First Avenue has announced that it’s purchased the Fine Line Music Café, taking control of the downtown music club on Oct. 1. “We’re incredibly excited to add the Fine Line to the First Avenue family, and really — more importantly — to keep this local venue independently owned and operated,” said First Ave owner Dayna Frank in a press release.
The acquisition marks the expansion of First Ave’s growing local music venue empire, which includes its landmark venue (including the attached 7th St Entry), the Turf Club on University Avenue, and co-management (though not ownership) of the Palace Theatre in downtown St. Paul. The company books shows at venues across town, and is poised to further expand its operations when a planned riverfront amphitheater is built in the early 2020s.
In the press release, First Ave general manager Nate Kranz says that “there are no immediate major changes planned” to the Fine Line. “We are really eager to get in there, assess the room, and start to make scaled improvements. We want to put the First Avenue mark on it, and we want to do it right.”
The Fine Line first opened as a music venue in 1987, and has hosted a wide range of acts. Since 2013, it has been operated as part of Minneapolis Event Centers, part of the group that also runs the Armory and the Music Hall MPLS (f.k.a. Mill City Nights). That company will continue to organize private events at the Fine Line, according to First Ave’s press release.