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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Beale on Broadway Announces Abrupt Closure, Ending Famed St. Louis 'Blues Triangle'

Posted By on Wed, Jan 2, 2019 at 11:01 AM

After nearly twenty years in business as one of St. Louis' top spots for live blues music, Beale on Broadway (701 South Broadway, 314-621-7880) is closing its doors this week.

The news comes via a post from the venue's Facebook page written by owner Bud Jostes.

"After 18 years 3 months and 3 days we are saying goodbye here at the Beale on Broadway," the post reads. "There have been so-o-o many memories. It would take a week of Facebook posts to mention them all."

The club still has two final shows on the books for Wednesday and Thursday night, each featuring performances by artists who have long called the venue home — local legends Roland Johnson and Kim Massie. A packed house is all but a sure thing on both nights.

Beale on Broadway has long served as one point of downtown St. Louis' "blues triangle" of clubs, alongside fellow Broadway mainstays Broadway Oyster Bar and BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups. All three venues are within easy walking distance of one another and regularly host live music of the blues, soul, jazz and R&B variety, with the district providing a steady payday for some of St. Louis' finest working musicians as well as a reliable destination for local fans of live music. With Beale gone, that triangle is reduced to a single straight line.

No reason for the closure has been given. RFT did not immediately hear back from Jostes when we sent an email asking for comment.

Beale on Broadway was hit with a federal lawsuit in April 2017 by Broadcast Music Incorporated, or BMI, for allowing artists to perform copyrighted cover songs in the venue without purchasing a license. The matter was ultimately settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

Musicians and music fans that frequented the venue were quick to lament its loss via social media.

"It's not only about the venue, but the different artists and musician you'll see," writes blues guitarist Marquise Knox. "Some bands may not have the fortune of performing at the venue of their choosing, so with the closing of the the Beale on Broadway you not only lose one of the greatest underrated blues clubs, you lose the chance to witness the rawness of the experience."

"I’m very sad to see the Beale on Broadway go. I’ve been seeing music here for over ten years and it’s always been excellent," writes Blue Lotus owner Paul Niehaus IV. "Bud Jostes always cared deeply about how the sound system sounded and curated a great vibe in his venue. Thanks for all the years Bud!"

"I'm gonna try and make it down to the Beale on Broadway tonight and sit in with Roland Johnson and Soul Endeavor," writes jazz trumpeter Kasimu Taylor. "I've been doing that hang for years, but this'll be their last night there as the place is closing its doors for good. I've made some great music connects, friendships, and acquaintances at the Beale on Broadway, great memories! Pack the house for Roland tonight!!"

Roland Johnson will perform on Wednesday night from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. with a cover charge of $7; Kim Massie will shut the whole place down on Thursday night from 8 p.m. to 12 p.m. for $1o. Show up in droves for each — let's send the place off in style.
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