Santa Fe nightlife took a hit today as owners of the downtown nightclub Skylight told SFR they plan to stop regular operations following this weekend's activities, which include a benefit for the Santa Fe Dreamers Project on Friday April 28 and a farewell party on Saturday April 29. The club's hours had already been drastically cut.
Opened in 2014 after former business Milagro 139 shut its doors, the cavernous 7,000-square-foot space containing three separate bars became a haven for local and touring DJs, comedians and dance events such as EmiArte Flamenco. Skylight also hosted bigger-name touring bands such as The Dandy Warhols, X, Surfer Blood and countless others. With roughly 25 employees, the closure also comes as a blow to local service industry workers.
"The largest impact of this is not on me, it's not on the partners," managing partner Kate Kennedy says. "It's the staff and the role we play in the community."
Kennedy points to debt that they couldn't climb out of, caused by slow winter business, the buying out of several partners who left the business last year and two citations from the Department of Alcohol and Gaming in 2015.
"That, coupled with the impact of immigration policies, have affected some of our customer base, specifically on our international nights," Kennedy tells SFR. She also estimates that nearly 100 renters, promoters and entertainers will be affected by the closure.
For now, Skylight plans to honor all of the events currently booked through October and will possibly restructure. Kennedy says the liquor license allows the club to host one-off or picnic events. "We are working diligently to uphold those agreements," Kennedy explains. "We refuse to be the bar that was going to just lock up and not say anything, and we do want everyone to come out this weekend—we want to own our mistakes and we want to thank our supporters."
The farewell party is slated to run from 2 pm-2 am this Saturday and Kennedy also says she’s helped employees find positions at other local businesses during the tumult.