2527 closed its doors last week. The blues club was established in 2002 by Maribeth Barabas, whose bartending career includes a long stint at the storied Velvet Tango Room. 2527 started off with a jazz-heavy roster of live entertainment, but eventually shifted to blues and R&B.
A chummy, upscale clientele let loose at 2527. But over the last two years, business trailed off. "I had to cry uncle," says Barabas. "It was time. Trying to get people in there was ridiculous. I think my audience is an older crowd, and that audience doesn't go out seven nights a week."
The building and fixtures are for sale. Barabas says she plans to stay in town and bartend.
The same week 2527 closed, another bar opened that could be a new watering hole for displaced near-West Siders. Budapest Blue (2800 Clinton Avenue) is owned by Ilona Simon, who also operates Budapest Blonde in Independence. The elegant little room is managed by her son and daughter, Nick and Vera Durejko. Budapest Blonde clients will recognize Vera as the blond bartender with a blue streak in her hair.
Her highlight matches the new bar's color scheme. Decorated in seven shades of blue, the dimly lit bar has a digital jukebox stocked with classics like the Rolling Stones, alt-rockers R.E.M., and the dance rock of Finger Eleven. A kitchen serves appetizers and Simon's homemade spinach dip, which has become a staple at Budapest Blonde. The Durejkos say they may have some unplugged live entertainment in the future.
"I've been to a lot of the other places in Ohio City," says Nick. "And this is more of a relaxing spot, where you can just sit back and have some drinks with friends.
· Youngstown's Crowd Deterrent has a new split with Japan's Creepout. The Japanese band is so enamored with Cleveland hardcore that the lead singer wears construction gloves (à la Integrity's Dwid) and calls himself "Clevelander." Both bands will play a DIY show with American Werewolves in Cleveland on Saturday, October 6. Visit www.myspace.com/ creepout for details.
· Spastic surf-punk band the Alligators will reunite for a final time at the Davenport (6287 Pearl Road, Parma Heights) on Sunday, October 7. If you've ever wanted to see a crowd mosh to "Rawhide," this may be your last chance.
· Six Parts Seven plans to take an extended break after its show on Saturday, October 6 at the Beachland Tavern (15711 Waterloo Road). "By extended break, I mean something like a year, maybe more," says Allen Karpinski, guitarist for the sublime Kent instrumental crew. "We are not breaking up. After six months of touring, we are all ready to pursue other creative outlets."
· A new version of the Cle-punk documentary Cleveland's Screaming will premiere at 9:15 p.m. Saturday, October 6 at Cleveland Cinematheque (11141 East Boulevard). Director Brad Warner, the Zero Defects bassist turned Zen ambassador, says this cut is substantially different and features new interviews. See the trailer and read a Q&A with Warner at blogs.clevescene.com. This week's online exclusives include a smackdown from Melvins frontman Buzz Osborne.