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Toad in Porter Square sold to new owner, but it will remain a music venue

Fandango vocalist Fred Bajie Griffeth sings to the crowd at Toad in Cambridge during a 20th anniversary celebration of the club in 2013.Laurie Swope

There’s good news for the local music scene. The Cambridge-based club Toad, which was up for sale and thought to be closing, will survive under a sale agreement that its owners just reached.

Toad and the adjacent Christopher’s restaurant in Porter Square have collectively been sold for “roughly” $3 million, according to current co-owner Holly Heslop. Christopher’s closed at the beginning of the pandemic and never reopened. Toad will close on Sept. 16, she said, but she expects it to reopen soon after because the new owner is eager to see that happen.

She said the incoming owner wants to be remain anonymous at this point (“I’ve never met him,” she added), but he is someone who has been to Toad “a million times” and loves the room, which has been a launching pad for such acts as Lake Street Dive and David Wax Museum. She said he is a restaurant investor but wishes to keep Toad and the restaurant separate, rather than having the smaller Toad be absorbed by it, as many fans of the venue had feared.


Heslop and current co-owner Charlie Christopher are ecstatic that Toad will survive the transition (though it may be renamed). “This is very good news for us,” she said, adding there had been three different offers — one spearheaded by local musician Jake Bush — and that all three “had the same goal” of keeping the rooms separate.