I think the current state of the bar scene is fact more than opinion. It's difficult, likely too difficult. You try and run a small room where your only revenue stream is alcohol, and that's a tough go.
You may get a nice full room on the weekend, but you need full rooms throughout the week to make up for the city's radical rise in storefront rentals, and the trend seems to be that people are drinking less. Then add in laws that allow one angry person who moves into your neighbourhood and decides that your venue is too noisy, to tie you up with court and other legal fees for years. You have a recipe for throwing in the towel. This has happened to more than one barkeep that I know.
I'm an optimist though, so I hope that through initiatives like Music City, there will be a new focus on the importance of the small music venue as a building block for a vibrant music and cultural scene. Songwriters, bands, artists... they don't just fall out of the sky into Massey Hall, they need lots of places to grow.
– Stephen Stanley, in an interview with Jason Schneider, as published in FYIMusicNews