February 10, 2011
Well, friends, I'm not going to lie to you. After Admiral Porkliver and company left Bratwurst in September of last year, the bottom pretty much fell out of Uncle Steve's. We'd kind of been in decline up to that point anyway, but it was like a curse descended upon us after they left. Norm and I still feel awful about it, and as the saying goes, karma is a female dog, if you get my meaning.
Stab Skull and STD disappeared without a trace and nobody knows what happened to them, although I did hear a rumor the other day that they had met up in Boise, Idaho. If you are reading this and are living in Boise and know something, please let me know. Pete Wilkinson of Nazi Sex Zombies borrowed my car back in October and I no longer have any idea where it is. So, now you know why I've been riding a bicycle these days. That may have been a blessing in disguise because I've gotten into pretty good shape with all the exercise.
The college crowd from Adlai Mortensen pretty much abandoned us after Crash Into Me as the Dave Matthews Band and Good Times Bad Times as Led Zeppelin went their separate ways several months ago.
We haven't seen Dr. George Feldspar either and I've heard that he had tenure denied or something like that, maybe he's left town. Poor guy. That's what happens when your students rip you on their evaluations, I'm afraid.
Kirby and Coney have been the only regulars over the last couple of months, but they had been playing to an empty house, since Kirby ended up stalking one of the women that came to their shows, and that threw out a very bad vibe that pretty much ruined their fan base.
In late December we had a very hard freeze that burst the pipes. It was an unbelievable mess, much of the electrical wiring was ruined, a wall collapsed, and the drywall in the back room rotted through and crumbled onto the floor. Then, a pack of stray dogs took up residence in the building, so that when Norm and I came in to try to repair things, we were attacked and Norm got his right ankle nipped pretty good and had to go to the hospital.
To make matters worse, the city's building code inspector came by, but nobody was there, so he pasted a note on the door basically telling us that we'd have to get our ducks in a row pronto or the building would be condemned.
Well, we were at the point that we were really ready to throw in the towel and give up, when we unexpectedly got a check in the mail from a lady named Eustace Cummings, who you might remember picked up Admiral Porkliver and took them to New York back in September. Apparently, Stoughton Finney had wired money to her bank account from the Czech Republic and instructed her to write me a check against it. She had printed out a copy of the e-mail he had sent her, part of which you can read here:
To settle once and for all the supposed matter of our refusal to contribute anything monetary to that wretched dive in Bratwurst, please send a check for the amount of the transferred sum made out to Jacob Silverman, whom I assume to be so-called manager of the establishment's grossly mismanaged finances. I kindly request you communicate to Silverman that my intention in sending him these funds is simply to shame him for his unworthy conduct towards my person.
Stoughton, if you read this, please know that I was already thoroughly shamed before you sent the money, but now I am shamed several times over. And for that I do truly thank you. Norm does too. Uncle Steve doesn't know yet, but the next time I drop by the jail I'll fill him in.
So, Norm and I wasted no time and used Stoughton's very generous contribution to hire a professional restoration crew to fix up the club. Now, we didn't go overboard with it, we just had them take care of the most essential stuff -- on the outside everything still looks the same. At this point it's pretty much watertight, and the stray dogs are gone, thank God.
When the restoration was completed, we still had about half of Stoughton's contribution left over. Norm and I debated about what to do with the money, and then we had an idea...
A week ago, we opened up Uncle Steve's for dinner at our premiere event, "Dinner and Live Music at Uncle Steve's." Norm himself was supposed to provide the music by doing his a capella Lebanese lounge act, but he was so busy preparing and serving falafel and roasted goat that he never found the time. We had twenty people show up for the event, and in theory they were supposed to pay for the food like you do in a regular restaurant, we even bought a new cash register to place at the front counter to get the point across, and we put a sticker on the door showing that we accept Visa and MasterCard, but I think that next time we'll kind of have to be a bit more specific about that -- maybe we can mount a very large sign saying "PAYMENT REQUIRED FOR FOOD EATEN" or something to that effect. We bought some nice kitchen equipment and we're ready to serve you some delicious Lebanese food, so come on by, but do be prepared to pay.
Here's hoping that our new restaurant feature helps to bring in more customers and gets things going again at Uncle Steve's. Of course, we still have our liquor license, too. So, we are once again ready to fill up our calendar with new live music shows. Anybody out there interested? Please let me know. Let's all make Uncle Steve's better than ever!
-- Jacob Silverman
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