After 20 years as a Denton punk institution, and one of the most revered punk venues in North Texas, Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio announced this morning that it will be closing its doors come June 5.
"No easy way to say this, so we're just gonna come right out and say it," read an announcement on the Rubber Gloves Facebook page, which said the venue will being closing "for good [tentatively]." "We apologize for the sudden news, and how that may affect those whom have shows booked after that date."
The announcement did not specify what exactly led to the plans to close, but it was characterized as a sudden development.
"Please trust us when we say we didn't want or expect this to happen. We're still trying to wrap our heads around the shock of it all ourselves," said the statement. "Details are still being worked out, and we'll share them as they become available."
Owner Josh Baish bought the venue in the mid-'90s and has operated it ever since — even, famously, displaying a chunk of his ear that was sacrificed at a Boris show in a case on the wall. Gloves was the place where generations of Denton punk bands built their reputations, including Riverboat Gamblers and Andrew Savage, who went on to form Parquet Courts. (Both bands returned to play Gloves last year.)
But being Denton's signature punk venue had its pitfalls, as Baish explained last year. "We've always struggled with bands and promoters who've come through here. There's been this mentality that Rubber Gloves is easily outgrown," he told writer Matt Martinez. "It's like, 'Thanks for your time, but we've got it from here.'"
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After getting divorced in 2014, Baish considered selling Rubber Gloves, but chose instead to put money into some renovations. Those plans included reopening a long-unused kitchen and outdoor patio that would have greatly expanded capacity.
Baish was unable to comment when contacted for this story.
The full statement from Rubber Gloves:
No easy way to say this, so we're just gonna come right out and say it..
After almost 20 years of operation, Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios will close our doors for good (tentatively) on June 5th, 2016.
We apologize for the sudden news, and how that may affect those whom have shows booked after that date.
Please trust us when we say we didn't want or expect this to happen. We're still trying to wrap our heads around the shock of it all ourselves.
Details are still being worked out, and we'll share them as they become available.
We're currently working on some pretty great surprise shows to see us off right throughout the month, and we hope you'll join us.
We'd like to thank our staff, the bands, our patrons, and everybody else who contributed in some way to the fabric and folklore of the little divey venue in Denton, Texas for almost two decades. There's no way we'd have been able to do it without you.
It's been the journey of a lifetime we wouldn't trade for anything. We're glad we were able to share it with some incredible people.
Thank you for the music and memories we won't soon forget.