The Austin Chronicle

Parish Sells for $376,000

By Kevin Curtin, December 11, 2017, 3:25pm, Earache!

The Parish’s much ballyhooed eBay auction ended this afternoon, netting $376,445. The winning bidder has not been disclosed.

The public sale – which included the club brand plus turn-key access to a fully outfitted music venue, but not rent, property taxes, or utilities – accrued $250,000 in bids over the first three days, then stagnated for five days before taking a wild leap into the neighborhood of $375,000 on Friday. The reserve price for the listing appears to have been met between $240,000-250,000. The sell-off logged 239 bids by 37 bidders.

The 430-capacity room has proved a popular destination for live, original acts in a sea of cover band shot bars. Previously the Mercury, the 14-year-old Parish enjoyed populist if sometimes sporadic booking from top local concert promotion entities ScoreMore and C3 Presents, which still has a dozen shows on the books there through April. The room also enjoys status as a perennial South by Southwest showcase and day party favorite, hosting NPR among others.

The move by owner Doug Guller, whose ATX Brands owns popular chain Bikini’s and several Austin bars, proved canny. Sources approached by Guller, who had no comment about the sale today, say he shopped the Parish to a number of local club owners. By putting the business on eBay, he appears to have netted the true highest bidder.

In April, the ATX Brands owner sold dancetaria Schroeder Hall, near Victoria, on eBay for $499,700, and then during the summer sold the Scoot Inn to C3 Presents.

“Buying a lease is only of value if it’s under market or there’s a lack of available leases to be had in that area – which creates a premium,” noted a club owner who was surprised at the final price. “The value of the brand itself is in the eye of the beholder.”

Guller’s publicist said he’s waiting to make contact with the new owner before putting anything out publicly. A look into the “dguller” eBay profile shows all positive ratings, mostly on acquisitions from coin collectors and for selling audio equipment.

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