Help Find 6119 A New Home
This week brought the news that three more East Liberty establishments will close very soon. We’ve already said goodbye to Shadow Lounge and now we can also bid adieu to AVA, Abay and 6119, who announced yesterday they’ll be closing at the end of June. It appears as though the gentrification of East Liberty is now in full effect and the places it has to thank for helping to raise its profile are the ones now paying the price. Their press release states, “The property, owned by East Liberty Development, Inc., has been purchased by Alphabet City Company of Pittsburgh—along with Yen’s Gourmet and the connecting building—and is slated for demolition in the fall of 2013, when it will be developed as retail and office space.” Talk about a buzz kill!
The space, which had been in terrible condition since 2003, was doctored up and maintained by VIA founders Lauren G and Quinn, who put a tremendous amount of work into 6119 alongside a team of dedicated volunteers. They have hosted over “200 local, national, and international musicians, performers, visual artists, and groups” since opening in June of last year. If you do the math, that’s more than one show every other day and they both hold down full time jobs.
Some of our favorite 6119 experiences include Bomba Estereo and their New Years Eve party that transformed the venue into a jungle of sloppy decisions. Despite not having any heat or AC and lackluster bathrooms, the team behind 6119 managed to provide programming that kept patrons coming through the door, eventually opening up the space to renters who could host their own events in addition to the VIA-esque talent coming through. Their press release touts 6119 as “a place to expand one’s cultural palette”. Your loss, East Lib.
Fret not, because they’ve already started mapping out a Plan B, and they’re inviting their community of followers to have a say in where the new spot will be housed. Sure, a lot of it is up to the property gods, but it feels good to know that they aren’t taking their support for granted and want to make improvements so that 6119 can thrive in the future. If they found an amazing space on the North Side, whose to say their current patrons would follow, as Pittsburghers are notorious for not crossing bridges or traveling through tunnels to get places late night. Contribute to your scene and fill out their VIA HOME survey and have a say in the venue’s future. Be sure to check out one of their final events to bid the space a proper goodbye, which includes Cold Cave the 21st, Katabasis the 24th and Cosmin TRG the 28th. Visit here for the official deets.