Hundreds gather for swan song at Wilmington’s World Cafe at The Queen

 (Paul Parmelee/WHYY)

(Paul Parmelee/WHYY)

The final song to ever be performed at World Cafe LIVE at The Queen was fittingly The End.

The cover of the Beatles classic wrapped up the set of the Joe Trainor Trio around 12:25 AM, the closing act of a six and a half hour marathon concert to say farewell to the venue as it is now known.

Hal Real, who opened the concert hall in April of 2011, announced in January that his company was pulling out after determining that the seven-day-a-week business model no longer worked in Wilmington like in his Philadelphia location.

Thursday’s show featured 16 different acts on both the upstairs and downstairs stages, consisting of local musicians with strong ties to the building. “Everybody’s got a special connection in one way or another, either a relationship with Hal as a friend or just supported the venue over the years” said bassist Tony Cappella, the concert’s organizer.

The event featured many mainstays in the Wilmington music scene, including David Bromberg, The Sin City Band, Montana Wildaxe, and The Cameltones.

Frequent Queen patron Tim Hent of Pike Creek says the venue has been a favorite destination. “I’ve always loved coming down here with friends on a Thursday night, a Wednesday night, a Friday night, it didn’t matter…good music upstairs, good music downstairs, a real good time, I’m going to miss it.”

Sharon Wise, from Florida, is happy she discovered the Queen and has always supported it whenever business has brought her to Wilmington. “This is my go-to place, I love what they do here, I love what Hal did here, bringing the local music, bringing the international music, whatever he could to make this a better place.”

She is also excited about what the future holds for The Queen Theater. “Long live the Queen…tonight is a celebration of what it has been and a look forward to what it will be.”

What it will be, come July, is Live Nation Entertainment’s newest venue. The company has signed a ten year lease and will operate the downstairs stage, where many think and hope they will be able to bring in even bigger acts. Wise is excited about the potential. “I think it’s going to take it up a step, or two, or three…which is exactly what we need here…Wilmington needs this place”

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