Music scene loses iconic dive
Our colleague Sharon Kennedy Wynne reports here that iconic blues bar Dave's Aqua Lounge has closed. The location has been sold. We named this joint the "Ultimate Dive" in our 2009 tbt* Ultimate Bar Guide. If you've got a favorite memory of the place, located at 10820 Gandy Blvd. in St. Petersburg, you can take a bit of it home with you. Owner Dave Mamber Jr. is holding an "artifact sale" from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Sunday until he has to hand over the keys on Dec. 31.
From the story:
When word spread that the lounge was closing, Mamber said local musicians begged him to have one last jam on his stage. He said this past weekend was packed with local musicians. "It was so very gratifying."
Grammy winner Derek Trucks has played there, back when he was a child prodigy wowing audiences with his slide guitar. And local artists from a variety of genres — from the Mojo Gurus to St. Petersburg rapper Pedro el Poeta (who opened for Cypress Hill in November) to Tidal Wave, the instrumental surf trio from Land O'Lakes, have taken the stage. Metalcore fans saw Fires of Gomorrah there. And the underground rockabilly Dex Romweber Duo wrote and produced two Western-flavored blues numbers with Jack White for a special vinyl release in 2009 on White's label, Third Man Records. Their release party was at Dave's Aqua Lounge.
They all played in front of the bar's well-known backdrop of hundreds of gleaming silver CDs affixed to the wall. The place was often described as a movie set of a dive bar, the kind you would see on The Wire or Sons of Anarchy.
"I'm very proud when people call it a 'joint,' " said Mamber, 62, who literally grew up in the bar. It was the ultimate dive for boaters, fishermen and working-class fans of live music and strong drinks. He booked live music six nights a week, including a blues jam every Wednesday.