The end of an era defined by the Saluté International Bar has been long and bittersweet. But the hearing for approval as an historical landmark designation was both short and sweet. Official imprimatur from the Historic and Design Review Commission (HDRC) came after a procedure that lasted mere minutes. It was, in fact, a largely pro forma affair following an earlier staff recommendation for landmark designation approval. An HDRC committee member announced that the petition had been already approved, but asked if anyone wished to make a public comment. Assisted to the podium by Saluté Historic Preservation Committee member Sarah Gould, former proprietor Azeneth Domínguez quietly spoke a few words of appreciation for all of the venue fans' support. When she finished, the committee reiterated that the designation had been approved, and the chamber burst into cheers and applause. Among Saluté's supporters present in the room were accordionist Juanito Castillo (Esteban Jordan's drummer at Saluté), Bombasta leader Roberto Livar, and filmmaker Ray Santisteban.
The petition now goes to a subcommittee of City Council before receiving a final vote from the entire Council body, but that process should be largely perfunctory and require only a matter of weeks.
Next on the agenda? Domínguez wants a plaque placed on the old building, and them things don't come cheap — so opportunities for support will continue. Saluté! — Jeffrey Wright