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Owners of Baltimore's iconic Ottobar searching for a buyer to 'carry on the tradition'

The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore’s Ottobar is up for sale, raising questions about the future of the local music scene mainstay.

Officials with the Charles Village concert venue and bar announced in a social media post Friday that owners planned to hand the reins over to a new group in 2019.

An online real estate listing for the property billed it as a “rare opportunity to acquire a nationally recognized music venue.” The $1.25 million asking price includes the real estate, the liquor license, a seven-day live entertainment permit for all levels, furniture and sound equipment.

Messages requesting comment from Ottobar management and owners were not returned Monday.

Adam Meissner, the listing broker, said the owners are in talks with several groups to purchase the business, but are not yet under contract.

“Their intention is to find someone to carry on the tradition of what they’ve built over the years,” Meissner said of the owners’ hopes for the sale.

The business, he said, will continue to operate until the right buyer is found.

The music club, located at 2547 N. Howard St., has 5,600 square feet of usable space, including a mezzanine overlooking the main stage, green rooms, two separate bar areas and 80 parking spaces, according to the listing. Buildings at 2549, 2551 and 2553 N. Howard St., also are included in the sale, with the potential to package 2545 N. Howard St. into a separate sale, according to the listing.

The Ottobar shared a post on its Facebook page Friday referring the anticipated change in ownership as the “end of an era.”

“It’s been a great 20+ year ride,” the post states. “Thanks again for all of your support! So many great memories!”

The Ottobar first opened in downtown Baltimore in 1997. In 2001, it moved to its current location in the 2500 block of North Howard St.

Thousands of bands of both local and national acclaim have performed there over the years, including the White Stripes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Wiz Khalifa, Beach House, Future Islands and Animal Collective.

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