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When one door closes...

Shady Francos miss the Ché but find a new place to play at Stronghold.
Shady Francos miss the Ché but find a new place to play at Stronghold.

"There’s definitely not enough venues, especially with the closing of the Ché [Café].”

Singer/guitarist Joshua Kmak laments the fact that while the scene is plumping up — thanks in part to garage-rock combos such as his band, Shady Francos, as well as Sandy Cheeks, Groms, and the Beach Goons — the venue options are shrinking. “Kids are hungry for shows and there’s nowhere to go.”

Place

Ché Café

1000 Scholars Drive, San Diego

Kmak tells the Reader, “The Ché was like our second home...not cliquey at all. It has a lot of history. My uncle came to see us play, and he said the place hasn’t changed since he played there.”

Joshua Kmak comes from San Diego rock nobility. Uncle Joel played in one of San Diego’s first punk bands, the Hitmakers, and the internationally known Crawdaddys, while Uncle Jeff played with Beat Farmer offshoot bands and still plays with Joey Harris.

The latest Ché news is not good. Two UCSD student-government panels, the Associated Students and the Graduate Student Association, recently approved resolutions asking the administration to close the Ché for 18 months. A judge gave UCSD’s administration the right to post an eviction notice, which could be posted at any time. That has led many fans and bands to ask what could replace the Ché?

Place

Stronghold

1835 Main Street, San Diego

One answer seems to lie with the Stronghold, a “creative studio and gallery” in Barrio Logan that recently hosted a successful weekend double-header. Friday, February 20, they held a hip-hop event named after Kurt Cobain (honoring his birthday) featuring locals Van Brando, Sloat Dixon, and eight others.

The next night, the “No Friends Fest” hosted seven local bands, including Kmak’s Shady Francos.

Admission was $10 for Friday’s show, $7 for Saturday.

“They took in $1300,” says Kmak of the No Friends event. “I’m told after they paid the down payment for the room, they pretty much shared the money between the bands.”

Kmak says there were no problems. “There were a couple of cops outside who made the rounds, but we kept it cool. Somebody said they were parked outside waiting for something to happen. But they left.”

Van Brando says the Stronghold is exactly what the scene needs.

“We were tired of janky shows where the promoter makes you pay to play. Or where they advertise three-dollar beers but then they raise it to five dollars when the music starts.... We like that place. You can see Petco Park from there.”

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Shady Francos miss the Ché but find a new place to play at Stronghold.
Shady Francos miss the Ché but find a new place to play at Stronghold.

"There’s definitely not enough venues, especially with the closing of the Ché [Café].”

Singer/guitarist Joshua Kmak laments the fact that while the scene is plumping up — thanks in part to garage-rock combos such as his band, Shady Francos, as well as Sandy Cheeks, Groms, and the Beach Goons — the venue options are shrinking. “Kids are hungry for shows and there’s nowhere to go.”

Place

Ché Café

1000 Scholars Drive, San Diego

Kmak tells the Reader, “The Ché was like our second home...not cliquey at all. It has a lot of history. My uncle came to see us play, and he said the place hasn’t changed since he played there.”

Joshua Kmak comes from San Diego rock nobility. Uncle Joel played in one of San Diego’s first punk bands, the Hitmakers, and the internationally known Crawdaddys, while Uncle Jeff played with Beat Farmer offshoot bands and still plays with Joey Harris.

The latest Ché news is not good. Two UCSD student-government panels, the Associated Students and the Graduate Student Association, recently approved resolutions asking the administration to close the Ché for 18 months. A judge gave UCSD’s administration the right to post an eviction notice, which could be posted at any time. That has led many fans and bands to ask what could replace the Ché?

Place

Stronghold

1835 Main Street, San Diego

One answer seems to lie with the Stronghold, a “creative studio and gallery” in Barrio Logan that recently hosted a successful weekend double-header. Friday, February 20, they held a hip-hop event named after Kurt Cobain (honoring his birthday) featuring locals Van Brando, Sloat Dixon, and eight others.

The next night, the “No Friends Fest” hosted seven local bands, including Kmak’s Shady Francos.

Admission was $10 for Friday’s show, $7 for Saturday.

“They took in $1300,” says Kmak of the No Friends event. “I’m told after they paid the down payment for the room, they pretty much shared the money between the bands.”

Kmak says there were no problems. “There were a couple of cops outside who made the rounds, but we kept it cool. Somebody said they were parked outside waiting for something to happen. But they left.”

Van Brando says the Stronghold is exactly what the scene needs.

“We were tired of janky shows where the promoter makes you pay to play. Or where they advertise three-dollar beers but then they raise it to five dollars when the music starts.... We like that place. You can see Petco Park from there.”

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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