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Lyons said to be selling the Paradise

Local bar owner, Live Nation agree to buy Boston club

Email|Print| Text size + By Thomas C. Palmer Jr. and Donovan Slack
Globe Staff / December 22, 2007

The Paradise Rock Club, one of Boston's most popular music clubs, is being sold to local bar owner Joe Dunne and the large national entertainment company Live Nation, two people briefed on the deal said yesterday.

No price was disclosed, as the agreement to sell has not been officially revealed.

The Lyons Group, which owns the Paradise, is selling the Commonwealth Avenue club to Dunne, according to a Boston Licensing Board official, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak publicly. The Lyons Group, run by entrepreneur Patrick Lyons, operates several entertainment facilities in Boston including the club Avalon, which is now undergoing a major renovation and expansion on Lansdowne Street, across from Fenway Park.

The official said a purchase and sale agreement has been signed and a transfer of the liquor license from Lyons to the new owners is pending approval. A hearing is scheduled on the liquor license transfer before the Boston Licensing Board on Jan. 9.

Dunne, who is in Ireland and could not be reached to comment, owns Lir, a restaurant and bar on Boylston Street in the Back Bay, and McGann's Pub, a bar and restaurant in the Bulfinch Triangle near North Station that is outfitted like an Irish country pub and sometimes features live music.

Dunne also runs The Front Lounge in Dublin.

An executive briefed on the discussions surrounding the sale said Live Nation is a partner in the purchase of the Paradise. He also asked not to be named because he is not authorized as a spokesman. Live Nation, based in Beverly Hills, Calif., produces and promotes concerts and other live events nationwide. No one from Live Nation could be reached to comment late yesterday.

The Paradise opened in 1977, and its stage has been host to the Police, AC/DC, Blondie, REM, Elvis Costello, Dire Straits, Tom Waits, Coldplay, and dozens of other nationally known groups and performers.

It holds about 650 people, and dinner is served in the Paradise Lounge. Upcoming acts this month include The Join, Sheila Divine, and Soulive.

In January, Theo Epstein of the Boston Red Sox, the Dropkick Murphys, Lori McKenna, and Kay Hanley are scheduled to perform at a benefit for the Red Sox Foundation. The February schedule includes the New York Dolls.

Boston entertainment impresario Lyons is replacing Avalon and its sister club with a modern club and restaurant complex with sidewalk seating and a terrace looking toward Fenway Park.

The club is now closed for the renovations. Lyons said several months ago he planned to spend about $14 million to build a larger club, with a capacity of about 2,500.

Thomas C. Palmer Jr. can be reached at tpalmer@globe.com, Donovan Slack at dslack@globe.com.

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