UPDATE: The club will stay open another week, promising a few send-off parties, and the extension starts Sunday night with DJ Coralcola and the Mmmmaven crew. Much nicer way to go out.
THE ENORMOUS ROOM, a staple of the forward-thinking nightclub scene in Cambridge's Central Square, will throw its last party this Saturday when DJ Evaredy works the turntables.
"After eight years of amazing stuff and great parties, it has come time to stop and go in a different direction," owner GARY STRACK told the Phoenix Wednesday afternoon. "We just felt Enormous Room served its mission. The DJ scene has changed a lot in eight years."
A source told the Phoenix that Strack, who also owns Central Kitchen, wants to take the room in a non-music direction, creating more of a speakeasy vibe over its current DJ and dance party rotation. However, Strack said that wasn't necessarily the case.
"We're working on a new project, but it's one of those things I have to keep on the downlow for now," he said. "It's too pre-mature." He did note that the room's turntables will be put to use on occassion, but "used in a different way than people are used to seeing." The venue will use a different name, and re-open in November after "renovation and rehabilitation."
News of the Enormous Room's closing hit the Internet yesterday.
"Hey friends, sad but true the Enormous Room after a decade or so will be closing it's doors for good as of Sunday,” wrote bar manager ANNIE OLSON SANDLIN Tuesday afternoon on her Facebook wall. “I know this comes as a shock, believe me it did for me as well. I only just found out yesterday???? So come support the staff you all know and love and let's have one more drink. Cheers to the end of a great chapter for all the good times we had there!!!
The second floor, 70-capacity room, ironically named after a novel by Cambridge poet EE Cummings, was known for its rows of plush couches and chairs, creating a unique, laid-back vibe where electronic artists and DJs spun from a hidden booth, visible onto the dance floor only through stylishly broken spaces in a brick wall.
"It's a sad time for the DJ community,” said DJ KNIFE, who has spun at E-Room for eight years. “My phone's been blowing up. Everyone's looking for answers.”
Knife also handles booking for another DJ-driven venue, the Good Life, in downtown Boston. "From a booking standpoint at Good Life, we never looked at Enormous Room as competition, but rather another piece of the puzzle that made up the overall DJ scene.” He added. “This is a huge loss for both the DJs and nightlife enthusiasts. We might try to absorb some of their nights (at Good Life) so these DJs still have a home."
According to the Boston Business Journal, Strack, “has become involved in two forthcoming restaurant projects in Kendall Square, the tech hub adjacent to Central Square.” Those include eateries Venture Café, and Firebrand Saints.
When the room opened in 2002, Ted Drozdowski of the Phoenix wrote that Strack’s goal, in partnering with Frederick Carret, was "to keep things low-key and interesting." Drozdowski went on to write that "...the room — with its black exposed ceiling, raw brick walls, batik-print fabric, and dark-hued Honduran mahogany furniture, stage, and fixtures — has a fine-tuned look that blends old industrial New England and Africa. Strack wants the space to be interesting on its own terms and have what might be described as a casually artsy vibe. There are no tables, so diners and drinkers can sit on the lush couches or sprawl on the multi-tiered stage when it’s not in use."
Before its opening, Strack told the Phoenix: "It’s not specifically a restaurant and not specifically a club or bar. We don’t want to lock ourselves into needing to have entertainment every night and get into a cycle of having to book things that aren’t quality to fill the room. But I see this place as being great for maybe a play reading, a cool trio, performance art, experimental music, or a DJ spinning. I’d like to have a pirate radio station connected with the room. On any night people might come here and there could be some kind of performance going on — or maybe not."