The Cavern Club complex on First Street will close its doors on February 9. Nick Easton bought the onetime brewery in 1994 to house an antiques mall but soon turned the basement lagering tunnels into a music venue, the Cavern Club. “It’s just such a unique space, with those underground tunnels … the stone walls and the arched brick ceilings,” he says. He soon dropped the antiques and opened additional event spaces on the building’s upper floors: the Millennium Club featured a colorful dance floor and elevated stage, the Circus Bar pool tables and a bar under a circus tent, and Gotham City a Batman-themed bar, arcade games, and a room of floor-to-ceiling mirrors. Over its twenty-year history, the complex hosted karaoke nights, Moth Storyslam storytelling events, and live music ranging from R&B to pop to bluegrass.

Easton first put the building up for sale in 2007. “I’d been thinking about retirement for quite a while. I thought that it might take a few years to sell … it takes the right person,” he says of the buyer. In January he couldn’t name names but said the buyer is a small family-run company out of New York whose owners have fond memories of the Cavern Club from their days at the U-M. Easton says they plan to reopen the building this fall as an event space, club, and live music venue.

He held a “last hurrah” at all four clubs in January, featuring the Millennium Club’s staple pop-rock band for over fifteen years, the Killer Flamingos. The crowd included both newcomers belatedly checking out the place and regulars enjoying one last party. Chemistry lecturer David Todd was hoping that the new owners keep the multilevel, multi-theme setup. As a grad student, he liked having a place “where I can walk up and down and explore … I think that’s what makes Ann Arbor Ann Arbor.”

Cavern Club complex, 210 S. First St., 913–8890. Circus Bar open Wed. & Thurs. 8 p.m.–2 a.m., Fri. & Sat. 9 p.m.–2 a.m. through Feb. 9.