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The Cantab Lounge closed in March due to coronavirus; it will never re-open

Word is spreading like wildfire through the local bluegrass and poetry communities that the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge is closing for good.

People are already posting reminiscences of the lounge, also known for its poetry slams.

As an indoor venue and bar, it wouldn't be allowed to re-open until the state hits phase 4, and who knows when that would be, since it depends on the development of either a Covid-19 vaccine or effective treatments.

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Comments

Maybe the save great Scott funds can be put to good use here

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The Great Scott funds are already accounted for by Great Scott and its search for a new location.

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or died when I was young. I never would have known that place, or heard its day is done.

All of the good times are past and gone. All of the good times are o'er.
All of the good times are past and gone. Little darlin don't you weep no more.

(My weeping ain't done.)

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… and the Cantab? Why even bother living in Cambridge anymore?

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Lots of convenient bank branches in Harvard Square!

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Jussayin.

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That place hasn't been the same since Pedro and John sold it back in the early 'aughts.

(I'll never forget the 4am World Cup games with trash bags over the windows, as a pack of lads stealthily flowed in the back door.)

It's been a slow and sad deterioration; ManRay, TT's, The Field, and now the Cantab.

The once incredibly vibrant and diverse subculture of Cambridge is pretty much dead and buried.

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Sorry the Druid bothers you. Try Cheesecake Factory perhaps.

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Yep, Druid is a low-key decent place for a pint. No bells and whistles, just chilled out.

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WTF is FTJ's?

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1990 MIT grad here, spent many nights "down at the Cantab" with Little Joe Cook and company. It's a shame, this thing is ruining everything. Hey y'all! Alcohol!

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Goodnight sweetheart, we-e-ell it's time to go... *sigh*.

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yes, I stopped in to see Little Joe Cook many times.

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The Cantab was immortalized in Willie Loco's local classic "Mass. Ave." way back in 1975. I still have my original 45 on Garage Records.

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Damn now where is Little Joe Cook going to play?? He worked for "Peanuts" for decades at the Cantab.

Yeah I know he's gone but he was a legend there.

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Joe Cook played his last gig in the Cantab, the last weekend in June of 2006. Joe passed in April 2015.

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Cambridge has a peace commission. It is a noble thing. It doesn't cost the taxpayers a lot and it accomplishes let's say not a lot but does get people thinking.

Since Cantabrigia has some of the most valuable real estate on the planet, perhaps some real estate tax revenue might be put into a fund to help out some of these struggling cultural things that aren't someone dancing like the Nijinsky piece in the Big Lebowski? Perhaps a little tug on the place with the $40B endowment?

Bars and restaurants are part of the cultural life of an environment. Forget Flat Top Johhnie's, which I last graced their door when Clinton was still president, but Café P, Cantab, The Field, and others are what bring people together, not 7-11, not Citibank, and not the dry cleaner. It is Paddy's, PRC, maybe Little Donkey, The P&S, Darwin's, and Noch's amongst many others that make a neighborhood not feel like you are in Addison Texas.

Time for cities and towns to think a little different with their funds rather than employing a state rep's nephew as an assistant director of copying and Herald reading. Save what makes the place special.

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People who are afraid of the virus dealt a death blow to the Cantab and everything like it.

Before you tell me that I favor murder for opening up, realize you are making my point.

The kind of people who take chances make exciting places thrive. Whiners have won, and driven all those people off. We are left with the anxious and angry. You think there is valuable real estate out there? What are you doing to make it valuable?

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Simone Beaubien of the Boston Poetry Slam writes: Boston Poetry Slam Says Goodbye to the Cantab Lounge:

For those here for further details, or with heartache to process over missing the space, you already know: the Boston Poetry Slam is not a place. It’s not a loss of a person, or the way a poet you just met thinks about language: we’ll only be missing a half-dozen sticky barstools, a cold cement floor where pub glasses go to die, a certain slant of light that confounds would-be videographers and shakes that fourth stanza you thought you memorized right out of your pockets. Our bar is closed, and closing, but our community remains whole.

So, of course, the Boston Poetry Slam is not the Cantab Lounge: and yet, you know it also always will be. The bar hosted the weekly show longer than most of our current regulars have walked this earth, and the name is nationally synonymous with the scene, community, and sound that have come from the stage over the years. If you ever mentioned you were from Boston at a slam event, you were likely to hear (among other things): “Are you Cantab?” I hear from poets all the time (secretly, generously) who promise me there is no place in the world like the place. Regulars from five, ten, twenty years ago return on a whim, on a Wednesday, to re-introduce themselves to poetry in the same basement, under the same pounding blues and leaking pipes.

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We need to form a rag tag group for an 80s style adventure to raise money to save the community center we hold dear all set to the background of Huey Lewis and the news. We'll of course fall just short of our goal but the mean rich old miser who's trying to tear it down to build condos will have a last minute change of heart and tear up the demolition orders.

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Sorry to hear this news! Cambridge just keeps going down the toilet: bummer.

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Blocks of the Kendall Sq area has been in the process of a series of billion dollar developments , many with storefront restaurants and other businesses, how is Cambridge going down the Tubes.

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Too bad you're offended people are upset to see Cantab Lounge, FlatTop Johnny's, Middle East, TT The Bears disappear. You just have no idea what Kendall Sq. and Central Sq. used to offer. Maybe you're not into the indie live music scene and that's okay.

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'Cambridge resident' pleased to see arts and culture institutions go out of business in their own city? How strange! This is definitely Trump's 2020. #winning NOT

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A somber hat-tip to Mickey Bliss's Club Bohemia in the basement as well; he's been doing it for at long as I've been alive and has probably booked thousands of local and touring musicians on that stage. My band played our last pre-lockdown show there. Great Scott is a bigger name, but the Cantab has also played an essential role in the Boston music scene for decades. This hurts.

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He writes:

Dear friends, Yes... it's sad but true... our home-away-from-home... our song-swapping soiree... our fiddle tune temple... that sweet little joint everybody knew... the mighty, ever-burning Cantab... is being sold. I know nothing about the new owners' plans, but think it highly unlikely that they include reopening the ancient and funky Cantab the way it is.

The virus will have to die down before we start up again in a new place, and that could take two or three more years. But do not be discouraged! My associates and I will be plunging valiantly ahead, scoping out potential venues and processing input and feedback from you.

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Hi. I’m the listing broker for the Cantab. It’s on the market. Fitzy plans to open as soon as Baker allows it.

Peter

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