April 23 2013 04:55 PM

Some changes planned for Little Italy nightclub-plus, Hyena calls it quits

Kava Lounge

Kava Lounge, the Middletown nightclub known for its organic cocktails, intriguing electronic-music shows and crystal-clear sound system, has changed ownership. The place is now being run by Mike Bremer, aka Tattoo Mike, the owner of Chronic Tattoo & Body Piercing in Mission Beach, and his business partner, Scott Bell, a local DJ.

Bremer tells CityBeat that he and Bell decided to buy the club after getting an offer from Kava's former owner, Kristie Aguirre, a friend of Bremer's. (Aguirre declined to comment on the sale.) Now that it's in their hands, they plan to keep the club's monthly showcases going but also book more shows and possibly open during the day.

"Scott and I both really enjoy the way it is, so we would like to pretty much keep it the way it is," Bremer says, "keep the same things that've been going on there, but just amplify it some more, give it some new blood."

Regulars will notice one major change going forward, though: The club's longtime, de facto general manager, Mateo Silva, will take leave to focus on his practice in energy work and holistic healing.

Nearly a dozen DJs and artists—including Skrapez, Sleeve, DJ Pound and Mystery Cave—will play a goodbye show for Silva at Kava Lounge on Friday, May 3. 

"It's time to move on," Silva says. "I loved the ride. My heart and soul are still in that place. I'm just pulling my focus and my energy out of it."

It looks like it's the end for electro-pop duo Hyena. Keyboardist / guitarist Bryan Stratman and drummer Michael Cooper say they've stopped working together to pursue new projects. 

Cooper is now doing The Hunt, which he describes as similar to Hyena, only darker and with more live instrumentation. He recently posted a new track on a Soundcloud page

Stratman, meanwhile, is playing with his girlfriend in the duo Strat & Mouse. He says he's playing more guitar and piano in the duo, but they're also delivering big electronic beats. They recently posted a new song, "Turn Me On," on YouTube, and they plan to release a debut EP in a few months.

Stratman says he's buying a 44-foot tour bus with hopes of going on tour for a year or so and living in it. The bus, a 2004 Newmar diesel, is outfitted with a king-size bed, fridge, stove and other amenities. 

"It looks like we're super ballin'," Stratman says. "Seriously, we're going to roll up and people are going to be like, 'What the fuck is that?'"

Email peterh@sdcitybeat.com or follow him on Twitter at @peterholslin.


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