Kristen Blush

Last week, War Room co-owner Marcus Lalario officially announced that, after a nearly five-year run, the club's current ownership would be shutting the doors on November 30. The press release said, "The future of the popular nightclub remains uncertain... Although there are interested buyers in place, no change of ownership has yet been confirmed."

"We feel like we've had a good run of it," said Lalario, in the same statement. "It's time to move on to other projects, while we're ahead of the game."

Speaking by phone later that day, Lalario elaborated: "Basically, November 30 was coming up, and we actually already had plans to rebrand the space," he said. "It wasn't going to be a nightclub, it was going to be something different. December 1 was the deadline for those goddamned $60,000 sprinkler systems, our liquor license happened to be up, so we just figured, November 30, let's close the thing down."

Those "goddamned" sprinklers are mandated by a law passed in 2007 that requires clubs of a certain capacity to install costly new sprinkler systems (the deadline was originally December 2007, but it was pushed back two years). Still, even with that cost added to the club's price tag—and all in a down economy—Lalario is hopeful that the club will find a buyer.

"Once word leaked to real-estate circles and other people, we started getting offers to buy the club; we're open to the idea, and we have a couple guys who have made offers to buy the club as is.

"I've had that space since I was 19, so there's a part of me that is gripping on to it and a part of me that would love to let it go. I guess we'll see."

Asked if he thinks the odds are good of the club being bought and maintained as is, Lalario says, "If I were a betting man, I would say so. But the way things are in this world, who knows what'll happen?

"Either way, November 29 is our last public party, and everyone who's ever DJed or been through is going to come play. And it'll be a McGinn/Holmes fundraiser—thank god for McGinn—to help them cover campaign debts. Even on my last night, I can't make any money."

Club spokesperson Kerri Harrop agrees that chances are "pretty strong" that a buyer will step up to take over the club as is.

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In far sadder news, last week also brought the tragic and untimely death of local musician and Comet Tavern doorman Ben Hills. Hills, who was to celebrate his 25th birthday last week, was killed in a fire—reportedly caused by smoking in bed—at his Capitol Hill home early Wednesday morning. A memorial concert will be held at the Comet this Sunday at 2:00 p.m., featuring Wildildlife, Champagne Champagne, the Greatest Hits, and more. RIP. recommended