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The Village Tavern shuts down

The East Cooper bar and music venue closed this week

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The Village Tavern officially closed this week. Owner Daniel Drew confirmed the news today.

"We weren't even breaking even," Drew says. "I spoke with Kyle [Smoak, the bar manager] on Monday night, and we decided it's over with. We closed it down."

Soon after opening for business in Mt. Pleasant's quaint Crickentree Village shopping center (1055 Johnnie Dodds Blvd.) in early 2002, the venue quickly established itself as a hotspot for live music in Charleston (a unusual feat for a club outside of the downtown scene). Original owner and booking guy Trey Lofton brought all sorts of local and touring bands to the club — anything from indie rock, bluegrass, punk, metal, and alt-country to hip-hop, and electronica.

In 2007, Drew bought the business and continued to run the place as a restaurant, bar, and live music venue. They served standard bar fare and maintained a large menu of bottled high-gravity imports and microbrewed beers. The band schedule featured several local and touring bands every week.

Business slowed down in recent years, though. The late-night crowds and audiences thinned out. Band bookings and promotion became less consistent. In general, enthusiasm for running the place and hosted live music decreased.

"I was just sick of it," Drew admits. "I tried to sell it, but nobody was interested. I haven't even been back in town for three or four months. I'm just cleaning up and getting rid of stuff this week."

Several visiting and local acts were scheduled to perform this week and through the next few weeks — including Darren Flowers, The Makeshift, The Divide, 28 North, Commends, PelzYeah, The Mumbles, and others. All shows have been canceled.

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