Popular nightclub Shattuck Down Low to close

Matthew Lee/Staff
The nightclub Berkeley Down Low, located on Shattuck and Allston Way, will be closing in three weeks. A restaurant and bar are supposed to take over the space.

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The popular nightclub Shattuck Down Low, located in Downtown Berkeley, will host its final dance in three weeks before being replaced with a new restaurant and bar.

The incoming establishment has signed a lease with property managers to take over the space, while club owner Daniel Cukierman was notified in July that his month-to-month lease will not be continued after Oct. 14.

About six months ago, Cukierman said he attempted to arrange a long-term lease with the property’s management, but the management company kept putting off negotiations until he eventually received a 30-day notice of eviction in the mail that “came out of nowhere.” Cukierman was then able to arrange a temporary extension to stay in the location until October, he said.

“I’m disappointed,” Cukierman said. “We’re having our best year of sales to date.”

After receiving the notice, Cukierman said he called the landlord and was told a new tenant had already been signed.

“It’s sad but true — the landlord has decided to not renew our lease,” he said.

However, owner Sid Lakireddy of Everest Properties, which manages the building, said a long-term lease was in the making two or three years ago but was never agreed upon. He did not know of Cukierman’s recent negotiations, Lakireddy said.

A longtime Berkeley resident and Berkeley High alum, Cukierman ran a nightclub in the then-Hotel Shattuck from 1997 to 1999. Shattuck Down Low hosted national and local acts and DJs during its 11-year run, he said.

“I think it’s really unfortunate,” said Councilmember Jesse Arreguin. “It was a very popular venue. It certainly came to me as a surprise.”

Despite the club’s occasional problems with noise, littering and drinking, Arreguin said that overall it was something that added to the character and culture of Downtown.

Lisa Holt, principal of Rustic Restaurants LLC — which is bringing the new tenant into the space — said the space will be completely renovated to create a restaurant with a whole new concept. The restaurant is expected to open by January, and the lower-level bar and lounge area will be ready by spring 2013.

“It’s going to be very exciting,” Holt said. “It’s going to be very student-centric.”

Even as Cukierman prepares to close down the nightclub, he hopes to stay in the area and remains hopeful that he will find a new location.

“If anybody has a great space that they think I should move the Shattuck Down Low to, contact me,” he said.

Contact Mitchell Handler at [email protected].