Tantra Coffeehouse will no longer host outdoor live music.
Founder and co-partner Nathan Todd confirmed the business’ Facebook statement posted last week amid the sound of live music Saturday at Tantra Coffeehouse’s 6th Birthday Party and Barbecue.
The news came as a shock to some customers, who commented on Tantra’s Facebook post.
“Big mistake. The awesome Tantra music scene is what made me do the half hour drive to come hang out. Adios guys,” said Christopher Lyerla in a comment posted on the coffeehouse’s Facebook page.
However, fans of the venue’s Wednesday Bluegrass Night can rejoice. Todd said the popular free show will continue as normal because it is suitable for all ages, and bands perform at a low volume, making it easy to host.
Despite past noise complaints, Todd stressed that the business’s decision to forgo live music had nothing to do with the City of San Marcos or neighboring buildings.
“The city hasn’t laid the law down on us,” he said.
Todd said over the years Tantra’s original focus has shifted from being a family-oriented community hub to an outdoor live music venue. He said during the business’ inaugural year, there were indoor and outdoor children’s playgrounds. Todd said a new outdoor children’s play area will soon be installed to realign with the business’ original vision.
He said his friendship with numerous local musicians led to the business being the first to receive a license by the city to play amplified music.
On the wooden stage under the white outdoor tent, people gathered weekly to hear local acts such as Marmalakes, Henry + The Invisibles, Grace Park and The Deer and Buzz n’ Bangs.
Matt Schuster, who regularly played at Tantra with his band Broken Umbrella Academy, said the coffeehouse was his introduction to the San Marcos music scene. He said he first graced the venue’s stage about four years ago and has returned ever since.
More than 30 performances later, Schuster said his best and worst memory of Tantra involves free wine. He said the venue’s booking agent called him last year and asked if he wanted to perform a “Matt Schuster Variety Show.” In lieu of cash, he said, performers would be paid in $50 Tantra gift cards.
Schuster said he randomly chose two bands that had performed at Tantra open mic nights to perform alongside him. He said he and the other musicians exchanged the gift cards for wine, which they drank onstage.
As the wine bottles’ contents depleted, Schuster said the band continued to play the same song drunk for 10 minutes, while he strummed his guitar half asleep.
The experience, in the end, proved to be a positive one, both professionally and personally for Schuster. This was the performance where he met his girlfriend and fellow Broken Umbrella Academy band member Casi Moss, communication design senior and former member of the local band The Jenna Tellyas.
“This is their backyard,” Todd said, in reference to all the musicians who have performed at Tantra.
Todd said as a youth in San Marcos, he did not encounter a place similar to Tantra. He never really knew the city until the coffeehouse opened.
He said it is difficult for Tantra to serve great coffee and food when the business’ focus is too broad.
Kyle Mylius, Tantra co-partner and Root Cellar owner, said the coffeehouse will soon have extended food hours and a second happy hour.
Although live music will no longer be played at Tantra’s physical location, both Mylius and Todd said the business is sponsoring a free show Aug. 25 at San Marcos Plaza Park. The lineup has yet to be determined.
Mylius said he and Todd would like to sponsor once-a-month concerts that can be enjoyed by mass audiences and attract big name performers.