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Burbank’s Beloved Sardo’s Turns Off the Karaoke Machines for Good Next Week

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The long-running dive bar cites rising rents for their closure

Sardo’s, Burbank
Yelp

It’s the end of the line for Sardo’s, the beloved Burbank karaoke bar known for its eclectic characters and late-night jam sessions. Per the company’s own website and a story yesterday on Curbed LA, the final night of service will be Friday, July 28.

In the long, somber note posted days ago, owner Seymour Satin says that rising rents have made his business model completely unworkable. The post reads:

It is with great regret that I need to close Sardo’s. The reason you ask, financially I cannot go on. Costs are up and business is down. My rent was raised on January 1st and I am paying $10,000 per month plus the cost of labor, product, insurance and as I stated business has been down for a while. I have tried to sell Sardo’s but with the rent so high, no buyers are interested.

I tried to find another location the past 2 years but Burbank is extremely difficult to move a business, especially a bar! Parking is a major issue, where you need 10 parking spaces for every 1.000 sq. ft. and that doesn’t exist in Burbank!

I truly appreciate everyone that has come to Sardo’s over the years and I am extremely proud of what I’ve seen over the past 14.5 years. People getting married, the close friendships I’ve seen grown and they all met at Sardo’s and seeing the staff (past and present) grow up to have families.

...

My future is unknown, I’ll take it day by day.

So, come on out and enjoy for the next few days while we are still open.

Though sad, the shutter is no surprise to many long-time tenants in and around Burbank. While newer operators like Simmzy’s have found a way to thrive, others like cross-town karaoke bar Dimples were forced into retirement years ago to make way for massive new developments.

It’s also interesting to see an owner/operator talk so frankly about the finances of making a place like Sardo’s work. It’s likely that most customers who came through for cheap beers and tunes had no idea Satin was paying $10,000 per month just in rent, let alone labor and product. As Satin says above, what’s next for Sardo’s (and himself) is unknown.

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