hitting it big.

Photo/Mark Zimmaro

The statement said the tough decision was made to hopefully help its sister venue Union Transfer on Spring Garden Street survive, as the music industry has been hit hard by the pandemic.

There are plans to print “R.I.P. Boot and Saddle” T-shirts, which will help raise funds to keep the lights on at Union Transfer. Portions of the proceeds will go toward paying for full-time employees’ health care during the pandemic. Information on T-shirt sales is forthcoming on Boot and Saddle’s social media accounts.

The absence of Boot and Saddle will leave a void for music lovers who enjoyed the small, intimate setting of the iconic venue on Broad Street.

“We would like to take this final opportunity to remind everyone that local independent venues in our city and across the country are in grave danger,” the statement said. “Live music venues were the first businesses to close and they will be the last to reopen. As other restaurants, bars and stadiums begin to reopen, our doors remain shut. We cannot sell you a contactless takeout or curbside delivery concert. Without some form of assistance, our local music scene right here in Philly, along with countless others across the country, may collapse. We will keep our socials active, so that we can from time to time pass along news and actions that you can take, to help ensure that the remaining venues in Philly stay open.”