Revered St. Paul jazz club to close at year's end

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The owner of the St. Paul jazz club the Artists' Quarter says he's closing the venue after this December's New Year's Eve show, the Pioneer Press reports.

Kenny Horst, who has owned the venue for 18 years, says he can no longer afford the rent and utilities to keep the club open.

The jazz club, located in the Hamm Building in downtown St. Paul, has been in operation in the location since 2001. Before that, Horst ran the business out of a location at Fifth and Jackson streets.

Horst tells the paper for years he made a "sweetheart deal" with a person for low rent and no costs for utilities for the space for the club, until the person died. Last year, the rent costs doubled and utility costs were required, which spurred Horst's decision.

In an interview with the Star Tribune, Horst said that he's tried to make the keep up with the costs, to the point of cutting down his own salary where there was "nothing left." Still, he added, he "can't make the numbers work."

The Artists' Quarter has won acclaim from the likes of Downbeat magazine, which in 2011 named the club one of the "150 Great Jazz Rooms" nationwide.

"Close, warm and welcoming, the Artists' Quarter's basement is a favorite among local and national acts," Downbeat said.

Since he's been through a move once before, Horst tells the Pioneer Press it's unlikely he'll move again unless he's offered a "really good deal" to do so.

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