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Blush venue to close at end of month

The music venue and bar announced on social media that its lease will not be renewed.

Amy Hazel of Duluth serves drinks in November 2017 at Blush, a cooperatively run micro-venue and bar in downtown Duluth, that offers diverse and inclusive art and music to the community.
Clint Austin / News Tribune
Amy Hazel of Duluth serves drinks in November 2017 at Blush, a cooperatively run micro-venue and bar in downtown Duluth, that offers diverse and inclusive art and music to the community. Clint Austin / News Tribune
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DULUTH — Music venue and bar Blush will close at the end of May, its owners announced in a social media post Thursday evening. The cooperatively run space opened in 2017 at 18 N. First Ave. W. in downtown Duluth and hosted live music performances of many genres.

In the announcement, the owners wrote that Blush survived the hardships of the pandemic, despite having to greatly reduce its hours. However, they were informed in February that their lease would not be renewed this summer. Duluth nonprofit homeless shelter Life House bought the building last year, and Blush's owners were informed that Life House operations will expand into the venue's location.

"We survived the pandemic, but in the end, Blush closing sort of fell out of our control," the owners wrote while asking the community to support Life House in its expanding mission to help community youth.

Performers and patrons alike shared their sadness about the announcement, writing sentiments about "one of the last truly rad venues in Duluth," and thanking the owners for creating a safe and inclusive space in which they have great memories.

Blush will host a multi-day celebration during the last week of May featuring some of the venue's "nearest and dearest" artists. Other shows in May will continue as scheduled, and Blush will be "serving up mountains of PBR."

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"All of us bathed in the same magenta light and celebrated the bliss of being together," the owners wrote in the social media post. "Moments of collective belonging, where 'lonely' seems like the furthest away it has ever been. Those moments for us exist as the best feeling in the world. Those moments showed us that Blush has not just been 'what we did.' Blush is who we are."

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.
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