Mighty big hole to fill in nightlife scene

TOM HUNT
Last updated 05:00 22/01/2014
Mighty Mighty co-owner and manager Sally Thomson
CAMERON BURNELL/Fairfax NZ
CLOSING DOWN: Mighty Mighty co-owner and manager Sally Thomson.
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Careers have been launched there, romances begun, beer drunk, and dances danced. Now it is time for the Mighty to fall.

Wellington party spot Mighty Mighty is planning a series of last hurrahs before it finally shuts up shop in late May.

It is the second blow to Cuba St's once-lively live music scene, coming after popular venue San Francisco Bath House closed for an overhaul on New Year's Eve.

Mighty Mighty opened in November 2006 and had since hosted many acts, including Lorde in her first paid gig.

A who's who of musicians had played there, including Delaney Davidson, The Clean, and Die! Die! Die!

Co-owner and manager Sally Thomson told about 15 staff the news on Sunday, and told suppliers yesterday.

"Initially the space was opened with a two-to-three-year window in mind. However the space took on a life of its own and now, as circumstances for the owners have changed, it's time to close the doors and leave the legend large."

Three of her fellow owners - Christian McCabe, Sam Chapman and Leon Surynt - were living out of Wellington and busy with other projects.

"This is a decision we have made and are positive about."

The four-month leadup to closing gave staff the chance to find other jobs. There would be a series of farewell events, including the return of favourite bands and DJs, plus some of the stranger sessions such as "vodka slides".

Now-successful bands such as John the Baptist and Beastwars had played their early gigs there before going on to achieve wider acclaim.

It was also a bar where many relationships started, and Ms Thomson had ‘married' couples in the bar - albeit unofficially.

From day one, Mighty Mighty always had a strong community feel, she said. "We wanted to just be a local neighbourhood bar, kind of like Cheers.

It had hosted burlesque nights, fringe festival shows and book launches.

"We have four months to celebrate and we are keen to say thanks to Wellington."

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- The Dominion Post

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