Tough economic times, and competition from other bars in the area have led the owners to make the tough decision to close.
In an ironic twist, the growing exposure and success of the LGBT community in Fresno has led to several other clubs opening in the past few years, creating a tight commercial atmosphere for all the businesses who cater to the gay crowd. As the industry shakes out with the new reality, other clubs/bars may come and go as well.
The owners of the Express, Lee Morris and Steve McBride, have been long time supporters of local events, and their presence as a business will be missed in Fresno. Read the release, here.
In case the website goes dark, here’s the text of the announcement:
All Good Things Must Come To An End!
The Express Nightclub will be officially closing the first week of January. Stay tuned to Facebook for our final schedule.
As we complete our 10th year in business as the operators of the historic Express Nightclub, it is with great sadness that we must call it quits. Our decision is based on a combination of a bad economy and too many nightclubs catering to our targeted customer base. We have supported the club through this time with all of our personal financial resources, and there is just nothing left to give. We have resisted the temptation to broaden our customer base, instead focusing on traditional LGBT culture and activities. It unfortunately didn’t work. Although we have held many successful events since the remodeling, it just isn’t enough to allow us to continue the operation.
When we made the decision in November 2002 to form a new nightclub in this historic location, it wasn’t done with the idea that we would make a lot of money. We thought that something in our community’s entertainment was lacking, and wanted to take a shot at providing what we thought was needed. Our friendly bartenders have provided quality beverages at competitive prices, and our DJ’s have always been dedicated and skilled entertainers. The Xotica Show by DivaX is the longest running successful weekly event in our local nightlife. We brought Club Papi events to Fresno. Our Sunday barbecue and “Half Price” nights were popular social events for many years.
During our most successful years, we provided the LGBT community with funding for many of its annual events, and supported the community to the best of our ability. Unfortunately, heavy financial losses over the recent years have caused us to withdraw that support. We simply had no choice.
We are proud of our staff and the job they have done. We are extremely grateful to the group of loyal customers that have stayed with us during these last few years. You are true friends, and we feel terrible that we can’t go on.
We will be listing the Express Nightclub for sale immediately. This is a turnkey operation, complete with a liquor license, all bar equipment, sound equipment, light shows, and furniture.
Thank you again to the LGBT Community for allowing us to be a part of your entertainment nightlife!