Mike Wolfson, the club owner behind several foundational Portland music venues, has died. He was 48 years old.
According to a crowdfunding campaign established to help his family, the cause of death was a heart attack suffered on July 22.
Wolfson owned many notable clubs in Portland going back to the '90s, spanning from Old Town night spots Tube and Black Book to seminal punk club Satyricon, which he helped relaunch in 2006.
Perhaps his best-known ventures were housed in the building at 315 SE 3rd Ave., which over time was known as Loveland, Rotture, Branx and Euphoria, and whose programming ranged from underground rock to electronic dance music. Most recently, he started Killingsworth Dynasty in Northeast Portland.
"He gave a lot of people who didn't fit anywhere else a place they could call home," says Conrad Loebl, who worked as a talent buyer at Wolfson's venues. "He believed in you and pushed you to be the person you needed to be. He would give you the shirt off his back and built everything from scratch."
Wolfson and his family had recently moved back to Oregon after four years in Pittsburgh. He is survived by his wife, Tammar, and two children, Ozma and Elvi.
"One thing that struck me is that there was an hour every night where he wouldn't get back to you, because it was bed time for his daughter and that was sacred," says Eric Bowler, who bought Tube and Black Book from Wolfson. "I really appreciated that, and it showed where his priorities were. Mike had huge dreams for bars and music, but his family always came first, as it should."