ONE of the Capital’s most popular clubs and live music venues is to be reborn after its current owners announced closure plans.
The Citrus Club, which has been located on Grindlay Street for over 25 years, made the closure announcement on its Facebook page this weekend.
Music fans rushed to voice their disappointment and some have expressed concern over signs that the live music scene in Edinburgh is continuing to shrink.
But Gavin Miller, from Leith, who is taking over the venue and will reopen it under a new name, is confident music lovers will approve of the transformation.
In a statement, senior figures at the club, said: “After an incredible 25 years plus, the Citrus Club will close its doors for the last time, early in the hours of Sunday, May 7.
“We’ve had a fantastic time and hope that many of you will be able to come and say goodbye to the old place at some point over the next month.
“We know how much this place means to so many of our customers and staff, and so we have resisted offers from people wanting to turn the club into a piano bar, karaoke bar, gin palace or another soulless high street chain, and are certain that when the time comes the next incarnation of 40-42 Grindlay Street will be one you’ll like.”
Mr Miller, of Blue Dog Limited, will open the new club, to be called Smash, on May 20.
He said: “There’s so much music talent in Edinburgh and Smash is going to demonstrate that. We are going to have a range of music genres performing and then afterwards it will turn into a club. We are also planning on having an unsigned night to allow upcoming bands to showcase what they can do.”
But former Simple Minds manager Bruce Findlay said the growth of Edinburgh’s clubbing and live performance scene would depend on venues concentrating on specific genres of music.
He said: “I’m one of these people that believe in reincarnation so when a live music club closes down it’s not necessarily the be all and end all. Another one will open up.
“I think here in Edinburgh everyone focuses too much on the clubs that are closing, rather than they new ones that are opening and the opportunities they bring. Although it is sad certain clubs close, ones that are just as good will arrive again.”
He added: “I think the key to a club’s success is concentrating on one genre of music. That’s why places like Sneaky Pete’s in the Cowgate have been so successful. I think there is always going to be plenty of venues – it’s the music we need.”
The Citrus Club’s closure comes after the Electric Circus announced it would shut to make way for an extension to the Fruitmarket Gallery. In recent years, a series of popular venues have closed down, including the former Picture House on Lothian Road.
A city council spokeswoman said: “We are always concerned to hear about live music venues closing and we are keen to work with promoters to improve the current situation.”