Dear local music fans, just thought we'd let you know a piece of your youth is about to die. Hogue Barmichael's is closing. This Saturday will be the last show ever for Newport Beach's all-ages venue in the shadow of John Wayne Airport and we have to say we're kinda sad about it (although we're not totally shocked). Even after the venue's extensive, much needed remodel over three years ago, the yeoman's work of keeping the place filled with under-age bands and local unknowns must be getting tougher and tougher to sustain.
First opened in 1992 by Gary Folgner (also the owner of the Coach House), Hogue's has been a rite of passage for local acts–mostly wobbly-legged teenage bands looking to play their first shows. In some cases, those bands have grown and gone on to bigger things and occasionally grace the place with a hometown show. It was also the place a lot of underage kids can remember getting branded with those neon wristbands and hands marked with stamps and big black "X" s (which we would always try like hell to wash off with foolish hopes of buying a beer).
Though this decision has been a long time in the making, the announcement of the closure came suddenly and in ALL CAPS on the venue's Facebook page this week.
According to Hogue's manager, who spoke to the Weekly, the venue was just bought by Jack Jasper, former owner of Jack's Shrimp in Newport Beach. Another source tells us there's a plan to turn it into a dinner and jazz club, although that hasn't been confirmed just yet.
Those of you looking for one last chance at Hogue's nostalgia can check out the last couple of shows there tonight and Saturday with shows put on by OC Music League. The last one one will be a memorial show for local DJs Steve Stinson and Chris Burke, who were killed in a car crash in Oregon earlier this month. More info on those shows here.
If you haven't been to the club in a while, we suggest you make the trip out one last time. Maybe even grab yourself an under-age wrist band or ask 'em to X-out your hands one more time for old times sake.