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Cracchiolo continues, "It's not that they didn't know Cicero's exists. It's not that they didn't know there was a 200-capacity room in St. Louis. It was because we bridged that gap, and we made them comfortable bringing their bands to the room. That's probably the single most important thing somebody could have done for the place if the goal is to book national talent. And we didn't have a real clear goal going in, it was a process of finding what was going to work and who was going to respond well to the room. We were just finally getting a handle on it and starting to expand on it when the rug was pulled out from under us."
The only Cicero's manager available for comment was general manager Karen McVicker. She dismisses the idea that Cracchiolo and Snarzyk's departure will have much of an effect on the venue. "We've done national bands on and off since we started doing live music," she says. "We've been doing live music since 1984, and we'll continue doing live music."
The future of Cicero's is now somewhat unclear, though Cracchiolo and Snarzyk feel no animosity toward the venue. "I honestly don't want that place to do bad," Snarzyk says.
"I really really enjoyed working with both Kenny and [the] great staff at Cicero's," Cracchiolo says. "They have to decide what's best for their business. I don't have any bad feelings, I just feel bad if in the end it's all a waste of time. I think maybe that at the end of the day they didn't know quite what they wanted or what to expect, and those expectations were certainly never made clear to me. I had my own vision of what the place could be, and I think we made a lot of headway, and I hate to see that not come to fruition."
"If you're asking for my personal reaction, it was pretty painful to hear and very disappointing," Cracchiolo says. "If you're asking for my professional reaction, I'd say it's a bad idea to fire us if they intend to do live music there in the future beyond just weekends. I want the venue to thrive doing whatever they decide."
Snarzyk concurs, "Shawn's a good guy, and I don't think he's stupid. He's been running that place for 35 years, and he'll be running it for a long time in the future. I just think he made a bad decision this time."