According to Churchill's Pub founder and owner Dave Daniels, the sale of the legendary Little Haiti boozing establishment and live-music venue has been finalized.
"Yes, it is," Daniels tells County Grind. "I am meeting with the buyer tomorrow. There will be further details then."
Video courtesy of Rob Goyanes
The news of Churchill's finally being sold was delivered to staff last night. And doorman Mr. C provided the official announcement in a mock "Scottish and Irish news" report.
"It's 1:30 in the morning on the 7th of April, 2014," Mr. C says in the cell-phone clip. "The owner Dave Daniels, who's owned this place since 1979, has just confirmed to me ... and [bar manager] Nicky Bowe that Churchill's has officially been sold.
"I repeat: Churchill's has officially been sold to new owners."
In February, we here at County Grind broke the story that Daniels' had accepted an offer from an unnamed purchaser. "It's time for me to move on," he told us.
The sale wasn't final. It was merely a tentative agreement. But for many of the pub's most devoted patrons, the looming change of ownership foreshadowed the absolute end.
It meant the (charmingly?) filthy pissrooms would be scrubbed extra-clean. The notoriously anything-goes attitude that's turned the place into a musical and cultural mecca would be tempered. The bloody punk freakouts, near-nude Jello wrestling, and faux fecal play would be mere memories of days gone by.
Now that the sale is a done deal, the fate of Churchill's isn't any clearer. However, manager Nicky is maintaining an optimistic outlook.
"I'm very happy for Dave Daniels," he says. "Some of the people who are more worried than I are the punk rockers, who've been going there since they were 14.
"But if some of the folks who I've seen coming in for meetings at Churchill's are involved, I would not be afraid. I would fully expect it to remain a live-music venue. I'd have no worries."
The transition to new ownership will still take another 30 days or so. And the next proprietor will likely need to close for another month to bring the pub up to code ("fixing up the bathrooms," Nicky says, "the back patio, that kind of thing") before reopening in June.
But will there be hardcore? Metal? Mosh pits? Monday-night jazz? And that same old grimy sort-of-an-English-pub ambiance? Or a thousand new rules?
As a friend of County Grind sneers: "Who fucking knows. Not even the punk gods."