Let the rumor mill halt: The Blue Heron has not changed hands…yet. But chances are the bar’s last show as the Blue Heron has come and gone. On the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 24, a building inspector called City-County Health Department Environmental Health Director Jim Carlson with what appeared to be a cornucopia of health violations.
“When I walked in the building, the smell of sewer gas was pretty strong,” says Carlson. “It appeared to me that since they had their last opening a month ago, they had just left things. There were clouds of fruit flies and pop dispensers that had mold growing back into the spigots, and there was sewage on the floor in the basement.”
Local guitar man John Floridis was scheduled to play his CD release party that night, but never made it to the stage. After his sound check, Carlson closed the place down until it could be brought up to code (Floridis rushed down to the Roxy and managed to do his show there).
Like any good rock ’n’ roll haunt, the future of the bar is shrouded in mystery. Owner Kevin Head didn’t return the Independent’s phone calls, but Mountains Meet Space’s Thomas Hunt says he’s heard the doors won’t be reopening as the Blue Heron. Hunt booked Robert Walter’s 20th Congress to play at the bar last week, but had to switch the show to the Top Hat after the closure. He doesn’t plan on booking more shows at the venue until January—after the prospective new owner revamps the place.
Properties 2000’s Katie Ward says that an interested party is in talks with the bar, but says “it’s still not a done deal.” Ward can’t confirm if the bar will remained closed until it changes hands, but promises the interested party has some “really great plans.”
Whether in the new owner’s hands or in Kevin Head’s, the health department’s Carlson says the place needs a lot of work before it can host another show.