November 30th, 2011 By Mike Breen | Music | Posted In: Local Music, Music News

Southgate House to Shut Down Jan. 1 (UPDATED)

southgateSouthgate House

One of the most notable music venues in the region, Newport's historic Southgate House, has announced it will close its doors for good after a Dec. 31 show headlined by locally-based/internationally-acclaimed Punk band The Dopamines. A press release sent out Monday night (and a posting on the club's web site) announced that "after more than thirty years in continuous operation as a music and arts venue," the Southgate House will be shut down, though no reason was given.

Details on future plans were also vague; the release says owner Ross Raleigh is hoping to "relocate" the venue in 2012 and that more information would be available soon. The full press release — and an update — are below.

(Newport, KY) After more than thirty years in continuous operation
as a music and arts venue under the ownership and operation of Ross
Raleigh, the Southgate House will host its last show on New Year’s
Eve, December 31, 2011.

“While we are deeply saddened to close 24 E. Third Street, it’s been a
great run and it’s been a great privilege to be the steward of such a
grand building all these years,” Raleigh said. “There have been many
great memories made here, but the history is in the people and the
music, not just the building, and the show must go on.”

Raleigh hopes to relocate his business in 2012. More information will
be released about this soon.

The Historic Southgate House has become one of the region’s and the
nation’s most recognized concert venues, equally popular with music
fans and musicians due to its historic charm, independent ownership,
friendly management and staff and consistently diverse line-up of
local, regional and national touring acts and willingness to host a
wide array of musical genres from bluegrass to punk. The venue also
played host to art showings, comedy, frequent charity events, CD
release shows and a variety of other popular entertainment.

The final Southgate House show is a jam-packed punk and rock whole
house line-up featuring local punk favorites The Dopamines 5-Year
Anniversary Show with Dear Landlord, Banderas, Vacation, The Frankl
Project, Mixtapes, White Walls, New Creases, Be My Doppelganger,
SHIVS, Army Coach, Loudmouth, Billy Wallace & The Virginia Blues and
Wm. "Billy" Catfish.  Tickets are $10 advance, $15 day of show.

A full listing of the Southgate House schedule through the end of the
year is available at www.southgatehouse.com


UPDATE: Last evening, The Enquirer posted a story on its site confirming some of the info we'd been hearing about the transfer of ownership of the Southgate. Extensive legal wranglings between the siblings who own the club together ultimately led to an "undisclosed" settlement, according to the report. Though, obviously, part of the settlement involved longtime operator Ross Raleigh being forced out and his sister, Amina Lee, and brother-in-law, Roger Petersen, taking over the property (which is estimated to be worth over a million dollars).

Lee owns and operates notorious Newport (non-nude) "strip club" The Brass Ass and told the paper she offered to sell or lease the Southgate to Ross Raleigh, but he refused (an announcement for Raleigh's new location is expected soon). Lee also said, after some remodeling, she plans to rent or sell the building, and seems certain that it will remain of live music club.

But, as I mentioned in this week's Spill It column, whatever Raleigh has up his sleeve in terms of a new club — and whatever becomes of the Southgate building itself — the venue cannot be "replaced." The Southgate House era in local music is over, regardless of how everything pans out.

One thing's for certain: The Northern Kentucky music venue landscape will look drastically different in 2012.

11.29.2011 at 07:30 Reply

what a sad day for the music community in general. I hope they re-open, but it will never have the charm and nostalgia of the SGH.

Many thanks to the SGH for many gret memories and fun.



11.29.2011 at 04:48

I agree, what a sad sad day. 

Although I left the region more than 10 years ago, I'll NEVER forget all the shows we played there over the years. 

For some of you who may remember, I was one of a select few privileged individuals who actually managed that room and booked the shows! 

Voivod, Fear, Afghan Whigs, Sleep Theater, The Edge, Breeders, Simple Aggression, Omatic, Sound Mind and Stone Deep, just to name a few of my personal favs. 

But Ross said it best... it's about the people, the family, great friends and many memories we all made there that NO building or venue by itself could create. 

So I'm sure that whatever it is Ross has planned, it'll be great and I really do hope that ALL who read this, "WILL" support him.

For those of you regulars who may be reading this... you folks already know that Ross never really cared all that much about "making money."  He really meant what he said.

Take it from someone who worked with him each and every day of my life for more than 3 years, my great friend, Mr. Raleigh is probably the most unselfish person I've EVER had the pleasure to know personally, and I'm blessed to call him my friend.

And well... that's about it.  I reckon it's all about "Rebirth" now!

All love & Godspeed Ross!


Jim Burke



11.30.2011 at 11:31

Thank you for sharing that Jim Burke. I've been a regular for, oh I don't know 6 or 7 years (I'm 30 years old), and I feel like I can call Ross, his daughter Morella (manager) and son Kevin (bartender), as well as the rest of the staff my second family. They are there when you need them. I may have started going purely for the shows but I don't think I'd go back nowhere near as much if it weren't for such an unselfish, incredible staff. Wherever the road may take the Raleigh's, the staff and the types of bands they brought in, I will follow.


11.29.2011 at 09:20 Reply

Cant believe it This place is so damn great what went wrong here???


11.29.2011 at 10:11

Dopamines closed down our South gate house WHY???


11.29.2011 at 09:21 Reply

what happened here


12.01.2011 at 08:53 Reply

I just discovered SGH but must say I can see why they might be closing. While the music variety was spot on, the bands didn’t play late enough (one was done by 11:15 pm just as I was getting there), the place was in need of an overhaul, for sanitary health if not décor (hey, some of you may like open bathrooms and dirty charm, I prefer a place cleaner than a gas station bathroom), the smoke was a thick wall of hell to my sinuses (I can handle a little smoke but this was North Carolina bad), and with all the flashy new businesses brought into Newport, I don’t think the patrons needed to keep SGH going were seeing its value, most obviously preferring trendy spots vs. classic venues. I’m sad to see anything historic go down, in this case, not the building but the history of music in the area, but it seems that current management needed to have their eyes opened as to how to run a business in an area full of new development. It would seem that great music alone is not enough.