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Allston music venue Great Scott closes after 44 years

Shuttered by the coronavirus, the pub won’t reopen

Hiphop artist Notebook P's Patrick Despage performed with Megazoyd at Great Scott in Allston in February.Erin Clark/Globe Staff

Music lovers will not be able to return to beloved Allston music venue, Great Scott, once the pandemic subsides. According to a post on the Great Scott Boston Facebook page, the pub is permanently closing.

“It is with a heavy heart today that I announce that Great Scott will not re-open,” wrote longtime manager Tim Philbin. “For 44 years Great Scott has provided entertainment and more than a few beverages to a loyal group of customers. From its inception in 1976 as a local bar featuring blues and folk performers to the 1980s and 1990s as a beloved college dive featuring cover bands and DJ nights, to the 2000s and its emergence as one of the best live music venues in the city, Great Scott has meant many things to many people.


“Through it all we’ve aspired to be a good neighbor to our community and a friend to all who walk through our doors. There is a sign that still hangs in the venue from the establishment that Great Scott replaced. The name of which was Brandy’s. That sign reads ‘Where Incredible Friendships Begin’. I’m glad we never took it down because it explains Great Scott better than I ever could. Take care of yourselves and each other.”

Great Scott has been closed since mid-March, along with all other businesses deemed non-essential during the COVID-19 crisis. Though a now-corrected Vanyaland story originally reported the club would not reopen because it had lost its lease, lawyers for Oak Hill, Great Scott’s landlord, said the club had decided to close rather than sign the longterm lease Oak Hill had offered. Philbin did not respond to requests for comment.

Great Scott shone a spotlight on dozens of local and national bands, like Speedy Ortiz, MGMT, and Grimes, before their careers skyrocketed.


Fans flooded the comments beneath Philbin’s words on Facebook.

“Oh wow. So sad to hear this,” wrote Melissa Gibbs. “One of my first regular hangouts when I first lived in Boston (Allston).”

“I honestly had yet to see a bad show at Great Scott and it was always such a privilege to be in a venue where its audience could be so intimate with its performers,” said Owen Miller. “You’ll be greatly missed, but I’m happy to have the memories of all of the shows and artists I’ve met there.”

This article has been updated to correct an error in the reason for Great Scott’s closing.

Diti Kohli can be reached at diti.kohli@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @ditikohli_

Diti Kohli can be reached at diti.kohli@globe.com. Follow her @ditikohli_.