Club Burned After Swap

Things got a little crazy in Brownsville, Texas, after a concert promoter and a club got into a bitter financial dispute that was followed by a blaze.

Rebecca’s Restaurant & Bar was to hold its first high-profile concert with punk band Sloppy Seconds June 24th. But there was one problem: The building burned down June 19th. A local fire chief said an arson fire destroyed about 80 percent of the restaurant, according to The Brownsville Herald.

Prior to the blaze, the Sloppy Seconds gig had been moved by local promoter Suttonhouse Productions to Rebecca’s from its original venue, Chapa’s Bar. Suttonhouse’s Desiree Perez reportedly said the company chose to swap venues because of a bitter financial dispute with Chapa’s management.

After the fire, Michael Perez of Suttonhouse Productions posted a blog on the company’s MySpace page announcing the cancellation of the show, and alluded to Chapa’s Bar being involved with the arson, the Herald reported.

Sister and business partner Desiree said her brother posted the message because Chapa’s manager and owner reacted badly to the news that Sloppy Seconds would be switching venues.

When Pollstar visited the Web site June 21st, the message had been removed and replaced with a posting that said the newspaper article was one-sided. That second posting disappeared by June 22nd.

Chapa’s manager Efrain Martinez denied any involvement with the arson and said Perez’s post was an attempt to sully his bar’s reputation, the paper said. He claims Suttonhouse owes the venue more than $1,800 in service fees, although the pair never had a contract.

Meanwhile, Tony Rocha, owner of Rebecca’s, was reportedly hesitant to blame anyone for the fire but said he was aware of the dispute. The owner said he plans to rebuild the restaurant.

Fire investigator John Zimmerman said he was also aware of the dispute, but not privy to the MySpace posting.