Busters couldn’t afford to keep their liquor license, and they’re closing. I’m not too torn about it; I don’t live there anymore. Aside from a handful of shows I went to in the last few years, it really wasn’t my kind of place.
But it was one of my favorite places to play. I think I did maybe a half-dozen shows there? Besides the first few Halloweezers, I think we played a few Welcome Strangers shows there. The stage was huge, which was rare in Lexington. At least when I played there, the sound was good- pro equipment, experienced sound guys. An actual backstage so you could stash gear without worrying about it disappearing.
The old Dame was always my favorite place to see shows, but the stage was cattycornered. One of the last JCX shows we did around Christmas, and the heat vent was directly above the corner where the drums fit. The heat just poured out right on top of me, and I nearly passed out by the end of the show (if I recall, I think we cut the last song). Plus the whole smoking ban debacle, when our decent-sized crowd was outside most of the night because the ban started the same date, and left them with a impression that didn’t get us many more shows there. But the bar staff was excellent, which is not something you could say about Busters.
As nice as it was to play at that place, there was a lot of internal mismanagement. As a customer, Buster’s bartenders were inattentive and rude at best; at worst they overcharged for drinks, treated people like shit, added extra drinks and charged tips on the bill. The booking was a mess. From the people I knew working there, it wasn’t so much if it would fail, but when. On the whole that doesn’t make it much worse than most of the other bars around, but considering it was the only place sized to draw big names, it makes it painful to see it go under. I’m sure if it doesn’t get bought and reopened within six months something else will come along, but it’s disheartening to see one more in a string of venues with so much going for it run itself into the ground.