The Austin Chronicle

The Roost Seeks Investors

By Kevin Curtin, July 6, 2015, 10:35am, Earache!

Novel idea: Putting a first-class music venue in entertainment-deprived North Austin. Result: After 18 months in business, the Roost has fallen on desperate times.

The 3,400-square-foot club, located in a strip mall on Wells Branch Parkway, closed as June came to an end while owners ponder a change in leadership. Co-owner David Cotton now seeks new business partners interested in buying into the Roost.

Ideally, that partner would manage the club and be able to stimulate happy hour business, said Cotton over the weekend. The veteran Austin booker, an integral part of bygone Sixth Street live music landmark Steamboat and now talent buyer at Threadgill’s, has come to realize during his tenure at the Roost that running a bar isn’t his forte.

“I’ve spent 30 years trying to be part of this crazy experiment that is Austin music, but I wasn’t meant to manage people,” he sighed.

Cotton indicated that a buy-in for the venture would be in the low-to-mid six figures, and said that interested parties can contact him at [email protected].

The Roost opened New Year’s Eve 2013 in a space once occupied by Roper’s Night Club. Ownership included David and brothers Jimbo and John, while their mother Janet Cotton handled accounting. Remodeled that year with a custom stage, speaker system, structural acoustics, and sporting a capacity of 300-700 people, it shared top honors for "Best New Club" in March’s Austin Music Poll.

“With the amount of zoning and noise ordinance problems in Downtown Austin, the Roost is perfect for live music,” says Cotton. “But obviously it’ll take a little more time and money to get the Austin crowd hip to us. We surely don’t want to walk away, but we definitely need some help.”

Cotton says he’s had success with marquee shows – Joe Ely, Jimmie Vaughan, Bob Schneider – but hasn’t been able to attract a regular crowd. For now, the Roost remains shuttered, hopefully opening for select bookings already on the calendar, including Led Zeppelin tribute act Moby Dick on July 18.

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