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30-year Multnomah Village venue for live music looking for new nearby location

As a result of Toro Bravo taking over the former location of O'Connor's Café on Capitol Highway, the future of live music along Capitol Highway is now in doubt.

The Vault, the live music and comedy venue next door to Gastro Mania restaurant at 7848 S.W. Capitol Highway, closed after its last live show on Halloween.

Steve Arel, the former owner and operator of O'Connor's, has been booking acts at The Vault for almost 30 years. October's line up of talent attests to the eclectic nature of his shows. Rock and roll, bluegrass, Irish music, rhythm and blues, country, and comedy were featured live at The Vault during its final month.

Arel began booking acts when he ran O'Connor's in its downtown Portland location at Southwest Fourth and Alder. He continued the tradition in Multnomah Village. He sold the restaurant at 7850 S.W. Capitol Highway to Alex Nenchev in late 2018. He reopened it as Gastro Mania.

Arel never really retired and was more active than ever booking acts for the Vault, which often offered live performances five nights a week.

Arel told the SW Connection in March 2019, "I've been booking acts since 1991 when we opened O'Connor's Vault. Now that I don't have to deal with the restaurant, I'm in the process of increasing the number of shows. I've dedicated my whole life to music. Now I've got time and I'm really ready to excel at it right here," said Arel, who's 70 years old.

According to his spokesperson, "Steve is currently looking at other southwest venues to continue music and is hopeful. If and when something new happens, he will give you a call."

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