(Editor’s note: This post was updated on May 3 at 10:30 a.m.)
One of Louisville’s original alt-rock houses is coming back online this weekend.
Uncle Pleasant’s will be open Kentucky Oaks night and Kentucky Derby night … if everything goes as a group of partners plans.
Partner Steve Claypoole said he’s working ’round the clock as you read this post to get all the systems back up and operating.
Uncle Pleasant’s has been shuttered during a 9-month hiatus for the club at 2126 Preston St., just east of the University of Louisvile.
Claypoole declined to give details, saying everything from the music to the beer and liquor deliveries were still being worked out.
But he promised the club will be open starting Friday night.
Claypoole, who was an attorney in another life, said he’s worked in bars, “in the front of the house, in the back of the house, so I know my way around.”
“The lesson I’ve learned is that regardless of my hopes and aspirations, we just have to roll with the punches,” Claypoole said Tuesday afternoon.
He added that Uncle Pleasant owners Janet Ehlig and Steve Davis are still involved with the club.
We think Uncle Pleasant’s dates back to at least the early 1990s.
We remember seeing friends play there, and it being gritty, but cool.
Good drinks, good prices. Always crowded.
Just about everyone who ever played in any kind of alt band played Uncle Pleasant’s at some point. Witness the thousands of blurry videos complete with blown out audio, posted to YouTube.
But the venue frequently booked bigger name out-of-town bands such as 100 Monkeys (whose singer/guitarist is Jackson Rathbone, “Jasper” in the Twilight Series.)
The joint became heavily focused on metal bands after about 2009, featuring bands like Dogwater.
Claypoole promised more details as Uncle Pleasant’s comes together, and the future becomes clearer after Derby.
More on Uncle Pleasant’s history from former CJ Velocity editor Thomas Nord. (Thanks, Thomas!)
Let me offer some details to fill out the historical record. It first opened in the 1980s – I wanna say circa 1986 or 1987. It was kind of a competitor to Tewligan’s, and they hosted a lot of touring indie/college bands from that era. It was much more “rustic” then, more of a dive bar. I have great memories of seeing bands there back when I was a college kid. I don’t remember when it closed the first time, but over the years new owners took over and renamed it a couple times. (At one point, I think it was a pretty hard-core punk venue.) It became Uncle Pleasant’s again in 2003.