With Harry O’s evicted, talk starts about what might replace the nightclub
Harry O’s was evicted from its prime location on Main Street early in the evening last Thursday.
the next day, the attorney representing the building owner said he was receiving inquires about the space’s availability.
In the aftermath of the high-profile eviction, there is starting to be muted talk about a future tenant in the former Harry O’s space inside the Memorial Building, located along the high-traffic midsection of Main Street.
Joe Wrona, the attorney who represents a firm called Memorial Building, LLC, the owner of the building, said on Monday he was contacted soon after the eviction was publicized in the media.
He said there has been interest from people who want to open another nightclub, a restaurant or a bar. The people have told him they want the space to be a concert venue as well.
Harry O’s had operated as a nightclub, with bands and deejays booked in the largest space on Main Street. The Harry O’s space — with a stage, a large dance floor and a balcony — is designed for concerts and other sorts of performances.
"They have all been rough and conceptual. There’s certainly been legitimate interest," Wrona said.
He acknowledged that it is likely that a deal with a new tenant will not be finalized within days. Wrona said he is "hopefully optimistic" that a lease could be negotiated by the end of May.
If that were to happen, it seems, a new place could open by the busiest part of the summer-tourism season, which runs from Independence Day until Labor Day.
Wrona said the lease held by Harry O’s was set at more than $20,000 per month. He said he is confident the building owner will sign a more lucrative lease than the one with Harry O’s.
The Harry O’s space is among the most prominent on Main Street, and there are various interest groups — Main Street businesses and City Hall, as examples — that likely would prefer a new tenant to open quickly. If the space remains shuttered for an extended period, there could be concerns about its broader impact on the vitality of Main Street.
Nearby, at a shop called Pine Jewelry and Home, employee Karen McCall said she would prefer the Harry O’s space be divided between a few businesses.
"I think it should be broken up into a restaurant, club. Something fun. Not this big behemoth," McCall said.
Harry O’s opened in the building in 1999 and went onto become the most talked about nightclub in Park City, drawing national acts throughout the year and attracting crowds that oftentimes would spill onto the sidewalk. The Park City Police Department regularly responded to calls from the block where Harry O’s was situated.
Main Street leaders are also monitoring what is occurring in the Harry O’s space. Alison Butz, the executive director of the Historic Park City Alliance, a group that represents Main Street businesses, said she hopes the vacancy is not extended, pointing to other prominent buildings like the Claim Jumper and the Main Street Mall that have sat unoccupied or have been underperforming. She said it is "important to get someone in there soon."
Butz said market forces will determine what sort of business opens in the space, indicating that she would not oppose the idea of another nightclub starting up in the former Harry O’s spot or the idea of another sort of business occupying the space.
"It’s a very iconic building for Main Street. I hope it doesn’t remain empty for long," she said, adding, "Just to have that length of facade empty, it’s noticeable."
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