Built in the 1800s, the Frankensteined dollhouse on the edge of Lee Circle houses the internationally renowned dive bar and music venue The Circle Bar. Since 1999, it has maintained a near-nightly live music schedule, but this week, the bar has had to pull the plug.
Owner Dave Clements says the bar was denied a permit from City Hall for live entertainment after it submitted its application last month. Employees from the city's Bureau of Revenue (who also asked Siberia to turn the music off last month) asked Clements to produce the bar's mayoralty permit and entertainment license. Clements was subpoenaed and earlier this week was denied for a permit to host live entertainment at the bar. "We'd think we provide a valuable place" to host live music, he says. "Hopefully things will change."
Booker Jason Songe, who has kept a steady stream of artists at the bar (from indie rock stars to dance parties to locals looking for a reliable crowd), was able to move Tuesday and Wednesday's lineup to Hi-Ho Lounge (one of the bars Siberia has moved much of its schedule to). But the rest is "canceled, for right now," he says.
The Circle Bar closed for renovations last year and reopened in January 2012. Read this Gambit article on one of Circle Bar's co-owners Kelly Keller, who died in 2004, and the road to opening the famed music venue.