Three months ago, Bob Putnam and Sherri Lucas, owners of the Way Out Club, were talking about their excitement over the club's five-year anniversary and the impending purchase of the Way Out Club building on Cherokee. But three months from now, the Way Out Club will have vacated its current spot and relocated to the intersection of Jefferson and Gravois in South City.
"It was a shock," confirms Putnam. "It all came up less than two weeks ago." Putnam says the owner of the current location jacked up the price of the building and out of the Way Out's price range; ironically, all the improvements Putnam and Lucas made to the building caused the property value to increase. Rather than play that game, the Way Out decided to look around and, lo and behold, the old Palms Club appeared. It's located just north of Trader Bob's Tattoos, at 2927 Jefferson.
Says Putnam, "We always looked at the place driving by and always figured it would be out of our price range. When this all came up, Sherri said, "Let's call this number and see,' and it wasn't."
"Originally," Putnam continues, "the space was a Piggly Wiggly store, and apparently in the '30s it became a bar. These two brothers bought it in 1946, right after World War II, and they owned it until one brother died -- well, they still own it, but the one brother died in '94, and it closed. The backbar is the original from when they put it in, and a lot of the tables from when it originally opened we found in the basement -- wooden tables with tops on them. It's a beautiful bar -- it's one of the last ones that hasn't really been touched. The other side will be the dance hall."
The new space will be about a third bigger than the old one, with more room for both drinking and live music, and should be ready to open in January or February. No news yet on when the last night at the original space will be, but we'll keep you posted.
Send all local tapes, tips, discs and detritus to Radar Station, The Riverfront Times, 6358 Delmar Blvd., Suite 200, St. Louis, MO 63130. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.