Limerick music venue calls time on bars

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

THE popular local alternative music venue Baker Place - a complex that also includes the Wicked Chicken bar - has closed its doors.

THE popular local alternative music venue Baker Place - a complex that also includes the Wicked Chicken bar - has closed its doors.

THE popular local alternative music venue Baker Place - a complex that also includes the Wicked Chicken bar - has closed its doors.

News broke that the various bars were to close on Sunday night, and a large crowd turned out to mark the occasion, lamenting the loss of the popular hangout and live music venue, which played host to German metal band Killtribe on its final night of trading. Baker Place has offered a leg-up to both established and up and coming bands, with local acts such as The Fewer The Better, We Should Be Dead, Fox Jaw Bounty Hunters and Giveamanakick cutting their teeth in the venue.

The complex is owned by John Hoare, son of Paddy Hoare, owner of the Kilmurry Lodge Hotel, and a trio of businessmen have been running the complex as leaseholders for the past six years: local men Shane Hartigan, Ger Quinn and Jason Quinn.

The trio said that the decision was a “regrettable one”, but that “business had gone so bad that we could no longer continue trading. It is a tough decision, but we have no other option”. Speaking to the Limerick Chronicle, Shane said the decision was a sad one, but was “a sign of the times”, adding: “It is an economic decision. We were still getting the numbers in the door, but the spend was way down, people didn’t have it to spend, and you have massive overheads when you are leasing a premises of that size. It just wasn’t viable any more and that is obviously the way it is,” he explained. “When we took it over it had been closed so there was no business there, we started from scratch and it was a lot of hard work. It is disappointing to have to close the doors, but you can’t do it when you are not making any money,” he added.

The trio established Baker Place as a successful alternative live music venue, the loss of which, according to local musician Steve Ryan, formerly of Giveamanakick and currently of Windings, will leave a “gaping hole” in the local music scene.

“It has put itself on the map and has put Limerick on the map as a viable place to play so it is very sad to see it go. It has been a pleasure to play there every time,” said Steve.