Pink Garter Theatre - Rock concert
Concerts like Jenny Lewis (July 2019) bring in music fans but not necessarily large profits. Photo: Buckrail

JACKSON, Wyo. — A popular nighttime establishment in Jackson that was on shaky ground before COVID, is really walking the line now. Owners of The Rose/Pink Garter Theatre announced this week they will no longer be able to hold concerts in the theatre section of the property.

“It is sad to end what we have created in the Pink Garter, so many amazing concerts have happened there, and brought a lot of happiness to people,” said majority owner Dom Gagliardi. “Our hope is for the space to continually be used for performances, events, meeting and gatherings that serve our community. Unfortunately, we are not in a financial position to carry this size lease any longer.”

Gagliardi told Buckrail he just cannot carry a lease for the entire 13,500-sf space. The bar portion of the establishment called The Rose, continued to hold its own, revenue-wise, before the pandemic. But putting on performances in the theatre never happened frequently enough to keep up with rent. When Gagliardi moved to a short-term lease through March 2021, the writing was on the wall.

But it got worse.

COVID came and Gagliardi had to flat out tell his landlord, Dudley Miller, he would not be able to make rent with no income coming in.

“We kind of had to force his hand. We had to call it—fold up our tents and tell him we can’t even afford [the new short-term lease],” Gagliardi said.

Gagliardi said Miller was understanding and has worked out a temporary solution that allows The Rose to operate the bar portion only, when health orders will permit the business to open. Meanwhile, sound/lights and anything not attached to the theatre area has been removed and Miller continues to look for a new tenant for that space, but more likely the entire 13,500 sf once the short-term lease is up in March 2021.

Gagliardi hopes to eventually be able to put one-off shows in the theatre again as Poppa Presents even as it is listed. But right now, the forecast is gloomy.

“With no assemblies for the theatre in sight, and the concert industry effectively shut down, The Rose LLC was forced to vacate the theatre portion of the lease. When restrictions ease, The Rose plans to reopen as a full-time bar with small entertainment offerings,” Gagliardi said.

The Pink Garter Theatre revolutionized Jackson nightlife beginning in 2008. Long dormant, the theatre space was leased by Gagliardi with a vision to bring quality music acts to downtown Jackson. The first booking of Poppa Presents in the old-time theatre was Grace Potter. The response was overwhelming.

After a liquor license was acquired from the Town of Jackson, and The Rose was built out, entertainment in downtown Jackson Hole had been revitalized. Some 300 concerts and events later, the theatre will again go dark.

Highlights include Band of Horses (2012), Public Enemy (2012), TV on the Radio (2015), Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings (2016), ODESZA (2017), a once-in-a-lifetime $3 acoustic show with Jack White (2015), and many more.