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Until recently, 4th & B was controlled by Pacific Entertainment LLC, which had 15 owners. Now one of those owners, Ali Nilforshan of Del Mar, is buying out the other 14. Nilforshan was not available for comment, but Ray Johnson, general manager of 4th & B, said the others were not getting out over the fear of the arrival of a major competitor: House of Blues.

"We are spending seven figures to remodel 4th & B," said Johnson. "The first renderings will be ready in February. We want to make this place look completely different." Johnson said he expects remodeling to begin as soon as he gets the architectural plans back, which "should take three months. We might have to be closed for a few weeks in the summer."

Johnson said 4th & B will keep the same management. "It's been a tough year for the entire concert industry, but we did really well. We made money [in 2004]."

The new House of Blues reportedly will have a capacity of 1000, while 4th & B can hold 1500. As for the pace of House of Blues' construction (the club is supposed to open in May), Johnson says, "Have you walked by that building? It doesn't have a back wall yet."

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