Fubar Cancelled Due to Weather

Posted: February 9, 2011 in Closing Business in Spokane Valley, Reviews and comments
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The hastily written sign taped on the front door of the Fubar said “closed for roof repairs”. That is the proprietor’s official excuse for having locked the doors mid January.  Having operated our nightclub, The Rock Inn, for nearly four years in that building, Elaine and I can attest to the dilapidated condition of the building’s roof. It is as neglected as a drunk sleeping at the bar.

I remember the worst night we had. It was a December weekend night and so we had a nice 30 person  Christmas party scheduled in the banquet room, a 70-person in another area  and our niteclub was packed. We probably had about five leak spots that required pans to catch the steady drips. The bad part was that one of those pans had to be placed right in one of the chairs at the the table of the 30 person party and one had to be conspicously placed next to the Au Jus sauce on the buffet line of the larger party. The smaller group happened to be our attorneys office and the larger group was from the county courthouse and so there were several judges and prosecutors and their staffs.

It never dawned on us to ask them if the drips they had to endure might be a way for us to wiggle out of our lease. But then why should we want to do that, we were packed and the place was making money. We just called the landlord who sent his handyman out in the middle of the downpour and sure enough the guy got all the leaks patched up. Turns out he had a lot of experience at patching up that roof.

That night was probably six winters past and it was in dire need of a new roof back then. The landlord had been patching leaks for years. A large section had been covered years before with cheap rolled roofing, the type used on old barns and outbuildings. But that was good enough to get by, I guess, and avoid putting out $30k to $40 for a new roof.

Under normal conditions the roof does not leak even when it is raining. But when the conditions get like they were in mid January this year or like they were for us that night then all hell breaks loose and it is like someone turned on the fire sprinklers inside. It basically takes a good snowfall followed by warm and heavy rain. The water gets pooled and puddled up and finds all kinds of places to seep into the building.

For the owner of the Fubar, it was the perfect storm. It was a blast of wet and warm weather that delivered him from a very cold environment. They had opened at the beginning of July and by mid-January they were looking for a way out and it came from above. I know what it takes to make money at that location and they were a long way from it.

I wish the Fubar owner success at walking away from the lease. He is just the last in a very long line of misguided dreamers that the landlord has seduced into thinking that building was a goldmine waiting to happen. Besides our last two years there, I truly doubt that there has ever been a profitable fiscal year there since the original owner passed away more than 20 years ago. There have been four unfortunate, money-losing ventures come and go there in the 4 years since the landlord gave us the boot. I don’t believe in grudges and I say let bygones be bygones. But I can’t help but root for the Fubar and hope they become the first escapees from that building and that lease, which I know has broken and bankrupted more than a few dreamers. Let the landlord fix his roof and say goodbye to the one that got away.

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