Now normally, I’m a very lenient person. However, there are some businesses here in town that just do such a horrible job, someone should spread the word to steer clear. Therefore, I feel it my privilege–nay, my DUTY–to report these locations here in town, in the hopes that they either clean up their act, or are forced out of business.
Not always will I report on locally owned businesses, but major corporations as well.
Now, on to my first business.
Club 217. Yes, I know, it’s a local hangout, someplace for our 18-21 crowd on Wednesdays and Thursdays. However, the ownership needs to take a look at how things are run. Let me give you all a perfect example.
I assist (I will not say how, in order to remain anonymous) with a local group that performed there recently (again, protecting names and anonymity). I and an associate arrived approximately 4 hours before our event was scheduled to begin, only to find others from our group cleaning up confetti, napkins, and other assorted garbage from the previous night’s entertainment. I understand things can get hectic and busy on a weekend, but shouldn’t someone FROM the club be responsible for sweeping? Anywho, we got that cleaned up, and set things up for our show. We rarely saw our contact person with the club, except when the previous night’s entertainment came in to cart away their gear. So they were allowed to store gear there until morning. Sounds okay to me, I only hope that they treat us that well.
Unfortunately, that hope was dashed when we found out various sound system components were unhooked, and we were left waiting for their “sound guy” to come in to reconnect them. We brought this to our contact’s attention as soon as we realized it, which was easily 3 hours before the show still. We were promised the sound guy would work on it as soon as he was done with the rest of his work, so we went about our business.
Now, anyone who knows anything about working with a sound system knows you need a sound check before the doors open for your event. Or so I thought, as we were all hooked up with microphones, but couldn’t test the sound due to missing components. We were “reassured” at least 5 times by our contact (who, by the way, we were forced to call into the building several times after they decided to leave) over the next 3 hours that the sound guy was on his way, should be there any minute. He ended up arriving almost 30 minutes after we were supposed to have started, but we had delayed the start of the program to accommodate him. After finally getting our components reconnected, we discovered to our dismay that one of our microphones was creating very strong feedback, and it could not be used. In other words, something that could have been fixed, had we had time for a sound check.
The horrors do not end there, however. After the show, I decided to take a quick run into the men’s room to check myself in the mirror. Unfortunately, due to a number of people drawing on the mirror and the walls, I never got a good view. Not that it mattered–I was doing my best to hold my breath, attempting to avoid the very pungent odor of a men’s room that had not been cleaned in a long time. All this, while attempting to ensure my shoes did not stick completely to a floor that I realized had a mouse trap quality. I didn’t even dare traverse the horrors of the women’s room, though I was told it was just as atrocious, and a woman there who was a regular patron of the bar stated that she had been unlucky enough to need the restroom’s services had to make a visit to her doctor due to catching a little public nuisance known as crabs from the facilities there.. Definitely not a place I’d wanna sit, by any means.
It gets worse, folks. The bar areas were littered with trash and various spots as sticky as the men’s room floor, leaving me to wonder not only what drinks had spilled over onto the bar, but why they had never been wiped off. Same with tables and counter space. I wouldn’t have felt safe leaving a McDonald’s cheeseburger sitting on a wrapper there, for fear of what might have managed to finally traverse its way through the stickiness and climbed aboard my food. Even their “security” seemed lax, as the one person they had to act as a security officer seemed more intent on watching our event than watching the door. I can only imagine what happens on other nights.
The worst part of all this, was we paid to use the club, and basically could have done a better show in any other location. I only wish we had known this sorry state of affairs before we signed up with them, but live and learn. I hope this article detracts anyone interested in using Club 217 as an event location, as I will not set foot in that building if I can possibly avoid it.
Your one and only…
I would like to make a correction to a story told by Alphonso about the tornado benefit thrown at club 217 to the State Journal Register…
Alphonso had NOTHING to do with the planning or execution of the benefit. In fact when it came time for the drive, he wouldn’t even come out and open the building so we could warm up or use the restrooms, and for the concert, he was an hour late opening the doors, and didn’t even have equipment hooked up for 2 hours after the show was supposed to have started. Dj Dave Issacs and I planned that whole thing. On top of the bad way he handled the benefit, he also at one point asked me to drop off flyers to Staples, where I have had all of my printing done since I started this business, said he would pick them up and pay for them and NEVER DID! I can no longer use Staples until “I” pay for “HIS” flyers. I will not do business with Alphonso Travis or Club 217 any further until I receive a public apology for Dave Issacs and Myself, and he fixes my account at Staples!!! This is NOT how I do business, nor will I conduct business with someone so small hearted and disrespectful.