by Craig Marine
Claire Brouwer, president of the Great American Music Hall and co-majority owner with her husband, Kurt – who is co-partner of Brouwer & Janachowski, a Bay Area investment advisory firm – said that burgeoning family life has caused her to seek buyers for the venerable San Francisco nightspot.
“I’d love to keep running it, but I have a 20-month-old son and another baby due early next year and I just can’t put as much time into the business,” Brouwer told The Examiner on Tuesday. “I’d like to find someone who will keep the spirit of the club alive.”
Brouwer, who bought the club in 1992, enlisted the help of real estate agent Steven Zimmerman, who has sold more than 100 properties – mostly bars, restaurants and night clubs – in the past four years. Zimmerman said he is showing the club Wednesday to a potential buyer who prefers to remain anonymous.
“I anticipate getting this done within six months,” Zimmerman said. “It’s a unique property with a great history and I’m sure there will be a lot of interest.”
Neither Zimmerman nor Brouwer has set an asking price for the property, which at times since its opening in 1907 has served as everything from a bordello to its current incarnation – a music club featuring eclectic acts, from alternative rockers to Van Morrison.
Brouwer said she has had informal talks with representatives from the Bill Graham Presents organization to supper-club owner Harry Denton.
Zimmerman added that Brouwer has final say on any potential buyers. “She’s the one who’s going to give the ultimate thumbs-up or thumbs-down,” he said. “She’s very loyal to her staff and hopes that whoever purchases the property will be able to keep them on as employees. She’s not in any rush, so I think she’s going to find a buyer that’s right for her and right for the music scene in San Francisco.”