Walked into The Wedge last night, about 9:29, just in time for my 9:30 record spin. The first thing striking me was that the bartenders were new. They were… how do I put this?… not necessarily cut from the same cloth as previous Wedge bartenders. And then it struck me that the entire DJ booth had been removed from the venue, replaced by a utilitarian, six-foot folding table. This should’ve been the first thing to strike me, since the booth had been located just inside the first-floor doors and was arguably the coolest element of the bar. But, no, the bartenders caught my eye first. How sadly predictable.
Anyway, a manager informed me that the venue had gone through a second round of changes since opening night, with some ownership swapping involved. Now, a fellow from D.B.’s is on the ownership end and the bartenders followed from that edge-of-Soulard location. And if you’ve been to D.B.’s you know the “type” of bartender referred to here. (Though, for accuracy, The Wedge’s versions were far more clothed.) The DJ rotation had now been changed, too, with more of a tab-and-dinner approach to payment, which I can understand for a venue facing some revenue issues. My contact was nice about it, but some gigs you do for fun, some for money.
After a second’s thought, I grabbed my Domino’s bag of CDs and headed back to the car, thinking about a stop at Fred’s Six Foot Under, but too mystified to walk down the steps. A premonition had come true. See, what had struck me is that when walking up to the venue, I knew (just knew) that something was going to be off for the evening. In fact, I’d had that thought all afternoon and sure enough… poof. A gig gone. Such is life.
Alas. I wish the good folks remaining at The Wedge a successful run. And I look forward to visiting in a month, or two, for what’ll surely be a very different room, with bartenders’ necklines dipping and hemlines rising. That’s just a guess, but I’ll lay a dollar on the outcome.
I was told a few weeks ago that the DJ rotation was ending and that I was to be their last DJ. They said they couldn't afford to pay their staff, let alone a DJ. So I stuck around and spun for free. Then I discover that they still had DJs coming in the next week and a half, and I can only assume that they got paid.
As the former manager of the Wedge (a job I owe to you), I have to say that I am completely done with the place. It went from a cool little punk club to some facsimile of Hooters. Makes me want to vomit in terror.
All that hard work I put into making that place what it was (for a few months anyway) went completely down the tubes.
Its sad to see your baby grow up and go off on their own, but its even sadder to see your baby start hanging out with the wrong people and go down a road of ruin. Such is the case with The Wedge.
If they want to be a titty-bar, good for them. But they really blew their chance to be an awesome little rock club in South City. Its just a matter of time before the dart boards and pool tables make their appearance. Hell, they already have a Golden Tee…
I'm willing to bet that they have less than three months left in them. I'll also wager a dollar.
Looks like we won our bet.