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Local News Coverage: Vertex's Death by Fire

From the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle:

Bright day for local goths: They find a home

B Y  S T A F F  W R I T E R

You can't keep a good goth down.

A month ago, fire turned the downtown dance club called Vertex - the heart and soul of the gothic scene - from pitch black to coal black. So the goths, who have a habit of dressing as if they're attending their own funerals, have wandered down the street to GQ, a gay nightclub on Central Avenue.

Now, every Wendesday night, Vertex on the Road transforms GQ from a brightly colored dance club to a candle and chandelier costime party.

It takes more than fire to kill the undead.

"We're kind of like a pack that hangs together. It is a small but mighty contingent," says Mike Dailor, the man behind the CD player on one of two GQ dance floors.

After the fire, Dailor says, the attitude wasn't "The party's over." It was "Where's the party now?"

"It's in a space that's a lot nicer," - but not too nice, of course - according to Vertex regular Joyce Gambacurta, who likens the dearly departed Vertex to a comfortable old shoe.

Last Wendesday night, "maybe 40 or 50 of the same regulars that we usually see" showed up, says Gambacurta, who lives in Penfield. It made her confident that the scene would carry on without a hitch.

After all, this isn't the first time that the goths have lost their home. Four years ago, when new owners were waiting for a liquor license at Vertex, the club went on the road for several months to Club Marcella.

So local goths have survived drought and now fire. Bela Lugosi would be proud.

From ABC news:

Fire at Rochester night club

Rochester NY, Friday, July 21 2000
A downtown nightclub was destroyed by fire Friday night. The Metro Club had not yet opened for business when a fire broke out just before 10 p.m.

Firefighters say the blaze started in the club's roof and caused extensive damage to the structure. The club was set to open at 11 p.m., but the blaze started at 10 p.m. The club was empty at the time. "There was nobody inside the building when we arrived. Obviously when you hear about a club on a Friday night during the summer at 10 p.m. you're assuming there'll be a lot of people involved, and that was a major concern coming in," said Lt. Dan McBride of the Rochester Fire Department.

There were no reported injuries from the fire. The club sustained rather extensive damage.

* Note from Mike: Yeah, *rather*! Duh!

From NBC news:

Fire breaks out at city night club
Rochester fire officials say they may know what caused Friday night’s fire at a local dance club.

Rochester NY, Friday, July 21 2000
Firefighters were called to the gothic dance club called Metro Station/Vertex around ten at night.

The club was closed at the time and no one was injured. The blaze was actually first noticed by a firefighter, as was under control within and hour.

Fire officials say they believe it was caused by an earlier repair made by some maintenance workers on the roof.

After The Fire Photos

These pictures were taken on Saturday, July 22nd, 2000 as the building was being boarded up.

Looking toward the rear of the club across the dance floor. You know, we shoulda put in skylights *years* ago!

Looking toward the front of the club across the dance floor.

The DJ booth.

Anyone wanna buy a mixing board cheap?

Amazingly, the men's room looks just like it did before the fire! :^)

Michele's wall-o-pictures. Yes, the fire extingusher *does* still work, smart-ass!

This is the view from the doorway at the top of the stairs.

Looking left - Me & Brendan played the last game of pool on that table @ 2:45AM. Sniff.

The conversation island in the middle of the bar room

Wow, it's true: this place *is* scarey in the daylight!!!

Behind the (former) upstairs bar.

Here's Patty's view from behind the downstairs bar.

Hey guys, check it out: the ladies' room! Yeah, I know, most of you have already seen it, you pervs.

I just had to preserve this piece of graffiti from the ladies' room. You girls slay me. :^)

Standing at the DJ booth looking across the dance floor.

Standing behind the bar looking across the bar room.

Scot? Michele? Jeremy? HellOOOOooooOoooo...

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is Final Last Call at the Bar!!!

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