Amid all of the new music venues and nightlife concert opportunities that Grand Rapids has spawned in recent years, there’s now some sobering news to report: Jukes Bar on Leonard Street will close its doors on July 28.
Owner Dave Eder repeated to me what he recently posted on Facebook for Jukes’ longtime patrons: The bar, which for several years has featured multiple bands on Friday and Saturday nights with free admission, is “closing because of financial reasons.”
“While there were many things that contributed to this, the bottom line was I did not have the skill set to promote the bar,” Eder said. “Nobody to blame but me.”
For many local, regional and even national rock bands, including those churning out everything from outlaw country to punk to soul to blues, Jukes, at 506 Leonard St. NW, has been a magnet for 21-something audiences who packed the intimate club on weekends for noisy, energetic shows.
One positive for Jukes diehards: The bar is planning a star-studded final show, so stay tuned for details because I’m told there will be some hard-hitting, mucho-talented West Michigan bands on the July 28 bill.
“We had a good run,” said Lawrence Kole, who books bands at Jukes.
A veteran journalist, John Sinkevics spent more than 13 years covering music and entertainment for The Grand Rapids Press. Now editor and publisher of the LocalSpins.com website, he comments on West Michigan's music scene and profiles local and regional artists. He also hosts a Local Spins Live radio segment on News Talk 1340 AM in Grand Rapids at 11 a.m. Wednesdays spotlighting many of those musicians, as well as commenting on the music scene at 9:30 a.m. Wednesdays on WLAV-FM (96.9).
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