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Blue Chalk Club finally closed, is out of business.

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Blue Chalk Club finally closed, is out of business.

Postby Drinkslinger » Fri Aug 10, 2007 7:49 am

The Blue Chalk Club closed its doors Monday due to lack of business. Poor ownership lead to bad service, bad prices and a lack of musical direction. Many bands were treated unfairly. Most people came once and never returned.

It's a shame, because its a beautiful place, if somewhat misdesigned for a bar and resturant. While they are still looking for someone to buy the poolhall, some people are interested in buying it and turning it into something else.

What a shame, the Blue Chalk is dead.
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Postby jjoyce » Fri Aug 10, 2007 8:55 am

What strikes me most on hearing this news is how the owners of this place made a lot of noise about "fleeing" Madison's restrictive business climate. They were gleeful about being able to do business in Middleton where people could smoke and they wouldn't have to worry about the government telling them how much to pay their workers or how much sick leave they needed to offer, etc.

And then came news that guys were beating each other up with baseball bats in their parking lot.
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Postby white_rabbit » Fri Aug 10, 2007 9:09 am

I'm sure it will not sit empty for long. That area of Middleton is booming. The new Costco is supposed to open near that area next July, Ruth's Chris is about to open soon and there are plans for much more development in the area, and there are thousands of decent paying jobs within a few mile radius of the Blue Chalk Club building. Someone with the money and with successful management experience will pick it up.
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Postby TheBookPolice » Fri Aug 10, 2007 10:13 am

white_rabbit wrote:I'm sure it will not sit empty for long. That area of Middleton is booming. The new Costco is supposed to open near that area next July, Ruth's Chris is about to open soon and there are plans for much more development in the area, and there are thousands of decent paying jobs within a few mile radius of the Blue Chalk Club building. Someone with the money and with successful management experience will pick it up.


Yeah, Middleton! It's the new east side.
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Postby Wet_Pavement » Tue Aug 14, 2007 8:47 am

TheBookPolice wrote:Yeah, Middleton! It's the new east side.


That means Verona is the new Middleton, right?
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Eating their young...

Postby kulgar » Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:51 pm

The problem I experienced at Blue Chalk was that even after tipping liberally on my first drink orders, the bartender always seemed more interested in the TV programming than in my empty glass.

The pole barns are springing up with facades and build outs that make them restaurants in the parking lots west of Middleton, but the economics are questionable for that many restaurants/bars in that small area.

How many restaurants have already died in Greenway Station? Blue Chalk has closed on Deming Way, locally owned Tallard's Station on Airport Road has closed after seven years, Irish Waters is closing (although that may just be fatique and an offer they couldn't refuse). Yes, it's a tough business with lots of failures but Middleton now brags of having nearly 70 restaurants or bars that serve food and that's a lot for 17,000 population. Madison would have 800 at that ratio.

There are thousands of jobs out there in the parking lots west of Middleton but they almost all require a car and that creates a lunch time business unless you have some schtick like "Bike Night" to draw in the throngs after the first "let's try it" wave has crested. So "booming" it is but overbuilt may be the issue.

Call me old fashioned but it's a lot nicer to go downtown in Middleton and eat at Vin Santo's or Louisianne's rather than some chain theme park transplant in a parking lot.

And now another $200/couple steak house in Ruth's Chris out there? I haven't even had anyone volunteer to take me to Fleming's yet....
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Postby Drinkslinger » Fri Aug 17, 2007 12:54 pm

Don't forget Big Bowl that closed and Macarroni Grille.
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Postby MadMind » Wed Aug 22, 2007 2:06 am

Drinkslinger wrote:Don't forget Big Bowl that closed and Macarroni Grille.

The Macaroni Grille is still open, isn't it?
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Postby dstol62 » Wed Aug 22, 2007 2:49 am

Having played music professionally in the area for almost three decades, it never ceases to amaze me as to the number of music venue owners who are all too quick to tell musicians about how hard it is to run a business, while trying to get decent live music on a shoestring. The blowhard club managers who give musicians unsolicited advice always seem to get run out of town and I say good riddance.

It's also interesting to me how many people who are apparently flush with cash still refuse to do their demographic homework to check if their business model will float. A club featuring live music that doesn't have a reliable base to draw from is always eventually D.O.A.
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Postby Drinkslinger » Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:47 am

Pissing off the Madison music scene doesn't help either. Blowing off The Kissers hurt them, as well as some other bands I won't mention.

While people always comment on how nice the place looked, it was actually pretty poorly designed. The bar and kitchen were to small , the upstairs bar was never finished, the stage lights were never put in, there was no banquet kitchen upstairs for banquets, etc, the TV were mistakenly put in the wrong places, etc.

So what happened? Poor ownership that knew nothing of bar, food, banqueting or the music business. Trust me, these things are important in the bar, food, banqueting and the music business.

There are several people interested in the building, but not for a pool hall.
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Postby HeyZeus » Wed Aug 22, 2007 2:04 pm

jjoyce wrote:What strikes me most on hearing this news is how the owners of this place made a lot of noise about "fleeing" Madison's restrictive business climate. They were gleeful about being able to do business in Middleton where people could smoke and they wouldn't have to worry about the government telling them how much to pay their workers or how much sick leave they needed to offer, etc.

And then came news that guys were beating each other up with baseball bats in their parking lot.


Drinkslinger - Did you work there? Or for the Green Room? Just curious.

I'm not sure of the timetable of the Green Room's ownership, but they always seemed to do a brisk business when Jerry Briesath owned it. Whether Ron Dobosenski was a partner at that point, I can't say.

But, their business woes did seem to come to the surface after I heard that Jerry sold his stake in the business and went into retirement. And Jerry's exit did seem to coincide with the perceived evil of the smoking ban.

I worked for Jerry at Cue-Nique back in the 90s and while some of his business ideas were half-baked, he always knew how to treat/respect his clientele and his staff.

I really wish Ron would've kept the Green Room. That building was great and I always enjoyed playing pool there. Unfortunately, I'm guessing the folks at The Livesey Company filled Ron's head with all sorts of ideas and played on his inexperience in business to get him to invest in a $2.5m blue elephant.

More than anything, had Ron stepped up his marketing efforts in the Green Room and brought in some security to clean up the riff-raff outside, he could be in a different situation right now.

And I knew Ron from Cue-Nique. He was a great guy and one helluva pool player. He just listened to the wrong people.
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Postby HeyZeus » Wed Aug 22, 2007 2:26 pm

Drinkslinger wrote:While people always comment on how nice the place looked, it was actually pretty poorly designed. The bar and kitchen were to small , the upstairs bar was never finished, the stage lights were never put in, there was no banquet kitchen upstairs for banquets, etc, the TV were mistakenly put in the wrong places, etc.

So what happened? Poor ownership that knew nothing of bar, food, banqueting or the music business. Trust me, these things are important in the bar, food, banqueting and the music business.


All of the above I'm afraid.

Good marketing never hurts either. Gone are the days of just putting a few neon signs in the window and posting a banner saying "coldest beer in town."
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Postby MadMind » Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:41 am

Silk Exotic-Middleton. Coming soon...

They could even borrow Middleton's motto;
Image
Last edited by MadMind on Sun Aug 26, 2007 6:07 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby HeyZeus » Fri Aug 24, 2007 1:10 pm

MadMind wrote:Silk Exotic-Middleton. Coming soon...


While I'm in love with that idea, Wisconsin "entertainers" aren't the prettiest in the industry.

Moo.
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Postby MadMind » Sat Aug 25, 2007 2:53 am

HeyZeus wrote:
MadMind wrote:Silk Exotic-Middleton. Coming soon...


While I'm in love with that idea, Wisconsin "entertainers" aren't the prettiest in the industry.

Moo.

My school of thought is that pretty girls come from just about everywhere. Besides, nothin' wrong with a little extra cushion.
It's all about catching them when they are around. It's a fleeting occupation anyhow, with an average career-length of a few years at most. And the fact that new girls show up year after year always keeps hope alive.

I'm just sayin' it's gonna take a business that pulls in serious cash to pay the rent on that establishment, and there's nothing like it on the west side (and realistically speaking probably won't ever be).
All the current and previous efforts near Madison (Club Bristol, and (RIP) Hot Rods & Triangles) have been nothing more than glorified roadhouses masquerading as gentlemans clubs.
It'd be nice to have a true gentlemans club in the area, and from the general concensus it seems that Silk did a truly amazing renovation on the previous, and comparatively dumpy, club in Junea. Of course it took them a year+ and 2 million bucks.
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