A Coffeehouse Changes Hands

UPDATE 6/23/2016:

Sad news. After a few changes of ownership and management, Steel City's going to shut down for good.

Sad club closing news to report: Steel City Coffeehouse in Phoenixville to close .https://t.co/AACSqQRGLM

— wxpnfm (@wxpnfm) May 23, 2016

It's a refrain I'm hearing more and more. We thought that things were bad during the recession of 2008, when small businesses with overhead just couldn't survive the downturn. But, in 2016, live music's not enough to guarantee a successful business in a town that's otherwise thriving with less expensive entertainment options. More thoughts soon...


Original story, 6/10/2010:

Steel City Coffee House has grown into a Phoenixville institution. The first time I was there, about eight or nine years ago, it had developed a reputation as the best place in the outlying Philly 'burbs to see a real blend of singer-songwriters and eclectic musicians.

Today's headline that the owner has sold the shop to one of her employees marks a welcome passage, especially since everyone seems to be following their passion. The now-former owner stays on as the booking agent, while investing in a coffee house that has to grow its daytime food business to survive.

If I were trying to book one of my acts at that venue today, I'd be trying to figure out how I could help them expand their lunchtime crowd. They're already pulling consistent crowds to night-time gigs that feature national acts. Finding ways to help venues like this in places where they really need the help can endear you to owners and talent buyers.