Danbury is in negotiations to purchase the 7,000-square-foot Tuxedo Junction concert facility with an eye toward developing it as a community theater, according to Mayor Mark Boughton.
“We’d like to plant a flag there and help generate the kind of nightlife we want,” the mayor said of the facility at 2 Ives St. “We’re looking at making it a 250 to 350-seat space that’s flexible enough to host community events, plays, productions and concerts,” including those by the Danbury Music Center, he added.
The building’s owners, Ron and Rick Jowdy, are asking $400,000 for the property. “It’s not that expensive,” Boughton said. “It’s a small project, but it’s something that can have a big impact. The price is right, so it should be easy to do. It makes all the sense in the world.”
The mayor said he anticipated the acquisition to be completed “within a month.”
Tuxedo Junction, which opened in 1985, was once the site of concerts by names like Joan Jett, Stephen Stills and Oasis, as well as of shows by local bands. But it’s had a troubled history in recent times.
It originally closed in 2013 after club owners Al Caccamo and Michael Roviello pulled out; its latest owner, 21-year-old Ian Bick, had several run-ins with the law ranging from charges of second-degree mischief to selling alcohol without a permit before ultimately receiving a three-year prison sentence last October for operating a Ponzi scheme that authorities said had cost investors some $500,000. The club was shuttered soon after sentencing.
Boughton maintained that there’s still plenty of potential in the space. “Fairfield has a great model for what we want to do with this in The Warehouse,” he said, referring to the home of the Fairfield Theatre Co.
Boughton went on to say that his gubernatorial aspirations are still very much alive, and that his exploratory “Connecticut Comeback Committee” is “doing well.
“We’re still in the stage of raising the necessary funds to participate in a statewide race,” said the mayor, who stood as the Republicans’ lieutenant governor candidate in 2010 after ending his own bid for the top spot, and ran again in 2014.
He declined to say when a formal announcement of his candidacy might take place.