4th And B Cancels Shows

San Diego, Calif., music mainstay 4th And B has apparently shuttered, at least temporarily, with the halt of ticket sales already in progress and the removal of the club’s event calendar.

The website’s calendar link goes to a page with the words “Coming Soon,” and a Twitter ticker on the side of the page tells those who have already bought tickets to now-canceled shows they may get refunds. Some are directed to get refunds and repurchase tickets for shows at San Diego’s House of Blues, including a Dec. 12 Public Enemy gig that was apparently moved.

Calls to 4th And B owner Vincent Puma and House of Blues San Diego senior talent buyer Candace Mandracia weren’t returned. 

“It is my understanding that all the upcoming shows have been canceled,” Issa Wilson, 4th and B’s marketing and promotions director, told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “Honestly, I have not been able to get the latest status on the situation.”

San Diego alt-weekly CityBeat managed to catch up with Puma, who said, “We’re not closed. We have a few shows that are canceled right now. That’s really the best way to say that.”

The “situation” apparently entails a dispute between the club and the leaseholder of the 21,000-square-foot building. Local sources also report a feud between the Pumas and former owner Ali Nilforushan, though no details were available.

What is known is that Puma and his wife, Judy, reportedly sought relief from a lease forfeiture resulting from a Nov. 15 court judgment that canceled Puma’s rental agreement with Crown Invest LLC, which owns the building.

San Diego Superior Court Judge William Dato, who ordered the lease agreement canceled, denied the relief petition Nov. 26, according to the Union-Tribune.

The Nov. 15 ruling required the Pumas to pay $125,077 in back rent and “holdover damages” to Crown Invest, which reportedly filed a writ Nov. 27 seeking the Pumas’ eviction.

The 1,500-capacity club, a refurbished former bank vault then called the 4th And B Concert Theatre, opened Nov. 30, 1995, with Crosby, Stills & Nash.  Bill Silva booked 4th And B during its first year until then-owner Bob Speth, who’d previously owned San Diego’s Bacchanal, took on those duties.

Over the years, 4th And B grew from its humble bank vault ambience with about $1 million in refurbishments.

Additions included a balcony and mezzanine, bar, sound and lighting, video screens, restrooms and a VIP lounge.  During its heyday, 4th And B hosted concerts by B.B. King, Linda Ronstadt, Wu Tang Clan, Buddy Guy, Wilco, Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band, David Byrne, and The Pretenders, among many others.

When the Super Bowl took place in San Diego in 1998, House of Blues reportedly rented it out to present shows by Los Lobos, Wyclef Jean and others. HoB would soon open its own venue a few blocks away. 
Speth sold the venue in 2003 to real estate developer and nightclub owner Eric DeBlasi and partner Dale Polselli who, in turn, sold it to Nilforushan – who sold it to the Pumas in 2009.

The current troubles aren’t the first for 4th And B.  Shows were canceled in 2007 when the club’s entertainment license expired, according to the Union-Tribune. Live Nation, which now owns House of Blues, was booking it at the time.