Anchor Inn closing. What does it mean for Omaha music?

[UPDATE:] Here’s the full news story from the OWH’s Roseann Moring, who has all of the details concerning the city planning director and Omaha’s zoning laws (which state the Anchor inn can’t be rebuilt).

And the land lesees responded with a statement saying they think they’re not violating zoning laws.


So, the city is telling the Anchor Inn that it can’t rebuild and re-open. The nitty-gritty details have a lot to do with FEMA money, flooding, city land leases and all that.

But the short story is that the bar (and occasional concert venue) won’t be re-opening even though they’ve started rebuilding the property.

I dropped a line to Marc Leibowitz at 1% Productions to ask him what he thought of it.

Marc told me that 1%’s lone 2011 booking at the bar’s riverside stage – Yonder Mountain String Band – had to be moved because of flooding problems.

Leibowitz wasn’t planning on booking anything at the Anchor Inn this summer.

“There’s no reputable agent that would book a venue that doesn’t exist,” he said. “It (currently) has no stage and it hasn’t been open so it doesn’t exist as a venue.”

Anchor Inn had been used in the past primarliy because promoters couldn’t find a similarly-sized venue. Other outdoor locations such as Westfair Amphitheatre east of Council Bluffs are cost-prohibitive for small concerts. (“You can’t put 1,000 people at Westfair,” Leibowitz said.)

Leibowitz said 1% is looking at places including Sumtur Amphitheater in Papillion for outdoor shows. Lewis & Clark Landing in Omaha (where Maha Music Festival debuted) is another option, but Leibowitz said it’s booked just about every weekend.

What do you think about the closure? Do you have any epic Anchor Inn memories?

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