Stone Church Gets Manna

The worst has not come to the intimate Stone Church Music Club in Newmarket, N.H.

The 168-capacity venue fell into foreclosure, was shuttered and faced a September 12 auction.

Former owners John Pasquale, Chris Hislop and Paul Nessel feared the new owners would use the building for something besides music, which would end a 39-year tradition of hosting acts including Johnny Winter, Bonnie Raitt and Leon Russell.

However, new owners Scott Orlosk, Adam Schroadter and Art Murphy, who won the foreclosure auction with a high bid of $195,000, said they will continue to fill it with music. Pasquale and his partners, who bought the club in 2003, put $750,000 into renovations, according to the Portsmouth Herald News.

The paper didn’t paint a rosy future for the club in an op-ed piece, noting the club wasn’t a big money maker back in its early ’70s heyday, when artists sometimes traded their craft for beer.

The last owners saved the 18th-century former church from an uncertain future in 2003, and the Seacoast area has seen clubs go dark recently.

“Maybe the Stone Church is paying the price for a less diverse, older and, well, gentrified Seacoast,” the paper said.