It’s been almost two years since T.T. the Bear’s Place, a Central Square staple, saw its last live performance and closed up shop. For 40 years, the venue was an incubator for some of the best local talent Boston had to offer. Up-and-comers like The Pixies, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and The Lemonheads all toiled on the historic stage, and honed their chops.
This spring, for its final act, T.T. the Bear’s is springboarding one final venture. Rising from the self-sacrificial ashes is Sonia, an offshoot nightclub from the people at the Middle East. We spoke with the space’s new manager, Ned Wellbery of Leedz Entertainment, who assured us that, while history showed the way, Sonia is unlike anything we’ve seen at 10 Brookline St.
“At first, we were just going to keep the same layout and change only one or two things,” Wellbery says. “But the more layers we took off, the more problems we found. Next thing you know, the room was completely renovated.”
If you attend the March 31 all-ages opening, headlined by theatrical local alt-act Doom Lover, expect high ceilings, peaked arches, and far-out murals — all the aesthetic tropes you’ve come to know and love from the people at the Middle East. But with a brand new sound system, box office and an increased capacity of 320 — including a new 22-foot stage — the space is sure to garner its own reputation in short order.
“It took a lot of patience and perseverance because [the construction process] wasn’t easy for everyone involved,” Wellbery continued. “We all just focused on the end goal, which was a brand new room to see an amazing show that everyone loves.”
It’s surreal, Wellbery says. It’s been a dream of his for a long time.
With the payoff just a few short weeks away, and with T.T. the Bear’s Place acolytes clamoring for new music to fill the vacuum, it’s a dream mutually realized.