A week after being asked by City Hall to pull its plugs when it couldn't produce any live entertainment permits, the music is back on at The Circle Bar, the dive and near-nightly venue at Lee Circle that had been a staple for live music since 1999.
Gambit caught co-owner Dave Clements as he left City Hall this afternoon with the permit in hand. He hoped to get the city's approval yesterday but did not — he called again this afternoon, and the city's Office of Safety and Permits and the Department of Revenue were "cooperative, nice and professional," Clements says, in helping him get his live entertainment permit (with, he added, permission to charge admission). "There did not seem like a concerted effort to squash live music."
Circle Bar resumes live music tonight at 8:30 p.m. with Bob Andrews and Washboard Chaz. Booker Jason Songe says the shows on the calendar will remain on the schedule (except for this weekend's lineup, which Songe
is working to put together after it had to scrap or help move a week's worth of shows has booked: Narcissy is on for Friday, and A Fragile Tomorrow performs Saturday).
The bar initially was targeted by the city's Department of Revenue last month after Clements couldn't produce the bar's live entertainment permit. (Clements says the city had a record of the bar's permit from 2002, 2003 and 2004.) He re-applied for the permit but was denied. Last week, Clements pulled the plug on the live music schedule hoping it would be resolved within the week. This past weekend, more than 50 musicians signed affidavits to present to the city showing support.