The Queen is changing hands: Management says Wilmington's revitalization has been too slow - Delaware


Jan. 24, 2017 10:36 am

The Queen is changing hands: Management says Wilmington’s revitalization has been too slow

“While I’m certainly no quitter, you really do have to ‘ know when to fold,’” said World Cafe Live's Hal Real.

The Queen Theatre.

(Photo by Melissa DiPento)

At least one report today may have indicated that the Queen Theatre in Wilmington is closing. That’s not the case. (The story has since been taken down.)

World Cafe Live, the current operators of the space, are set to leave by May 25, 2017. That’s lead to some confusion as founder and president Hal Real indicated that the revitalization work in Wilmington hasn’t been enough to support their business model.

“When I think about how lower Market Street looked and felt 10 years ago vs. today, it’s hard to believe it’s the same place. However, even though lots has improved physically on much of Market Street, the revitalization has just not been strong enough and fast enough to support our robust 7-day/week WCL model. So, while I’m certainly no quitter, you really do have to ‘know when to fold,’” Real wrote, as per a News Journal report.

This marks the end of a six-year run for World Cafe Live in Wilmington. The venue has hosted tech events like 1313 Innovation’s annual conference Tech2Gether and Wilmington TechBreakfast.

We received clarification regarding the Queen Theatre’s future by way of email this morning from the office of Mayor Mike Purzycki. That statement indicated the Queen isn’t closing, but that it’s set to be under new management. In the statement from John Rago, deputy chief of staff for policy and communications, wrote: “The Queen is NOT closing. To the contrary, it will be better than ever!!”

Even so, it does feel like a blow to the efforts to bring life to Wilmington’s downtown.

Whatever future this new management company has in store for the Queen, World Cafe Live will be done in May.

Companies: World Cafe Live
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