The pink dollhouse on Lee Circle houses the Circle Bar, the renowned dive bar and music venue. Since 1999, the Circle Bar has maintained a near-nightly live music schedule, but last week, the bar was ordered by City Hall to pull the plug indefinitely.
Owner Dave Clements said the bar was denied a permit for live entertainment by City Hall after it submitted its application last month. This happened after employees from the city's Bureau of Revenue asked Clements to produce the bar's mayoralty permit and entertainment license. Clements was not able to produce permits. (A mayoralty permit allow a business to host special events, like concerts or vendors; an entertainment license allows a business to host live music, and must be applied for annually.)
"We'd think we provide a valuable place" to host live music, Clements said. "Hopefully things will change."
Last month, the Bureau of Revenue also told the St. Claude music club Siberia to turn off the music pending the proper entertainment licenses. Live music has not resumed there.
Jason Songe, the music booker for the Circle Bar, was able to move some of last week's lineup to the Hi-Ho Lounge (just as Siberia has done), but the rest, he said, is "canceled, for right now." Scott Hutcheson, Mayor Mitch Landrieu's cultural economy advisor, did not return a call from Gambit by press time.
The Circle Bar closed for renovations last year and reopened in January 2012. — ALEX WOODWARD