The all-age Bean Bar venue (and coffeehouse) on Rosecrans Street recently stopped booking local bands. Rick Dieterle, who manages the place, says, "We just didn't have the capacity for it. I wanted to do things like movie nights, or current events, where we debate topics. We are looking at a [new] neighborhood location to open a coffee shop that can have all those things. In this area [near the I-8 on-ramp], it's just not that type of place. We only have 120 max capacity."
What about the allegations of financial problems?
"We just weren't covering our costs if a band didn't draw a lot of people. And we had a few bands that could draw 140 people, but they wouldn't be comfortable because the place isn't big enough. If 300 people showed up, paying $6 a head, then everyone would be happy. We ended up paying the bands a buck a head for anyone that walked in the door.
"I understand how frustrating it can be for a band. I play saxophone. I know that a lot of practice goes into learning songs. A lot of the stories that came out weren't telling our side of things, and some bands I contacted to explain the situation didn't want to discuss it. I don't have experience running a venue, just a coffeehouse."