If you haven't been to a Chippewa Chapel Open Mic night, you're missing out. Most open mics are hit or (awkward, oh so horribly awkward) miss, but the Chapel has been around long enough that it pulls in a higher caliber of performers -- though anyone's welcome. Tonight's the last open mic at Fred's Six Foot Under beneath highbrow-hoosier eatery Iron Barley.
"Well, it's been two-and-a-half going on three years trying to break into the music scene, and you know what, it never happened," says Tom Coghill, owner of Iron Barley. "We're eliminating most of the late night music, everything that's booked til August." Coghill says that Iron Barley might still have music on special occasions, provided it's an event that's good for him, and good for the bands.
"There's just too many times I go in there and there's three people in there," said Coghill.
The Chippewa Chapel crew is moving to a new outpost starting next week -- fittingly, they'll be holding down Thursdays at El Lenador, the wildly popular German-turned-Mexican restaurant and bar on Cherokee Street.
Per an e-mail from Catherine, the open mic's supreme leader and de facto hostess: "Although we are sad to leave the wonderful Iron Barley, we are delighted to embrace the 'traveling' part of our name and try our hand on Cherokee Street."
The identity crisis bar is the perfect new home for the whiskey-and-a-Stag Chippewa regulars -- it's impossible to feel like a stranger at Chippewa Chapel, and El Lenador even has a local Stag-swilling celebrity tending bar to take the place of Fred Friction, who recently departed from his post at Fred's Six Foot Under: the inimitable Mr. Johnny Vegas.
Fred's departure was amicable, and Coghill said he plans to visit Chippewa Chapel in its new digs. "I'm sure I'll stop in, Fred and I are still on good terms," says Coghill. "He knows he's part of the family."
Swing by tonight after 8 p.m. and pour one out for the Barley.