Wicked Moose to close this spring
One of Rochester's best spots for music appears destined for demolition.
Wicked Moose Bar & Grill will likely close at the of March, according to bar co-owner Darren Groteboer. "Our liquor license and insurance end on March 31, so that seems like a logical time to close," he told the Post-Bulletin.
The site will eventually be cleared to make way for a four-story, 135-unit workforce housing project. The Rochester City Council approved zoning changes a few months back that will allow for the housing development.
Since opening five years ago, the Moose has been one of the city's top venues for performances ranging from concerts to comedy shows. Longtime residents may also remember the building as the former home of Aquarius night club.
The loss of the Moose will trigger a major void in the local music scene. Attached to the pub is an entertainment venue that regularly hosts both local and nationally-touring musicians. It was voted by the public as Med City Beat's "Best Venue for Live Music" for two years straight.
It's also the second popular watering hole this month to announce plans to close. We reported a couple weeks back that Legend's Bar & Grill is slated for demolition once plans begin to move ahead on a proposed waterfront development in downtown Rochester.
Some additional thoughts
There's no doubt the Moose will be a major loss. But before you say, "Rochester's getting boring," it's worth noting there are proposals being floated to transform two city-owned properties, the Chateau Theatre and the Armory, into performing-arts venues. And there's always Kathy's, Forager, the Doggery, Half Barrel, Canadian Honker, Cafe Steam, and numerous other venues that consistently support live music in town. Plus, word on the street is that Goonie's Comedy Club may make a comeback this summer.
So rather than dwell on the inevitable, let's get out there and support the businesses that host live music and entertainment. Doing so is the only way to ensure Rochester's music and cultural scene continues to grow.
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(Cover graphic: Wicked Moose)