By Jess Smith
San Diego’s iconic concert hall has closed its doors to the public for good, joining companies that have shut down due to the pandemic.
LeStat’s West Concert Hall rolls down its curtains for the last time. The owner of the iconic venue, John Hustler, said the venue did not survive restrictions imposed by the global health crisis.
According to NBC San Diego, Hustler wished there was more interest in the place. He said that artists have a great interest in music hall and that his heart is with them. But Hustler said the audience isn’t as big as it used to be. He added that the public is no longer excited compared to before.
Meanwhile, LeStat’s started 35 years ago when Hustler opened LeStat’s Cafe located on Adams Avenue in Normal Heights. After a good five-year walk, LeStat Café has had its extension, a theater next door called “LeStat’s West”.
In addition, Hustler was very successful in his business and eventually opened two more LeStat cafes. Its first expansion was located in Hillcrest and another in University Heights.
The stage was known to be a place where artists eager to begin their musical careers to hone their talents. Grammy winners like Jason Mraz have also performed several times in the music scene.
Hustler was also hoping that there would be another place where music could find its place because he believes that LeStat’s shutdown also took some of the music culture with it.
In March 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the LeStat Theater had already closed, however, it was recently announced that it would never reopen.
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One curtain closes, another opens
Despite the closure of one of San Diego’s most beloved music venues, a new concert hall is also set to open. The San Diego Symphony’s open-air hall sits on the city’s shore, surrounded by shell-shaped structures that are said to contain a precious gem – music.
The outdoor site was initially opened in 2019, but was put on hiatus when the pandemic struck in 2020.
In a statement, CEO Martha Gilmer said the idea for the concert hall has been in the works for 17 years. She also added that development began during the seven years she was in the symphony, San Diego magazine reported.
Gilmer also said they aim to create wonderful experiences for those who will attend the performances at said venue.
The exterior site of the San Diego Symphony was designed by Greg Mueller, owner of Tucker Sadler, a local architectural firm. It was designed with a curved steel frame that is both pleasing to the eye and would improve the quality of the music as well.
The new venue that would feature San Diego music has been described as Gilmer as unlike any other music venue in the United States. Boston’s Tanglewood and the Hollywood Bowl.
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