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Maxwell’s, the venerated music venue and bar in Hoboken, New Jersey long known for its eclectic and independent-minded bookings, will be closing its doors after 34 years at the end of July, the Star-Ledger has reported.
Speaking to Star-Ledger reporter Tris McCall, Maxwell’s co-owner and booker Todd Abramson described a situation where playing it safe seemed the only option. “We were offered a renewal with rates that weren’t necessarily onerous, but after much thought, given the changing nature of Hoboken and the difficulties of trying to run a business in this town, we decided it was time.” Abramson went on to explain that the club’s last night, July 31, will be headlined by ‘a,’ the same band that headlined its opening night.
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It isn’t the first time that Maxwell’s has closed — in the late ’90s a failed reboot of the venue as a brew pub led to Abramson and two partners, Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley and the Amazing Incredibles’ Dave Post, reclaiming the space and continuing to run it as it had been previously.
During an interview around that time, Abramson described the uniqueness of Maxwell’s, pointing to the very thing that made the instituation stand for as long as it did: “We get a lot of the same bands that play in New York clubs, but the performers tend to be more relaxed here because in clubs of this size in the city, many of the tickets will be bought by the band’s record label or the concert promoter. There’s less pressure on the performers when they play here. Also, it’s exciting to see these great bands in Hoboken, a city of 30,000, and in a place that only holds 200 people.”
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