In case you were wondering why the lights have been out at downtown's once hip and happening Sapphire Lounge, here's a late newsflash: The bar is closed.

After a dozen years with its popular rooftop bar and nod to upscale big-city clubbing, Sapphire at 61 E. Congress St. closed at the end of January after being locked out by the landlord.

Although it was not explicit in the letter still posted on the bar's door, the club apparently was in violation of its lease. The letter called the infraction "failing to maintain the premises."

Sapphire had been leasing the property since May 1, 2007, according to the letter. The bar opened in late 2007.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at or 573-4642. On Twitter @Starburch