Tonic Lounge will be closing permanently after August this year. A year ago the building was sold to new owners, who have decided not to renew our lease, and if successful, will eventually turn the property into a nursing home.The Tonic will have a full calendar of shows for its remaining four months.
This is a sad end for a venue that seemed to have nine lives. Threatened with closure before, the Tonic Lounge has stuck it through rough times, including some weird periods under different names including Panic Room and The Raven. In March 2017, Chris Trumpower of Soundcontrol PDX and Eric Manfre of High Water Mark Lounge took the reins of the space, returning it to its rightful name and booking a solid slate of heavy shows. They faced a small uphill battle in erasing people's memories of the venue's unfortunate stint on the reality show Bar Rescue—those were the days when it was called Panic Room—but they took to the challenge admirably, turning the Tonic back into a vital venue for live music and a special home for local and touring bands of substantial volume, which were showcased in the best possible light by the venue's superior sound system.
The loss is acute, as venues for punk, metal, goth, extreme, and dark music continue to vanish, and Portland's DIY venues of yore are all but extinct. Tonic Lounge has been a home for a thriving scene that exists well outside of mainstream culture (and indeed sometimes outside of this paper's coverage) but is one of the lifebloods in a city that has historically prided itself on its artistic vitality. Judging by the huge outpouring of support in the responses to Tonic's Facebook announcement, the scene won't be easily displaced, no matter how many nursing homes and condos are constructed.
Tonic's full post follows. You have until the end of August to pay your respects.