Fire Guts Fairfax Club

The 19 Broadway Niteclub is down but not out after a Feb. 7 fire gutted the longtime Fairfax, Calif., music venue.

The fire in the 250-capacity club started from a gas fireplace in the club’s Tiki Lounge, according to a preliminary report. A Ross Valley Fire Department spokeswoman told the Marin Independent Journal that investigators assessed the damage at $600,000.

“I heard we were only about 20 minutes away from a whole conflagration,” club co-owner Garry Graham told the paper. The fire started during a concert and employees reportedly acted swiftly, escorting patrons from the building.

The club, which has been open every day since October 1979, was expected to reopen Feb. 10 or 11, with the music stage up and running, although damage to the club was reportedly significant. Graham could not be reached for further comment at press time.

Hillside Fire was the band performing at the time of the incident, and the next band on the lineup was Mama’s Cookin’.
“It’s not funny, but it is since nobody got hurt,” club manager Chris McCarthy told the paper.

Patrons at the nearby Sleeping Lady restaurant hoping to see a local rocker were asked to leave. Many reportedly came back to settle their bills after the fire was extinguished.

19 Broadway Niteclub sees regular visits from touring acts like The English Beat, Hot Buttered Rum and Pato Banton. Michael Schenker Group was scheduled for April 17 at press time.