After over 40 years as a bastion of gay culture at the edge of Old Town, dance club Embers announced last night it will close.
The announcement came on the club's Facebook page. It's an unusually sudden end for such a storied venue in Portland, but it comes after the owner suffered what the club called a "massive stroke," leaving them unable to continue their business.
The reaction was immediate and heartbroken on the club's Facebook page, with many patrons sharing their fond memories of Embers over the decades.
"I hadn't been in there for fifteen years," wrote one patron. "The goldfish along the bar fish tank. Big Jim sitting at the end of the bar…who would come in from Molalla. The nightly lip synch show. The disco next door. Goth night Wednesdays. The nice piano. And a door patrol man named Howard Stern. Yep, that was his real name."
"This is absolutely devastating to hear!" wrote another. "Steve and the Embers was always a support to me. Many of my first shows were there, proudly will always say I had been an Embers girl and hostess… so many great memories there. What a sad moment. My love to the Embers Family.Good evening everyone."
There will be two more nights of Embers for those who want to pay their respects to a Portland institution. The doors will close for the last time at 2:30 am Thursday night.
Here's the farewell message in full:
I know this message comes in very short short notice.
Unfortunately The Embers Avenue will be closing as of 2:30am on Friday morning. The main owner of our beloved club has had a massive stroke and we can no longer operate as a business
We will be doing the Wednesday night show as normal and Thursday night , Onyx Lynn will be hosting the final Show of the bar. We would love to see a HUGE ASS turnout and see EVERYONE we love come out! Lets make this a night to remember!