The final days at The Gypsy

April 21st, 2008 at 1:03 pm

The Gypsy

The Gypsy, above, will be moving on.

We’ve known for months now that The Gypsy, one of the few remaining live music venues on Dickson Street, was closing.

Bands performing there have long told us about the upcoming end times. But the actual details behind the closure, and what might be in store for the venue when it reopens, have been difficult to come by

Here is what is certain: The last shows at The Gypsy, 402 W. Dickson St., in Fayetteville, will take place on April 25-26 with a lineup of local rock bands that will make music for hours. And when Benjamin Del Shreve, the closing performer, strums the final chord, it will close out an era. Check back Friday for a full list of bands performing at what is being called the Farewell Bash.

What will happen after April 26 is known by only a few, and they haven’t been willing to share that information with the blog.

Click here to continue reading about The Gypsy, and what it may become.

I, for one, will be sad to see those bright-colored neon letters come down. Some of my first forays out and about in Fayetteville when I moved here almost two years ago were to The Gypsy. I was new and didn’t know where to go, but I quickly gathered Dickson Street was the center of activity. More than once, it was The Gypsy — with some band blazing through a set on the venue’s outdoor patio — that caught my attention. It’s a one-of-a-kind attraction, with that large outdoor patio serving as an open invitation to a party you could sometimes hear for blocks, if the band cranked up its amplifiers loud enough.

I still go to The Gypsy fairly often — it will remain, until its very closing hour, an important live music venue — but the crowds have waned almost since the day I got here. The situations that cause a venue to fade in popularity are nearly endless, and won’t try to speculate what happened. I don’t know that many would argue, however, that there have been lesser crowds — and fewer regional bands — in the past six months or so.

But clearly, Fayetteville is going to miss The Gypsy. It seems like the blog has to say this every six months or so, but Northwest Arkansas needs every live music venue it can get.

Hopefully, live music will return to 402 W. Dickson St., and soon.

And it might, but information about what the space will become is being held dearly by those in the know. Several sources have indicated the venue will be called Club Froggies and will become a live music venue that also plans to sell wood-oven pizzas. The ambience will be “upscale biker,” several people have told the blog. Any such talk may just be speculation, however.

Records filed with the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office indicate a business named Club Froggies, LLC has registered itself with the state. But no business by that name, or any other, has applied for a license to sell alcoholic beverages at 402 W. Dickson St.

The Northwest Arkansas Times has attempted to call a person living in southwest Missouri who shares a name with the man the blog was told is the owner. The paper has also attempted to contact a person who has been booking shows for the new club. No phone calls or e-mails have been returned.

Several bands, however, including The Tyrones, have made contact with the future venue and are scheduled to appear at the new club in mid June.

We hope more performers are named and that the club gets hopping real soon.