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Teen nightclub DeepEnd closes its doors after just six weeks

DeepEnd Night Club, located in San Rafael, opened its doors on Sept. 16 as a unique venue tailored specifically for teenagers. Still, due to insufficient teen engagement, the nightclub closed its doors after just six weeks. The age boundaries were set at 15 to 19 years old and were verified through student ID confirmation. Due to its commitment to maintaining a substance-free environment, this nightclub aimed to provide an ideal weekend destination for teens. Originally, it was open from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. DeepEnd’s goal was to allow teenagers to enjoy music, dance and socialize with friends.

Playing music for an empty dance floor, the DJ tries to get teens engaged. (Photo courtesy of JoJo Saunders)

The club’s owner, JoJo Saunders, previously managed a similar teen-focused nightclub in Tahoe, which also faced challenges attracting teens. Saunders was excited to witness his new club’s evolution.

“The club [was] a full-on, proper nightclub. It [was] probably the best nightclub in the whole Bay Area and it [was] right here in Marin,” Saunders said. 

Despite its resemblance to a nightclub that is 21+, the club enforced its alcohol-free policy through security guards stationed outside the venue.

“The purpose of the club [was to be sober and] to have a place to go. [The club was] something [that was] very exciting that [didn’t] require alcohol or drugs. We [knew] that some kids [would] try to drink before or bring in [alcohol], but we [did] have security,” Saunders said. 

However, despite their goal to stay safe and sober, the club struggled to gain engagement from teens.

“None of [the teens] were showing up. And we kept hearing they’d rather go to a private party and drink instead of coming to a cool nightclub,” Saunders said.

Pointing teens in the right direction, DeepEnd’s sign is displayed out front. (Photo courtesy of JoJo Saunders)

Senior Peter Dachtler attended DeepEnd night with the aim of having a fun night, but when he showed up, there were only two other people who were there. Dachtler looked around the club before speaking with Saunders about the club’s advertisement.

“I was honest with him. I [told him] that I barely heard about [the nightclub] [and that] I [had] been looking for something like this, their marketing [was] not great,” Dachtler said. “If they had gotten together a bunch of people at the very beginning to have a grand opening, that [would have led to] better advertising. I think it would have had a chance with even a small demographic.” 

Ashley Balete, a senior at Tamalpais High School, served as the club’s assistant manager. She recognized that DeepEnd provided a valuable alternative for teens seeking weekend activities.

“Mostly, what I’ve heard from people [was that they] need somewhere to go to hang out with their friends and dance, [but] we can’t go into clubs because we’re not old enough. So people say, ‘Oh, this is such a fun idea. I feel like I have a place to hang out with my friends instead of driving around and just hanging out at our houses,’” Balete said. 

In addition to Balete addressing that the club was a great alternative place to go during the weekend, Saunders shared how many loved the club. 

Trying to advertise to the public, DeepEnd posts a fun graphic on Instagram. (Photo courtesy of JoJo Saunders)

“The kids that were in here love the place to death. They thought it was the greatest thing, but we had some nights where no one showed up and I can’t stay open that way,” Saunders said. 

While Balete was very enthusiastic about what the club had to offer, she recognized the potential challenge it posed for high schoolers since it operated as a sober club. 

“I think the main problem was that, [for] a lot of high schoolers, the number one question [about the club] was if alcohol is being served. Obviously, we said no – it was an alcohol free zone,” Balete said. DeepEnd’s last official night open was on Saturday, Oct. 21, and the club will be transitioning into a space for adults.

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About the Contributor
Charlotte Lacy, Sports Editor
Charlotte Lacy is a Junior at Redwood High School and is the Sports Editor for the BARK. In her free time, she enjoys playing soccer, running track, and playing with her dogs.