June 19 2013 05:26 PM

Plus, prankster gives Drive Like Jehu fans false hope

The Ruby Room in 2011

Hillcrest venue The Ruby Room closed its doors Monday, and will reopen July 1 as The Merrow.

The Ruby Room co-owners Sean and Brittni Cute an nounced last week that they’re selling their shares to a business partner, Paul Joseph Smith, who’ll take over the space and give it a revamp.

Smith tells CityBeat that he’ll maintain the bar’s Irish, nautical feel—hence the new name, which is a mermaid of Scottish and Irish mythology—but he’ll make the place a bit classier and dial back the live music. He’ll keep the club’s monthly drum ’n’ bass night, SD Union, but says some music styles might not be as common.

“I think, aside from the name change, a change in management and a slightly new look inside and out, you’ll still find a cool place to hang out for a drink and catch some shows,” Smith adds in a follow-up email.

Tucked away on University Avenue, The Ruby Room is a popular haunt for punk, metal, drum ’n’ bass and local music. There are also weekly art events, and every month, the club hosts Nerdcore Night, a showcase for decidedly geeky hip-hop.

Sean Cute says he and wife Brittni want to keep putting on shows. They’ve been scouting out locations for a new Ruby Room and plan to open a new place by the fall. Sean’s also working on a book about running a venue, titled What the Hell Do I Know, and Brittni wants to go back to working on abstract photography.

Without a bar to run, they’ll be able to chill out some more, too.

“We’ve got a tiredness in our bones that a good night of sleep can’t quite fix,” Sean says.

Last week, a prankster got the better of Drive Like Jehu fans hopeful for a reunion by posting a hoax flier on the message board of The Fest, a Gainesville, Fla., music festival.

The flier depicts the inkwell that appears on the band’s Yank Crime album, with the statement “Get Stoked” and the festival’s web address.

Festival organizers removed the message-board post shortly thereafter and posted a statement on The Fest’s homepage debunking the rumor.

“This is 100% not true,” it reads. “All band announcements will be announced on this website, per usual activity.”

Drive Like Jehu has not performed together since 1994. 

Email jefft@sdcitybeat.com or follow him at @1000TimesJeff