You still need a license around here to sell booze?!?

Ahh, The Horseshoe. Looks like the domain name isn’t the only thing they’ve let lapse… seems the liquor license was out of date as well.I was pretty excited to try to fake my way through an electric lap-steel gig with a countrified version of We Make Thunder on Sunday night at the Horseshoe (I play drums in a hardcore band that shares some of their members). Load-in was supposed to be at 7:30, and I was gonna meet a couple of friends there for dinner so I could taunt them with my FREE sandwich–just one of the perks of being a fake lap-steel player in Chicago (the other being “All the beers you can drink, as long as you can’t drink more than three”).My friends got there before me, and I got a call as I was loading up my car:”Uhh, this place looks closed.””Yea, I know, we’re not supposed to go on until 9:00.””No, I mean this place looks CLOSED. As in closed down.””The flyer’s up, right? Was I looking at the ’06 calendar again? I’m suresomeone will be there in a little bit.”It turned out that no one was there in a little bit, or even a big bit. No one that could get into the place at least; the people that were invited to the show still showed up. About two hours before we were supposed to go on, one of the guys in the band got an email saying they’d been shut down that Friday due to an expired liquor license. It sure would’ve been nice to get that email two days before the show instead of two hours.I’ve got some unconfirmed gossip as to why they let the license expire, but I’ll wait until I get at least a LITTLE more confirmation before spewing it (although this is a blog right, I guess I’m supposed to spew gossip?).This is pretty disappointing. After a somewhat rough start (from a musician’s perspective) with some nasty rumors going around about shady-ness involved in (not) paying bands, The Horseshoe was a pretty cool place to go (especially because it was right around the corner from my apartment). There’s not a lot of places you can go around here to hear ANY kind of country music, and I thought they did a pretty good job of showcasing a wide variety. I’ve also played there a couple of times with some pick-up bands, and I thought we were always treated well.We ended up having a fun night anyways at the Glunz Bavarian Haus right across the street. I’m sure they were glad to have the business, but not glad to have us continually asking to “just set up in the corner and play, man. C’mon, we’ve already got all our stuff here.” I’m sure it was cute the first four times (at most).Oh well. Back to Carol’s, I guess.

4 Comments so far

  1. Eric Chial (unregistered) on February 21st, 2007 @ 11:53 am

    Oh man, that is really too bad. I’ve played up there several times and have been in to hear many friends’ bands many more, and like you, Dobro Dan, it’s a hop skip from my place. Drat. I was just up there on 2/10/07 with my country swing group, Decoy Prayer Meeting ( for a fun gig with Fulton County Line and the Penthouse Sweets. Damnit all, I dug that place!!!

  2. Dobro Dan (unregistered) on February 21st, 2007 @ 9:52 pm

    Yea, it’s definitely a bummer. I think it’s got something to do with the managing partners not paying, well… anything. Rent, utilities, etc., so there was a hold that prevented them from renewing the licence. Hopefully they’ll be back soon.

  3. rocknrollbitch (unregistered) on February 25th, 2007 @ 6:46 pm

    that is not true, the managing partners didnt have anything to do with the bills not being paid, they were bought out a year ago,not paying bills is something that has always been an issue with this bar. the owner (JOE LAZAR)is way to good at LYING,its to bad you cant pay your rent with bull shit because they would never close down. he truly is the worst type of person you could possibly ever meet. someone i know well that worked for horseshoe said the owner never payed the bills on time (or ever to some food and liquor providers) and that they still owe thousands of dollars to those companies and thousands in back rent to the landlord who is always trying to shut them down for nonpayment he also owns the liquor licence. Ive even heard staff members calling him “the snake” as a nickname,while sitting in the middle of the bar having a beer. anything to do with the downfall of the horseshoe should be blamed only on the poor buisness and management skills of joe lazar, it has been a year since the partners wanted out and thats plenty of time to fix whatever problems were leftover from the former partners. my friend said that employees had too wait sometimes over a month to get paid and still the checks would bounce and he would tell them to come in the next day to get paid and he wouldnt show up ,what a guy huh,

  4. Dobro Dan (unregistered) on February 25th, 2007 @ 9:01 pm

    Thanks for the input, that’s a shame. I don’t know how he could be screwing it up so badly; like I said, there’s always a good crowd in there, and it’s not the cheapest place in the world for a drink.

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