Jillian’s of Albany set to close on August 11th

The Times Union reported today that local bar/restaurant/club and live music venue Jillian’s of Albany will be closing on August 11th, after 13 years of operating on North Pearl Street in Albany. Five years ago, owner Ralph Spillenger purchased Jillian’s from the national chain it had been associated with since it opened.

“I just cant keep supporting it anymore,” said Spillenger “I’ve lost all my customers, people are afraid to come to downtown Albany. It was my Waterloo.” Jillian’s is not the first North Pearl Street club to close this summer as R Bar closed in June.

While the economic downturn is likely to take the brunt of the blame for Jillian’s closing its doors, the summer concert season and warm weather tends to draw customers away from the bar scene of Pearl Street, as well as college students going home for the summer. The music venue played host to numerous bands in recent years, led by local promoter Greg Bell’s shows featuring Hot Buttered Rum, Cornmeal, The McLovins, Deer Tick and local acts Eastbound Jesus, Timbre Coup, Formula 5 and Higher Organix. With the closing of Jillian’s, The Bayou, Red Square and The Barrel Saloon remain the only bar/live music venues in downtown Albany.

Earlier this year, The Electric Company in Utica closed its doors