Overdue rent hastened the demise of once thriving downtown nightclub, the Loft at 21 Commerce, based on a judgment handed down by Pierce County Superior Court this month.
A Pierce County Superior Court judge ordered club owners Jeff and Kathy Corbin to vacate the building, located at 2106 Pacific Ave., that has housed the downtown dance club since 2000. And the couple and others named in the suit may be on the hook to pay Horizon Holdings, the company that owns the building, nearly $60,000 in overdue rent, plus other fees, court documents indicate.
Mars Unlimited, Inc., and the previous tenant, Emerging Market Development, were also named in a lawsuit filed on behalf of Horizon Holdings by Seattle law firm Williams, Kastner & Gibbs. Emerging Market Development opened the Loft in 2000 and upstairs lounge area, 21 Commerce, in 2003, but sold both to the Corbins in 2006. However, the company had not been released from the lease, according Matthew D. Green, an attorney representing Horizon Holdings.
The nightclub was not open last weekend, and the doors were chained shut. Yesterday, I called Jeff Corbin, who then confirmed that his club was "shut down," though he declined to elaborate on why. Today, I haven’t had much luck reaching him to talk about how this might impact he and his wife’s other nightclub, Maggie O’Toole’s in Lakewood.
The Loft was once one of Tacoma’s biggest and most consistently packed dance clubs. But crowds had been hit or miss in recent months, a trend not helped by a couple of legal snags last spring. Tacoma police served owners with a chronic nuisance violation after receiving more than 35 calls regarding fights and large crowds at the club between January and April. Then the club went dark for a few days in June when its liquor license was suspended for serving alcohol to an under-age patron.
This isn’t the only local nightclub that recently shut its doors, by the way. Short-lived rock club Club Vertigo was also dark last time I dropped in on the South Tacoma Way bar strip. The club’s liquor license was discontinued last week, according to a report posted by the Washington Liquor Control Board. And a message on the club’s web site reads, “Thanks to everyone that supported us.”