SALT LAKE CITY – For years, the club known as ‘Bricks’ and later ‘In the Venue’ and ‘Club Sound’ entertained thousands of people on the outskirts of downtown Salt Lake.
Next week, the building will be met with a wrecking ball and replaced with a housing development.
The change is hard for Don Neeley who spent most of his adult life working at the venue and seeing it evolve.
“It was opened from ’94 until about two months ago,” Neeley said. “I started there as a janitor.”
Neeley worked his way from janitor to valet to bartender, eventually becoming the general manager of ‘In The Venue’ and the owner of ‘Club Sound.’
The club began as a safe space for members of the LGBTQ community. It was one of the few gay clubs in the region.
“We had a sign out front that said, ‘Come in peace or don’t come at all. Acceptance for all,’ Neeley recalled.
It later evolved into a concert hall that became a popular spot for many acts on the path to stardom.
“As artists would go up, we would catch them on their way up,” Neeley said. “Biggest name we had, Katy Perry. We had Ru Paul when she first came through.”
Neeley looked back at his favorite concert performance by the group MGMT in 2010 as they were debuting hit songs like ‘Kids’ and ‘Electric Feel.”
“It was a very organic flow on the stage,” Neeley said.
After all the years entertaining music and club fans in Utah, the venue was sold to a building developer who plans to replace it with condominiums.
“The building was getting old. It was costing a lot in repairs,” Neeley said. “I am a little sad to see more condos go up on top something that was such a landmark.”
It will not be easy for Neeley to come back to see the building gone. In more than 20 years, it was home to some of his most cherished memories.
“I met so many old friends through there. I met my wife through there,” Neeley said. “I know the moment I see it torn down, there’s kind of going to be heartache there.”