SARATOGA SPRINGS — A nearly 25-year-old Saratoga Springs institution announced it will close on Monday.
Owners of One Caroline Street, a live music venue, restaurant and bar, announced the closure on the establishment’s Facebook page on Friday.
The post read, “We are coming to you with some sad news. One Caroline Street will be closing, with Monday February 26th being our last day open for business, as well as it being our very last show.”
General Manager Jakob Moore said owner Brian Kelley, who lives in California, had a child in the fall and realized he couldn’t put as much attention into the business.
“[Kelley] realized it needs to be in the hands of someone who can bring it where it needs to go,” Moore said. “The space has the potential to last another 25 years.”
Moore said One Caroline mostly hosts musicians who play original music.
“There are tons of really talented musicians in this town,” he said, adding that Sarah Barthel of the band Phantogram worked at One Caroline.
“This town needs to hold onto a place that supports local musicians.”
Sean Doyle, co-owner of Smokin’ Sam’s Cigar Shop at 5 Caroline St., said while he had heard rumors that One Caroline was closing, he was still surprised at the news.
“It’s been a Caroline Street institution,” he said. “We’ve been here 21 years and they were here before that.”
Doyle said he couldn’t imagine it turning into anything else other than a bar, restaurant or music venue.
“This street could really use a good restaurant,” he said. “There are so many bars on this street, so it needs a staple restaurant.”
Dennis Nye, owner of The Vault, a jewelry store at 10 Caroline St., said he was sorry to hear about the closure of One Caroline.
“It’s not good,” he said. “They’re a fixture on this street.”
Nye said he wouldn’t mind seeing the space become retail.
“I would be nice to see a retail space,” he said. “But I’m sure it’s set up for a restaurant.”
Adam Fitch, co-owner of Saratoga City Tavern at 19-21 Caroline St., said he had no idea about the closure.
“It’s news to me,” he said. “It’s definitely sad to hear.
“They always had a lot of great music.”
Chip French, a longtime bartender at Saratoga Tin and Lint Co. at 2 Caroline St., said he found out on Saturday that One Caroline was closing.
“They always drew a good crowd,” he said.
French said it’s hard for Saratoga Springs businesses to make it through the winter.
“You have to do really well in the summer to make it through the year,” he said. “If you break even in the winter you’re doing good.”
In the last five years, French said rent has gone up for businesses in Saratoga Springs.
“Everyone wants top dollar and they get it, but then places change hands eventually,” he said. “And they’re always more expensive than the last.
“Everything is getting high end in this city.”
French said he hopes One Caroline remains a live music venue, restaurant and bar.
“I’d like to see it stay what it was,” he said. “I hope it doesn’t change.”
Moore said Kelley hopes to sell it to someone who will continue One Caroline’s legacy.
“Hopefully, it stays a unique spot,” he said. “But I’m sure the person who comes in will put their own stamp on it.”