That’s It For Sin-e

New York rock club Sin-e, which helped launch the careers of artists like Sarah McLachlan, Jeff Buckley and David Gray, closed its doors April 1st.

The club is yet another victim of the increasingly widespread gentrification of Manhattan, according to the New York Times.

Club owner Shane Doyle said that after two decades and three locations, the low-key vibe of the club was no longer a good fit for the city. "I look at this block, and I know it’s over," Doyle told the Times.

The original Sin-e, which is Gaelic for "that’s it,"opened in 1989 on St. Mark’s Place, and soon became a hip hangout in the funky neighborhood, counting among its clientele Allen Ginsberg, Jane Pratt, Iggy Pop and Johnny Depp. Numerous Irish musicians performed at the club, including Sinead O’Connor, The Pogues’ Shane MacGowan and, on one memorable occasion, Bono. The late Jeff Buckley recorded an EP there in 1993.

"I still see him walking in, dragging a guitar," Doyle said.

By the mid-’90s, the neighborhood had undergone a change in character that sent Doyle looking for a new location. He bought a boarded-up building on Stanton Street with the intention of opening a brand new space where any band would be welcome, no matter how much experience they had.

That never happened, however, because Doyle was persuaded by friends to open something in Williamsburg in Brooklyn, and he sold the property, which became 150-capacity Arlene’s Grocery, to finance a new, bigger Sin-e, which opened in 2000.

When that version of the club closed after only a few months because of problems with the city and neighborhood residents, Doyle accepted an offer from a friend and opened the final incarnation of Sin-e in 2001 on Attorney Street.

While the current 225-capacity location has been a success, playing host to artists like The Strokes, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Damien Rice, Doyle said as soon as residents of the new million-dollar apartments in the area started to complain about noise and crowds, the handwriting was on the wall.

"Then the obvious thing is, O.K., let me go somewhere else," he told the Times. "But I can’t find somewhere else. And even if I could the lifespan would be too short."

Instead of a new club, Doyle said he’s joining with partners to open a wine store in Queens, but hinted that he might not be out of the live music business.

"Maybe I’ll end up having somebody doing some acoustic thing or just some readers," he said. "I’m going to have to get some characters into the place, because you can only do so much with a paint brush."