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.