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Another One Bites the Dust?

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  • Another One Bites the Dust?

    Apparently the days of the Circle Bar are numbered. A real local's place--it maintained the eclectic feel of the best New Orleans clubs long after the tourist boom distorted the scene most everywhere else.

    https://www.nola.com/entertainment_l...75403677d.html

  • #2
    I heard that. Bummer. Black Laurel played some of it's first shows there. Gasa Gasa, Circle Bar.....who's next ?

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    • #3
      Sadly from what I have heard their lease in not going to be renewed and there have been stories going around that the building will be renovated and that some type of Air BNB action may happen on the site. Major bummer as I have always had fun there

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      • #4
        Originally posted by belyin View Post
        Apparently the days of the Circle Bar are numbered. A real local's place--it maintained the eclectic feel of the best New Orleans clubs long after the tourist boom distorted the scene most everywhere else.

        https://www.nola.com/entertainment_l...75403677d.html
        Funny thing is I only went there as a tourist. Never went there the 10 years that I lived here. They had better acts years back.

        Even though it's not COVID related it does suck seeing music clubs closing. Things go in cycles. Hopefully in a year or two some new clubs will spring up.

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        • #5
          The clarinet choir that I'm played there a couple times. Once, the manager (I think) was filming it for Facebook, and the comment on Facebook was "What kind of group is that?!?" and the reply was "The Circle Bar Philharmonic". I always chuckle when I think about that.

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          • #6
            Follow up article with more details
            When Circle Bar co-owner Dave Clements arrived for an Oct. 8 meeting at the office of the bar’s landlord, prominent philanthropist and energy company executive Phyllis M. Taylor, he didn’t

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            • #7
              What a shame.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by belyin View Post
                Follow up article with more details
                Thanks belyin for the post. I ignored the article and would have missed it. Fascinating article. Keith did some pretty fair writing on this one. Captured a great deal more than just a story about the bar. From the homeless to real estate to individual bands and their perspectives to Oh My Gawd Snake and Jakes!! Lots of good stuff. Thanks again.

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                • #9
                  It was a good article. I was glad that Keith gave a nice shout out to Kelly Keller. Kelly was the first music world person I met in New Orleans--she was working at The Mushroom on Broadway with a college acquaintance of mine. She was always committed to the intersection of roots music with rocknroll attitude. My last particular memory of her was seeing Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith guitarist) waltz her around the Circle Bar to the music of Alex McMurray.

                  The Circle Bar was the location for the first Knights of the Mau Mau (Ponderosa Stomp) shows that I remember: Andre Williams (with the unlikely combination of Quintron, Hart McNee, and Derrick Huston) and Barbara Lynn. While mostly known for roots rock, they were open to much of the eclectic scene of the time. There was a time in the late 90's when many of the usual Downtown venues (Dragon's Den, Cafe Brasil, Kaldi's, etc.) were not booking live music, and the Circle Bar seemed happy to pick up some of the slack. The music for the first two records I produced (i.e., Rob Wagner Trio, Naked on the Floor) really came together there. Like the nearby (if walking, not driving!) Mermaid Lounge, they were supportive of creative voices and not mere genre forms. Besides losing Kelly in 2004 that is when the Mermaid closed as well removing the all important ability for a scene to develop around bouncing back-in-forth between the two venues. One club in isolation is a very hard row to hoe.

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                  • #10
                    Does anyone know if the Royal St Charles is closed, their phones don't work and they won't let me cancel my reservation on their website.

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                    • #11
                      Saw on FB that Liuzza's is up for sale.....

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CEfromLA View Post
                        Saw on FB that Liuzza's is up for sale.....
                        Which one? I live right behind the one on Bienville but I sometimes go to the one by the track. The one behind me is always dead, even before COVID.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jjazznj View Post

                          Which one? I live right behind the one on Bienville but I sometimes go to the one by the track. The one behind me is always dead, even before COVID.
                          OK I found it. The one behind me. The property is probably worth more than the business and building. It's kind of a relic.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jjazznj View Post

                            OK I found it. The one behind me. The property is probably worth more than the business and building. It's kind of a relic.
                            When I first arrived in New Orleans in the fall of 1983 as a callow youth, I answered a want ad in the T-P for a waiter job at Liuzza's (on Bienville.) Being clueless about the physical as well as social geography of New Orleans, I took a bus ride to this unfamiliar territory. The older New Orleans-Italian woman interviewing me informed me they never had a man waiting tables there, implying they weren't about to start, and that she was appalled that I was the sort of person who could even consider living 1,200 miles from my mother! Suitably chastised, I returned to the French Quarter at got a job at the 711 Club on Bourbon St (home of Al Broussard!) where no questions were asked.

                            Sadly, the Saturn Bar is being sold. No idea to whom or to become what, but I take this as sad news. First time I went there was to hear Alex Chilton (with the Royal Pendletons opening.) After I moved into the neighborhood in the mid 90's they were only open sporadically, but after O'Neal died and his children (and then grandchildren) took over, they found their groove. Jeff Treffinger (who ran the Truck Farm down the street and previously a partner in the Mermaid Lounge) helped to organize music and a Mermaid/Circle Bar sort of vibe ensued. Truck Farm resident Alex McMurray found a home there for his Valparaiso Men's Chorus and a Thursday night series. The monthly Mod Dance Party was a big hit, and it was the latest home to King James and the Special Men's Monday night gig. And like the Circle Bar and Mermaid Lounge they were also open to more "experimental" scenes: Scatterjazz produced a concert of Jason Marsalis, Steve Masakowski, and German saxophone great Frank Gratkowski. I hosted Rob Wagner's brass quartet with Hamid Drake, Jeff Albert, and Jon Gross. It was a venue for the annual Instigation Festival's musicians from Chicago (including Mars Williams, Mike Reed, and Steve Marquette.) And Jonathan Freilich's Naked Orchestra made regular appearances as well.

                            I suspect the new owners will orient the place more toward the emerging neighborhood realities of gentrification and Air B'nB' tourism and away from older grittier and more creative St. Claude/Bywater vibe (kind of like how the Mermaid Lounge became the Rusty Nail,) but I hope I am pleasantly surprised.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TEXFESTFAN View Post
                              Does anyone know if the Royal St Charles is closed, their phones don't work and they won't let me cancel my reservation on their website.
                              Any info appreciated.

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