Country music bar comes to Bush StreetThe Blue Duck, a new live music bar, is coming to downtown Red Wing.
By: Jon Swedien, The Republican Eagle
The Blue Duck, a new live music bar, is coming to downtown Red Wing.
Management team, James Rhines and Greg Lexchel, expect to open the bar by mid-August in the 325 Bush St. building, which has sat vacant for three years.
Rhines said the Blue Duck aims to fill a niche as a venue for emerging country bands.
"There's a ton of up and coming country acts," he said, adding, "There's no place for undercards to play."
The Blue Duck will generally look to schedule bands Thursday through Saturday. In addition to country music, Rhines said he'd like to put up big screens so patrons could watch football on Sunday.
Booking gigs and attracting customers aren't, however, Rhines and Lexchel's only challenges.
They're also working to overcome the sour reputation left by the building's former tenants. Known as a rowdy hangout, the Alibi bar had its liquor license revoked in 2007 after city officials found the proprietors had lost their insurance.
Last week when the Red Wing City Council approved the Blue Duck's liquor license, neighbor Kiki Gheen said she was concerned the building was again going to be a bar.
Rhines, however, said the Blue Duck is a different animal than its predecessor.
"This place is not designed to be a booty club," Rhines told the R-E.
That's a big reason why he's looking to attract country acts. Having worked in the Orlando, Fla., and Minneapolis club scenes, Rhines said he's found country fans to be the most relaxed.
"It's the all-around best crowd to deal with," he said. Rhines added he won't tolerate unruly behavior in or around the establishment.
Some people are understandably skeptical about a bar going back into the building, said John Becker, vice president of Red Wing Downtown Main Street.
But downtown businesses owners are happy to see the vacancy filled, he said.
"We look at that building and we get excited about it could be," Becker said. "That empty, vacant space (was) kind of a drag on the whole block."